Majority Of Protein Powders On Market Found To Contain Lead, Cadmium, And Arsenic

in food •  2 years ago  (edited)

A recent study that was launched by the non-profit Clean Label Project, analyzed over 134 samples of what were considered to be the best selling protein powders in the US today; based on data from Amazon, fitness blogs, and Nielsen.

They looked at over 52 different brands of protein powders and they screened for over 100+ different harmful contaminants.

A third-party lab, Ellipse Analytics, were the ones to conduct the test. Their results showed that more than 50 percent of the samples had contained concerning levels of Cadmium and lead, as well as BPA.

Over 70 percent of the samples were positive for lead

And for the plant-based protein powders, it's suggested that more than 75 percent of those samples were found to contain lead as well, and most likely Cadmium too.

Even worse, for the supposed organic protein powder samples they were found to contain roughly 4.8x more heavy metals than the non-organic protein samples.


The director of operations for the lab that conducted the testing, Sean Callan, concluded from the investigation that the plant-based proteins were found to have much higher levels of heavy metals than the non-plant based protein samples.

And he suggests that the reason for this might be because of the location of where the protein powder might be coming from, and the possible soil contamination that might be related to those plant ingredients.

At least 40 percent of the samples tested positive for BPA

And unlike with the heavy metals, the organic samples in this circumstance, when testing for BPA, were found to have about 40 percent less BPA compared to the non-organic samples.

These carcinogens can negatively impact the brain, kidneys, liver, and more. Some of the protein samples that they tested included names like Vega Sport Plant-Based Vanilla Performance Protein, 360-Pro Whey Chocolate Silk Premium, Puori PW1 Vanilla Pure Whey Protein, Biochem Vanilla 100 percent Whey Protein, and others.

Due to worries over such contamination, there are some protein powder options already on the market that claim to test for such toxins and they advertise this on their packaging (see image below).


The protein supplement market is a multi-billion dollar market that is expected to surpass $21 billion globally by 2025. And for many individuals who are concerned about leading an active lifestyle, they're looking to protein supplements to try and achieve their various health and lifestyle needs. There are also many people who find that they need to turn to protein supplements for health reasons because of their own gastric and health issues etc.

It's a shame to think that for many people who are engaged in this market, who think that they are making a positive health choice with their protein powder consumption, might instead be unaware that they're consuming things like BPA, lead, and or cadmium.

Overall, the report concluded that egg-based protein powders were less likely to carry the harmful toxins, compared to the plant-based proteins which most likely come from soy, rice, or hemp. The protein samples that scored the best results were the whey-based protein powders.

Top 5 Products based on the study results


Worst 5 Products based on the study results




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Sadly I’m taking protein because my body is small and doesn’t grow at the gym and people have told me if I drink it I need to drink enough water to wash it down . There’s so much and things in it

You have to do your own research, before you put something in your body!...:)...

  ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment

Very funny... if this is sarcasm...:)...

Or just don't put anything in your body that comes from a box.
Eat real food.

Indeed it was and I was down voted for that. Lol

What is wrong with the food industry in America ...seriously.
Since when does the FDA approve Mercury lead and arsenic in your plate. The best part is that it retails in the health corner, good sense of humor... But shhhh it makes money...

You got a 15.46% upvote from @bearwards courtesy of @jmehta!

This came along at the right time for me. I have been thinking about adding a protein supplement to my diet. I think I might just stick with protein rich foods.

Me too. But how many chicken breast can you stand?

I would say a healthy life doesn't need supplements. Good food is king

I was thinking about doing some light body building, maybe add like 15-20 lbs. I wanted the extra protein with out the unneeded calories.

  ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment

It seems like more and more these days just about all the mainstream products have some sort of contamination...

1 study comes out saying “potatoes are good for you” and then a few months down the road the next study says “potatoes found to contain traces of the zombie virus” ;)

All joking aside, ya got to be really careful these days. Even getting local or organic can have its unforseen issues right?!

That stuff has always disgusted me. I'm sure there's some good stuff out there(evidently there is ^ ) but I lived with a kid who would just tear through the cheap stuff. I'm talking empty jugs filling up his room along with every available corner of the house, and from the cheapest, grossest Walmart-y stuff. I wish I could remember the brand

Anything coming out of a factory cannot be that good for you, raw foods are best, just buy a blender or juicer.

Oh no, my husband finished 2 containers. I forgot the brand ill definitely be on the lookout!

Shortcuts. The easier path, but one with many risks.

the consumption of protein (of all types, not just powdered) can damage the kidneys and liver, especially if you don't hydrate enough.

these substances that you mentioned are carcinogenic. So we have to ba careful.

thnaks for sharing @doitvoluntarily

MY GOD, how harmful then to use those supplements, some kind of protein. I go to the gym and my coach recommends different brands to take me to help with mimetabolism and muscle mass for the gym, but I do not decide to take them, and thanks to your post I will not. I do not want to embase my body with processed things. I will continue to eat healthy and the foods I know. Thanks for sharing this important post.

I take the opportunity to follow you and invite me to my profile, follow me if you like and vote for my last post, please. Greetings.

This is worrying. I use a little bit of protein powder my porridge in the morning about 3 or 4 times a week but not much. I think I'll be just throwing an egg and some ground nut in there instead from now on.

I have been drinking a protein shake after the gym for years now. Through the years I have gone through a lot of brands. I see some on the good and some on the bad, haha. I'll make sure to just get the good ones from now on.

Do you know if they have looked into other powders, like meal replacements?

