protein-powder-heavy-metals

“Hey, you shouldn’t be taking protein supplements it’s bad for you”, we’ve heard someone say it but do they really know what they’re talking about? Maybe they have a point of trying to tell us not to take any type of protein supplements. Do we really know what it is that’s in protein supplements since the FDA doesn’t have any regulations against any protein? It’s time for the FDA to step in and have some type of regulation against protein makers since there could be somethings they add in protein that we don’t know about, the dangerous side effects that come with the supplements, the effect the body has when taking too much protein, and it’s time that the people know what is that protein does instead of thinking what it is that protein could do for them. The solution for trying to help inform the people or even save some people from the dangers of some protein supplements is simple we need for the FDA to finally step in tell the protein makes what they can and can’t add in their protein so they can stop giving us whatever they believe is fine for us to consume.

Protein is an essential part for the body it’s what keeps us alive. Most of us hear the about protein supplements but what is it? “Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the watery portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese” (Therapeutic Research Center). The protein supplement is also used to improve an athlete’s performance and also act as a food supplement, it is also an alternative milk for people with lactose intolerance (Therapeutic Research Center). The supplements offer many benefits for people who work out and can’t drink regular dairy products but it is also very beneficial for people with HIV since the protein increases glutathione [antioxidant found in plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria] (GSH). It is also useful for people who have protein allergy, asthma, high cholesterol, obesity and weight loss, it also prevents allergies in infants, helpful for people who have late stage cancer, and for people with colon cancer (Therapeutic Research Center).

Do we really know what it is that protein does for us and how it could give us an edge over people who don’t use it? In a survey that was done with 813 people (376 users) (437 non-users) on protein supplements they were asked questions about their beliefs regarding protein supplements they were asked questions such as their protein supplement consumption frequency, their activity level and their reason for taking protein supplements (Hartmann). The survey reviled that women believed the protein supplements were to help them increase muscles (57.3 %) and to regulate their weight as well (48.6%) (Hartmann). The men who took the survey believed it helped increase muscle (83.3%) and help promote regeneration (53.7%) (Hartmann). The principle component analysis revealed four benefits factors: (a) restore nutrients/avoid weakness; (b) fitness promotion; (c) health/wellbeing; (d) muscle modulation/ competitive performance. (Hartmann) The analysis showed that both users and non-users perceived that protein supplement consumption as strategy to modulate muscle mass, while beliefs in a health and well-being promoting effects was more prevalent among user. A negative correlation between physical acidity levels and beliefs in a fitness-promoting effects of protein supplements was observed, indicating that for a subgroup, protein supplements might license lower activity levels. Users should be better informed to prevent misguided health benefits and to stop believing it is something positive when it could possibly be doing nothing to them.

Most people take whey protein or any type of protein because we expect it to help us increases muscle mass or help us keep are calorie count as well but if it wasn’t doing any of that for us. In a test that was composed of 20 people were given nutrition formulas during the four-day period. The study group received some type of protein supplement and the control group received only standard nutrition formula after a 12-day study the outcome was assessed (Gulsen). Triceps and skinfold thickness mean levels were evaluated in the study group at the end of the study. (Gulsen). The study showed that the protein supplements did provide some type of advantage in the early stages. Triceps and skinfold thickness mean levels where increased significantly in the study group, but in the end test there was no significant difference (Gulsen). I used to take some form protein and I have even felt the edge at the begging when I would take but then over time it didn’t affect me like it used too and I noticed that I wasn’t getting as big or toned as I was in the begging as well. Meanwhile my friend who wasn’t taking any form of protein was getting as big and toned as was only drinking water and eating high amount of protein was still getting more defined then I was while taking the supplements.

