A protein shake manufactured by a leading sports nutrition firm has been recalled owing to high levels of selenium.
Consuming too much of the compound can cause a serious condition known as selenosis.
A batch of USN Diet Fuel Ultralean (vanilla cream flavour) Nutrition Shake is being withdrawn by USN UK Limited because high levels of selenium may pose a risk to consumers.
A statement from the Belgian manufacturer read: “While occasional consumption would not be of concern, longer-term consumption of this product could result in selenosis and should be avoided.”
Selenium is found naturally in foods such as eggs and Brazil nuts but over-consumption can lead to rashes, nausea and even nerve damage.
Protein shakes and other supplements have exploded in popularity in recent years.
According to Euromonitor figures worldwide sales of sports related protein products grew from £2.5bn in 2007 to £4.9bn in 2012 and are likely to reach £7.8bn in 2017. In the UK sales increased from £73m in 2007 to £170m in 2012 and are expected to reach £358m by 2017.
Protein supplements are popular with bodybuilders, but have found popularity with gym goers of all levels.
According to Chris Schmidt, a research analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International, demand for protein-rich products has grown as more people take an interest in their health and wellbeing.
Said Schmidt: “The bodybuilders were followed by professional athletes, then amateur and college athletes.”
“They turned into these lifelong users and that was a big part of what broke the stigma, because a guy from across the street used it, not some Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding guy.”
USN UK Limited has confirmed that no other flavours manufactured at the plant are affected.