At Least 70% Protein Supplements In India Found Mislabeled - Vibes Of India

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At Least 70% Protein Supplements In India Found Mislabeled

| Updated: April 11, 2024 12:15

At least 70 per cent of the protein supplements available on the Indian market has been found to be mislabled. A recent observational analysis conducted on 36 popular protein powders available in India has raised concerns about the quality and advertised claims of these widely consumed supplements.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine, provides insights into the discrepancies found in these protein powders, which often contain herbal and dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and other natural or synthetic ingredients. Protein supplements are commonly used for bodybuilding and as dietary aids to meet protein intake needs with a lean and pure source of proteins and amino acids.

According to the analysis, some brands were found to offer only half of the protein content they claimed. Additionally, around 14 per cent of the samples contained harmful fungal aflatoxins, while 8 per cent showed traces of pesticide residue.

The authors of the study emphasised the need for stringent scrutiny, regulation, and basic safety studies before these protein-based herbal and dietary supplements are marketed. They highlighted the lack of proactive and prospective analyses of widely used supplements, especially protein-based ones, in published literature.

While there is existing data from various research groups and clinical units worldwide on organ damage, particularly liver injury due to herbal and dietary supplements, the study underscores the absence of similar analyses specifically on protein supplements. Although occasional reports have examined the quality of whey protein and amino acids in protein supplements to identify amino acid spiking or ‘doping’ to falsely elevate protein content, comprehensive studies are lacking, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

The study’s findings shed light on the regulatory challenges and the importance of consumer rights in having access to transparent information when choosing safe food or supplement options. It also points out the general lack of focus from the medical community on educating the public about the potential benefits and harms of food and diet supplements.

In a related context, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, responding to a question in the Lok Sabha in August last year, shared that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had lodged a significant number of civil and criminal cases in 2022-23 related to non-conforming food samples, including protein powders and dietary supplements. This underscores the ongoing efforts to ensure food safety and regulatory compliance in the industry.

As consumers continue to prioritize health and fitness, it becomes crucial for regulatory bodies and manufacturers to uphold quality standards and provide accurate information to protect the well-being of individuals relying on these supplements.

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