We have all heard the benefits that could come with taking protein but does anyone talk about the bad side that could happen when taking protein. The U.S. food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs. This means that there is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of a product, and the effects that may come with it. Taking protein may cause abnormal heart rhythms, changes in cholesterol levels, headache, increase in diabetes risk, increase fracture or osteoporosis risk, kidney dysfunction, liver damage, stomach or intestine symptoms, and thirst (MFMER). Taking protein may cause drowsiness or sedation, also try to avoid using protein for long-term and in excessive amounts (MFMER). I’ve seen people take protein for a long period of times. My friend who was into competitive weight lifting would always have protein at least twice a day and he did this for 2 year until he stared to feel bad have many issues with his body. He would eventually go to the doctors and we later found out that he was harming his body more than he was helping is taking all the protein supplements. These are all huge risk that can be avoided by simply eating healthy increasing protein intake that you eat with vegetables and meat and simply eating more fruits as well. Some of us are wasting money on protein supplements and it might not be doing anything but giving us health issues that nobody needs.

How dangerous could it be to take any form of protein supplement? Could it be enough to almost take way your life? In March 31st of 2016 Marth Whitby nearly died after taking two different weight loss products. After taking protein powder containing green tea extract and a weight-loss supplement containing tropical fruit extract for just two weeks, Matthew was later diagnosed with liver failure (Buchanan). Mathew (27) was close to dying that he needed an emergency liver transplant- but the donated organ had hepatitis B (Buchanan). Doctors said that the green tea extract was the cause of his liver failure but because there were so many ingredients in the supplement and powders that it was hard to pinpoint them (Buchanan). Buchanan then interviewed Tom Exton co-founder of LDN Muscle. He asked him how protein worked and how people show really take it. Tom said “Protein powder in general is used to add protein to your diet, which is essential for good health and especially for those involved in physically demanding activity’s”, he also recommend that people should only take protein if they lack protein in their diets due to a busy lifestyle, and that it isn’t necessary if someone is dab hand in the kitchen. How many have to be sent to the hospital before we decide enough is enough. The FDA has to start setting some type of guidelines to how much you can add in the protein and what it is that you can add in it. They will keep adding what they believe is fine for them because they know people will buy it simple because they believe it will help them lose weight or get in shape while they keep adding these dangerous supplements into their body while these companies are making thousands of dollars.

Do the drinks in the supplements contain everything that we think or are they adding things that can really harm us if we take high amounts? An investigation was started by a small group and they tested 15 different protein supplements, a review of government documents, and interview with health and fitness experts and consumers, found most people already get enough protein, and there are far better and cheaper ways to add more protein if needed (Consumer Report). Some protein can be harmful and can even pose health risk, including exposure to harmful heavy metals. All the supplements had at least one or more of the following contaminants: arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury (Consumer Report). All those metals can have a toxic effect on the organs in the body. For most of the supplements they tested, levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury were in the low range when they detected it, however with 2 servings daily (recommended for better results) consumers could be exposed to levels that exceed the maximum limits for one or two contaminants in dietary supplements (Consumer Report). The amount of lead in a single daily serving of most of the protein supplements they tested would require that the products carry a warning in California. State legislation known as Proposition 65 mandates that manufactures notify consumers when products contain toxic substance at levels the state says pose even a low cancer or reproductive risk (Consumer Report). Federal regulations do not generally require that protein supplements be tested before they are sold to ensure they are safe, effective and free of contaminates, as the rule require of prescription drugs (Consumer Report). The FDA should be allowed to start interfering with protein companies and checking them to make sure they add safe and small amounts of what could be toxic to us. They should be tested to make sure that they do help us in some way or form instead of thinking that this could help us when in reality it could be doing nothing. If we are going to be buying these products they should at least be able to help instead of taking are money.

