Protein Drink Dangers: Study Finds Toxins in Liquids, Powders

Categories: Healthy Eating, News

Protein PowderA new investigation from “Consumer Reports” finds that some ready-to-drink protein powders and liquids are contaminated with dangerous metals that pose health risks and can have toxic effects on the body’s organs.

The investigation appears in the magazine’s July issue and included the testing of 15 protein drinks, as well as a review of government documents and interviews with health and fitness experts, and consumers.

It found that most people already get enough protein and that even people who do not can find “far better and cheaper ways to add more if it’s needed.”

All 15 of the drinks tested by “Consumer Reports” had one or more the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. If consumed in excess, these contaminants can have toxic effects on the body and its organs.

The Early Show on CBS took a hidden camera to health stores and not only were they not warned of health risks associated with the drinks, workers at the store also said that there was no harm in overuse of the products.

But Erin Palinski, a trainer and dietitian, told The Early Show that excessive protein intake can do more harm to the body than good.

Too much protein in the diet can lead to dehydration, digestive problems, increased risk of osteoporosis and, for some people, kidney problems, The Early Show reports.

“What we’re concerned with here is a chronic, low-level exposure to a heavy metal,” Urvashi Rangan, of “Consumer Reports,” told The Early Show. “And what people should know is that heavy metals, once they come into our body, tend to stay there for a long period of time.”

Specifically, “Consumer Reports” found that EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate and Muscle Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Crème can expose users to elevated levels of heavy metals when they consume three servings a day.

But a spokesman for the supplement industry told CBS that consumers should not find the magazine’s investigation “alarming.”

He added that, “the heavy metals that were found [in the protein drinks] are well below the limits the FDA would be concerned about, so they don’t pose a health risk to consumers at all.”

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