EDTA Chelation Therapy
Oral Chelation and Nutritional Replacement Therapy for
Chemical & Heavy Metal Toxicity and Cardiovascular Disease
by Maile Pouls, Ph.D.
Director of Research for Extreme Health
It is said there is a blessing within every misfortune. Sixteen years
ago, chronic mercury exposure and attendant nutritional deficiencies
nearly killed me. While it was happening, I viewed this terrible experience
and the years I spent trying to regain my health as an unmitigated
disaster. I have since discovered the gift of the misfortune.
The "disaster" occurred while I was working as a dental
hygienist, which I did from 1967 to 1983. At that time, protective
masks were not standard
practice in the dental field, and the health risk involved in polishing silver-mercury
amalgam fillings was not recognized. When dental fillings are polished, they
emit small amounts of mercury, which can be both absorbed through the skin
and inhaled by the dentist or hygienist, as well as the patient. Mercury is
a known neuro- and immunotoxin.
In 1983, I developed alarming symptoms that rapidly worsened and multiplied
until I was completely disabled. What began as mild dizziness and fatigue progressed
to extreme symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis (MS): visual disturbances,
pain, tremors, jerky movements in my limbs, constant low-grade fever, weight
loss of 50 pounds, and extreme exhaustion. I went from one M.D. to another
in an attempt to obtain a diagnosis, but no one could determine what was going
wrong or how to treat me.
Through my own search in medical journals and textbooks, I discovered that
my symptoms matched those of mercury poisoning. I consulted a naturopath who
ran a hair analysis. My suspicions were confirmed—I had an extremely
high level of mercury in my body. Only after years of perseverance and a variety
of therapeutic measures (including removal of all of my mercury-amalgam fillings,
colon and liver detoxification, and specific nutritional supplements) was I
able to reclaim my health.
My experience created a passion in me for investigating healing modalities,
especially in the area of heavy metal detoxification and nutritional supplements.
I pursued further education in the nutrition field and embarked on research
that led me to an understanding of the connections between toxins (particularly
heavy metals) in our environment and food and water supply, nutritional deficiencies,
and health problems, including degenerative conditions such as heart disease.
The blessing in my misfortune came with this path of investigation, which enabled
me to design a program to help people recover from heavy metal toxicity and
restore and maintain their cardiovascular health. The program is based on oral
chelation and nutritional replenishment formulas I developed, and which are
proving effective in preliminary clinical trials.
The Heavy Metal Hazard
Some metals are naturally found in the body and are essential to human health.
Iron, for example, prevents anemia, and zinc is a cofactor in over 100 enzyme
reactions. They normally occur at low concentrations and are known as trace
metals. In high doses, they may be toxic to the body or produce deficiencies
in other trace metals; for example, high levels of zinc can result in a deficiency
of copper, another metal required by the body.
Heavy or toxic metals are trace metals with a density at least five times that
of water. As such, they are stable elements (meaning they cannot be metabolized
by the body) and bio-accumulative (passed up the food chain to humans). These
include: mercury, nickel, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, platinum, and copper
(the metallic form versus the ionic form required by the body).1 Heavy metals
have no function in the body and can be highly toxic.
Once liberated into the environment through the air, drinking water, food,
or countless human-made chemicals and products, heavy metals are taken into
the body via inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption.2 If heavy metals enter
and accumulate in body tissues faster than the body's detoxification
pathways can dispose of them, a gradual buildup of these toxins will occur.3
High-concentration exposure is not necessary to produce a state of toxicity
in the body, as heavy metals accumulate in body tissues and, over time, can
reach toxic concentration levels.
Heavy metal exposure is not an entirely modern phenomenon: historians have
cited the contamination of wine and grape drinks by lead-lined jugs and cooking
pots as a contributing factor in the "decline and fall" of the
Roman Empire;4 and the Mad Hatter character in Alice in Wonderland was likely
modeled after nineteenth-century hat makers who used mercury to stiffen hat
material and frequently became psychotic from mercury toxicity.
Human exposure to heavy metals has risen dramatically in the last 50 years,
however, as a result of an exponential increase in the use of heavy metals
in industrial processes and products. Today, chronic exposure comes from mercury-amalgam
dental fillings, lead in paint and tap water, chemical residues in processed
foods, and "personal care" products (cosmetics, shampoo and other
hair products, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap). In today's industrial society,
there is no escaping exposure to toxic chemicals and metals.
In addition to the hazards at home and outdoors, many occupations involve daily
heavy metal exposure. Over 50 professions entail exposure to mercury alone.
These include physicians, pharmaceutical workers, any dental occupation, laboratory
workers, hairdressers, painters, printers, welders, metalworkers, cosmetic
workers, battery makers, engravers, photographers, visual artists, and potters.5
In my clinical nutrition practice, when I discuss with patients my concerns
regarding heavy metal toxicity, I often get the response, "That isn't
a problem for me." Most are astonished to learn that we are all being
exposed to and absorbing these harmful substances to some degree in our daily
lives. The astonishment turns to alarm when they hear what heavy metals do
in the body.
