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70 per cent of protein powders tested had detectable levels of lead: Study

A recent study done on protein powder found that most brands tested positive for having metals and pesticides in their products.

The Clean Label Project is a non-profit organization that tested 134 protein powder products from 52 brands. The products were screened for over 130 toxins, including some that could be linked to cancer. Of the 134 products tested, 70 per cent had detectable levels of lead, 74 per cent had cadmium and 55 per cent had BPA.

Registered Dietitian for Saskatchewan Health Authority Joy Ang says that protein powder isn’t something that she would recommend to her patients unless it’s necessary for their diets.

“So always whole foods or real foods first. If they’re not able to have the amount of protein through foods then maybe we’ll look into supplements.”

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Ang adds that our bodies can’t absorb more than 20 to 30 grams of protein powder at a time and her recommendation to keep protein powder at a minimum.

According to the study, organic protein products tested had more detectable levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead than non organic. Ang says that she is not surprised by the results of the study and that organic protein is mainly plant based, so the soil adds extra toxins into the product.

“There are so many food that have heavy metals in it, even some fishes have mercury in it. Plant based food usually have some sort of heavy metal because it’s in the soil and then they would absorb it.”

If protein powder is necessary in a diet, Ang recommends whey and casein protein powders that are found in milk because they that tend to be better for digestion.

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