Heavy Metals Found in Rice Protein Powder

By Ali Wetherbee

Heavy Metals – Limits & Amounts in Common Foods
It was just over a year ago that the FDA announced its findings of arsenic in rice. Further studies determined that the arsenic levels were too low to present immediate health concerns. The FDA also stressed that arsenic occurs naturally in water and soil, and more research will be needed to assess the long-term health risks. Following this news, Mike Adams of Natural News conducted a study measuring the heavy metal content of various protein powders. What he found was alarmingly high levels of tungsten, lead and cadmium, in several popular rice protein powders. The dangers appear to be limited to only rice proteins; other types of protein powders tested did not show significant heavy metal content.Immediately, SunWarrior and Garden of Life partnered up with Natural News to develop and implement strict industry standards for heavy metals in rice protein powders. They have committed to reaching these standards by July 1, 2015, and have invited other protein powder companies to sign onto this agreement to improve product safety.

Is Perfect Supplements Perfect Plant Protein Safe?

Perfect supplements uses a variety of plants including brown rice in it’s Perfect Plant Protein Powder. For this reason alone, it will have less arsenic than protein powders that use rice protein as the main form of protein. But, they also test every batch to be sure their rice protein is well under the arsenic limits set by the FDA, EPA, USP, WHO and EU. It tested at 2.3 mcg per serving, which is less than the allowable for an 8 oz glass of drinking water.

Heavy metals are naturally-occurring in everyday foods

It is important to note that heavy metals occur naturally to some extent in most foods. Only heavily processed foods that have been stripped of all vitamins and minerals approach heavy metal contents of zero. A sweet potato, for example, in an FDA study, contained 7.26mcg lead, 2.04mcg cadmium, and 2.95mcg arsenic. This is naturally-occurring, organic metal content, which differs from the more dangerous inorganic metals resulting from industrial contamination and pollution. In the same FDA study, rice contained less lead and cadmium, but more arsenic (14.51mcg, which is 9.7% of the FDA daily limit) than sweet potato. Tuna, on the other hand, contained 163.63mcg arsenic, which slightly exceeds FDA limits, so the exposure via rice is modest by comparison. Micrograms are small – one millionth of a gram – and levels in these amounts are unavoidable in natural, healthy, minimally-processed foods. This is true of both non-organic and organic foods, and because the USDA places no limits on metal content of certified organic foods, and produce grown in heavily contaminated areas or watered with polluted water can still be certified organic even with higher levels of metal contaminants.

Rice protein is still a great protein

Rice protein is an ideal protein source for those with allergies, intolerance, or digestive issues, as well as those on dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diets. It contains essential amino acids, vitamins B and E, fiber and carbohydrates, without the fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium of other protein sources. It is hypoallergenic and easy to digest. Rice protein has been shown in a University of Tampa study to be identical to whey in strength and muscle building and exercise recovery. It doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes and can prevent storage of body fat.

In light of the uncertainty regarding SunWarrior Classic, which rice powder can I use instead?

We recommend switching to Perfect Plant Protein Powder to ensure you are getting the healthiest, safest rice protein available. Perfect Supplements tests every single lot of protein powders they produce and makes the results available to the public. These powders are consistently well below USP limits for heavy metals.


2 thoughts on “Heavy Metals Found in Rice Protein Powder

  1. Thats why i changed to a eco-cert organic certified product that has 27 superfoods and the best heavy metal “free” <10ppm protein meal on the market today with all clean vegan and organic ingredients …. http://Www.choconature.eu they deliver world wide.
    They have a coconut blossom version and a sugarfree monk fruit version of this complete meal

    Wish you all the best day ever.


    • That looks like a tasty product, but the heavy metal ppm is not the best I’ve seen. Perfect Plant Protein tested at less than 2ppm for heavy metal content. I’m not a big fan of meal replacement proteins because they have so many ingredients. Choconature doesn’t even list them all in their ingredients on their site. I believe any protein powder can be turned into a “meal replacement” by adding in Catie’s Organic Whole Food Greens. This gives a boost of vitamins and minerals and also is equivalent to getting 7 servings of veggies in one scoop. Now that’s a healthy meal replacement!

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