The Effects of Heavy Metal Toxicity
Studies confirm that heavy metals can directly influence behavior by impairing
mental and neurological function, influencing neurotransmitter production and
utilization, and altering numerous metabolic body processes. Systems in which
toxic metal elements can induce impairment and dysfunction include the blood
and cardiovascular, detoxification pathways (colon, liver, kidneys, skin),
endocrine (hormonal), energy production pathways, enzymatic, gastrointestinal,
immune, nervous (central and peripheral), reproductive, and urinary.6
Breathing heavy metal particles, even at levels well below those considered
nontoxic, can have serious health effects. Virtually all aspects of animal
and human immune system function are compromised by the inhalation of heavy
metal particulates.7 In addition, toxic metals can increase allergic
reactions, cause genetic mutation, compete with "good" trace metals
for biochemical bond sites, and act as antibiotics, killing both harmful and
Much of the damage produced by toxic metals stems from the proliferation of
oxidative free radicals they cause. A free radical is an energetically unbalanced
molecule, composed of an unpaired electron, that "steals" an electron
from another molecule to restore its balance. Free radicals result naturally
when cell molecules react with oxygen (oxidation) but, with a heavy toxic load
or existing antioxidant deficiencies, uncontrolled free-radical production
occurs. Unchecked, free radicals can cause tissue damage throughout the body;
free-radical damage underlies all degenerative diseases. Antioxidants such
as vitamins A, C, and E curtail free-radical activity.
Heavy metals can also increase the acidity of the blood. The body draws calcium
from the bones to help restore the proper blood pH. Further, toxic metals set
up conditions that lead to inflammation in arteries and tissues, causing more
calcium to be drawn to the area as a buffer. The calcium coats the inflamed
areas in the blood vessels like a bandage, patching up one problem but creating
another, namely the hardening of the artery walls and progressive blockage
of the arteries. Without replenishment of calcium, the constant removal of
this important mineral from the bones will result in osteoporosis (loss of
bone density leading to brittle bones).
Current studies indicate that even minute levels of toxic elements have negative
health consequences, however, these vary from person to person. Nutritional
status, metabolic rate, the integrity of detoxification pathways (ability to
detoxify toxic substances), and the mode and degree of heavy metal exposure
all affect how an individual responds. Children and the elderly, whose immune
systems are either underdeveloped or age-compromised, are more vulnerable to
Common Heavy Metals: Sources and Specific Effects
Aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel are the most prevalent
heavy metals. The specific sources of exposure, body tissues in which the metal
tends to be deposited, and health effects of each metal are identified below.
Sources of exposure: Aluminum cookware, aluminum
foil, antacids, antiperspirants, baking powder (aluminum containing), buffered
aspirin, canned acidic foods,
food additives, lipstick, medications and drugs (anti-diarrheal agents, hemorrhoid
medications, vaginal douches), processed cheese, "softened" water,
and tap water.
Target tissues: Bones, brain, kidneys and stomach.
Signs and Symptoms: Colic, dementia, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, kidney damage,
liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, loss of balance, muscle pain, psychosis,
shortness of breath, and weakness.
Among the patients I see in my practice, the highest aluminum exposure is most
frequently due to the chronic consumption of aluminum-containing antacid products.
Research shows that aluminum builds up in the body over time; thus, the health
hazard to older people is greater.
D.R. McLaughlin, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C), professor of physiology and medicine and
director of the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University
of Toronto, states, "Concentrations of aluminum that are toxic to many
biochemical processes are found in at least ten human neurological conditions."10 Recent
studies suggest that aluminum contributes to neurological disorders such as
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, senile and presenile
dementia, clumsiness of movements, staggering when walking, and inability to
pronounce words properly.11 Behavioral difficulties among schoolchildren have
also been correlated with elevated levels of aluminum and other neurotoxic
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, antibiotics given to commercial livestock,
certain marine plants, chemical processing, coal-fired power plants, defoliants,
drinking water, drying agents for cotton, fish, herbicides, insecticides, meats
(from commercially raised poultry and cattle), metal ore smelting, pesticides,
seafood (fish, mussels, oysters), specialty glass, and wood preservatives.
Target tissues: Most organs of the body, especially the gastrointestinal system,
lungs, and skin.
Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, burning of the mouth and throat, cancer
(especially lung and skin), coma, diarrhea, nausea, neuritis, peripheral vascular
problems, skin lesions, and vascular collapse.
The greatest dangers from chronic arsenic exposure are lung and skin cancers
and gradual poisoning, most frequently from living near metal smelting plants
or arsenic factories.
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, art supplies,
bone meal, cigarette smoke, food (coffee, fruits, grains, and vegetables grown
in cadmium-laden soil, meats
[kidneys, liver, poultry], or refined foods), freshwater fish, fungicides,
highway dusts, incinerators, mining, nickel-cadmium batteries, oxide dusts,
paints, phosphate fertilizers, power plants, seafood (crab, flounder, mussels,
oysters, scallops), sewage sludge, "softened" water, smelting plants,
tobacco and tobacco smoke, and welding fumes.
Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers (in brain), brain, heart and blood
vessels, kidneys, and lungs.
Signs and Symptoms: Anemia, dry and scaly skin, emphysema, fatigue, hair loss,
heart disease, depressed immune system response, hypertension, joint pain,
kidney stones or damage, liver dysfunction or damage, loss of appetite, loss
of sense of smell, lung cancer, pain in the back and legs, and yellow teeth.
Current studies are attempting to determine if cadmium-induced bone and kidney
damage can be prevented (or made less likely) by adequate calcium, protein
(amino acids), vitamin D, and zinc in the diet.12
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, ammunition (shot and bullets), bathtubs
(cast iron, porcelain, steel), batteries, canned foods, ceramics, chemical
fertilizers, cosmetics, dolomite, dust, foods grown around industrial areas,
gasoline, hair dyes and rinses, leaded glass, newsprint and colored advertisements,
paints, pesticides, pewter, pottery, rubber toys, soft coal, soil, solder,
tap water, tobacco smoke, and vinyl 'mini-blinds'.
Target tissues: Bones, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, nervous system, and pancreas.
Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, anemia, anorexia, anxiety, bone pain, brain
damage, confusion, constipation, convulsions, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue,
headaches, hypertension, inability to concentrate, indigestion, irritability,
loss of appetite, loss of muscle coordination, memory difficulties, miscarriage,
muscle pain, pallor, tremors, vomiting, and weakness.
