Do Muscle Building Supplements Really Cause Cancer
A recent study investigating muscle-building supplements and testicular cancer has been trending online and in the media because the authors reported that using muscle-building supplements was associated with a 65% increased risk for testicular germ cell cancer . Moreover, they claim that the study results suggest taking multiple supplements for a longer period of time increases the risk even more.
This sounds pretty alarming, especially to me, since on any given day Im typically eating about 20-40g of some kind of protein powder like goat whey or a vegan protein, downing about 5g of creatine, and depending on the time of year , using colostrum for my immune system or a testosterone boosting herbal blend for drive. But just like anything, its also important to break down the methods used in the study to determine how the researchers arrived at this conclusion.
I relied heavily upon my friends over at Examine Research Digest to dig into the details of many of the studies and information youll find below. So lets dive in and take a look, shall we?
What’s In Your Protein Drink
Here are the average amounts of metals we found in three servings of these protein drinks. The maximum limits for them in dietary supplements proposed by the U.S. Pharmacopeia are: arsenic , 15 micrograms per day cadmium, 5 Âµg lead, 10 Âµg mercury, 15 Âµg. Amounts at or exceeding those limits are in bold. Experts said three servings a day is common.
|Product||Amount in 3 servings|
Better Cheaper Ways To Bulk Up
Meeting your daily protein requirements through a balanced diet rather than supplements is best for both your health and your wallet.
You can roughly calculate how many grams of protein you need daily by multiplying your body weight by 0.4. For athletes, a general rule of thumb is about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
A sandwich with 3 ounces of chicken and an 8-ounce glass of whole milk provides about 40 grams of protein, which is more than half the 72 grams required by the average 180-pound person and most of the 48 grams required by someone weighing 120 pounds. According to federal health survey data, Americans get an average of 82 grams of protein per day from their diet.
You can find the protein content for a wide range of foods. Because foods can also be a source of exposure to cadmium or other heavy metals, you can find out the levels in many different types by viewing the Food and Drug Administration’s list.
Don’t Miss: Vega One Nutritional Shake Vs.shakeology
Does The Alkaline Diet Help Prevent Cancer
People who are proponents of the alkaline diet believe that you should eat food that matches the chemistry, or pH, of your blood. And, since blood is slightly alkaline, eating foods that cause your body to produce acid can pose serious health risks. When a person eats a high-acid diet, the theory is it makes your body more vulnerable to disease. On the flip side, eating an alkaline-friendly diet is purported to help protect you from disease, including cancer. Although there is currently no evidence to support this, experts agree that the alkaline diet is a traditionally healthy way to eat, whether or not alkalinity plays a role in disease prevention.
Whey Protein And Acne
Its not uncommon to see a teenage bodybuilder with a face full of red, raised pimples. Many young fitness enthusiasts have a whey protein mentality and exacerbate their teenage skin problems as a result. Unfortunately for whey protein consumers, breakouts often dont stop after puberty.
The researchers suspect this correlation may be due to the fact that milk and dairy products contain the growth-promoting hormone IGF-1, which is positively associated with increased estrogenic factors associated with acne. Although whey protein does not contain IGF-1, foods containing this protein usually do. Even protein supplements often contain milk powder or other derivatives. You dont need to invest in expensive, skin-damaging treatments to treat severe acne. For most, this is as easy as leaving the milk behind.
Read Also: Cholesterol In Protein Shakes
Warning: Protein Powders Can Cause Cancer
Protein powders come in different forms. They can be powdered forms of protein that come from plants, collagen, bone-broth, or red meat. As with any kind of food, the type and source of the food are important. The cheap, weight gain powders that contain sugars and other junk cause stomach problems and
This past year, Ive done a few articles about protein powders, a few of the more popular ones being
And Ive gotten a ton of views, shares, likes, and of course, questions which brings up todays topic asked by a viewer:
Possible Whey Protein Benefits:
- Help reduce symptoms associated with HIV.
- Helps increase the level of glutathione in the body.
- Helps lower triglyceride levels in the body.
- It helps lower your cholesterol levels while raising your good cholesterol, or HDL, at the same time.
- Helps improve the functioning of the immune system.
- It helps to increase strength during training.
- It helps shorten recovery time and reduce symptoms of overtraining.
Recommended Reading: Vega One Compared To Shakeology
Any Evidence That Protein Is Good For Diabetics
It is always important to look at the full body of evidence, not just one paper. To that end, as the paper showed that high protein was potentially an issue for diabetics, the question to ask is:
Are there any studies done that directly look at diabetics and protein-intake?
high-protein diets are effective in improving various markers of cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes and should be considered in the overall strategy of diabetes management.