I think that the own laboratories of each brand are aware of these substances, I doubt very much that a product is launched to the market without its corresponding analysis, everything is based on cost and benefit.
This is a great report to put on alert and leave evidence to the laboratories involved, each time you are more convinced that you have to return to natural proteins, avoid packaged products
Thank you very much for sharing this report
I wish you a beautiful afternoon dear friend @doitvoluntarily

This is the reality,don't get fooled by their advertisement.You are buying poison with your money.So people stop having this bullshit focus on hard work and organic food.Whatever it is all the natural things are good for health and on the other hand most of the artificial things are harmful for health,may be less or more.Thanks for such important news,one of my cousin told few days back he is going to have that now i will tell him this tomorrow.I will resteem this thus maximum people can see this.@resteemed

thanks for posting this it's good to be aware of stuff like that. I like to use one of the brands they mentioned in the report called Vega, sadface.

Well, too much of something is not good. Better to drink pure water and learn to plant fruits and veggies in your yard and be watchful of what you eat.

Now that's a scary news.All the people who were thinking about having those things change your plan and tell to others.All the steemians resteem this post for reaching to as many people as possible.@upvoted and resteemed

I buy Vega all the time thinking I'm spending a little bit extra for the higher quality of the product. Unbelievable! It seems nothing is at all safe anymore. At least pure protein is more affordable

yack thats nasty stuff going into the body ,not lovely .

damn, that's bad news. I'm glad I'm never into these things but must be scary to those who are regularly taking them.

In case it's of interest, i took an in-depth look at the results of the study and found some issues with it. The toxin amounts may not be significant. Here is my article

that is to say that little by little we are destroying ourselves?;?, when consuming something that they sell us but of which we do not know their ingredients and composition? We must be more cautious your post is wonderful thanks for sharing. I vote for you I invite you to read my last post and vote for me ...

yes, a lot of chimical products, at fisrt ur kidneys are falling ..then a lot of problems comes on the way. The proteins from My Protein are highly recommandated. Very good products even for woman.

How the hell is this possible and why is the study saying plant based supplements are healthier than animal based. We all know that's just not even possible, so there is most likely a slant there. As far as heavy metals in the powders, that is 100% on purpose. Don't get it twisted

It is my habit whenever i buy anything from the store like this, i read it's expiry date and ingredients. After doing a bit google search on the ingredients then i take anything. I am not saying that i take protein i just shared my habit to buy anything from the store. Because health is wealth and one should extreme care of his/her health :)

Thanks @doitvoluntarily for highlighting this issue :)

I never understood why people use it. These products are so unnatural. It is to be expected that they contain harmful substances. Many athletes use them and do not look like real people. They become like cyborgs from computer games. And the life expectancy of such people is much less. Famous Russian bodybuilder Dynamite died at the age of 46. He was fond of the use of such protein mixtures. He was a popular TV presenter in my country, it is a pity that he left this world so early because of the use of poisonous mixtures.

good job!
I think a few commentators down here got the wrong idea about where this heavy metal poisoning is coming from though.
A few people basically said that protein powders are bad "because they are artificial". Like the poisoning was coming from the process of creating the powder.
But this isn't the point at all and it's quite important to get the difference. If a company creates a vegan rice protein powder, they need rice. In order for them to get their rice, this rice has to be grown and farmed somewhere first - just like the rice you buy at the supermarket.
The thing is, that all plants incorporate heavy metals found in the ground into their systems, fruits etc.
This is generally good for us cause that way we get our essential minerals and metals like zinc, iron, copper and so on.
But if the soil where the plant is grown contains bad metals like lead, cadmium and the like, the plants will be laden with those as well. So whether your rice contains a toxic load of heavy metals or not is dependent upon where it's grown. This is true for the rice at the supermarket as well as for your rice protein powder on amazon.
But some supplements brand get their ingredients as cheap as possible from contaminated parts in asia. And that's where the trouble with toxic metals is coming from.
There is nothing wrong with a protein powder from clean ingredients.

I wish supplements in general would be tested by a third party every now and then. Supps offer so much value. But heavy metal contamination, BPA, pesticides and herbicides ... they offer so many pit falls as well.

The worst part is: It's not like we don't have these issues wih a lot of the food at the supermarket as well.

Shame! How they still manage to stay in the market!!

Very useful information. Everyone can benefit ... Thanks for sharing @doitvoluntarily successful

Scary - Food industry is not to be trusted. Perhaps, we need to make everything on our own.

probably an hour ago I was thinking about all the lies, that a lot of people still believe in and particularly about all the supplements, powders, pills, proteins exc and What a bullshit are all these things. Now I click on the "health" tag and this is the first post. Synchronicity

i really liked useful information

This information should be more widely known, thanks for spreading it further.

most people say that eating these foods is healthy. I think that this is the biggest mistake of life to take them.

I'm not surprised to read this, @doitvoluntarily - it's a mega-industry we're talking about here, so it's almost inevitable that it's going to be heavily messed up... I hadn't heard about this particular scandal, though, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. I don't usually take supplements, but I have actually been using a whey protein powder since being attacked by a dog last year as part of a daily regime to help my body repair the damage. I'll be checking out those links (and the powder I've been using) for sure...

(I have also been using kinesiology to test anything and everything I ingest since the surgery, as the anaesthetic and antibiotics they gave me in hospital knocked my 15-years-pristine system totally out of whack. The whey powder I'm using tests as 'good for me', and feels good too - that's my prime indicator atm and I have been very pleased with the results so far).

I believe you have 'good' an 'bad' products in everything. The only thing I'm really sure of has nothing but 'bad' is animal based products. I will prefer plant based, always.
X Lazy Bird

I tend to say a healthy lifestyle doesn't need any supplements. Good food is king!