The toxicity of lead is widely acknowledged. The greatest risk for harm, even
with only minute or short-term exposure, is to infants, young children, and
pregnant women. A federal study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDCP) in 1984 estimated that three to four million American
children have an unacceptably high level of lead in their blood. Dr. Suzanne
Binder, a CDCP official, stated, "Many people believed that when lead
paint was banned from housing [in 1978], and lead was cut from gasoline [in
the late 1970s], lead-poisoning problems disappeared, but they're wrong.
We know that throughout the country children of all races, and ethnicities
and income levels are being affected by lead [already in the environment]."13 In
their book, 'Toxic Metal Syndrome', Dr.'s R. Casdorph and
M. Walker report that over 4 million tons of lead is mined each year and existing
environmental lead levels are at least 500 times greater than pre-historic
In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that more
than one million elementary schools, high schools, and colleges are still using
lead-lined water storage tanks or lead-containing components in their drinking
fountains.14 The EPA estimates that drinking water accounts for approximately
20% of young children's lead exposure.15 Other common sources are lead
paint residue in older buildings (as in inner cities) and living in proximity
to industrial areas or other sources of toxic chemical exposure, such as commercial
agricultural land. All children born in the U.S. today have measurable traces
of pesticides, a source of heavy metals and chlorine-based chemicals, in their
Lead is a known neurotoxin (kills brain cells), and excessive blood lead levels
in children have been linked to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder
(ADD), hyperactivity syndromes, and reduced intelligence and school achievement
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, batteries, cosmetics, dental amalgams,
diuretics (mercurial), electrical devices and relays, explosives, foods (grains),
fungicides, fluorescent lights, freshwater fish (especially large bass, pike,
and trout), insecticides, mining, paints, pesticides, petroleum products, saltwater
fish (especially large halibut, shrimp, snapper, and swordfish), shellfish,
and tap water.
Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers in the brain, cell membranes, kidneys,
and nervous system (central and peripheral).
Signs and Symptoms: Abnormal nervous and physical development (fetal and childhood),
anemia, anorexia, anxiety, blood changes, blindness, blue line on gums, colitis,
depression, dermatitis, difficulty chewing and swallowing, dizziness, drowsiness,
emotional instability, fatigue, fever, hallucinations, headache, hearing loss,
hypertension, inflamed gums, insomnia, kidney damage or failure, loss of appetite
and sense of smell, loss of muscle coordination, memory loss, metallic taste
in mouth, nerve damage, numbness, psychosis, salivation, stomatitis, tremors,
vision impairment, vomiting, weakness, and weight loss.
The primary source of exposure to mercury is "silver" dental fillings
(approximately 50% mercury when placed); over 225 million Americans have these
fillings in their teeth.18 Mercury fillings release microscopic particles and
vapors of mercury every time a person chews. Vapors are inhaled while particles
are absorbed by tooth roots, mucous membranes of the mouth and gums, and the
In people with mercury amalgam fillings, measurements of the mercury level
in the mouth ranges between 20 and 400 mcg/m3. Keep in mind that this is continuous
exposure. The National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health places the
safe limit of environmental exposure to mercury at 20 mcg/m3, but that is assuming
a weekly exposure of 40 hours (the workweek) and the mercury involved is outside
the body.19 The Environmental Protection Agency's allowable limit for continuous
mercury exposure is 1 mcg/m3 but, again, that is based on mercury sources outside
the body.20 Neither figure addresses 24-hour-a-day exposure from mercury in one's
Hal Huggins, D.D.S., a specialist in the effect of mercury amalgams on health,
reports that 90% of the 7,000 patients he tested showed immune system reactivity
from exposure to low levels of mercury. In 1984, the American Dental Association
(ADA), without providing scientific evidence, claimed that only 5% of the U.S.
population is reactive to mercury exposure, and that this figure is insignificant.
Meanwhile, the ADA mandates that dentists alert all dental personnel to the
potential hazards of inhaling mercury vapors.21 The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) goes further, instructing dentists to treat mercury amalgam as
a toxic material while handling before insertion, and as toxic waste after
Mark S. Hulet, D.D.S., who conducts research on amalgam fillings, wrote a pamphlet
for his patients, in which he cites five categories of pathological reaction
to mercury fillings, as identified by dentists, doctors, and toxicologists.
The categories are:
• Neurological: emotional manifestations (depression, suicidal impulses,
irritability, inability to cope) and motor symptoms (muscle spasms, facial tics,
• Cardiovascular problems: nonspecific chest pain, accelerated heart beat
• Collagen diseases: arthritis, bursitis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosis
• Immune system diseases: compromised immunity
Allergies: Airborne allergies, food allergies, and "universal" reactors.
One of the keys to mercury's effects on health may be its ability to
block the functioning of manganese, a key mineral required for physiological
reactions in all five categories, notes Dr. Hulet.23
Sources of exposure: Appliances, buttons, ceramics, cocoa, cold-wave hair permanent,
cooking utensils, cosmetics, coins, dental materials, food (chocolate, hydrogenated
oils, nuts, food grown near industrial areas), hair spray, industrial waste,
jewelry, medical implants, metal refineries, metal tools, nickel-cadmium batteries,
orthodontic appliances, shampoo, solid-waste incinerators, stainless steel
kitchen utensils, tap water, tobacco and tobacco smoke, water faucets and pipes,
Target tissues: Areas of skin exposure, larynx (voice box), lungs, and nasal
Signs and Symptoms: Apathy, blue-colored lips, cancer (especially lung, nasal,
and larynx), contact dermatitis, diarrhea, fever, headaches, dizziness, gingivitis,
insomnia, nausea, rapid heart rate, skin rashes (redness, itching, blisters),
shortness of breath, stomatitis, and vomiting.
