NEW HOPE FOR VICTIMS OF
CARDIOVASCULAR AND AGE-ASSOCIATED DISEASES
by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.
Intravenous edta chelation therapy, a simple office procedure using ethylene
diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), reverses and slows progression of
atherosclerotic heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and other age-related and degenerative diseases. Symptoms
affecting many different parts of the body often improve, for reasons that are
not yet fully understood. Blood flow increases in blocked coronary arteries to
the heart, to the brain, to the legs, and all throughout the body. Heart
attacks, strokes, leg pain and gangrene can often be helped or avoided using this therapy. Need
for bypass surgery and balloon angioplasty often disappears after chelation.
Published research also shows that chelation therapy acts as a
The free radical theory of disease (caused by oxygen free radicals) provides one scientific explanation for the many observed benefits following chelation therapy. Many scientific studies published in peer reviewed medical journals provide solid clinical evidence for benefit. This non-invasive therapy is very much safer and far less expensive than surgery or angioplasty.
Chelation therapy is a safe and effective alternative to bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents. Hardening of the arteries need not lead to coronary bypass surgery, heart attack, amputation, stroke, or senility. There is new hope for victims of these and other related diseases. Despite what you may have heard from other sources, EDTA chelation therapy, administered by a properly trained practitioner, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, prudent diet, and 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 hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis, also called arteriosclerosis) and related ailments which can lead to stroke, heart attack, senility, gangrene, 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. On average, 85 percent of chelation patients have improved very significantly. More than 90 percent of patients receiving 30 or more chelation infusions have benefited enough to be grateful for this therapy—even more so when they also followed a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the use of tobacco. Symptoms improve, blood flow to diseased organs increases, need for medication often decreases and, most importantly, the quality of life becomes more productive and 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.
WHAT IS "CHELATION"?
Chelation (pronounced KEY-LAY-SHUN) is the process by which a metal or mineral (such as calcium, lead, cadmium, iron, arsenic, aluminum, etc.) is bonded to another substance―in this case EDTA, an amino acid. 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 chelate of iron.
WHAT IS CHELATION AS A MEDICAL THERAPY?
Chelation is a treatment by which a small amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (commonly abbreviated EDTA) is slowly administered to a patient intravenously over several hours, prescribed by and under the supervision of a licensed health care practitioner. The IV fluid containing EDTA is infused through a small needle placed in the vein of a patient’s arm. The EDTA infusion bonds with unbalanced metals in the body and quickly redistributes them in a healthy way, or carries them away in the urine. Abnormally situated nutritional metals, such as iron, along with toxic elements such as lead, mercury and aluminum are easily removed by EDTA chelation therapy. Normally present minerals and trace elements which are essential for health are more tightly bound within the body and can be maintained with a properly balanced nutritional supplement.
IS IT DONE JUST ONCE?
On the contrary, chelation therapy usually consists of anywhere from 20 to 50 separate infusions, depending on each patient’s individual health status. Thirty treatments is the average number required for optimum benefit in patients with symptoms of arterial blockage. Some patients eventually receive more than 100 chelation therapy infusions over several years. Other healthier patients receive only 20 infusions as part of a preventive program. Each chelation treatment takes three hours or longer and patients cannot receive more than one treatment each day. It is the total number of treatments that determine results, not the schedule or frequency. Some patients receive treatments daily and others come weekly or at at variable intervals as convenience and their schedule dictates. Over a period of time, these injections halt the progress of the free radical disease. Free radicals underlie the development of atherosclerosis and many other degenerative diseases of aging. Reduction of damaging free radicals it believed to allow diseased arteries to heal, restoring blood flow. With time chelation therapy brings profound improvement to many essential metabolic and physiologic functions in the body. The body’s regulation of calcium and cholesterol is restored by normalizing the internal chemistry of cells. Chelation has many favorable actions on the body.
Chelation therapy benefits the flow of blood through every vessel in the body, from the largest to the tiniest capillaries and arterioles, most of which are far too small for surgical treatment or are deep within the brain where they cannot be safely reached by surgery. In many patients, the smaller blood vessels are the most severely diseased, especially in the presence of diabetes. The benefits of chelation occur simultaneously 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 by surgical treatment.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO A HOSPITAL TO BE CHELATED?
No, chelation therapy 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. Some patients even run their businesses by telephone or computer while receiving chelation therapy.
ARE THERE RISKS OR UNPLEASANT SIDE EFFECTS?
