What is Chelation Therapy?
Chelation (pronounced “key-lay-shun”) is a highly effective treatment for clearing heavy metals, excess calcium, and artery-damaging chemicals from the bloodstream. Although it was first used to treat heavy metal poisoning, chelation has since proven valuable for the treatment of heart disease and other circulatory disorders.
Chelation Therapy Enhances Blood Flow
Atherosclerosis, the narrowing and stiffening of arteries due to the accumulation of plaques, is a primary cause of heart attack and . What if there was a nonsurgical therapy that could slow the process of atherosclerosis and restore healthy circulation? Wouldn't this be preferable to the risk and expense of angioplasty and bypass surgery? The good news is that EDTA chelation is such a therapy. It is a proven means of enhancing arterial health and boosting circulation.
Chelation has given heart disease patients an alternative to invasive heart surgery and has enabled patients with intermittent claudication to increase their walking distance. It has been used to alleviate angina, to reduce high blood pressure, and to spare diabetic patients from limb amputation.
How Does Chelation Therapy Work?
Chelation involves the intravenous administration of a powerful antioxidant called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). EDTA enters the bloodstream and latches onto heavy metals such as lead, iron, and cadmium that can cause free radical damage to the arteries. By binding to these heavy metals and carrying them out of the body through the urine, EDTA reduces the body's toxic metal burden and helps slow the process of atherosclerosis.
EDTA also removes excess calcium from artery walls, making them more responsive and better able to dilate. Since calcification of the arteries is a major factor in atherosclerosis, this is yet another way in which chelation restores the integrity of arteries and enhances blood flow. As an added benefit, EDTA chelation has blood-thinning effects and discourages the formation of potentially dangerous blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke.
During treatment, which lasts one-and-a-half to three hours, you relax in a recliner while EDTA is administered slowly through an IV. A complete course of EDTA chelation therapy consists of about 30 treatments, usually done one to three times per week.
A Surprising Discovery
EDTA chelation therapy was originally designed as a treatment for heavy metal poisoning, and its effectiveness for heart disease and circulatory disorders was discovered only by accident in the 1950s. As World War II veterans afflicted with lead poisoning from painting battleships underwent chelation to "get the lead out," physicians noticed that those who had chest pain or leg pain due to atherosclerosis were experiencing almost unbelievable improvement in these symptoms.
During the past 50 years, over a million patients have undergone chelation therapy for a wide range of circulatory problems. Chelation has given heart disease patients an alternative to invasive heart surgery and has enabled patients with intermittent claudication to increase their walking distance. It has been used to alleviate angina, to reduce high blood pressure, and to spare diabetic patients from limb amputation.
Chelation has an impeccable record of safety. Coronary artery bypass surgery has a fatality rate of 4 percent. This means that for every 500,000 patients who undergo bypass surgery, an estimated 20,000 will die.
Safety is one thing, but effectiveness is another, and this therapy is effective. A review of 40 published and 30 unpublished studies involving over 25,000 patients who underwent EDTA chelation demonstrated that 87 percent benefited from this therapy.
What Conditions Benefit From Chelation?
Detoxification Therapies / Heavy Metals
Peripheral vascular disease
Slow healing wounds
Bypassing Bypass Surgery
Heart disease is the number one killer among North Americans. Our Cardiovascular treatment program utilizes chelation, plaquex and ozone to help reduce plaque formation and increase blood flow and oxygenation to the tissues of the heart. We have seen many patients respond very well to this treatment.
We have performed hundreds of chelation treatments at our office. We encourage many patients to undergo this therapy because not only is it effective in heart disease but also it is a powerful detox that removes heavy metals from the body to reduce the risk of cancer by up to 90%.
For patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, chelation is usually performed twice a week for up to 30 treatments. Those undergoing this protocol can expect to notice a reduction or elimination of the symptoms week by week. Chelation works by increasing circulation to the heart or other areas of the body by reducing inflammation and opening up smaller blood vessels.
Many patients also use chelation to reduce their body's burden of pollutants such as heavy metals. Heavy metals are found in all of us and sometimes they continue to build up to toxic levels that lead to symptoms or a disease. Many patients with undiagnosed diseases seem to benefit from chelation. Heavy metals can aggravate almost any symptoms and sometimes can even be the cause.
The free radical theory of disease (caused by free oxygen radicals) provides one scientific explanation for the many observed benefits following chelation therapy. Many scientific studies published in peer reviewed medical journals provide solid clinical evidence for benefit. This non-invasive therapy is very much safer and far less expensive than surgery or angioplasty.
