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Notes on CHELATION Therapy

Be sure to read also this startling report on attacks on chelation physicians.

Chelation therapy is the most commonly used conventional treatment for lead and other toxic metal poisoning. It is an increasingly popular alternative therapy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis, and other chronic degenerative conditions.

I have taken to combining it with IV antioxidants, especially brain-aid glutathione and call this intravenous anti-oxidant therapy. I believe it is the best anti-ageing intervention we have (I'm not counting diet as an intervention!)


The effectiveness of chelation in reducing arterial degeneration was discovered purely by accident. EDTA was first used in the 1940s to treat heavy-metal poisoning. When elderly patients being treated for chronic lead poisoning showed dramatic improvement after EDTA chelation therapy, scientists became interested in its broader use.

The use of EDTA to treat cardiovascular disease has generated scientific interest since the 1950s. Researchers in those days, however, lacked the noninvasive tools available today, such as Doppler and ultrasound, to evaluate changes in the arteries. Interest in the compound's use waned in the 1960s when new surgical techniques were developed to unclog blocked arteries.

Furthermore the patent on EDTA expired, making it unprofitable for a drug company to sponsor research.


Chelation therapy involves the intravenous infusion of EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid = 4 molecules of vinegar!!) to remove heavy metals from the body and to reverse atherosclerosis. EDTA is usually given as a slow intravenous solution over a period of four hours.

EDTA binds to metals and minerals, thereby helping the body get rid of these compounds. Practitioners no longer believe its beneficial effects are brought about by unclogging arteries (the so-called Roto-Rooter effect). This led I think to excessive and unjustifiable claims and resultant critical attacks. We now know about the nitric oxide mechanism and other ways by which it might bring substantial benefits (as it does). Chelation also works as a powerful antioxidant, which we know has anti-ageing, anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects.

EDTA may also function as a calcium channel blocker, a category of conventional drugs called vasodilators that cause blood vessels to relax and widen. EDTA has also been shown to increase the concentration of other vasodilators.

EDTA's ability to remove ions that cause harmful oxidation of fatty materials may also help maintain cellular health.

Chelation therapy generally requires 20 to 30 treatments at a cost of up to $140 (£100) per visit, or about $3-4,000 (£2500) per patient for the whole course. While this represents a substantial amount of money when paid out of pocket, it is a tiny fraction of the cost of conventional therapies, such as bypass surgery, used to reduce cardiovascular disease, and carries none of the risks a procedure such as that entails.


Dr Garry Gordon in particular is an advocate of oral chelation - powders and capsules. He has his critics, even among the ranks of holistically-oriented chelation doctors. But I believe he produces an abundance of reliable evidence of its safety and efficacy (5070 references) and I would be doing it now in my practice, if I still ran an office.

Learn more by visiting Dr Gordon's ENORMOUS site (over 5,000 pages, when including the related FACT forum site)."


Chelation therapy is widely used for the treatment of atherosclerosis and other chronic degenerative diseases involving the circulatory system. An estimated 500,000 people have undergone chelation therapy in the United States alone.


A review of treatment results from 2,870 patients in Brazil found significant improvement in patients with heart disease or peripheral vascular disease who were treated with chelation therapy. Patients with heart disease were rated as showing "marked" improvement in 76.9 percent of cases and "good" improvement in 16.6 percent. Those with peripheral vascular disease showed a "marked" improvement in 91 percent of cases and "good" improvement in 7.6 percent.

In another study, the same researchers looked at patients with cerebrovascular disease and found 24 percent of the subjects showed "marked" improvement, and 30 percent showed "good" improvement.

A study from Switzerland showed that people who had had a course of chelation were 90% less likely to develop cancer!


The American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) has been granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration to study chelation therapy to treat peripheral vascular disease. The college provides a protocol for the use of chelation therapy and offers education and training in chelation therapy.

Chelation therapy may be legally practiced by a licensed medical or osteopathic physician. Look for a physician who has additional training and certification in the procedure. Approximately 160 physicians in the United States are certified by the American Board of Chelation Therapy, which requires physicians to undergo special training, pass a written exam, and give 1,000 administrations of chelation therapy before becoming a Diplomate (DIPL). Physicians who are in the process of completing their requirements for certification are called Diplomate Candidates, or D/C. Another ACAM designation is Fellow, which means that the physician has some training in chelation therapy but does not fulfill all the requirements to be a candidate for certification.


American Board of Chelation Therapy
1407-B North Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610

The ABCT provides certification for physicians in chelation therapy. Call or send a self-addressed stamped envelope for the names of board certified physicians.

American College of Advancement in Medicine
23121 Verdugo Dr., Suite 204
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

The ACAM offers education on chelation therapy for physicians and provides a treatment protocol with recommendations for dosage and rates of administration and dietary supplementation during treatment. The college provides a list of recommended readings and a directory of practitioners.

Proponents of chelation therapy say its risks are similar to that of normal doses of aspirin and that early reports of side effects such as kidney toxicity were the result of doses that were too high. The American College of Advancement in Medicine provides recommendations for dose and rates of administration, as well as guidelines for dietary supplements with multivitamins and trace elements that should be taken during therapy.

For more enquiry into the debate, read FAQs on Dr Elmer Cranton's excellent chelation website:

READ ALSO: "Forty Something Forever" by Harold and Arline Brecher, Healthsavers Press, Herndon, Virginia.

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