STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Watchdog group finds hidden toxins in protein powders like Lead, Arsenic, and BPA

Whether you start your day?blending?protein powder into your breakfast smoothie?or drinking a protein shake after a w...

Posted: May 9, 2018 8:42 AM
Updated: May 9, 2018 8:42 AM

Whether you start your day?blending?protein powder into your breakfast smoothie?or drinking a protein shake after a workout, you really need to know what you're?putting into your body.

We found out there are hidden ingredients in many protein powders that could put your health at risk.

With your family always on-the-go, it can be hard to eat right. Getting the recommended daily?amount of protein has become so much?easier with all of the?supplements available. Cleanlabelproject.org checked out several protein powders to see if they really are good for you.

Personal trainer Leslie Derrick has made it her mission to stay healthy. The mother of three from Grosse Pointe Woods pushes her clients hard, both in the gym and when it comes to eating right.

We?brought?six?popular?protein powders?to the gym where we asked Derrick and her clients to look at the labels and tell us which of them seemed the best and the worst.

"There's just so many out there that you would just grab one and hope there has nothing in it. There is no way to know, it's not listed on the label," said Derrick.?

"I think a lot of people when they're choosing?their?protein?shakes-- they are looking at calories, protein and carbs.?You're not necessarily looking at all the ingredients," said class member Dory Zontini.

Cleanlabelproject.org is a watch dog for consumers. In the past,?they have?tested?baby food, baby?formula and pet food. This time they bought 137 of Amazon's?top selling protein powders?and sent them to a lab.?What they found was alarming. They found various toxins?in your supplements.?

"Things like heavy metals, lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, antibiotic residues, pesticide residues, plasticizers like BPA, BPS and many others," explains Executive Director Jackie Bowen.

The study showed some?of the dirtiest results were organic?and surprisingly, those were?some of the most?popular brands.

"I think?you can't trust the organic label," Derrick said.

"What we found is that?plant-based?protein powders had?high levels?of arsenic as well as cadmium which we think comes potentially from contaminated soils,"?Bowen adds.

"Unfortunately, because the supplement industry is not regulated, there is really no safe way to validate what is in the nutritional supplements so you look for credibility and really good reputation," said Mayssoun Hamade, a dietitian from St. John-Providence Hospital.

Biochem Vanilla Whey was one of the healthiest from the group we showed to the local moms.?The tests showed no detectable levels of Arsenic,?Mercury, Lead or BPA and it was one of the?cleanest?for Cadmium.?

The five cleanest products happened to be whey based and vanilla based, according to the study.

"We've seen studies show many of these fillers and metabolic compounds have contributed to certain types of cancers," said Hamade.

All of the women?7 Action News spoke to were surprised with the results, and they are now second guessing using protein powders.?Hamade says the FDA web site?has great recipes for healthy protein rich smoothies without supplements.

"My recommendation would be go natural. Use the eggs, use the dairy, use the meats and poultry and beans and nuts – that should be the best source of protein," according to Hamade.

If you want to?find out about how your protein powder ranks?we have a link on our web site In April, the government accountability office, which is an independent, unbiased agency that works?for Congress issued a report to the FDA encouraging them to create risk assessments for heavy metal contamination within food.? We'll keep an eye on any new?developments .

Vega released the following statement:

"We have been made aware of a recent report released by the Clean Label Project on protein powders. We were surprised by the presented conclusions. At Vega the trust and safety of our consumers is our top priority.

"Plants absorb naturally occurring minerals from the soil which can be reflected in the final product. Our robust Quality Assurance programs ensure our products are compliant with our own rigorous internal standards, as well as all government regulations.

"We are proud that Vega products are made with only real, whole food plant-based ingredients condensed into one nutrient-dense scoop. No artificial or synthetic ingredients are used in our products.

"We have not seen the raw data on which Clean Label Project based their report, or the full methodology they used, so we can't comment on this particular report at this point in time. We however want to reassure our consumers that we test every single lot of Vega protein to ensure our products are safe, compliant and nutrient-dense, and meet our high quality standards."

Purely Inspired released the following statement in part:

"Our Organic Protein fully meets federal food standards, as outlined by the FDA in the Federal Register, and the National Organic Program (NOP) standards as outlined by the USDA. To comply with the NOP standards, our product must only be manufactured with approved ingredients, and cannot contain any amounts of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or antibiotics. Our products also have earned the Non-GMO seal, which means not a single ingredient we put into our products is genetically modified.

Sunwarrior released the following statement:

"Heavy metals are naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables that grow in the ground. Because of this, plant-based protein powders will always have traceable amounts of heavy metals in them, particularly when compared with whey proteins. That said, we want to make sure this concept is not blown out of proportion. When comparing the heavy metals found in Sunwarrior protein powders to real, whole vegetables and fruits, the Cadmium found in Sunwarrior is 76% less than a cup of spinach, the Lead found in Sunwarrior is 68% less than an average size avocado, and the Arsenic found in Sunwarrior is 47% less than an average size peach.

"Because our proteins come entirely from organic plants, we will never be able to fully eradicate heavy metals in our supplements. And the same thing holds true for our competitors in the plant-based protein space. But rest assured, Sunwarrior takes great pride in knowing and thoroughly vetting our sources to produce quality proteins that are not only safe to consume by EU, FDA and WHO standards, but are also Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
Unassigned00
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 29°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 24°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 31°
Austin
Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Charles City
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Several days of mild weather expected
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

SAW: Kasson-Mantorville KoMettes

Image

Local nonprofit takes huge hit during pandemic

Image

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine arrives

Image

OMC thankful for Kid's Cup and generous donations

Image

Aaron's Wednesday Night Forecast

Image

Aaron's Wednesday Evening Forecast

Image

Minnesota lawmakers consider bill to narrow pay gap

Image

Fiber optic network coming to Mason City

Image

Fewer colonoscopies done during pandemic

Image

Preventing pay discrimination act

Community Events