EDTA chelation therapy is relatively non-toxic and risk-free, especially when compared with other treatments. Patients routinely drive themselves home after chelation treatment with no difficulty. The risk of significant 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 surgery is approximately 3 out of every 100 patients, varying with the hospital and the operating team. The incidence of other serious complications following surgery is much higher, approaching 25%, including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, mental impairment, infection, and prolonged pain. Chelation therapy is at least 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 trained health care practitioner expert in this type of therapy, chelation is safer than many other prescription medicines. Statistically speaking, the treatment itself is safer than the drive in an automobile to the doctors office.
If EDTA chelation therapy is given too rapidly or in too large a dose it may cause harmful side effects, just as an overdose of any other medicine can be dangerous. Reports of serious and even rare fatal complications many years ago stemmed from excessive doses of EDTA, administered too rapidly and without proper laboratory monitoring. If you choose a provider 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.
While it has been stated by critics that EDTA chelation therapy is damaging to the kidneys, the newest research (consisting of kidney function tests done on hundreds of consecutive chelation patients, before and after treatment with EDTA for chronic degenerative diseases) indicates the reverse is true. There is, on the average, significant improvement in kidney function following chelation therapy. An occasional patient may be unduly sensitive, however, and practitioners expert in chelation monitor kidney function with laboratory testing to avoid overloading the kidneys. Chelation 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 chelation therapy.
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 is obtained. Diet is analyzed for nutritional adequacy and balance. Copies of pertinent medical records and summaries of hospital admissions may be sent for. A thorough head-to-toe, hands-on 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.
Blood and urine specimens will be obtained in a battery of tests to insure that no conditions exist which should be treated differently or might be worsened by chelation therapy. Kidney function will be carefully assessed. An electrocardiogram is usually obtained. Noninvasive tests will be performed, as medically indicated, to determine the status of arterial blood flow prior to therapy. A consultation with other medical specialists may be requested.
IS CHELATION THERAPY NEW?
Not at all. Chelation's earliest application with humans was before World War II when the British used another chelating agent, British Anti-Lewesite (BAL), as a poison gas antidote. BAL is related to chelators 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. In the years since, chelation therapy has remained 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.
In the early 1950’s it was speculated that EDTA chelation therapy might help the accumulations of calcium associated with hardening of the arteries. Experiments were performed and victims of atherosclerosis experienced health improvements following chelation—diminished angina, better memory, sight, hearing and increased vigor. A number of practitioners then began to routinely treat individuals suffering from occlusive vascular conditions with chelation therapy. Consistent improvements were reported for most patients.
Published articles describing successful treatment of atherosclerosis with EDTA chelation therapy first appeared in medical journals in 1955. Dozens of favorable articles have been published since then. No unsuccessful results have ever been reported (with the exception of several recent studies with very flawed data deceptively presented by bypass surgeons, in a seeming attempt to discredit this competing therapy). There have also been a number of editorial comments of a critical nature made by physicians with vested interests in vascular surgery and related procedures.
From 1964 on, despite continued documentation of its benefits and the development of safer 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 medical doctor using chelation therapy for whatever conditions he or she deems it to be in the best interests of their patients, even though the drug involved, EDTA, does not yet have atherosclerosis listed as an indication on the FDA-approved package insert. Contrary to popular belief, the FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine, but merely approves marketing, labeling and advertising claims for drugs and devices sold in interstate commerce.
It costs many 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 included on FDA approved advertising and marketing literature.
The American College for Advancement in Medicine conducts educational courses in the proper and safe use of intravenous EDTA chelation twice yearly. They also publish a Protocol which contains professionally recognized standards of medical practice for chelation therapy.
On the question of legality, courts have expressed the opinion that a practitioner 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) is in violation of the doctrine of informed consent. Withholding information about a 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 about chelation who are risking legal liability—not those chelating practitioners informed enough to resist peer pressure and 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?
Practitioners 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 and leg pain when walking only a short distance are frequently able to return to normal, productive living after undergoing chelation therapy. Far more dramatic, but equally common, is seeing diabetic ulcers and gangrenous feet clear up in a matter of weeks. Individuals who have been told that their limbs would need to be amputated because of gangrene are thrilled to watch their feet heal with chelation therapy, although some areas of dead tissue may still have to be trimmed away surgically.
The approximately 1,500 American practitioners practicing chelation therapy, plus hundreds of others in foreign countries, have countless case histories to prove they are able to reverse serious cases of arterial disease. Men and women often arrive at doctors’ 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 up to 85 percent of patients treated. More than a million patients have thus far received chelation therapy, almost as many as have undergone bypass surgery.
