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Kunal Bahl: Do you consume protein supplements for health gains? Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl has a serious warning for you


Kunal Bahl, Co-founder of Snapdeal and Titan Capital, recently shared a cautionary tale about the dangers of protein supplements. Reacting to a new study, Bahl disclosed that his own experience with a popular domestic brand resulted in severe health issues.

“I tried out a very well-known domestic brand, assuming it would be safe,” he stated. However, within six to eight weeks, he encountered serious health problems, which fortunately resolved upon discontinuation. His message on social media platform X serves as a stark reminder to consumers to exercise caution.

The study that prompted Bahl’s warning, published in the journal Medicine, delved into the potential risks associated with protein powders and supplements. Conducted transparently and self-funded, the study aimed to identify hepatotoxic substances present in popular protein supplements in India.

The findings revealed alarming trends, with many major formulations containing harmful heavy metals like lead and arsenic. Additionally, some supplements featured hepatotoxic herbal extracts, raising concerns about their impact on liver health.

These revelations shed light on the deceptive nature of protein supplements, which are often mislabeled and may pose serious health risks to consumers. The study’s rigorous analysis underscores the need for greater scrutiny and regulation within the supplement industry.

In recent years, protein supplements have surged in popularity, attracting a diverse consumer base seeking fitness and convenience. However, a recent study published in the journal Medicine unveils unsettling truths about these products, raising concerns about their safety and efficacy.

Misleading Labels: A Shocking Reality
Out of the 36 protein supplements analyzed, a staggering 70% were found to contain inaccurate information. Some brands offered only half of the advertised protein content, deceiving consumers and undermining their trust in product labeling standards. The study’s findings shed light on the prevalence of misleading marketing tactics within the industry.

Toxin Contamination: A Silent Threat
In addition to mislabeling, the study unearthed another troubling issue: toxin contamination. Approximately 8% of the tested samples showed traces of pesticide residue, while 14% contained harmful aflatoxins, posing serious health risks. These toxins, if consumed unknowingly, can lead to adverse health effects, highlighting the need for greater vigilance among consumers.

Expert Insights: Navigating the Risks
In a TOI report, city-based doctors emphasize the importance of informed decision-making when purchasing protein supplements. Dr.
Sharad Malhotra from Aakash Healthcare underscores the need for personalized guidance, cautioning against the indiscriminate use of supplements without proper consultation. Furthermore, added sugars and flavorings in some products raise concerns about potential negative impacts on health, emphasizing the importance of scrutinizing ingredient labels.

Call for Action: Strengthening Regulation
The study’s revelations prompt calls for stricter regulation and oversight in the supplement industry. With significant discrepancies in labeling accuracy and toxin contamination, regulatory reforms are urgently needed to protect consumer health and restore trust in the market. Heightened scrutiny and transparency can help mitigate risks and ensure the safety of protein supplements.

Prioritizing Safety in Supplement Consumption
Proteins play a vital role in maintaining health, but the hidden dangers lurking within some supplements underscore the importance of informed decision-making and regulatory reform. As consumers, it is essential to exercise caution, carefully evaluate product labels, and prioritize safety when choosing supplements. By advocating for stronger regulations and promoting transparency, we can safeguard public health and prevent potential harm from deceptive practices in the supplement industry.

(With inputs from TOI)