Consumer Reports Study Finds Worrisome Levels of Lead, Cadmium, and Other Metals
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
June 3, 2010 -- Popular protein drinks with names like Muscle Milk and EAS Myoplex -- favorites of teens, gym rats, boomers, and pregnant women -- can contain potentially unsafe levels of heavy metals and other harmful substances, according to an investigation by Consumer Reports.
''Consuming these kinds of protein drinks on a regular basis can in some cases create the risk of chronic exposure, even at low levels, to heavy metals such as cadmium and lead that can pose health problems, particularly to vulnerable people," says Andrea Rock, the Consumer Reports editor for the investigation. Among vulnerable people are children under age 18, pregnant women, and people with diabetes or chronic kidney conditions, she says.
Makers of protein drinks disagreed and said there were flaws in the investigation.
While the protein drinks are marketed as convenient, Rock says, "Most people can meet their protein needs through diet. And that can be better for both your health and your wallet.''
The full report will be in the July issue of Consumer Reports.
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Many of the products have names like "Muscle Milk High Protein Shake." The ingredients, the dairy ingredients, are imported caseins and caseinates.