The Natural Approach to Family Medicine tagline

CHELATION THERAPYPlumeria photo

Chelation Therapy is a cost-efficient, extremely safe, non-invasive alternative to By-Pass surgery and other complications of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) such as stroke, coronary artery disease (angina pectoris), heart attack and gangrene

This reduces/reverses hardening all over the body and improves body function without serious consequences and no fatalities. There is new hope of recovery for victims of these and numerous related diseases. Despite what you may have heard from other sources, EDTA chelation therapy, administered by a properly trained physician and given in conjunction with lifestyle and dietary changes with specialized 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 lead to senility 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. More than 75 percent of patients treated have shown significant improvement from chelation therapy. More than 90 percent of patients receiving 35 or more treatments have benefited when they have also corrected dietary, exercise and smoking habits, which are known to aggravate occlusive arterial disease. Symptoms improve, blood flow to diseased organs increases, need for medication decreases and, most importantly, the quality of life becomes much more enjoyable.

When patients first hear about or consider EDTA chelation therapy, they normally have lots of questions. Undoubtedly you do, too. Here are the answers to those most commonly asked questions, explained in non-technical language.

Potential Benefits of EDTA Chelation

  • Prevents cholesterol deposits
  • Reduces blood cholesterol levels
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Avoids angioplasty
  • Reserves digitalis toxicity
  • Removes calcium from atherosclerotic plaques
  • Dissolves intra-arterial blood clots
  • Normalizes cardiac arrhythmia
  • Has an anti-aging effect
  • Reduces mineral and drug deposits
  • Dissolves kidney stones
  • Reduces serum iron levels
  • Reduces heart valve calcification
  • Reduces varicose veins
  • Heals calcified necrotic ulcers
  • Reduced intermittent claudication
  • Improves vision in diabetic retinopathy
  • Decreases macular degeneration
  • Dissolve small cataracts
  • Eliminates heavy metal toxicity
  • Makes arterial walls more flexible
  • Prevents osteoarthritis
  • Reduces rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lowers rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lowers diabetic’s insulin needs
  • Reduces Alzheimer-like symptoms
  • Reverses senility
  • Reduce stroke/heart attack after effects
  • Prevents cancer
  • Improves memory
  • Reverses diabetic gangrene
  • Restores impaired vision
  • Detoxifies snake and spider venom


What is "Chelation"?

Chelation (pronounced KEY-LAY-SHUN) is the chemical process by which a metal or mineral (such as lead, mercury, copper, iron, arsenic, aluminum, calcium, etc.) is bonded to another substance. It is a natural process, basic to life itself. Chelation is one mechanism by which such common substances as aspirin, antibiotics, vitamins, minerals and trace elements work in the body. Hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood which carries oxygen, is a chelation of iron..

What is "Chelation" as a medical therapy?

Chelation is a treatment by which a man-made amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (commonly abbreviated to EDTA) is administered to a patient intravenously, prescribed by and under the supervision of a fully licensed physician (possessing a M.D. or D.O. degree). The fluid containing EDTA is infused through a small needle placed in the vein of a patient's arm. The EDTA in solution bonds with metals in the body and carries them away in the urine. Abnormally situated nutritional metals, which speed free radical damage, and toxic metals, such as lead, are most easily removed by EDTA.

Is it done just once?

On the contrary, chelation therapy is a course of treatments which usually consists of anywhere from 20 to 50 separate infusions, depending on each patient's individual status. Thirty treatments is the average number required for definite benefit in patients with symptoms of arterial blockage. Some patients eventually receive more than 100 infusions. Each treatment takes from three to four hours or longer and patients normally receive one or more treatments each week. Over a period of time, these injections halt the progress of the free radical disease, which is the underlying condition triggering the development of atherosclerosis-and many other degenerative diseases of aging-giving the body time to heal and time to restore blood flow through diseased blood vessels. After several months these injections bring profound improvement to many metabolic and physiologic processes in the body. The body's regulation of calcium and cholesterol is improved by normalizing the internal chemistry of cells.

Each treatment takes approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The benefits of chelation occur 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 or opened by other invasive treatments.

Do you have to go to a hospital to be chelated?

No. In most cases, it 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.

Are there risks or unpleasant side effects?

