70 Percent Protein Supplements Sold in India are Mislabeled & 14 % Contain Toxin

A shocking observational analysis of the protein supplements that are widely sold and consumed in India has revealed that a significant number of these supplements do not meet the standards in terms of quality, labeling, or the claims made in their advertisements.

Last week, the results of an analysis of 36 various protein powders, which included herbal and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals, and other natural or synthetic ingredients, were published in the refereed journal Medicine.

Protein supplements are derived from high-protein food sources and are commonly used in bodybuilding and as dietary supplements to meet protein requirements. They provide a concentrated and pure source of proteins and amino acids, which are essential for building and repairing muscles.

According to the analysis, approximately 70 percent of the 36 supplements provided incorrect protein information, with certain brands offering only half of their declared amount. Additionally, about 14 percent of the samples contained harmful fungal aflatoxins, while 8 percent revealed traces of pesticide residue.

The researchers highlighted the need for strict supervision and huge safety assessments before the sale of protein-enriched herbal and dietary supplements. They highlighted a notable deficiency in the proactive and thorough examination of these supplements, especially those that count on protein.

Even if large-scale global research and clinical data demonstrate the risk of organ damage, particularly liver injury, from herbal and dietary supplements, this study indicates the lack of similar research on protein supplements.

Protein Supplements

The research highlights the difficulties regulators experience and the critical need for consumers to have access to transparent and trustworthy information when choosing safe food or supplement products.

Last August, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had launched multiple civil and criminal cases in 2022-23 related to non-compliant food samples, specifically focusing on protein powders and dietary supplements.

The authors, who are clinical researchers affiliated with Rajagiri Hospital in Kerala, along with a technology entrepreneur from the US, have observed that the majority of herbal protein-based supplements made in India are of low quality and often include botanicals that can be harmful to the liver.

The authors indicate the need for detailed study, regulation, and safety studies before marketing protein-based herbal and dietary supplements.


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