This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that interventions with higher protein diets can actually improve glycemic control and cardiovascular risk in diabetics. This doesnt prove that higher protein diets decrease mortality in diabetics, it does show discordance between epidemiological and intervention studies. It does remind us to keep an eye on the bigger picture.
Do Protein Powders Expire
As all other products meant for human consumption, whey protein comes with a best before label.
Though protein powders can last a good while. Water plays a huge role in the shelf life of most products. Since protein powders contain no water they can last a good while.
Takeaway: protein supplements do expire. But their shelf life is pretty long.
Don’t Miss: Should I Drink Protein If I Want To Lose Weight
Purchasing A Safe Protein Powder
It might feel overwhelming to choose a protein powder from the many available options online or at the health food store. Here are a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Look for third-party testing. Check product labels for certifications from reputable third-party organizations such as NSF Internationals Certified for Sport, USP, Informed Choice, ConsumerLab, and the Banned Substances Control Group.
- Read the label. If youre looking to avoid a certain ingredient, be sure to read the label carefully. In addition to the ingredients list, a label may give information about a product, such as whether its vegan or gluten-free.
- Look at the serving size. The best protein powders will contain 2030 grams of protein per scoop.
Protein And Weight Loss
I know some of you may not give a damn about chronic disease but Im here to tell you, you still dont need a high protein diet.
The majority of research shows that when dieters eat the same amount of calories, it doesnt matter if those calories come from carbs or protein, they lose the same amount of weight.
What matters is the sustainability of your diet.
I dont know about you but I dont want to live in a world where I have to avoid bread and pasta and subsist off chicken breasts and protein powder.
No, thanks. Ill be over here happily eating a balanced diet.
You May Like: Headache From Lack Of Protein
Whey Protein May Prevent Prostate Cancer
Cheese Byproduct Boosts Antioxidant Levels
Whey is a liquid byproduct of the cheese production process and is rich in protein.
Researchers found that when they treated human prostate cells in the lab with whey protein, the levels of an antioxidant called glutathione rose dramatically. Antioxidants like glutathione are thought to fight cancer-causing free radicals.
Free radicals are formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules in the body. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with cells — called oxidative stress. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. Antioxidants defend the body against this free radical damage.
“The buildup of free radicals is associated with the onset of many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer,” says researcher Joshua Bomser, assistant professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University, in a news release. “And human prostate tissue is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress.”
For the study, which appears in a recent issue of Toxicology in Vitro, researchers treated human prostate cells with two different concentrations of whey protein for 48 hours in the lab and then measured the levels of glutathione in the cells.
Does Eating Too Much Protein Cause Cancer
Think a high-protein diet is good for you? Think again. On this episode of The Sitch, were talking about why eating too much protein may increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Take a peek around the grocery store. Everywhere you look, theyre packing protein into another product. It started with bars and shakes and has moved to cookies, crackers, pasta, peanut butter, coffee, and even water because what you really need with a refreshing glass of H2O is 20 grams of chalky protein powder.
I used to believe the protein myth too.
I shudder remembering the hard, waxy Quest bars Id stockpile, in the name of health 20 grams of protein, no carbs, and no sugar.
Yum! Tastes just like strawberry shortcake .
Not only are those insanely processed protein bars not appetizing, they are also totally not good for you. And thats without even mentioning the fake sugar a topic for another day.
Todays post is about the harmful effects of a high-protein diet.
This post could be so much longer because there is so much to say on the topic, but I tried to condense it down to the most essential parts of the argument against high protein consumption.
You May Like: Shakeology Vs Whey Protein
Dear Mark: Do High Protein Diets Cause Colon Cancer
For todays edition of Dear Mark, Im talking about a new rodent study has just been released that seems to identify the general low-carbish, Primal-ish way of eating as bad for GI tract health. I know, I know. It seems odd, especially since so many people get relief from digestive disorders, inflammatory bowels, and irritable guts after ditching grains and eating more animals and plants. Ive certainly benefited from going Primal, having spent decades of my life being ruled by IBS to enjoying pristine bowel health the last decade and counting. But what do I and millions of others know?
Lets dig into it.
Have you seen this latest study? A high protein diet gave rats colon cancer. At first glance, it seem pretty scary and damning of a high protein eating style. Can you take a look at it?
You didnt make this mistake, Carl, but others have asked me about this paper, and before I get started I want to reiterate that its not actually testing a low-carb, high-fat diet. Its an explicitly high-protein diet.
Researchers placed rats on one of two diets: a high-protein , moderate carb diet or a normal protein , normal carb diet. Fat was lowish across the board, at around 25%. Rats who ate high-protein ended up with a ton of bad stuff happening in their guts:
They didnt actually get cancer, but the high-protein diet did increase many of the traditional colon cancer risk factors. It didnt look good for them. How does it look for you?
