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Palo Alto, CA
A 29-year-old male asked:

have green plant and protein powders been scientifically demonstrated to have substantial positive effects on health? what are the best ones?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Here's a better idea: If you were to believe 10% of the claim on the "supplement" sites, you'd be reading uncritically. I think every physician here will agree that health doesn't come out of a pill bottle. Eat wisely, avoid the greasy / sugary / salty stuff, and stay physically fit. You'll be around a better class of friends in any case. Cheers.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
No, they haven't: Green plan & protein powders are popular based on the idea of having an easy alternative to eating veggies and fruits. For optimal health, the cdc recommends 2-4 cups of veggies & fruits per day. http://tinyurl.com/8v8yayq green powders are not really a substitute, though -- & none of the claims of need to "alkalize" your body because of eating an "acid" diet have been proven either. See comment.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Provided original answer
Another difficulty with green powders is that some have been found to contain lead, arsenic, and other contaminants. Green powders usually tout their powerfulness in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scores -- but these are based on in vitro testing and not on how they perform in the human body. If you do your research on any powders you consider using AND you use them only as a supplement, NOT a replacement, you may be okay. ConsumerLab.com does independent testing of many of these products and is a good investment ($33/year) if you want access to their results on greens from 7/5/13 as well as much other educational material and other tested products.
Jul 10, 2013

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