Exploring the Chelation Therapy Benefits

August 17, 2023

 

Chelation therapy is a treatment that binds with and removes heavy metals from the body. It treats various health problems, including cardiovascular disease and reperfusion injury following coronary angioplasty or surgery.

Chelation with ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) has been claimed to reduce the incidence of atherosclerotic plaque in humans. However, only a few small placebo-controlled studies have been reported.

Reduces Inflammation

Chelation therapy is one of the standard treatments for heavy metal poisoning, and it removes dangerous toxins like lead and mercury from the body. A chelating agent, usually ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), is delivered through an IV and collects these toxic metals in a compound filtered through the kidneys and released in urine.

Some people claim that chelation therapy can treat other conditions, such as heart disease, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. There's no scientific evidence for these claims, and chelation therapy can expose patients to risks without clear benefits.

Proponents of chelation therapy for heart disease claim that the treatment improves artery health by binding to calcium deposits in arteries, called plaques. But a large study called TACT didn't find enough proof that EDTA chelation therapy reduces heart disease risk, and the Mayo Clinic points out that dietary changes are more effective than chelation therapy at lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Reduces Pain

Chelation therapy is a medically proven treatment for heavy metal poisoning. The drug EDTA binds to toxic metals in the bloodstream and gets excreted through urine. Advocates claim that the treatment also removes plaque and scar tissue from clogged arteries, which reduces heart disease. However, there's no evidence that chelation therapy works for other health conditions.

Chelators also bind to the proteins in our bones and soft tissues, which can disrupt normal cell function. This disruption can lead to pain, fatigue, and poor sleep. The drugs used in chelation therapy help break down these toxins and can significantly reduce these symptoms.

A large clinical trial called TACT found that chelation therapy reduces the risk of heart disease for people with diabetes. However, other studies haven't shown any benefit, and these treatments have serious hazards. Moreover, they're not approved for use at home and require a doctor's prescription. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to recognize signs of lead toxicity and can make referrals for screening and counseling on decreasing exposure. They can also monitor patients receiving chelation therapy and ensure the correct doses are administered.

Lowers Cholesterol

The chelation therapy benefits of removing heavy metals from the body include reducing high cholesterol. Cholesterol can narrow the arteries and limit blood flow to the heart, brain, and limbs. This can cause chest pain (angina), leg pain due to decreased circulation (intermittent claudication), and strokes. The chelating agent EDTA removes the toxins from the bloodstream and helps the body rid itself of these harmful substances.

Advocates claim that the chelating chemicals also remove plaque, or fatty deposits, from clogged arteries. But scientific studies do not support these claims. One study with 1993 participants found no benefit of EDTA chelation in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood flow to the heart). This trial had significant risks of bias.

Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help identify lead poisoning, refer children for screening, and counsel on decreasing exposure to heavy metals. However, relying on chelation to treat medical conditions other than metal poisoning is unproven and dangerous. Side effects of chelating agents can include depression of bone marrow, kidney damage, irregular heartbeat, loss of vital vitamins and minerals, and even death.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Chelation therapy involves a course of treatment several times per week over months. It costs thousands of dollars and is not covered by health insurance.

The medicine used in chelation therapy finds and sticks to metals and minerals in the bloodstream, binding them until they are released into the urine. In this way, EDTA removes heavy metals from the body. The medicine also finds and sticks to calcium that clogs arteries. Some researchers believe this is how chelation therapy helps prevent heart disease.

The chelation drug is typically given with high-dose oral multivitamins and multi-minerals. This factorial design makes comparing intravenous chelation with placebo vitamins and minerals complex.

Small clinical trials have reported modest benefits from edetate disodium chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease, including chest pain (angina) and poor leg or foot circulation (intermittent claudication). However, these trials were uncontrolled and short-term. The patent on EDTA expired long ago, so there is no incentive for pharmaceutical companies to fund new studies. Additionally, doctors who perform invasive procedures such as angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery might lose business if chelation therapy becomes popular.

Reduces Infections

chelating agent, like the drug EDTA, binds to metals in your bloodstream, and your body eliminates them through your urine. These metals can include lead, mercury, and arsenic. Chelation therapy can help reduce these toxic metals, and it can also help remove excess iron.

Some alternative healthcare providers use chelation therapy to treat conditions like heart disease, autism, and Alzheimer's. However, there is little scientific evidence that chelation works for these conditions. Chelation may even be harmful if misused. A 2-year-old child with lead poisoning died after receiving inappropriate chelation drugs in her doctor's office. Similarly, a 53-year-old woman with no indication of heavy metal poisoning was killed during a chelation treatment by a naturopath.

Chelation can also lower your stroke risk, as it increases blood flow to the brain. It also helps to reduce artery blockages, which improves circulation and makes it easier for your blood to carry oxygen throughout your body. It may also lessen your risk of diabetes, as chelation can help lower blood sugar levels.

 

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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