The greatest danger from chronic nickel exposure is lung, nasal, or larynx
cancers, and gradual poisoning from accidental or chronic low-level exposure,
the risk of which is greatest for those living near metal smelting plants,
solid waste incinerators, or old nickel refineries.24
How can we Protect Ourselves from Heavy Metals?
Logic dictates that, once the potential harm from heavy metals is understood,
their production and use should be phased out and toxic storage heavily regulated.
As is obvious from the list of exposure sources above, logic is not the guiding
principle here, except in the case of lead, the use of which has been curtailed.
Even if all heavy metal production were to stop today, however, enough heavy
metals have been released into our environment to cause chronic poisoning and
numerous neurological diseases for generations to come. There are presently
600,000 toxic waste contamination sites in the United States alone, according
to the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Of these, less than
900 have been proposed by the EPA for Superfund cleanup and approximately 19,000
others are under review. While some of these toxic messes were likely caused
by accidents or ignorance, the majority came from illegal dumping by hazardous
product or waste distributors, manufacturers, transportation companies, or
waste management companies.25 Such practices have not ceased, as focus
on profit continues to override concerns about health, the environment, and
future for all of our children.
With the government doing little or moving very slowly to protect the public
from the hazards of heavy metals, it is up to individuals to take measures
to protect themselves. According to conventional medicine, there is nothing
a person can do to address aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, or nickel
exposure, aside from avoiding known sources. Given the prevalence of these
toxins in our lives, this is impossible.
Fortunately, there is a way to get these harmful substances out of the body.
Intravenous and oral chelation, detoxification protocols, and specific nutritional
therapies can remove heavy metals and chemical toxins and reduce the toxic
load our bodies endure on a daily basis.
The Chelation Solution
Chelating (pronounced key-layting) agents are substances which can chemically
bond with, or chelate (from the Greek chele, claw), metals, minerals, or chemical
toxins from the body. The chelating agent actually encircles a mineral or metal
ion and carries it from the body via the urine and feces.26 Many organic acids
found in the body or in foods can act as chelating agents, including acetic
acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, and lactic acid. Natural chelation
processes in the body are responsible for such things as the digestion, assimilation,
and transport of food nutrients, the formation of enzymes and hormones, and
detoxification of toxic chemicals and metals.27
Intravenous chelation therapy involves injecting the chelating agent EDTA into
the bloodstream for the purpose of eliminating from the body undesirable substances
such as heavy metals, chemical toxins, mineral deposits, and fatty plaques
(as in the arteries; the agent binds to the calcium in the plaques). EDTA (ethylene
diamine tetraacetic acid) is an effective and widely studied chelating agent.
It cannot chelate mercury, however, DMSA and DMPS, the chemicals which work
intravenously to chelate mercury, are not approved by the FDA.
EDTA is a synthetic amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein)
and is approximately one third as toxic to the body as aspirin.28 Chelation therapy
with EDTA was first introduced into medicine in the United States in 1948 as
a treatment for the lead poisoning of workers in a battery factory. Shortly
thereafter, the U.S. Navy advocated chelation for sailors who had absorbed
lead while painting government ships and facilities. The FDA approved IV EDTA
chelation as a treatment for lead poisoning.
Physicians administering the chelation for lead toxicity observed that patients
who also had atherosclerosis (fatty-plaque buildup on arterial walls) or arteriosclerosis
(hardening of the arteries) experienced reductions in both conditions after
chelation.29 Since 1952, IV EDTA chelation has been used to treat cardiovascular
Over 1,800 scientific journal articles have been published on the use of EDTA
in intravenous (IV) chelation. In the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands
of patients have received this therapy, as delivered by over 1,000 physicians
in approximately 3,300,000 IV infusions. EDTA's success rate in increasing
blood circulation is 82%, provided the patients received sufficient chelation.31
How Chelation Aids Cardiovascular Health
Chelation reduces calcium plaques on arterial walls. These atherosclerotic
plaques are not limited to arteries nearest the heart. On the contrary, they
are widespread and can affect blood flow (oxygen delivery) to every cell, tissue,
gland, organ, and system being served by the over 75,000 miles of blood vessels
in your body. Chelation reaches every blood vessel in the body, from the largest
artery to the tiniest capillary and arteriole, most of which are far too small
or too deep within the brain or other organ to be safely reached in surgery.
Other scientifically documented benefits of intravenous EDTA chelation therapy
for the cardiovascular system include:
• Stabilization of arterial intracellular membranes32
• Maintenance of the electrical charge of platelets in the blood, reducing
blood clumping (aggregation) and preventing blood clots.33
• Marked improvement in nearly 100% of 2,870 studied patients with peripheral
• Normalization of half of treated cardiac arrhythmias35
• Reductions of cerebrovascular occlusion36
• Improved cognitive function in people with memory and concentration deficits
and improved visual acuity (when problems are caused by arterial blockage)37
• Improved myocarditis due to lead poisoning.38
• Reduction of blood fat levels and improved capillary blood flow.39
• Increased peripheral blood flow to the extremities.40
• Improved compliance of vascular tissues; decalcification of elastic tissues
resulting in improved elasticity and resilience.41
• Improved red blood cell membrane flexibility and permeability to potassium.42
• Decreased blood pressure levels, as a result of excretion of cadmium
from renal tissues, diminished peripheral resistance, improved blood vessel resilience
and pliability, decreased vascular spasm, and improved magnesium uptake.43
In addition to the effectiveness of IV EDTA chelation therapy in treating cardiovascular
disease and heavy metal toxicity, research has documented its benefits for
aneurysm, Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia, arthritis, autoimmune
conditions, cancer, cataracts, diabetes, emphysema, gallbladder stones, hypertension,
kidney stones, Lou Gehrig's disease, osteoporosis, Parkinson's
disease, scleroderma, stroke, varicose veins, venomous snake bite, and other
conditions involving an interruption in blood flow and diminished oxygen delivery.44
The ten top killers of Americans (in the order of frequency) include heart
disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, pneumonia, diabetes, cirrhosis, arteriosclerosis,
suicides, and infant death. All but accidents, pneumonia, suicides, and infant
death have an underlying connection to reduced blood circulation. More than
90 percent of Americans live in jeopardy of having a serious illness relating
to the circulatory system.45
The human and financial cost of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. is astronomical.