There is some protein that do help people and those are the ones that we should be supporting instead off all the bad brands that just give us all the chemicals to destroy are body. A recent study on both animals and humans has shown that soy protein consumption is beneficial to cardiovascular health (Etcheverry). The consumption on soy protein can lower triglyceride levels as well as total and LDL cholesterol levels, and increase HDL levels and HDL/LDL ratios (Etcheverry). Soy protein also helps reduce the markers of prostate cancer devolvement, such as prostate- specific antigen (PSA), in patients with prostate cancer or in men with high risk for developing advance prostate cancer. The other good thing about soy protein is that they are begging to give this to people in the military and it is helping them in positive ways as well. In a study with healthy male US Marines, “the protein supplemented group had an average of 33% fewer total medical visits, 28% fewer visits due to bacterial/viral infections, 37% fewer visits due to muscle/joint problems, and 83% fewer visits due to heat exhaustion (Etcheverry)” which was less than the group that wasn’t supplemented. The research suggested that protein helps manage blood pressure and also help prevent some complications associated with evaluated blood pressure (Etcheverry). Some protein is helpful and there are some companies that make their protein with pure healthy substances that will help us with complications. They also help recover and have been tested on both animals and people and have shown good signs when that have been tested and have shown the increase or decrease in the person after taking the supplement that was given to them.

It’s time for the FDA to step up and take action on these protein supplement makes and put some type of regulations against them before they keep feeding us these dangers supplants and destroy are body instead of helping us tone are body. The resolution I propose is that we have labels on protein that contain high levels of metal or get them off the market before people start to get ill and possible die from taking these supplements. Have every protein company test there supplements and see the results that they get from all the test and if the results don’t show any dangerous side effects then they can sell it in the market and claim that it will actually help people. It’s time we stop letting protein supplements sell false supplements and having us think that we will get the body we want by having to take their supplements that won’t even help us out in the long run. It’s also time that they out up everything that they put in these supplements and not leave out anything that they don’t want people to know what it is that they really put in their protein packages. People should also be informed on what it is that the supplement will actually do for them since some proteins are intended to help weight loss, help gain muscle or help us gain all the energy we have lost. They should have all the possible side effect that could happen when you do take the supplement and how it can affect you if you have certain issues regarding health or allergic reaction reason. People should also be informed that it isn’t necessary for them to take any form of protein supplements if they have the time for it and that its only to help reach the daily protein intake. For some people, they don’t need any form of protein thy can get all that by simply eating healthier or eating more protein and carbs and simply working out in the gym for 30 min a day and still get the same or even better results than taking any form of protein and it won’t affect you in any negative way and you won’t get any of the side effect that you could get from taking the protein supplement that could possible do nothing for you. So, the next time someone tells you, “hey you shouldn’t be taking that protein” are you going to still take it or are you going to think about it and see what it is that you protein supplement really has in it and what kind of resource they have in it. Just because we see some athletes take protein supplements mean that we should too, most athletes just do protein supplements for the money because in the end it’s a corporation that’s trying to sell you something that could help or destroy you in the long run so its time we take charge and allow for the FDA to step in.

Works Cited

Buchanan, Sarah. “Man nearly dies after taking protein powder – but is the weight-loss product safe?” Daily star, 31st March 2016 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/diet-fitness/504589/Protein-powder-shakes-for-weight-loss-muscle-gain-is-it-safe-or-dangerous

Consumer Reports, “Health risks of protein drinks: You don’t need the extra protein or the heavy metals our tests found” Consumer Reports, 2006 – 2017 http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/protein-drinks/index.htm

Etcheverry, Paz. “Protein Supplements: The Good, The Bad, and & The Ugly…” Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, 2011 http://healthandwellness.kaplan.edu/articles/nutrition/Protein%20Supplements.html

Gülşen Atalay, Betül. “Effects of enteral protein supplements on nutritional status and clinical outcome in unconscious elderly malnourished patients.” Nutrition & Dietetics. Jun2014, Vol. 71 Issue 2, p66-72. 7p. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=96730307&site=ehost-live

Hartmann, Christina. “Benefit beliefs about protein supplements: A comparative study of users and non-users.” Appetite. Aug2016, Vol. 103, p229-235. 7p. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=115943691&site=ehost-live

Mallard, Alistair R. “Protein Supplements: Do They Alter Dietary Intakes?” International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. Jun2014, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p333-340. 8p. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=96740363&site=ehost-live

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). “Drugs and Supplements

Whey protein” Honcode standard for trustworthy health information, 1998-2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/whey-protein/safety/hrb-20060532

Therapeutic Research Center. “Whey Protein.” Natural Medicine, 1996-2016 https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/833.html