Is Huel Healthy?

The Background

Huel Powder is a nutritionally complete meal in powdered form, containing a mix of protein, essential fats, carbs, fibre, and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. As part of a longstanding collaboration between Huel and Aelius Biotech, the question of whether Huel contributes to improved health outcomes was put to the test. This partnership resulted in a comprehensive peer-reviewed publication in 2022, examining the impact of Huel on the human body. The study aimed to scientifically investigate the health effects of consuming a Huel-only diet.

Read the full study here

The Challenge

Huel faced the challenge of validating the health benefits of their meals. According to established nutritional literature, the nutrients present in Huel should lead to enhanced health outcomes. Seeking concrete evidence, Huel were looking for a way to measure the impact of its products on participants’ health. Their primary aim was to quantify the effects of a 100% Huel diet and report comprehensive findings on how this exclusive dietary regimen influences various health markers.


Our Solution

Our scientists at Aelius Biotech were tasked with the investigation. With our expertise in scientific research and human trials, we designed a study protocol to examine the effects of a 100% Huel diet on participants’ health. We enrolled 30 generally healthy adults, with 20 completing the four-week trial, consuming 100% Huel whilst monitoring various health metrics and vitamin/mineral status throughout. This involved regular blood sampling, BMI measurements, and body composition testing, allowing us to observe the impact of Huel on an individual’s health markers.

Our methodology, published in the Frontiers in Nutrition Journal, involved participants undergoing testing at three intervals: prior to the trial (week zero), after a lead-in week (week one), and following four weeks of exclusive 100% Huel consumption, with each participant acting as their own control.

Key Blood Markers Tested:
• Haemoglobin
• Sodium
• Calcium
• HbA1c (indicator of average blood sugar level)
• Total cholesterol
• HDL (High-density lipoprotein)
• Non-HDL cholesterol
• Iron
• Vitamins A, D, E, C, B12
• Folate
• Choline
• Magnesium
• Potassium
• Zinc
• Copper
• Manganese
• Selenium
• Thyroid-stimulating hormone

The Results

The study revealed significant changes in 14 out of 22 tested markers.

Positive Changes:

    • Haemoglobin and iron levels exhibited statistically significant increases.
    • Total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels decreased compared with week 0 and week 1.
    • HbA1c, an indicator of average blood sugar levels, demonstrated a significant reduction post-intervention.

Nutrient Levels:

    • Blood levels of vitamins A and E, alongside potassium, experienced significant reductions, yet remained within normative ranges.
    • Levels of vitamins B12, D, and selenium increased significantly from baseline measurements.

Body Metrics:

    • Out of the 20 participants, 13 experienced a decrease in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) after four weeks on Huel, with three participants showing an increase, and four demonstrating no change.
    • 16 out of 20 showed a decrease in waist circumference, two displayed an increase, and two exhibited no change.
    • Overall, BMI, VAT, and waist circumference all showcased significant decreases after the exclusive four-week Huel diet.


“As a nutrition-first company, research is paramount for us to comprehensively understand how Huel positively influences our physiology and empowers individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles. The team at Aelius Biotech has been an invaluable partner in several projects, consistently demonstrating a flexible and thoughtful approach to addressing challenges that arise. Their expertise and dedication were instrumental in facilitating the successful publication of our first peer-reviewed scientific paper in 2022, marking a significant milestone in our journey to provide evidence-based insights into the transformative potential of Huel.”

Get in touch

Aelius Biotech takes pride in contributing rigorous scientific insights. For a deeper understanding of what we can offer, explore our website for similar case studies and blogs. If you’re interested in collaborating or have any inquiries, feel free to get in touch.

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