ATLANTA - Protein powders are popular additions to smoothies, yogurts and other foods. Some could be toxic, however, according to a recent study.
Researchers from the Clean Label Project, a nonprofit that focuses on the health and transparency of consumer product labeling, recently conducted a study to determine possible dangers associated with protein powders.
“You diet. You work out. You try to eat healthily. Often this means incorporating a protein powder into your daily routine.
But what’s really in the protein powder that so many of us reach for to put in our morning smoothies?” the scientists wrote in a statement. “We wanted to find out for ourselves.”
To do so, they examined 134 of the top-selling protein powders from 52 brands, according to Amazon and Nielsen.
They then screened the protein powders for more than 130 harmful ingredients, including heavy metals, pesticides, an industrial chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA, that is a component of hard plastics, and other contaminants linked to cancer and other health conditions.
After analyzing the results, they found that more than 50 percent of the powders had detectable levels of BPA and over 70 percent had detectable levels of metals, including lead and cadmium.
BPA is commonly found in plastic water bottles, lead comes from water pipes and cadmium is an active component in battery acid.
Furthermore, they discovered the organic powders on average had more than twice the amount of metals than the nonorganic ones, and about 75 percent of the plant-based powders tested positive for lead.
“Contaminants are the result of sourcing and production practices. Contaminants can be found in soils because of pesticides and mining run-off (ex. heavy metals) and can be absorbed into plants just like nutrients,” they said. “They can also be the result of the manufacturing process.”
The scientists are encouraging buyers to be conscious of what is in the protein powders they use, by scanning food item labels for potentially harmful ingredients.
The scientists also compiled a list of the best and worst protein powders based on their findings. Take a look below.
TOP 5 PROTEIN POWDERS (according to the study)
- Puori, PW1 Vanilla Pure Whey Protein
- BioChem, Vanilla 100% Whey Protein
- BodyFortress, Super Advanced Vanilla 100% Whey Protein
- Performix, Pro Whey + Sabor Vanilla Protein with Amino Beads
- Pure Protein, Vanilla Cream 100% Whey
BOTTOM 5 POWDERS (according to the study)
- Vega, Sport Plant-Based Vanilla Performance Protein
- 360Cut, Performance Supplements 360ORI WHEY Chocolate Silk Premium Whey Protein
- Quest, Chocolate Milkshake Protein Powder
- Nature’s Best, ISOPURE Creamy Vanilla Zero Carb
- Garden of Life, Organic Shake & Meal Replacement Chocolate Cacao Raw Organic Meal
This article was written by Najja Parker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.