All clinical trials of chelation therapy have been positive. There are no negative data, although a few report had a deceptively negative spin on positive data. In addition, several research studies have been published with results of before-and-after diagnostic tests using radio-isotopes and ultra sound which prove statistically that blood flow increases following chelation therapy. Even without blood-flow studies, if leg pain on walking is relieved, if angina becomes less bothersome, and if physical endurance and mental acuity improve, such benefits would be quite enough to justify EDTA chelation therapy. Improved quality of life and relief of symptoms are the most important benefits of chelation therapy.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
A course of chelation therapy for a patient with advanced hardening of the arteries generally requires from six weeks to six months and costs up to $4,000 or more for 30 treatments. This is considerable less than bypass surgery which is normally well over $40,000. A person can expect to pay approximately $115 per treatment, including the associated kidney tests. Each chelation treatment takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. Although some clinics give faster treatments, a faster dose of EDTA must be reduced for safety with resulting reduced benefit. Some use rapid infusions of calcium EDTA, which risks cause kidney damage and has never been shown in research studies to provide the same benefit as disodium EDTA.
WHAT ABOUT BYPASS SURGERY?
Coronary artery bypass surgery, the popularly-prescribed procedure in which blocked portions of major coronary arteries of the heart are bypassed with grafts from a patient’s leg veins, has never been proven by properly controlled studies to offer much or an advantage over non-surgical treatments, other that 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.
Arteriograms which are done to x-ray and visualize the arteries prior to surgery utilize a chemical dye which can cause arterial spasm. It is difficult to determine on the x-rays how much arterial blockage is permanent and how much is reversible spasm. It is common practice during angiograms to inject medication that amplifies the effects of diseased coronary arteries.
Indeed, the most recent research suggests that many of the more than 200,000 bypasses 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 bypass 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 advantage for the majority of patients who had been operated upon, compared with those receiving 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 newer calcium blocker drugs, and that only half of the patients received beta blocker drugs. Although studies have been reported to show that patients with left main coronary artery blockage live slightly longer after surgery, the studies were done before calcium blockers and newer beta blockers were available. Those medicines have been scientifically proven to protect against heart attack. Surgery might have come out a clear second best if all presently available non-surgical treatments, including chelation, had been compared to bypass.
Having surgery didn’t improve the chances for most patients 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 when comparing a large group of patients treated surgically with those treated non-surgically, even without using chelation therapy for the non-surgical treatment group.
Most importantly, 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 tiny 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 need a second bypass. Sometimes the blood vessels that weren’t bypassed become clogged and also need bypassing; sometimes the transplanted vessels used in the first graft become filled with new plaque; not uncommonly, 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 being referred for another go up about five percent a year. After five years, some surgical specialists estimate, your need for a second operation could be as 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. A much larger percentage suffer serious complications, even after they survive the surgery. Those percentages are similar for balloon angioplasty—with or without stents.
Chelation patients are frequently able to return to work and to resume their sports and other activities, without the need to undergo surgery. If they stay on a proper diet, exercise within limits of tolerance, continue to take the prescribed program of nutritional supplements, and receive periodic maintenance chelation treatments (every one to two months, 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 have been told, like most people eager for additional information about chelation therapy, that you have advanced arterial disease, you may have been advised to have vascular surgery or balloon angioplasty. 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 therapy and other non-surgical therapies should fail, bypass still remains a choice. Although bypass can relieve symptoms, as a last resort, surgery does not prevent heart attacks or prolong live in the vast majority of patients operated.
WHY CAN’T CHELATION BE TAKEN BY MOUTH IN PILL FORM INSTEAD OF BY INTRAVENOUS INJECTION?
Chelation therapy is gaining recognition so rapidly that there is growing interest in developing an oral chelator that will produce benefits similar to intravenous EDTA chelation therapy. Many nutritional substances administered by mouth are known to have chelating properties but none have the spectrum of activity of intravenous EDTA. Many nutrients such as vitamin C and the amino acids cysteine and aspartic acid have the ability to weakly chelate metals. They also protect against free radical damage in other ways, as anti-oxidants.
Claims are being increasingly made for the use of nutritional supplements containing weak chelators in patients with atherosclerosis. There is nothing new about these products which are mostly vitamins and minerals being aggressively marketed with glowing testimonials and deceptive marketing techniques. Benefit from products taken by mouth has never even come close to the much more dramatic results seen with intravenous EDTA.
