Impact of Soylent Consumption on Human Microbiome Composition

UC Berkeley
Berkeley, California
DOI: 10.18258/6271
Funded on 2/17/16
Successfully Funded
  • $6,405
  • 106%
  • Funded
    on 2/17/16



Prior to the main study, we will receive informed consent from members of mycrobes, our microbiome oriented student organization. We will then screen the participants based on their backgrounds, medical history, prior Soylent use, and lifestyles. After screening, 14 participants will be chosen for the final study group.

The study design is as follows:

Our total participant pool will consist of 14 people with approximately 1/3 in the control group and 2/3 in the Soylent group.

Each day, participants will be asked to submit the following information:

1. Description of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

2. Sampling Kit Serial Number

3. Bristol Stool Chart Rating

Individuals in the Soylent group will consume 5 bottles of Soylent per day, meeting their daily 2000 kcal requirements.

On days that require microbiome sampling, participants will use uBiome kits to swab their used toilet paper, which is then stored in a buffer. Once the 10 day trial is completed, samples will be sent to uBiome for sequencing.

Sequencing data will be generated sent to us within 6 weeks. At this point, we will correlate each participant's data with their diet and hopefully find interesting trends! Importantly, we expect to see specific changes in alpha and beta diversity showing a loss of diversity in individuals with a sustained Soylent diet.


1. Submitting and passing an IRB protocol (institutional review board for human trial ethics) - Done!

2. Order uBiome Kits and Soylent - Done!

3. Perform the trial. It is possible that participants may not be compliant. If any participant feels unwell from activities involving this study, they will be encouraged to cease participation and contact their primary care physician.

4. Send off samples to uBiome and wait for data.

5. Analyze data.

6. Formal write-up and a potential publication.


This project has not yet shared any protocols.