EDTA is relatively non-toxic and risk-free, especially when compared with other treatments. The risk of serious 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 is approximately 3 out of every 100 patients undergoing surgery, varying with the hospital and the operating team. The incidence of other serious complications following surgery is much higher, including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, permanent brain damage with personality changes and prolonged pain. Chelation is more than 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 as safe as taking aspirin. Patients routinely drive themselves home after treatment with no difficulty.

If EDTA is given too rapidly or in too large a dose it may cause harmful side effects, just as an overdose of any other medicine ca be dangerous. Reports of serious and even rare fatal complications have stemmed from excessive doses of EDTA, improperly administered. If you choose a physician with proper training and experience, who is an expert in the use of EDTA, the risk of chelation therapy will be kept to a very low level. The International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM) and The American Board of Chelation Therapy (ABCT) examines physicians for competence in the specialized field of chelation therapy.

While it has often been stated that EDTA chelation therapy is damaging to the kidneys, the newest research (in one study 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 often true. On the average, there is significant improvement in kidney function following chelation. An occasional patient may be unduly sensitive, however, and physicians expert in chelation monitor kidney function very closely to avoid overloading the kidneys. 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.

What types of examinations and testing must be done prior to beginning chelation therapy? Prior to commencing a course of chelation therapy a complete medical history must be obtained. A detailed listing of diet will be analyzed for nutritional adequacy and balance. Copies of pertinent medical records and summaries of hospital admissions will be obtained. A thorough head-to-toe, physical examination will be performed. A complete list of current medications will be recorded, including the time and strength of each dose. Special note will be made of any allergies. Follow-up examinations and testing will be performed at regular intervals during and after therapy.

Is chelation therapy new?

Not at all. It's earliest application with humans was during World War II when the British used another chelating agent, British Anti-Lewesite (BAL), as a poison gas antidote. BAL is still used today in medicine.

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. Physicians then observed that adults receiving EDTA chelation treatments who had atherosclerosis also experienced health improvements-diminished angina, better memory, sight, hearing, sense of smell and increased vigor. A number of physicians then began to treat individuals suffering from occlusive vascular conditions with chelation therapy and reported consistent improvements.

Chelation therapy remains 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.

But from 1964 on, despite continued documentation of its benefits and the development of refined treatment methods, the use of chelation for the treatment of arterial disease has been the subject of controversy.

Is it legal?

Absolutely. There is no legal prohibition against a licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.) using chelation therapy for whatever conditions he deems it to be correct, even though the drug involved, EDTA, does not yet have atherosclerosis listed as an indication on the FDA-approved package insert. The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, but merely approves marketing, labeling and advertising claims for drugs and devices in interstate commerce.

It costs millions of dollars to perform the required research and to provide the FDA with documentation for a new drug claim, or even to add a new use to marketing brochures of a long established medicine like EDTA. Physicians routinely prescribe medicines for conditions not yet included on FDA approved advertising and marketing literature.

Several respected physician organizations sponsor educational courses in the proper and safe use of intravenous EDTA chelation. The American College of Advancement in Medicine publishes a physicians' protocol for the safe and effective method of treatment with EDTA. This protocol is used in training courses and in a certification program for chelating physicians. ACAM's educational programs for physicians, followed by oral and written examinations, lead to credentials which certify demonstrated competence in the proper use of EDTA chelation therapy.

On the question of legality the interpretation of laws pertaining to "informed consent" is evolving in the courts and it is now possible that a physician who withholds information about the availability of other treatment choices, such as chelation therapy, prior to performing vascular surgery (along with all other treatment modalities) could be found legally liable. Withholding information about a different form of treatment may be tantamount to medical malpractice, if as a result, a patient is deprived of possible benefit. Thus, it is the doctors who refuse to recognize and inform their patients of chelation who are risking legal liability-not those chelating physicians who provide an innovative treatment which they feel to be the safest, the most effective and the least expensive for many of their patients.