Protein was entirely casein.
How Is Whey Protein Made
The best grass-fed whey protein on the planet actually comes from the best cheesemakers. While many brands talk about whey protein, which is a by-product of the cheese-making process, this idea is far from the truth if it means bad or cheap protein.
In many countries, such as the United States, there have been periods when Concentrated Feed Factories abandoned national milk supplies, essentially creating a low-demand supply of adequate supply. When this happens, cheesemakers choose bedding.
As a cheesemaker, you want the best, so buy the purest grass-fed whey. When the market has a choice of throwing away the rest of the milk or selling it for a pittance to brands that produce what the industry calls native whey, the choice is simple. The milk used for the production of Natural Whey is usually CAFO milk, which is not required for production for several reasons of quality.
Don’t Miss: Best Protein Treatment For Natural Black Hair
Is Premier Protein Good Or Bad Our Conclusion
Premier Protein might be a good choice for the athlete on the run who does not have time to blend their own drink out of a higher quality option. While this product is not all bad, the amount of sodium, fat, and carbs it contains in addition to the super low quality protein sources stopped it from earning a spot on our top ten list. Find our highest rated, truly top-notch protein powders for muscle growth and recovery in our Protein Powders category.
More Research Is Needed
Though the methods used in this study are flawed, the results do provide useful evidence because they have revealed a potential relationship between cancer and muscle-building supplements. However, that doesnt mean muscle-building supplements cause cancer or increase the risk of it. Obviously this article only scratches the surface of the issue, but ultimately:
A) much more thorough, high-quality research is needed to confirm any relationship between muscle-building supplements and cancer and
B) as Ive said before on podcasts, shoving oodles of protein powder into your gaping maw and including a host of other anabolic supplements with no cycling, off-days, or less anabolic periods of time could certainly lead to undifferentiated cell growth . However, moderation in pro-growth dietary supplements, moderation in calories, intermittent fasting, and a smart cycle of growth, repair and recovery is the most intelligent and safe strategy.
Furthermore, studies could continue investigating the broad category of muscle-building supplements to break them down into specific groups. That would make it much easier to determine which muscle-building supplements are harmful and which are not.
Recommended Reading: Shakeology Lawsuit
Prostate Health And Supplements: Know The Facts
However, not all prostate problems are life threatening. In fact, as the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, its not uncommon for men over 50 years old to experience some type of prostate issue .
Still, even the symptoms of noncancerous prostate issues, such as painful urination and ejaculation, can greatly affect quality of life .
Supplements are often advertised to support prostate health or help reduce symptoms that are associated with prostate conditions, but you may wonder whether these products are effective.
This article reviews the safety and efficacy of several common ingredients found in prostate supplements.
- Acute or chronic prostatitis. This is characterized by inflammation of the prostate. In some cases, prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, while other times the cause is unknown.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia . This noncancerous enlargement of the prostate often leads to lower urinary tract symptoms. Its one of the most common conditions in older men.
- Prostate cancer. This form of cancer develops in the prostate. Its the fourth leading cause of death in men worldwide.
While the early stages of prostate cancer may be asymptomatic, prostate problems are often accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, such as (
- the frequent urge to urinate
- waking up in the middle of the night to urinate
- erectile dysfunction
Dont Miss: Can Zytiga Cure Prostate Cancer
Types Of Whey Protein
Recommended Reading: How To Lose Weight With Premier Protein
Whey Protein Side Effects
Although whey protein has many benefits, it does come with quite a few side effects as well. Here is a look at fifteen of the adverse effects that this protein can have on your body:
1. Excessive Fat Gain:
In many cases, whey protein supplements have extra carbohydrates in the form of sugars. There are some that have fats as well. This means that weight can be gained in fat form, which is unhealthy. You can also gain weight when you overeat while consuming whey protein at the same time.
2. Kidney Stone Formation:
When you consume whey protein, there is a risk of kidney stone formation. While it may not be a direct cause, experts believe that this protein can make the condition worse if you are already suffering from it. To prevent this, you should take adequate quantities pf dietary fiber and water.
3. Digestive Problems:
Lactose is present in whey protein, and if you are sensitive to it, you could end up having problems with digestion. It is not only people who are lactose intolerant that suffer from this problem. If you do have digestive problems, opt for a whey protein concentrate as it does not contain as much lactose.
4. Risk Of Gout:
Although there is no evidence that whey protein is a direct cause of gout, it can worsen the problem if you already have it. It is also best to consult a physician before you start taking whey protein if there is a history of gout in your family.
5. Kidney Problems:
6. Liver Problems:
7. Risk Of Heart Disease:
8. Blood Acidity Increase: