WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) -- You won't believe the dangerous chemicals that could be in your favorite protein shake.
The ready-to-drink liquid EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate Shake contained high levels of two potentially dangerous chemicals; arsenic and cadmium. The shake provide an average of 16.9 micrograms (µg) of arsenic, exceeding the proposed USP limit of 15 µg per day and an average of 5.1 µg of cadmium, which is just above the USP limit of 5 µg per day.
The samples of Muscle Milk Chocolate powder contained all four heavy metals and high levels in three; cadmium, lead and arsenic. Average cadmium levels of 5.6 µg in three daily servings exceeded the USP limit of 5 µg per day, and the average lead level of 13.5 µg also topped the USP limit of 10 µg per day. The average arsenic level of 12.2 µg was approaching the USP limit of 15 µg per day.
A new investigation by Consumer Reports finds that all of the protein drinks tested had at least one sample containing one or more of the following; arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.
They are sold as ready-to-drink liquids or powders that are mixed with milk, juice or water to make shakes. Testing also shows that the protein drinks may pose health problems over time, especially if a consumer drinks more than one a day. What makes these finding particularly worrisome is that some of the groups that tend to drink protein shakes are vulnerable, pregnant women, nursing mothers, baby boomers and teens, in addition to athletes.
Here are some examples of the findings:
The drinks tested were purchased mainly in the New York metro area and online. For most of the protein products tested, Consumer Reports found levels of contaminants in the low to moderate range. However, three products if served three times a day, could expose consumers to levels of arsenic, cadmium or lead that exceed the maximum limits recommended for dietary supplements proposed by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).
Standards for health products are voluntary and recommended by the USP. Federal regulations do not generally require that protein drinks face safety testing, as is the rule for prescription drugs.
The report is available in the July issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
Written by Jessica Doyle
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com