Chelation therapy is a safe and effective alternative to bypass surgery or angioplasty and stents. Hardening of the arteries need not lead to coronary bypass surgery, heart attack, amputation, stroke, or senility. There is new hope for victims of these and other related diseases. EDTA chelation therapy administered by a properly trained physician in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, diet, and nutritional supplements, is an option to be seriously considered by persons suffering from coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular disease, brain disorders resulting from circulatory disturbances, generalized atherosclerosis and related ailments which can lead to senility, gangrene, and accelerated physical decline.
Clinical benefits from chelation therapy vary with the total number of treatments received and with severity of the condition being treated. On average, 85 percent of chelation patients have improved very significantly. More than 90 percent of patients receiving 35 or more chelation infusions have benefited enough to be grateful for this therapy-even more so when they also followed a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the use of tobacco. Symptoms improve; blood flow to diseased organs increases, need for medication decreases and, most importantly, the quality of life becomes more productive and enjoyable.
WHAT IS CHELATION AS A MEDICAL THERAPY?
Chelation is a treatment by which a small amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (commonly abbreviated EDTA) is slowly administered to a patient intravenously over several hours, prescribed by and under the supervision of a licensed physician. The fluid containing EDTA is infused through a small needle placed in the vein of a patient's arm. The EDTA infusion bonds with unwanted metals in the body and quickly carries them away in the urine.
Chelation therapy benefits the flow of blood through every vessel in the body, from the largest to the tiniest capillaries and arterioles, most of which are far too small for surgical treatment or are deep within the brain where they cannot be safely reached by surgery. In many patients, the smaller blood vessels are the most severely diseased, especially in the presence of diabetes. The benefits of chelation occur simultaneously from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, not just in short segments of a few large arteries which can be bypassed by surgical treatment.
WHO NEEDS CHELATION THERAPY?
Nearly all men and women over the age of 45 suffer to some degree from the effects of hardening of the arteries. Actually a 30% narrowing of the arteries is considered “normal” at that age. Most people do not realize that they have a problem until they develop chest pains, cramps in their legs when they walk or a heart attack. People associate things like loss of sharp vision and hearing, dizziness and loss of memory with “old age”. The reason some of us seem to get older and more senile than others is often due to the amount of narrowing of the arteries that is present.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO A HOSPITAL TO BE CHELATED?
No, in most cases chelation therapy is an out-patient treatment available in a physician's office or clinic.
DOES IT HURT? WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE CHELATED?
Being "chelated" is quite a different experience from other medical treatments. There is no pain, and in most cases, very little discomfort. Patients are seated in reclining chairs and can read, nap, watch TV, do needlework, or chat with other patients while the fluid containing the EDTA flows into their veins. If necessary, patients can walk around. They can visit the restroom, eat and drink as they desire, or make telephone calls, being careful not to dislodge the needle attached to the intravenous infusion they carry with them. Some patients even run their businesses by telephone or computer while receiving chelation therapy.
ARE THERE RISKS OR UNPLEASANT SIDE EFFECTS?
EDTA chelation therapy is relatively non-toxic and risk-free, especially when compared with other treatments. Patients routinely drive themselves home after chelation treatment with no difficulty. The risk of significant side effects, when properly administered, is less than 1 in 10,000 patients treated. By comparison, the overall death rate as a direct result of bypass surgery is approximately 3 out of every 100 patients, varying with the hospital and the operating team. The incidence of other serious complications following surgery is much higher, approaching 35%, including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, mental impairment, infection, and prolonged pain. Chelation therapy is at least 300 times safer than bypass surgery.
Occasionally, patients may suffer minor discomfort at the site where the needle enters the vein. Some temporarily experience mild nausea, dizziness, or headache as an immediate aftermath of treatment, but in the vast majority of cases, these minor symptoms are easily relieved. When properly administered by a physician expert in this type of therapy, chelation is safer than many other prescription medicines. If EDTA chelation therapy is given too rapidly or in too large a dose it may cause harmful side effects, just as an overdose of any other medicine can be dangerous.
While it has been stated that EDTA chelation therapy is damaging to the kidneys, the newest research (consisting of kidney function tests done on 383 consecutive chelation patients, before and after treatment with EDTA for chronic degenerative diseases) indicates the reverse is true. We monitor kidney function very closely to avoid overloading the kidneys. Chelation treatments must be given more slowly and less frequently if kidney function is not normal. Patients with some types of severe kidney problems should not receive EDTA chelation therapy.
