As it turns out, protein powders and heavy metal go hand-in-hand. According to a new study by the Clean label Project, many of the top-selling protein products on the market today contain contaminants. The non-profit organization tested 134 of the most popular protein powders and drinks for heavy metals, as well as a hundred more toxins.
What they found was shocking: "virtually all" of the products they tested had "detectable levels" of one or more heavy metals. Furthermore, around 55 percent contained BPA. In case you didn't know, heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, as well as BPA, and pesticides, all have been linked to cancer, brain damage, or reproductive issues, and in some cases, all of them.
Protein supplements are a huge market. In fact, the industry was valued at $16 billion globally as recently as 2016 and it has, no doubt, only seen an increase in value since. Fitness aficionados turn to protein powders as a quick-and-easy way to build muscle mass without having to go through the trouble of getting their protein from the usual foods.
It's worth taking note that this is not the first time that the Clean Label Project made headlines for similar claims. Back in October 2017, the organization reported on many of today's baby food products containing traces of arsenic and lead. However, this claim was later questioned by the fact-checking site Snopes. They claimed that the Clean Label Project had neglected to publish their data or even taken the time to submit it for peer review for proper evaluation.
Regardless of whether this is true or not, many dietitians still believe in a "food-first philosophy", citing it as a healthier and safer way of getting your body the nutrients it needs.