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 pains when walking only a short distance are frequently able to return to normal, productive living after undergoing chelation. Far more dramatic, but equally common, is seeing diabetic ulcers and gangrenous feet heal. Many individuals who had been told that their limbs would have to be amputated because of gangrene are thrilled to watch their feet heal with chelation, although some areas of dead tissue may have to be trimmed away surgically. The approximately 1,000 American physicians practicing chelation therapy have countless files to prove they are able to reverse serious cases of arterial disease. Men and women often arrive at their offices near death with diseases caused by blocked arteries. Weeks or months later, they're remarkably improved. There is a wealth of evidence from clinical experience that symptoms of reduced blood flow improve in more than 75 percent of patients treated.

In addition, several research studies have been published with results of before-and-after diagnostic tests using radioisotopes which prove statistically that blood flow improves following chelation. Copies of those published reports are available from ACAM, (refer to the order blank at the end of this booklet). Regardless of blood flow studies, if claudication is relieved if angina becomes less bothersome, and if physical endurance or mental acuity improves, such benefits would be quite enough to justify EDTA chelation therapy. Quality of life and relief of symptoms are far more important than the results of laboratory tests.

What about bypass surgery?

Coronary artery bypass surgery, the popularly-prescribed procedure in which occluded portions of major coronary arteries are bypassed with grafts from a patient's leg veins, has never been proven by properly controlled studies to offer an advantage over non-surgical treatments, other than relief of pain in a minority of patients who cannot be controlled with medicine. It has even been suggested that the relief of pain following surgery might result from the cutting of nerve fibers which carry pain impulses from the heart and which also stimulate spasm of coronary arteries. It is not possible to perform bypass surgery without interrupting those nerves.

Indeed, the most recent research suggests that many of the 200,000 or more bypasses and other invasive procedures performed each year for the relief of pain and other symptoms brought on by clogged or blocked arteries are not necessary. A good case against rushing into surgery is made by the findings of a ten-year, $24 million study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which compared post-operative survival rates of "bypassed" patients with a matched group of equally diseased patients treated non-surgically.

The study uncovered no additional benefits for most patients who had been operated upon, compared with non-surgical therapy. It is important to note that the non-surgical therapy reported in that study did not include either chelation therapy or the new calcium blocker drugs, and that only half of the patients received beta blocker drugs. Having surgery didn't improve their chances to live longer, live healthier live better, or enjoy life more, when the results were statistically analyzed. The incidence of heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and both employment and recreational status were the same in patients treated surgically and non-surgically, even without using chelation therapy for the non-surgical treatment group.

Most important, cardiovascular surgery does nothing to arrest or reverse the underlying disease which exists in varying degrees throughout the body. It is at best a piecemeal "cure" for a system-wide problem. Bypassing a restricted portion of the body's blood vessels can have little lasting benefit when the same degenerating condition which caused the most extreme blockage at one or two sites must of necessity be taking place everywhere, throughout the circulatory network.

One thing the general public is not fully aware of is that many people who have one bypass operation later have a second bypass. Sometimes the blood vessels that weren't bypassed become clogged; sometimes the transplanted vessels used in the first graft become filled with new plaque; sometimes the transplants malfunction or turn out to be too small for the job. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that by ten years after surgery, grafted vessels had closed in 40 percent of patients, and in the remaining 60 percent, half developed further coronary narrowing. Once you've had a bypass, your chances of having another go up about five percent a year. After five years, some specialists estimate, your chances of receiving a second operation could be and high as 30 to 40 percent. And some patients go on to even a third operation or more. And approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 patients undergoing bypass surgery die as a result of the procedure-even more if they are severely ill at the time of surgery. The balloon treatments and other invasive procedures to open arteries are also risky.

Chelation patients are frequently able to return to work and to resume their sports and other activities, without the need to undergo surgery. Chelation is equally as effective in patients who have previously undergone one or more bypass operations or balloon procedures. If they stay on a proper diet, exercise regularly, continue to take the prescribed program of nutritional supplements and receive periodic maintenance chelation treatments (monthly, more or less, depending on the severity of the underlying medical diagnosis) they can usually go many years without suffering further heart attacks, strokes, senility or gangrenous extremities.

If you, like most people eager for additional information about chelation therapy, have been told you have advanced arterial disease, you may have been advised to have vascular surgery, If so, it is essential for you to understand the nature of your disease and all possible treatment choices, before you can make an intelligent decision concerning the various options. Even if chelation and other nonsurgical therapies should fail, bypass still remains a choice.