(pronounced ke'lat'shun) therapy in medicine is generally regarded
to be the use of chelating agents to remove toxic heavy metals
from the body. Toxic heavy metals include – but are not limited
to – arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. All metals, however,
can be toxic when present in large enough concentrations.
The first widely used medical chelating agent, British Anti-Lewisite (BAL),
also known as dimercaprol, was developed in the 1940s. Lewisite is an arsenic-based
compound used in gas warfare. The chelating agent Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic
Acid (EDTA) was also first used clinically in the 1940s. EDTA comes in two
injectable forms that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA): Calcium disodium EDTA, to treat lead toxicity; and Disodium EDTA, to
treat elevated blood concentrations of calcium. EDTA is effective in removing
calcium while BAL is not. BAL is effective in removing mercury, but not calcium.
Both remove lead. These and other medical chelating agents such as 2, 3 dimercapto-propane
sulfonate (DMPS), dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), 3-mercapto-D-valine (penicilliamine),
and desferrioxamine (DFO), all have distinctive characteristics governing circumstance-dependent
Magnesium disodium EDTA is created by the addition of magnesium to commercially
available disodium EDTA. This is the form of ETDA complex that has been popularly
used to intravenously treat cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other degenerative
diseases. Despite five decades of use in the treatment of cardiovascular disease,
intravenous EDTA is not embraced by mainstream medicine nor approved by the
FDA for treatment of cardiovascular conditions.
Studies favoring the use of intravenous EDTA in treatment of cardiovascular
disease and other degenerative diseases have appeared in the medical literature
since the 1950s. In 1956, N.E. Clarke published a study in the American
Journal of Science, in which results showed that 19 of the 20 patients with angina
studied received unusual relief, with some patients experiencing a normalization
of electrocardiograms. Other benefits reported during this period, still being
reported today, include improved memory; better sight; hearing and smell; and
an increase in energy. Heavy metal toxicity interferes with normal physiologic
function and repair, leading to numerous symptoms and contributing to many
diseases. Multiple conditions may be alleviated simultaneously in the same
person through reduction of heavy metal toxicity.
Various studies, both pro and con, have been performed to test the benefits
of chelation therapy. However, studies performed thus far have been unable
to gain universal acceptance because they were either too small (in number
of subjects), not of acceptable design, scientifically biased, or otherwise
flawed. In a 1993 study by L.T. Chappell. et al. in the Journal
of Advancement in Medicine, the authors examined the overall effects of chelation therapy
on 22,765 patients. Of those patients, 87% demonstrated objective benefit.
Since then, the popularity of chelation therapy has continued to grow with
ever-increasing numbers of success stories. Battles have raged, as they continue
to rage today, between physicians promoting chelation, based upon best available
evidence, and mainstream conservative clinicians who wish to restrict chelation
usage unless a universally accepted study is performed that definitively proves
efficacy. Approximately a decade after the study mentioned above, the National
Institutes of Health gave the nod and, more importantly, $30,000,000 in funding,
to perform a definitive study with 2,372 patients, 50 years of age or older,
who have a history of a previous heart attack. The study is taking place at
over 100 private medical offices, clinics, and centers across the USA, including
prestigious institutions such as Mount Sinai Hospital, Miami Beach; the Mayo
Clinic; and the University of Missouri .
The study, Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), is led by cardiologist
Gervasio A.Lamas, MD, director of cardiovascular research and academic affairs
at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach. The study was carefully designed
with input and agreement from both mainstream physicians and experts experienced
in chelation therapy.
TACT follows a randomized double-blind format. Participating patients are placed
into four different groups via a randomization process to help assure homogeneity.
One-half of the patients are given intravenous infusions of magnesium EDTA,
while the other half receives infusions of a liquid placebo. All patients receive
oral vitamin and mineral supplements to take home. To distinguish the contribution
of the vitamin and mineral supplements from that of the intravenous infusions
to clinical outcome, the two groups are subdivided into equal numbers of participants,
each receiving either high-dose or low-dose vitamin and mineral supplements.
The actual compositions of the infusions administered and supplements dispensed
are not disclosed to the patients or to the administering /dispensing personnel,
hence, the phrase, double-blind. All treatment records are coded for later
Patients receive three-hour infusions weekly for 30 weeks, followed by ten
more bi-weekly infusions for a total of 40 infusions. Throughout the study,
routine medical care otherwise continues as before under the care of the
physicians. All patients participating are followed until the end of the
study, up to five years, to determine presence or absence of clinical benefits,
as reduced incidence of heart attack, stroke, hospitalization for angina,
coronary revascularization, and death. Effects on quality of life and cost
care savings will also be assessed. In addition to potentially gaining personal
health benefits at no cost, patients participating in the study are also
rewarded in knowing that their participation will contribute to the future
of others who have or are at risk of developing coronary artery disease.
If TACT proves chelation to be effective and cost-effective, mainstream medicine
will be forever changed for the better. There is no charge to patients for
For information in regard to TACT or participating in TACT
call or visit the following:
Web sites: http://nccam.nci.nih.gov/chelation/studysite.htm
EDTA may be used preventively as well as therapeutically. W.Blumer
and E.M.Cranton published a study in the Journal
of Advancement of Medicine, which followed 231 subjects over the course of 18 years and
reported a 90% reduction in cancer mortality in patients who had received
ten or more Calcium EDTA infusions compared to those who did not.
