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.
How to Pick the Right Protein Powder
Luckily there are safe, healthy alternatives for incorporating whey protein in our diets. First, eat as organic possible to avoid the many toxins often caused by pesticides in non-organic and highly processed products. The gold standard of whey protein is dairy cattle that are grass-fed–non-hormonally treated cows.
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.
I love recommending healthy alternatives to most convenience foods (the best whey protein smoothie recipes can be found here) along with all my feedback on protein supplements!
Yours In Health,
Stella Metsovas B.S., CCN