A recent Consumer Reports’ investigation found alarming toxic metals in some of the most popular protein powder supplements on the market. Although most concentrations were relatively low, samples taken from Muscle Milk Chocolate powder contained four heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead – certainly an immediate cause for concern. The investigation also found that three daily recommended servings of AS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake contained levels of arsenic and cadmium that exceeded the limits recommended by the United States Pharmacoepia.
Although low levels of all of the four chemicals tested cause significant health concerns, cadmium, often referred to as a human carcinogen (cancer causing agent) is the most dangerous because it accumulates and takes up to 20 years for the body to eliminate just half of it. Also, the consumption of these toxins even at low levels can combine to cause harmful collaborative effects on the body that can linger around for a lifetime. More information on cadmium can be found here on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Luckily there are safe, healthy alternatives for incorporating whey protein in our diets and Dr. Mercola has some helpful suggestions. First, he recommends eating as organically as possible to avoid the many toxins often caused by pesticides in non-organic and highly processed products. He notes that the gold standard of whey protein is often a by-product from milk and cheese, but when choosing whey from beef he recommends finding whey that it is derived from grass-fed beef, non-hormonally treated cows and that isn’t artificially sweetened. Dr. Mercola’s own product, Miracle Whey, is made from grass-fed cow’s, is minimally processed using a cold process, non-acid treated whey and is naturally sweetened.
I’m also loving Swanson Health Products / Ori Hofmekler’s Whey Protein from grass-fed cow’s. The product can be found here.
Whether you are trying to increase muscle mass or simply supplement an already healthy diet, when chosen correctly, whey protein can have numerous benefits on your health. It contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, and it aids in the functioning of pancreas, balances blood sugar levels and preserves lean body tissue. As long as you are choosing the right kind of whey products, whey protein can be a safe, healthy and very beneficial addition to the diet.
Yours In Health,
Stella Metsovas B.S., CCN
Staff Writer: Michele Wolff