Every year, approximately 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack, 300,000
of who die before receiving medical attention. The treatment of cardiovascular
disease rings up a total of $100 billion dollars annually—$200,000 spent
every minute.46 Coronary artery bypass surgery (bypassing the blocked heart artery
with grafted leg artery, average cost $44,000) is the most frequently prescribed
surgical procedure for heart disease, costing $10 billion per year.47 Numerous
leading medical doctors and authorities have stated that coronary bypass surgery
is overprescribed and often unnecessary.48 Nearly 20,000 people die every year
as a result of bypass surgery or angioplasty (ballooning of the occluded artery,
average cost $21,000).49
Intravenous chelation is far safer, much less expensive, and less invasive.
Proven effective in circulatory disorders, its benefits for cardiovascular
patients is clear. IV chelation does pose some risks, however. Although nontoxic,
EDTA produces side effects in some people. These include burning, redness and
swelling at the injection site, fever, hypotension (low blood pressure), joint
pain, skin outbreaks or rashes, upset stomach, and, rarely, irritation of the
kidneys and liver.50
Some cardiologists who understand the benefits of intravenous EDTA chelation
do not recommend its use with patients who are debilitated, emaciated, have
weak or diseased kidneys, or advanced cardiovascular disease (end stage). They
believe the sudden, massive infusion of EDTA puts too much stress on the kidneys,
liver and detoxification pathways in these patients and could be harmful or
even dangerous. Other doctors and medical researchers disagree, contending
that "transient kidney malfunction" is a normal physiological adaptation
occurring during the passage of toxic products (chelated metals and chemicals)
through the kidneys, and that properly administered IV chelation will not cause
A common misconception about chelation is that it lowers the levels of calcium
in the bones and teeth as the body draws calcium from them to replace the calcium
drawn from the blood by the chelation process. On the contrary, the calcium
to restore blood levels is drawn from places in the body where calcium has
built up unnaturally, as in arterial plaques (which contribute to clogged arteries),
calcified bursae (a source of bursitis), arthritic joints, and kidney stones.52
Further, Garry Gordon, M.D., D.O., co-founder of the American College of Advancement
in Medicine (ACAM) and a pioneer in chelation therapy, states, "If calcium
levels start to drop, the parathyroid glands kick in and start secreting parathormone
which 'steals' back enough calcium from the EDTA (and other) chelators
to keep the heart beating normally (serum calcium must stay at a constant level
for normal heart function) and to activate cells called osteoblasts, which
strengthen and rebuild bone. The more chelation we give people, the less osteoporosis
they have and the less age-related calcium accumulation [arterial wall plaques]
there is in the blood vessels."53
There is no limit to the amount of IV EDTA chelation a person can be given
and the peak beneficial effects last up to two months after treatment.54 IV chelation
is safe for children as well as adults. People over 90 years old have enjoyed
the benefits of chelation and more than 200,000 children in the U.S. have undergone
IV chelation as treatment for lead poisoning.55
Intravenous chelation has two drawbacks, however. Although much safer and less
expensive than coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty, it is still relatively
expensive (hundreds of dollars per visit) and not widely available, as there
are comparatively few experienced medical doctors certified in IV chelation
therapy. Fortunately, there is an even safer, inexpensive, and more easily
obtained alternative: Oral Chelation.
Chelation delivered orally involves ingesting
nutritional food supplements which contain chelating agents (EDTA & numerous
natural chelators) including: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants,
phytonutrients, and herbs.
Oral EDTA chelation has all the benefits of IV chelation, but is much slower
acting because only 4% to 18% of an oral EDTA dose is absorbed (compared with
100% of an IV dose).56 Taken on a daily basis, oral chelation will gradually
accomplish what its IV counterpart does in a few administrations. According
to Dr. Garry Gordon, oral chelation is useful in reducing heavy metal toxicity
and calcification, lowering blood cholesterol, lessening lipid peroxidation
(free-radical oxidation of metabolized fats), thinning the blood, and preventing
the formation of blood clots (a cause of heart attack).57
In some areas, oral chelation may actually outperform IV EDTA (only) chelation.
In addition, Extreme Health's oral chelation formula has the ability
to chemically bond with and cause the elimination of mercury from the body
(as evidenced by mercury levels in urine samples before and after chelation).58 As
mentioned earlier, EDTA does not chelate mercury. In Extreme Health's formula,
it is the other chelating agents—cilantro, chlorella, and lipoic
acid—that effectively act on mercury.
The heightened benefits of oral chelation may result from the synergistic effect
of combining EDTA with numerous natural chelating agents, such as activated
clays, certain bioflavonoids, chlorella, cilantro, coenzyme Q10, garlic, L-cysteine,
L-glutathione, lipoic acid, methionine, selenium, sodium alginate, and zinc
gluconate. Each chelating agent has a predilection for different chemicals
and mineral or metal ions.
The addition of nutrients known to support liver function and detoxification
also increases an oral chelation formula's effectiveness. A companion
formula of antioxidants and other nutrients enhances the chelation process
by replacing beneficial minerals removed during chelation, promoting the healing
of tissues, and preventing free-radical oxidative damage. As with chelating
agents, different antioxidants work on different free radicals. For this reason,
the formulas contain a wide range—there are 30 different antioxidants
in the Age-Less formula.
