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Heavy metals tungsten, cadmium and lead found in organic raw vegan brown rice protein products

Industry: Health and Nutrition

Three laboratories validate findings of heavy metals in organic raw vegan brown rice protein products

United States (PRUnderground) February 4th, 2014

A Natural News food science investigation conducted in cooperation with the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center has found alarming levels of the heavy metals tungsten, lead and cadmium in popular vegan and vegetarian protein supplements. Findings were confirmed at three laboratories, including a university lab.

Results of the food science investigation have been published at this Natural News article.

The heavy metal tungsten was found at concentrations exceeding 10,000 ppb in one lot of brown rice protein sold under a popular brand name. Lead was found at over 500 ppb and cadmium exceeded 1800 ppb. Several other lots were also tested and found to contain all three heavy metals.

Tungsten has recently been linked to a heightened stroke risk in a study published in the open access journal PLoS ONE (Jessica Tyrrell, Tamara S. Galloway, Ghada Abo-Zaid, David Melzer, Michael H. Depledge, Nicholas J. Osborne. High Urinary Tungsten Concentration Is Associated with Stroke in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2010. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e77546 DOI)

Lead researcher Mike Adams, aka the “Health Ranger,” is the first food scientist to confirm and publish findings of tungsten contamination in dietary supplements. More results of lab testing of other foods are published at

The serving size of the protein products tested by Natural News is 23 grams, meaning that the total intake of these three heavy metals from consuming one serving of the protein is:

Tungsten: 236 micrograms
Lead: 13.5 micrograms
Cadmium: 42 micrograms

California Proposition 65 limits the daily intake of lead to 0.5 micrograms from a dietary supplement. This means this brown rice protein product exceeds Prop 65 lead limits for dietary supplements by 2700%.

California Proposition 65 also limits the daily intake of cadmium to 4.1 micrograms from a dietary supplement. This brown rice protein product exceeds Prop 65 cadmium limits for dietary supplements by over 1000%.

California Proposition 65 does not set limits for the heavy metal tungsten, but if tungsten limits were the same as lead limits, this brown rice protein would exceed Prop 65 limits for dietary supplements by 47,200%.

The concentration of heavy metals found in many brown rice protein products even exceeds the far more lax tolerances defined by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) which allows daily microgram consumptions of Cadmium at 4.1 and Lead at 10 from any single product.

“These proteins contain the highest concentration of tungsten, lead and cadmium that we’ve ever found in any edible product, across all categories,” warned lead researcher Mike Adams.

The protein products tested are certified organic by the USDA. Organic certification does not test products for heavy metals, and there are no heavy metal limits established by the USDA.

Relatively little is known about the long-term health effects of tungsten consumption, as it is a heavy metal which only became an environmental contaminant after the rise of manufacturing of electronic devices such as mobile phones. Tungsten mines can release the heavy metal into streams, rivers and water tables. All the protein products found to contain Tungsten in this Natural News investigation were derived from rice, a crop which consumes large quantities of water as it grows.

Full results of this investigation are published at

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