What is it?
Chelation comes from the Greek word "chele," meaning claw. Chelation therapy uses a substance called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetetraacetic acid) that attaches to metals in the body. It is then carried to the kidneys and passed in the urine.
Chelation therapy began in the 1940's when the United States Navy used EDTA to treat sailors who had lead poisoning due to lead paint exposure. In the early 1950's, Dr. Norman Clark found that patients treated for lead poisoning with EDTA also had less heart pain. Patients also reported improved memory, sight, hearing, and smell. Many reported increased energy.
There are over 1000 care givers (medical doctors, naturopaths, osteopaths) providing chelation treatments in the United States (U.S.). More than 500,000 U.S. patients have had chelation therapy with EDTA.
Neither the United States Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, or the American Medical Association have approved the use of chelation therapy.
EDTA removes excess metals from the body. These metals are toxic and may damage arteries or body tissues through oxidation. By removing the excess metals in the body, tissue damage is stopped and the body can repair any artery or tissue damage.
Chelation treatments take about 3 1/2 hours and are usually done in the care giver's office. The EDTA is given intravenously (IV) through a needle into a vein in the arm. For best results, treatments are done 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 20 to 50 treatments.
EDTA appears to be safe and effective for the treatment and prevention of diseases related to atherosclerosis, such as heart attack, angina, stroke, and blood vessel blockage. Chelation therapy may be used to treat an abnormal heart beat, improve blood supply to the brain, or improve memory. It may also improve vision, reduce cancer risk, protect against iron storage disease, and remove poison from snake and spider bites.
In addition to IV chelation, some care givers use medicine that can be taken by mouth. Penicillamine, EDTA, and nutritional medicines, such as garlic, vitamin C, cysteine, and methionine have effectively removed metal. Care givers recommend oral chelation for heart disease prevention. Intravenous chelation is suggested for patients who need stronger and quicker results to prevent a heart attack or stroke due to blocked arteries.
Choose a care giver who has been trained by the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) or the American Board of Chelation Therapy.
For more information:
1. Burton Goldberg Group: Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Future Medicine Publishing, Puyallup, WA; 1994.
2. Cassileth BR: The Alternative Medicine Handbook, 1st ed. WW Norton & Company, NY, NY; 1998.
3. Kastner MA: Alternative Healing: The Complete A to Z Guide to Over 160 Different Alternative Therapies. Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, CA; 1993.
4. Sifton DW: The PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines and Healing Therapies. Three Rivers Press, NY, NY; 1999.
Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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