Antioxidant activity may play a particularly important role in amplifying the
benefits of chelation. Elmer Cranton, M.D., author of Bypassing Bypass, believes
that the prevention of free-radical damage (which EDTA does) is the main action
behind chelation's positive effects.59
The effectiveness of oral chelation is a topic of debate, even amongst proponents
of IV chelation. Our clinical research, however, demonstrates oral chelation's
benefits for atherosclerosis and heavy metal poisoning.60 Many health professionals
believe that oral chelation is not a replacement for IV chelation. I agree
with this view when the patient's condition is too severe to wait for
the slower-acting oral chelation to produce effects. When such patients have
completed the recommended number of IV chelation treatments, however, oral
chelation is of great benefit in maintaining their cardiovascular health.
In addition to heart patients, I particularly recommend oral chelation for
anyone with a family history of heart disease, longstanding poor dietary practices,
or a history of exposure to heavy metals or toxic chemicals. More generally,
oral chelation is useful to anyone who wants to prevent cardiovascular disease
and clear their body of the metals and toxins that we all accumulate and which
can cause a variety of health problems.
As such, oral chelation can serve as a convenient, non-invasive, long-term
health maintenance and preventative program. The gradual dosage delivery significantly
reduces the risk of side effects; oral chelation is safe for children and adults.
Oral Chelation and Nutritional Replacement Protocol
Over 15 years of clinical nutritional experience and three years of researching
nutritional supplement formulations enabled me to identify the optimal substances
for detoxifying heavy metals from the body. In evaluating available oral chelation
formulas, I found none that had all the ingredients necessary to comprehensively
chelate heavy metals and mineral plaques, and assist the kidneys and liver
in the detoxification process. As a result, Extreme Health has developed two
formulas: Oral Chelation formula and Age-Less, a companion formula for total
mineral and nutritional replacement.
The formulas exert beneficial effects on the entire cardiovascular system.
By detoxifying your body and allowing your veins and arteries to open up, these
formulas ensure that your tissues, glands, organs, and interrelated systems
receive ample oxygen-rich blood, which in turn improves their efficiency.
In terms of ingredients, the formulas have two overall advantages:
1. They are plant-enzyme based. Enzymes, which are the catalysts for all metabolic
actions, assist in the optimal assimilation and utilization of the food people
consume (giving them the most nutrients for their money). Enzymes also assist
in the assimilation and utilization of the other nutrients in our formulas;
thereby ensuring you get the most out of each ingredient. Without enzymes,
proper utilization of nutrients is not achieved. With enzyme supplementation,
you get up to ten times more assimilation of food and nutrients as without.
2. Aside from EDTA, the nutrients in the formulas are whole food/plant based
which means you get the range of nutrients and co-factors found in that plant
or food, rather than only isolated fractions (as in synthetic vitamin supplements).
The healing actions are thus more powerful. In addition, since the formulas
are plant based (concentrated food nutrients), there is no need to be concerned
about drug interactions or side effects.
Dosage starts at one tablet of Age-Less at breakfast (increasing gradually
to three tablets) and one capsule of the Oral Chelation Formula at dinner (increasing
gradually to three). It is important to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of filtered
water daily. If intake is far below that, it can be raised in increments.
In many cases, people are much more toxic than they realize and experience
irritability, low-grade headache, or overall achiness. These symptoms arise
from the heavy metals or chemical residues that have been pulled out of tissues
and are circulating in the body prior to excretion. The symptoms do not indicate
an adverse reaction to the formulas, but rather that the body has been storing
significant amounts of toxins. Decreasing the dosage of the formulas and increasing
water intake will eliminate these symptoms.
Diet and Nutrition
In keeping with a whole-body approach to health and medicine, we recommend
that our patients implement healthy dietary and lifestyle practices along with
the Oral Chelation Formula program. Abuse of alcohol, drugs (recreational or
prescription), and tobacco products, chronic stress, and lack of exercise are
obviously detrimental lifestyle factors.
A poor diet is equally detrimental. We recommend that everyone, but particularly
people concerned about cardiovascular disease, avoid the following foods and
beverages or ingest them only in small amounts: alcohol (any form), baking
soda, butter, caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, others), canned vegetables,
chemical ingredients (mold inhibitors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners,
meat tenderizers), chlorinated (tap) water, commercially prepared foods, fats
and oils (especially fats from commercially raised animals, saturated fats,
hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), fried foods, heated polyunsaturated
fats (fast foods oils, theatre popcorn oil), lard, margarine, MSG (monosodium
glutamate), processed and refined foods, red meat (or any products from commercially
raised animals), salt (sodium chloride), soft drinks, softened tap water, spicy
foods, sugar, commercial salad oils (many contain trans-fatty acids, refined
by bleaching, chemicals, heat, and solvents), tallow, tropical oils (palm,
cottonseed), and white-flour foods.61
Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to cardiovascular disease.62 Certain
vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients have been identified as vital for maintaining
cardiovascular health. Degrees of deficiency of one or a combination of the
following nutrients will result in corresponding symptoms of physical disease
or inadequacy in the cardiovascular system:63
• Vitamins: C, E, A (beta-carotene), D, B (1, 2, 3 [niacin and niacinamide],
5, 6, 12), folic acid, and biotin.
• Minerals: Calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum,
potassium, selenium, and zinc.
• Amino acids: L-carnitine, L-lysine, L-proline
• Coenzyme Q10.
All of these nutritional supplements and more are in the Oral Chelation and
Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals
in the body. When sufficient levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and other
nutrients are maintained in the body, the continued absorption of specific
heavy metals is greatly reduced.
