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Are there heavy metals in your protein powder?

The FDA & TGA leave the testing of protein powders to the manufacturers therefore, there is no real way to tell if what is in the product is what the manufacturers say.

Clean Label Project screened 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found 40% of the products contained heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, calcium and mercury have found that prolonged exposure to heavy metals can lead to the development of certain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Also, other toxins such as BPA, mycotoxins and pesticides were found in the protein powders tested which have been linked to cancer. The report noted that some toxins were found in significant quantities. Alarming isn’t it! One protein powder even had 25x the allowed limit of BPA (an endocrine disruptor).

The issue with heavy metals is that they accumulate in the brain, bones, fat and other tissues. And we must reduce our exposure as much as possible.

Annoyingly most of these toxins are not listed on the label so you have to do the research yourself. Often companies will list on their website whether they have been tested for heavy metals. If they don’t test for it I wouldn’t risk it! Companies that test for heavy metals in their protein powders include: Amazonia, Nuzest and Dr Axe.


  1. Look for high concentration of protein 15-20g per serve

  2. Look for protein powders fortified with amino acids to promote healthy muscles, improved digestion, enhanced tissue repair, and increased energy levels.

  3. Avoid artificial colours, flavours, and added sugars.

  4. Look to see if they have been tested for purity


(1) Jaishankar M, Tseten T, Anbalagan N, Mathew BB, Beeregowda KN. Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2014;7(2):60-72. doi:10.2478/intox-2014-0009

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