Oral EDTA is used today preventively and therapeutically. Despite a five-percent
EDTA absorption per the oral route, studies have validated benefit. EDTA may
also enhance detoxification in form of rectal suppositories and as an additive
to bath water.
Transdermal use of DMPS, a sulfur-containing chelator, provides benefit where
other routes of DMPS administration are less desirous. Sulfur-containing foods
such as eggs, garlic, and broccoli contribute to reducing the body burden of
susceptible toxic metals. The common herb/spice cilantro has gained much recognition
for its ability to reduce toxic metal burden. Nutritional supplements such
as ascorbic acid, lipoic acid, malic acid, and DL methionine may be used to
address metal toxicity as circumstances dictate. Various non-prescription preparations
synergistically combining substances to enhance chelating properties are constantly
being introduced into the marketplace. An innovative product based on zeolite
has recently been introduced. Infrared heat saunas, magnetic mattresses, galvanic
current, mineral baths, and sweat-inducing exercise also have proven to benefit
Metabolic and genomic testing offers information regarding our individual abilities
to detoxify. With such information in hand, physicians can target inherited
and acquired weaknesses nutritionally, medically, and via lifestyle modification
to aid heavy metal detoxification.
Drs. A. Yasko and G. Gordon are researching the viral influences that affect
heavy metal retention. The use of virus-specific, RNA-based oral supplementation
has demonstrated impressive clinical results in detoxification of heavy metals
recalcitrant to previous attempts of removal with chelating agents alone. This
futuristic technology is available for use today.
For more information, visit
the following web sites: www.autismanswer.com; www.holistichealth.com; www.gordonresearch.com
American Board of Chelation Therapy, which certifies physicians with
toxic metal expertise, inclusive of chelation therapy,
has recently changed its name to the American Board of Clinical
This was done in part to better reflect the need to address
the bigger picture of heavy metal toxicity. We need to be environmentally
to clean up contaminated areas, to control industrial and agricultural
wastes, to remove toxic metals from vaccines and dentistry,
to educate the public in regard to the presence of toxic metals
we use, including the foods we consume.
For information regarding board certified physicians or other inquiries,
contact the following:
The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (ABCMT)
Web site: http://abcmt.com
Organizations sponsoring chelation training for physicians include
American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
Web site: http://www.acam.org
International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM)
Web site: http://www.icimed.com
Chelation: Technical Sidebar
Chemically, chelation is the process of binding an electrically charged metal
atom with another molecule, the chelating agent (chelator), to form heterocyclic
ring molecular structures. A heterocyclic ring contains dissimilar atoms.
Chelating agents are molecules that have the capacity to form such structures
when binding with metals. The electrical charge of the metal is neutralized
by the sharing of electrons in chemical bonds between the metal and chelating
agent. The resultant metal complex is a chelate. Such chemical bonds have
been metaphorically depicted as grasping pincers of a claw. The word chelation
is derived from the Greek language, chele, meaning claw.
EDTA Metal Metal – EDTA
The metal is generically depicted by the letter M. Metals that bind to EDTA
include metals essential to life, such as magnesium and calcium, as well
as toxic metals, such as cadmium and lead. Any metal can be toxic when present
in too great a quantity. Nitrogen (N), oxygen (O) and carbon (C) atoms compose
the basic ring elements of EDTA. The letter H depicts a hydrogen atom bonded
with oxygen (O) to form OH. H2 depicts two hydrogen atoms, which are bound
to ring forming carbon (C) atoms. The single solid lines ( / ) between EDTA
ring forming atoms represent single chemical bonds. The parallel lines (=)
reflect double chemical bonds. The broken lines (---) depict "claw-like" bonds
between non-metallic elements of EDTA and the chelated metal (M). Although
Sulfur (S) atoms are not found in EDTA, they may be found in other chelating
agents. The distinct chemical makeup of various chelating agents provide
them with unique abilities to bind different metals under differing circumstances.
Chelating agents are selected for therapeutic use based on their respective
Chelation may be used to deliver metals into and remove metals from the body.
Magnesium ascorbate (vitamin C) is a chelate found in orange juice and in nutritional
supplements. Chelation involves reversible binding of metals. Thus, ascorbate
may release the essential metal magnesium in the body and complex with the
toxic metal lead to form lead chelate. The lead exits the body complexed as
lead chelate, reducing the body burden of lead. Chelates generally exit the
body through the kidneys, via urine or through the bile via the stool. However,
chelates may not necessarily eliminate toxic metals, but rather redistribute
them in the body. Since many orange juice drinkers and daily vitamin and mineral-tablet
users have excess mineral toxicity and related diseases, the medical field
of clinical metal toxicology has much to offer. Clinical metal toxicology,
which includes chelation therapy, deals with various issues in regard to preventing
and reducing metal toxicity.
Chelating agents are prevalently found in industry, including textile dyeing,
water softening, enzyme deactivation, and food preservation. Besides being
useful in medicine, chelation is essential for life. Chlorophyll is a chelate
of the metal magnesium. Vitamin B12 is a chelate of cobalt. Heme, a component
of hemoglobin, is a chelate of iron.
Dr. Martin Dayton has been practicing integrative medicine over 35
heavy metal toxicology over 25 years. He is presently engaged in clinical
practice, research, and teaching in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. He
is the author of The
Case for Intravenous EDTA Chelation Therapy.
Web site: www.daytonmedical.com