Nutrients Known to be Protective Against Heavy Metal Toxicity:
Heavy Metal Protective Nutritional Supplement
Arsenic Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iodine, selenium, vitamin
Cadmium Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, vitamin C, zinc.
Lead Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E,
Mercury Amino acids (containing sulfur), pectin (alginate), selenium, vitamin
All of these nutritional supplements and more are in the Oral Chelation
and Age-Less formulas.
Ingredients of the Oral Chelation Formula
1. Chelating agents: EDTA and nutrients that assist in the mobilization of
metals and toxins; alginate, garlic (high allicin potential), activated attapulgite
(clay), chlorella (freshwater algae; needed to bind up the liberated mercury
and carry it out of the body via the feces64 ), lipoic acid, methionine, and
L-cysteine (heavy metal scavengers).
2. Antioxidants: Lipoic acid (extremely powerful, known as the "ideal
antioxidant," vitamin C, catalase, methionine, and L-cysteine.
3. Lipotropics (improves fat metabolism): Trimethylglycine, carrageenan, and
L-lysine (blood vessel "teflon," fatty plaque chelating agent,
cellular fuel, reduces angina pectoris). L-lysine is an amino acid involved
in the structural repair of damaged blood vessels. It has a beneficial effect
on lead toxicity and high blood pressure.
4. Plant-based enzymes (bromelain, lipase, catalase): ensure optimal utilization
of all of the above nutrients.
Ingredients of the Age-less Replenishment and Antioxidant
1. Chelating agents: EDTA and nutrients that
assist in the mobilization of metals and toxins; Vitamin B1, vitamin E, bioflavonoids,
Q10 (cellular fuel), L-glutathione, selenium, and zinc gluconate. Cilantro
(Chinese parsley) has been shown in clinical trials and research to mobilize
mercury, tin and other toxic metals stored in the brain and spinal cord and
move them rapidly out of those tissues. This is a revolutionary discovery—cilantro
is one of the only substances known to "mobilize" mercury from
the central nervous system.65
2. Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, copper gluconate, molybdenum,
potassium, selenium, vanadium, and zinc gluconate.
3. Essential vitamins: A (antioxidant, blood vessel stabilizer), D-3 (cellular
fuel), E (antioxidant, chelator, blood vessel stabilizer, reduces angina pectoris),
B1 (cellular fuel), B2 (cellular fuel), B3 (niacin [lowers cholesterol and
triglycerides, cellular fuel, reduces lipoprotein] and niacinamide [cellular
fuel]), B5 (lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, cellular fuel), B6 (cellular
fuel), B12 (blood cell nutrient, cellular fuel), PABA, inositol, folic acid
(blood cell nutrient, cellular fuel), biotin (cellular fuel).
4. Liver Support (artichoke hybrid): an effective, powerful ingredient for
detoxifying the liver during chelation, normalizing liver metabolism, and preventing
further damage due to internal and external toxins such as alcohol and environmental
poisons. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Liver is the body's
filter for toxins. When the liver cannot keep up with the toxic load, toxins
accumulate in that organ. This ingredient helps clear toxins out of the liver,
including during phase 2 liver detoxification (conjugation for water solubility
and excretion), which most programs and formulas do not address.
5. Antioxidants: bioflavonoids, catalase, coenzyme Q10, Ginkgo biloba, grape
seed OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins), green tea, hesperidin, lutein, lycopene,
quercetin, rutin, L-taurine, and 14 others.
6. Phytonutrients: hawthorn berry (cardiac tonic), iodine (as kelp; thyroid
and energy production support), milk thistle and beet juice powder (support
liver in detoxification and cleanse blood), and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methene;
increases blood vessel elasticity), among others.
7. Amino acids: L-choline, L-carnitine (lowers cholesterol, triglycerides,
cellular fuel), L-proline, and L-taurine (supports heart muscle and function).
8. Lipotropics: chondroitin sulfate. A constituent of the arterial wall, possessing
anti-coagulant (reduces blood-stickiness), anti-lipemic (anti-fat in bloodstream),
and anti-thrombogenic (reduces clotting) properties.
9. Plant-based enzymes: bromelain, lipase, catalase.
Note: In-depth information on formula ingredients is available upon request.
of Clinical Studies on the Oral Chelation and Age-less Formulas
Note: Copies of the full studies are available upon request.
• In 1998, Extreme Health conducted heavy metal urine analyses on 14
patients, ages ranging from 29 to 68 and from a variety of different
occupations, before and after only one day's dose of the Oral
Chelation and Age-Less formulas. Omegatech, King James Medical Laboratory,
Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio, analyzed the urine samples.
The results showed significant excretion of all six of the heavy metals
most commonly encountered and damaging to health. The following are
the average percentages of increase in the 14 patients' heavy
metal excretions after just one day on the formulas:
• Hair analyses.
Through Great Smokie's Diagnostic Laboratory, we conducted on two
patients before oral chelation
and after six months
on the program showed significant reduction of heavy metals. In one
case, a dentist who had high exposure to mercury, the second hair analysis
showed a decrease or a normal reading in all heavy metals that were
abnormally high on the first hair analysis, except for mercury which
was higher. In the other case, a dental hygienist, the second hair
analysis showed a decrease or a normal reading in all heavy metals
that were abnormally high on the first analysis, except for silver
which went higher.
Heavy metals can be stored deep in the tissues, brain, and nerve ganglion.
When all heavy metals except one decrease after chelation, we know
that this one was stored at the deeper levels and is finally being
pulled out of those tissues and mobilized for excretion. Thus, the
higher readings are a positive sign that chelation is under way. In
individuals with chronic or longstanding exposure to high amounts of
heavy metal, the hair analysis readings can remain high and even go
higher for a period of six to twelve months depending on the amount
of previous exposure.
