Metal Tested Collagen Peptide Alternatives

Do you pay attention to heavy metal exposure? Or, did you see your Instagram blow up with news about the recent lawsuits against Vital Protein collagen peptides regarding Prop 65 and heavy metal testing and wonder if you’ve been out of the loop?

This was from a 2017 filing which addressed four products.

  • Vital Proteins Grass Fed Pasture Raised Collagen Whey Cocoa & Coconut Water (lead, cadmium),
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Veggie Blend (lead, cadmium),
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Dark Chocolate & Blackberry (lead),
  • Vital Proteins Grass Fed Pasture Raised Collagen Peptides Vanilla & Coconut Water (lead).


This isn’t the first time there’s been concerns about heavy metals in food products. I am constantly teaching patients how to read labels and vouch for themselves. At the end of the day, it’s our job to be aware of what we’re buying, supporting, and consuming. But that is super overwhelming and really hard when you’re at the grocery store on a time limit. I hear you!

metal tested collagen
The table here is from clean label project, “64% of the collagen products tested had measurable levels of Arsenic on a per serving basis ranging from 0.09 micrograms/serving up to 4.7 micrograms/serving. The Garden of Life Unfavored Collagen Peptides product tested had the most amount of Arsenic among the 30 collagen products tested.”
Common heavy metals of concern include: antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, and zinc (Mosby et al. ). These heavy metals are commonly found in the environment and diet. In small amounts they are required for maintaining good health but in larger amounts they can become toxic or dangerous. Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels and damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition and other important organs. Repeated long-term exposure of some metals and their compounds may even cause cancer (Jarup, ).
Note that exposure to heavy metals in not concerning unless they are consumed in excess. But, this is also why checking products that are used regularly, like each day in your coffee, are the one’s to be most careful with, because toxicity is more likely!
Your body, your choice, always! But knowledge is power. I have attached the details for you to review, here. Excerpt from filed Complaint: “Vital Proteins has knowingly and intentionally exposed numerous persons to lead and/or cadmium without providing a Proposition 65 warning.” “Prior to ERC’s Notice of Violation and this Complaint, Vital Proteins failed to provide a warning on the labels of the SUBJECT PRODUCTS” Source:

Cadmium can:

  • impaired kidney function
  • poor reproductive capacity
  • hypertension,
  • tumorous and hepatic dysfunction .
Cadmium toxicity may result in  endocrine disruption, oxidative damage, disruption of ion regulation . Lead is a non-essential heavy metal and endures many adverse health effects including neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity 

5 Whitness Nutrition approved collagen peptides

  • from grass-fed animals on pasture 
  • from animals raised without the use of antibiotics.
  • below 0.5 ug/day of lead and require no Prop. 65 Warning for California. 


Another site review (see here) discussed that the following brands use cramped conditions for their animals, and/or didn’t respond about heavy metals. Thus, I would take extra precaution with these: 

  1. Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Peptides: tested for trace levels of mercury
  2. Beachbody Collagen Peptides
  3. BioSil Advanced Collagen Generator
  4. Bulletproof Collagen Protein Chocolate: Has levels of lead and cadmium above what the State of California says is safe.
  5. Correxiko Marine Collagen, Unflavored: has tested for trace amounts of mercury
  6. Isopure Unflavored Collagen Peptides
  7. Orgain Grassfed Pasture Raised Collagen Peptides: This brand tested for lead amounts above what the State of California says is safe. And also had trace amounts of mercury via labs mentioned.
  8. Organixx Collagen: This brand tested for trace amounts of mercury via labs
  9. Picnik Collagen Creamer
  10. Perfect Keto Collagen Peptides
  11. Modere Collagen Peptides
  12. Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Replenish Powder: Tested for trace amounts of mercury
  13. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: This brand tested for trace amounts of mercury. After analyzing the California Attorney General’s office we noticed that Vital Proteins has numerous 60-day notices from consumer & consumer groups to the Attorney General. These notices are a precursor to a lawsuit.
  14. Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin Powder
  15. Youtheory Collagen Advanced Formula Tablets:  has between 0.5 ug/day and 15 ug/day of lead per their prop. 65 warning (lower lead warning)

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  1. Dorothy wrote:

    Thank you for this article. Looking into collagen after a month on hylauronic acid supplements and seeing some benefits. Def want to make sure what I’m taking to help me, doesn’t end up hurting me ie heavy metal toxicity. Neocell is at my local vitamin shop so Inthink it will be the winner. Thanks again!

    Posted 11.6.23 Reply
  2. Michelle Nickerson wrote:

    I purchased a product that I thought I had researched enough, began taking it about 3 weeks ago, and now see it listed on your website. Garden of Life, Grass Fed Collagen w/Peptides, Type 1 & III + Probiotics. You claim it has the highest content of arsenic. This is from a 2017 finding, but can you give an updated research result? Is this product still loaded with arsenic? Even the grass fed type? I’m a bit concerned now. I’m doing my best to rid myself of any metals and toxins. I have a few conditions that I’m trying to manage without the help of big Pharm. Can you shed some current light on this product? Thanks.

    Posted 11.20.23 Reply