IS CHELATION THERAPY NEW?
EDTA was first introduced into medicine in the United States in 1948 as a treatment for industrial workers suffering from lead poisoning in a battery factory. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Navy advocated chelation therapy for sailors who had absorbed lead while painting government ships and dock facilities. In the years since, chelation therapy has remained the undisputed treatment-of-choice for lead poisoning, even in children with toxic accumulations of lead in their bodies as a result of eating leaded paint from toys, cribs or walls.
In the early 1950's it was speculated that EDTA chelation therapy might help the accumulations of calcium associated with hardening of the arteries. Experiments were performed and victims of atherosclerosis experienced health improvements following chelation - diminished angina, better memory, sight, hearing and increased vigor. A number of physicians then began to routinely treat individuals suffering from occlusive vascular conditions with chelation therapy. Consistent improvements were reported for most patients.
Published articles describing successful treatment of atherosclerosis with EDTA chelation therapy first appeared in medical journals in 1955. Dozens of favorable articles have been published since then.
WHAT PROOF DO YOU HAVE THAT IT WORKS?
Physicians with extensive experience in the use of chelation therapy observe dramatic improvement in the vast majority of their patients. They see angina routinely relieved; patients who suffered searing chest and leg pain when walking only a short distance are frequently able to return to normal, productive living after undergoing chelation therapy. Far more dramatic, but equally common, is seeing diabetic ulcers and gangrenous feet clear up in a matter of weeks. Many individuals who have been told that their limbs would need to be amputated because of gangrene are thrilled to watch their feet heal with chelation therapy, although some areas of dead tissue may still have to be trimmed away surgically.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
A course of chelation therapy for a patient with advanced hardening of the arteries generally requires from six weeks to six months and can cost $3000 to $4,000 or more for 30 treatments. This is considerable less than bypass surgery which is normally well over $40,000.
IS IT TRUE THAT CHELATION THERAPY COMBATS ATHEROSCLEROSIS BY ACTING LIKE A LIQUID PLUMBER -
BY LEECHING CALCIUM OUT OF ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUE?
No! Before recent medical breakthroughs in the area of free radical pathology, it was hypothesized that EDTA chelation therapy had its major beneficial effect on calcium metabolism - that it stripped away the excess calcium from the plaque, restoring arteries to their pliable precalcified state. This frequently offered explanation - the so-called "roto-rooter" concept - is not the real reason, as previously postulated, that chelation therapy produces its major health benefits. The fact that EDTA does remove some circulating calcium is now felt to be one of the less prominent aspects of its benefits. Calcium deposits are a late-stage phenomenon and have little to do with the formation of arterial plaque.
Most importantly, EDTA has an affinity for the so-called transition metal, iron, and for the related toxic metals, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, aluminum and others, which are potent catalysts of excessive free radical reactions or other toxicity. Free radical pathology, it is now believed, is an important underlying process triggering the development of many age-related ailments, including cancer, senility and arthritis, as well as atherosclerosis. Thus, EDTA's primary benefit is that it greatly reduces the ongoing production of free radicals within the body by removing accumulations of metallic catalysts and toxins which accumulate at abnormal sites in the body as a person grows older and which speed the aging process.
This is a greatly oversimplified explanation of what actually occurs. You can refer to the article entitled Scientific Rational for EDTA Chelation Therapy: Mechanism of Action by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D. and James P. Frackelton, M.D. For a fuller explanation of the many issues involved, you will enjoy reading Bypassing bypass surgery, a full-length book by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D., which is written in popular form for the general public.
WHAT OTHER DISEASES MIGHT BE BENEFITED BY CHELATION?
Because the very aging process itself correlates with ongoing free radical damage, it is no surprise that a large variety of symptoms have been reported to improve following chelation therapy, even symptoms not directly caused by circulatory disease. While there is no scientific evidence that chelation is a cure for these diseases, symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's , psoriasis, high blood pressure, and scleroderma have all been reported to improve with chelation therapy. In fact, there is no better treatment for scleroderma. Vision has been restored in macular degeneration. Patients generally feel younger and more energetic following therapy, even when taken for purely preventive reasons. In fact, chelation therapy is more desirable for prevention that it is for established disease. Preventive medicine is always preferable to late stage crisis intervention.
IS CHELATION THERAPY FOR YOU?
Only you can make that decision!