Mr. Bob Smith, Vice President of Elemental Analysis, Great Smokie's
Diagnostic Laboratory, who has interpreted the hair analysis of many
thousands of patients, stated that, in his professional opinion, "your
results exhibited significant reduction of heavy metals in just six
• Dr. James Scheer of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine
in North Charleston, South Carolina, is presently conducting a study
of 20 children, aged 5 to 15, with symptoms of ADD and ADHD and unacceptable
blood lead levels, to determine if oral chelation and removal of the
lead affect the behavioral symptoms. Hair, urine, blood, and feces
will be evaluated for heavy metal toxicity and then reevaluated after
one day, three months, and six months of taking our Oral Chelation
and Age-Less Formulas. The study is single blind, with placebo used
on half of the children.
• A medical doctor in Alamo, California, tested one of his patients who
took the Oral Chelation and Age-Less Formula with no other supplements
or medications. After only two months of this regimen, blood tests
showed significant reduction of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol,
and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
• Philip Hoekstra III, Ph.D., a pioneer of thermology, conducted thermological
studies on six patients before they began taking the Oral Chelation
and Age-Less formulas (no other supplements or medications) and after
six months on the program. The study was conducted over the past years,
under the auspices of the California Preventative Medicine Foundation
in San Rafael, California.
Thermology is a diagnostic imaging based on measurements of heat emissions
from the body filmed by infrared sensing devices and projected onto
a computer monitor. Cells emit heat in the course of energy conversion.
If there is a disturbance in the energy-conversion processes, as occurs
in the case of blocked or narrowed arteries, the lessened heat emissions
and reduced blood flow appear as darker areas on the thermology scan.
In this way, thermology tracks the progressive deterioration of the
flow of infrared energy along atherosclerotic arteries and can be used
as early detection of heart disease.
The results of Dr. Hoekstra's study revealed marked improvement
in blood circulation in all but one of the patients, as documented
by the thermologic images. Vascularization (improved blood flow) of
the feet increased by as much as 33%—significant improvements
after only a six-month trial.
Nancy Gardner Heaven, director of the Foundation, states, "It
appears that even though the clients selected for this study had varying
complex heart conditions, all but one had an improvement of at least
a 20% increase in circulation, reducing the level of stenosis [narrowing]
of the vascular system. I feel very good about recommending the use
of this product [Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas] to my patients
with cardiovascular disease or a family history where prevention is
Patient Reports on the Oral Chelation Formula
Currently we are following 85 persons with a variety of health concerns
that are taking the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas. They report
improvement in the following conditions: headaches, cold hands or feet,
skin problems, and degenerative diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune
disorders, arthritis, and angina pains. They have also experienced
positive effects in symptoms and conditions related to energy level,
overall stamina, memory (forgetfulness), ability to concentrate, circulation,
blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, vision, respiration,
and sexual drive or stamina.
The following are reports from three patients:
• Diana Goolsby, 36, and her son Landon, 3, had high heavy metal readings
in their hair and urine analyses and were experiencing heavy metal
toxicity effects. Diana had a range of symptoms and Landon was having
difficulty in learning to speak and suffered chronic, recurrent viral
infections (flu and colds). We started both of them on the Oral Chelation
and Age-Less formulas.
After three months of consistently taking the formulas, Diana reported
to me that she had increased energy, improved circulation, improved
vision, and a decrease in headaches and angina pains. She stated, "I
am amazed at the overall recovery of my body. My eyes have improved
a lot. They are not so tired anymore and the muscles in the eyes do
not seem to have the pulling sensation that I had before. Improvement
in my immune system is also a big plus. I am no longer so weak that
I pick up every cold or flu symptom that I come in contact with. Landon
shows improvement in his immune system. I also notice that his speech
is improving with the chelation."
Cindy Bright, 43, a patient with diabetes who presented with severe
lack of mental clarity stated, "Since I've been on the
Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas I have no more 'brain fog' and
the mental fuzziness is completely gone."
Terry Batt, in his 50s, who had a quadruple coronary artery
bypass two years before and was experiencing pain and numbness in his
right leg, wrote, "I have been taking the Oral Chelation and
Age-Less formulas for three to four weeks. Since that time, I have
noticed that the numbness in my right ankle is gone."
Research has proven the benefits of
chelation for cardiovascular disease, heavy metal toxicity, and other conditions.
The number of physicians
who are available to diagnose and treat advanced health problems
and administer intravenous chelation continues to grow. This development,
along with the recent advent of oral chelation, reflects the rapid
changes occurring in U.S. health care. The transformation of medical
practice is due to both public dissatisfaction with the "cut
or medicate," linear-delivery system of medicine and the
demonstrated effectiveness of alternative and complementary therapies.
Preventive health protocols (diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications),
chelation therapy, and nutritional sufficiency is the medicine
of the future.
Extreme Health was the guest speaker on Oral Chelation at the
1999 Holistic Dental Association Conference in Denver, Colorado,
14-16. The Holistic Dental Association (HDA) is an organization dedicated
to providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to their patients
and families, as well as a forum for the development and sharing
of health-promoting therapies. James Kennedy, D.D.S., past president
the HDA and current editor of the HDA's magazine, The Communicator,
and Richard Shepard, D.D.S., executive director of HDA, both endorse
the Oral Chelation/Age-Less formulas.
Extreme Health is appealing to doctors and health research centers
interested in conducting related clinical studies. Please call Extreme
Health's CEO/Founder, Ms. Michele Payne at 800-800-1285.
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Reprinted from the Townsend
Letter for Doctors& Patients,
Collin, MD specializes in preventative medicine, with emphasis
on nutrition and wellness. Certain patients with circulation disorders
or toxic metal poisoning are considered for EDTA Chelation Therapy.