Worried about heavy metals in your plant based protein?

So you thought you were making the healthy choice by switching from whey protein to plant based protein. You’ve seen the major brands on the shelves for years: Vega, Sunwarrior, Garden of Life, etc. You read how whey protein contains high levels of cholesterol and trace amounts of who knows what’s in the cows. You wanted a healthy clean option so you finally gave one of the major plant based protein brands a shot.

Well, bad news for you, it turns out that the major plant based protein brands that you see in major store chains have their own health hazards to worry about….HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION.

In March of 2018, Consumer Reports released an alarming article talking about high levels of heavy metal contamination (arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury) in popular protein powders. They referenced a major study done by the Clean Label Project in which 134 of the best selling protein powders were tested and examined for quality in many facets. The major facet looked at was heavy metals. Out of the 134 tested, the major plant based brands: Vega, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life were rated the absolute worst due to heavy metal contamination.

Below is the link to the Consumer Reports article:


Clean Label Project study link:


Let me tell you why this is no surprise to a supplement industry insider like myself. I will also tell you why our plant based protein is different from the major brands and is free of heavy metal contamination. Vega, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life, amongst other major plant based brands source the majority their protein ingredients from China. In fact, 90% of the
supplement industry’s pea protein supply is from China. Very little pea protein ingredients are produced from seed to final powder here in America. The ones that are made in the USA are more than TWICE as expensive.

The major companies, especially the ones owned by massive publicly traded corporations (Vega owned by White Wave Foods, Garden of Life owned by Nestle) with greedy share holders, will cut costs to maximize profit by any means necessary.

But it says it’s organic….??

It doesn’t matter if plants are grown organically. If grown in a polluted region where the ground, water, and air are contaminated with heavy metals, the crop will be as
well. Then the crop gets processed into protein powder, and these contaminants are not extracted.

Speaking of “organic”, Chinese companies are notorious for falsifying documents to get the USDA Organic rating on their spec sheets. But that is a whole other blog post.

People ask me if our protein is 100% organic and are shocked when I say “We are proudly not 100% organic” for the aforementioned reason above. Because most “organic” stuff you see on the market is from China and most likely contains heavy metals and might not even be entirely organic. I feel more comfortable with my 69-year-old mother using Real Pro Life Nutrition’s protein as opposed to a company like Orgain.

What makes Real Pro Life Nutrition’s premium plant based protein powder different? Completely clean, healthy, and safe?

We DO NOT use any protein ingredients from China. The pea protein we use is called Puris. It is the ONLY eco friendly and 100% USA manufactured pea protein in
the world. Our brown rice protein and potato proteins are manufactured in the USA and The Netherlands.

Not only do we use better ingredients, we rigorously test for heavy metals in our protein. Our manufacturing facility is the only facility in the world (besides Chevron) that possesses an Agilent ICPMS detection technology. It can detect heavy metals down to the parts per TRILLION. To put that in perspective, most companies only test down to the parts per million, if they test at all.

In conclusion, you should still use a plant based protein over a whey protein product. Just don’t buy the major brands. We’re a boutique company that takes pride in putting people before profits by using the best ingredients in the world, no matter the cost.

  1. larry k
    larry k says:

    Hi, I am interested in your clean protein product, but am concerned about my money going to a company that doesn’t actually honor all human life, and by that I mean women’s lives. What do you mean by “pro life”?

    • Andrew
      Andrew says:

      I am glad you asked that question. If you look at our About Page on our website, you will see that we are actually trying to re-define the term “pro life”. We have absolutely no affiliation with the pro life political stance against a woman’s right to choose. On the contrary actually. We believe real “pro life” should be about promoting all life: human health and fitness, animal life, and the environment in which we live.

  2. craig bolden
    craig bolden says:

    hi andrew, thanks for this informative article. i myself have been dealing with the consequences of heavy metal toxicity and it was alarming to read about the content therein. my question is what’s so good about the soil in america though? i don’t have any statistics at hand about heavy metals in chinese soil vs in american soil, but isn’t the soil here riddled with toxicity? how do you avoid that? just asking for me and my 3.


    • Andrew
      Andrew says:

      Hi Craig,

      Those are good questions. Unfortunately I don’t have a clear cut definitive answer for you in regards to Chinese soil vs USA soil. I am sure there are regions of China that are super clean in regards to contamination of heavy metals and I am sure there are areas of the USA where it is extremely contaminated. It really depends on the specific region. By region, I mean specific area or plot of land where crops are harvested. Unfortunately, when it comes to our food, there isn’t really any good way of knowing because the levels of heavy metal contamination (or lack there of) isn’t tested and posted on every individual food item we purchase. It is also not posted on each individual nutrition supplement bottle we purchase.
      I can tell you that our Puris pea is produced in Wisconsin. It is tested for heavy metals there. It is also tested at my manufacturing facility here in Las Vegas in raw ingredient form on the way in and then tested again as a finished product. We test down to the “Parts Per Trillion”, while the industry standard is to test down to Parts Per Million.
      In regards to avoiding heavy metals in foods and supplements, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to guarantee that it is free of contamination. All you can really do is contact companies and find out where exactly the crops are harvested and sourced. You can also ask supplement companies for their Certificate of Analysis (CofA) and see heavy metal test results as well as microbiological (salmonella, bacteria, etc.) test results. I have never asked another supplement company for this information. They may not release it to you. But it is worth asking for and comparing to other company’s product CofA’s documents.
      I hope this helps.


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