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Revealing Truth: Protein Powder Risks in India – Mislabeling and Contamination Exposed


Protein shakes have long been a staple for fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals looking to boost their protein intake conveniently. However, a recent comprehensive study conducted in India has shed light on concerning findings regarding the safety and accuracy of these popular supplements. The study, which analysed a wide range of protein shakes available in the Indian market, uncovered widespread mislabeling and contamination issues, raising significant concerns about their potential health risks.

However, a recent study has exposed a troubling aspect of this trend. An extensive analysis conducted by researchers from Rajagiri Hospital in Kerala and a US-based technology entrepreneur has revealed that a majority of protein powders sold in India are not what they claim to be.

Mislabeling: A Common Problem

The study, which was published in the journal Medicine, examined 36 different protein powders, including those containing herbal ingredients and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. The results were alarming: nearly 70% of the products had misleading protein content information on their labels. In some cases, the actual protein content was as low as half of what was advertised.

Mislabeling can have serious consequences, especially for people who rely on protein shakes as a primary source of protein. Inaccurate labeling not only undermines the trust between consumers and manufacturers but also poses risks to public health by promoting deceptive marketing practices.

Contamination Concerns

protein powder contamination

In addition to mislabeling, the study also uncovered concerning levels of contamination in several protein shake products. Contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbial pathogens were detected in a significant number of samples, raising red flags about the safety of these supplements.

The study found that 14% of the samples contained harmful fungal aflatoxins, while 8% had traces of pesticide residue. These contaminants pose significant health risks, especially when consumed regularly. Fungal aflatoxins are known carcinogens, and pesticides can lead to a host of health problems, including disruptions to the endocrine system.

Heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic, are known to accumulate in the body over time and can have toxic effects on various organs and systems. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants through contaminated protein shakes could potentially lead to serious health issues, including neurological damage, kidney problems, and even cancer.

Similarly, the presence of microbial pathogens, such as bacteria and moulds, raises concerns about the risk of foodborne illnesses among consumers. Contaminated protein shakes can pose a particularly high risk to vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Regulatory Challenges

The findings of the study highlight the need for stricter regulations and oversight in the production and labelling of protein shake products in India. Currently, the regulatory framework governing dietary supplements in the country is inadequate, allowing for loopholes that can be exploited by unscrupulous manufacturers.

Without stringent regulations and rigorous enforcement measures, consumers remain vulnerable to the risks associated with mislabeled and contaminated protein shakes. It is imperative for regulatory authorities to step up efforts to ensure the safety and accuracy of these products, safeguarding the health and well-being of the public.

Consumer Awareness and Education

In response to these findings, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken action. In the fiscal year 2022-23, the FSSAI filed 38,053 civil and 4,817 criminal cases against companies selling substandard food items, including protein powders. This underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of dietary supplements available to the public.

Consumers must also take proactive measures to protect themselves from the potential dangers associated with protein shakes. This includes conducting thorough research, reading product labels carefully, and choosing reputable brands with a track record of quality and safety.

Furthermore, consumers should be vigilant about reporting any adverse reactions or concerns regarding protein shake products to the relevant authorities. By actively engaging in consumer advocacy and demanding greater transparency from manufacturers, individuals can play a crucial role in promoting accountability and driving positive change in the industry.

Pioneering Quality and Ethical Practices in Wellness

At Sukham, we understand the critical importance of trust and transparency in the wellness industry. In light of the recent findings regarding the mislabeling and contamination of protein powders in India, we at Sukham are more committed than ever to upholding the highest standards of quality and ethical practices.

Our approach is rooted in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, blended seamlessly with modern scientific rigour. We ensure that our products undergo multiple quality tests from NABL-accredited labs. Our herbs are sourced directly from farmers, and we process them in our state-of-the-art, standardised US FDA-certified manufacturing facility. This meticulous process guarantees that our products are not only effective but also safe and free from contaminants.

We take pride in our pledge to be an open and non-judgmental platform, assisting men with quality supplements, personalised counselling, and holistic wellness regimes. Our philosophy is to provide men with the means to experience genuine pleasure and fulfilment in life, and we are dedicated to helping them achieve this goal.

Our products are quality, stability, microbiology, and heavy metal tested, ensuring that what you receive is nothing but the best. We are committed to ethical sourcing, as we procure ingredients like Shilajit directly from cultivators in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas, ensuring sustainability and fair practices.


The comprehensive study on protein shake products in India has brought to light significant issues regarding mislabeling and contamination, highlighting the need for urgent action from both regulatory authorities and consumers alike. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including stricter regulations, enhanced oversight, and greater consumer awareness.

In the meantime, consumers must exercise caution and diligence when purchasing and consuming protein shakes, prioritising safety and quality above all else. By working together to address these hidden dangers, we can ensure that protein shakes remain a safe and beneficial dietary supplement for all.


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