Recently some nutritional supplements which contain EDTA have been alleged to be effective as oral chelation therapy. The problem is that only 5 percent or less of EDTA is absorbed by mouth. The same tiny percentage applies to rectal suppositories. The remainder passes out in the stool. And, it must be taken every day by mouth to absorb even a small amount. When taken on a daily basis, oral EDTA binds essential nutrients in the digestive tract and blocks their absorption, causing deficiencies. When given intravenously, EDTA is 100 percent absorbed very rapidly and eliminated in the urine within a few hours. Intravenous EDTA is given on only 20 to 30 days in any one year and does not lead to deficiencies of nutritional minerals. Nutritional supplementation on a daily basis more than compensates for any loses caused by the intravenous EDTA chelation therapy.
IS IT TRUE THAT CHELATION THERAPY COMBATS ATHEROSCLEROSIS BY ACTING LIKE A LIQUID PLUMBER—BY LEACHING CALCIUM OUT OF ATHEROSCLEROTIC PLAQUE?
No! Before recent medical breakthroughs in the area of free radical pathology, it was hypothesized that EDTA chelation therapy had its major beneficial effect on calcium metabolism—that it stripped away the excess calcium from the plaque, restoring arteries to their pliable precalcified state. This frequently offered explanation—the so-called "roto-rooter" concept—is not the real reason, as previously postulated, that chelation therapy produces its major health benefits. The fact that EDTA does reduce some calcium from plaque is felt to be only one of its benefits, an probably not the mos important. Nonetheless, calcium does play a role and is one reason why the use of calcium EDTA is not recommended. Calcium EDTA has no beneficial effect on calcium deposits in the body.
Most importantly, EDTA has an affinity for the transition metal, iron, a free radical catalyst in excess, and for the toxic metals, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, and aluminum. Free radical pathology, it is now believed, is an important underlying process triggering the development of many age-related ailments, including cancer, senility and arthritis, as well as atherosclerosis. Thus, EDTA’s most important benefit seems to be that it greatly reduces the ongoing production of free radicals within the body by removing accumulations of metallic catalysts and toxins which accumulate at abnormal sites in the body as a person grows older and which speed the aging process. There are other theories of mechanism of action and we still do not know which is most important. Recent research even points to rebalancing toxic accumulations of essential elements such a zinc, chromium and cobalt.
For readers with a decided interest in the scientific technicalities you can refer to the article entitled Scientific Rational for EDTA Chelation Therapy: Mechanism of Action by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D. and James P. Frackelton, M.D.
For a fuller explanation of the many issues involved, you will enjoy reading BYPASSING BYPASS SURGERY, a full-length book by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D., which is written in popular form for the general public. The article on the scientific rationale and mechanism of action, mentioned in the last paragraph, is also contained as a chapter in that book under the heading, "Take This to Your Doctor."
WHAT OTHER DISEASES MIGHT BE BENEFITED BY CHELATION?
Because the very aging process itself correlates with ongoing free radical damage, it is no surprise that a large variety of symptoms have been reported to improve following chelation therapy, even symptoms not directly caused by circulatory disease. While there is no scientific evidence that chelation is a cure for these diseases, symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s , psoriasis, high blood pressure, and scleroderma have all been reported to improve with chelation therapy. In fact, there is no better treatment for scleroderma. Vision has been improved in macular degeneration. Patients generally feel younger and more energetic following therapy, even when taken for purely preventive reasons. In fact, chelation therapy is more desirable for prevention that it is for established disease. Preventive medicine is always preferable to late stage crisis intervention.
A recently published article from the University of Zurich in Switzerland reported an 18-year follow-up of a group of 56 chelation therapy patients. When comparing the death rate from cancer with that of a control group of patients who did not receive chelation therapy, the authors found that patients who received EDTA chelation therapy had a 90% reduction of cancer deaths. Epidemiologists from the University of Zurich reviewed the data and found no fault with the reported facts or the conclusions.
There is no evidence that chelation therapy is of benefit in the treatment of advanced cancer, once the diagnosis is made, but there is a large body of scientific research indicating that free radical damage to DNA is an important factor at the onset of most cancer. Chelation therapy blocks damaging free radicals.
Will chelation therapy help
with heart valve problems such as aortic stenosis or mitral
EDTA chelation will not have much effect on diseased heart valves as such. However, chelation has been shown to improve the efficiency of cardiac function and relieve symptoms and reduce probability of heart attack and other complications. If surgical replacement of the valve becomes necessary, prior chelation therapy should speed recovery and reduce the probability of serious surgical complications such as stroke or myocardial infarction ( heart attack).
WHY HAVEN’T I HEARD OF CHELATION BEFORE?
If EDTA chelation therapy is safe and effective as indicated by many published studies, and by the experience of hundreds of doctors, why haven’t you heard more about it? That is a good question!
Until quite recently, relatively few patients have been informed that this therapy is available. Many heart specialists may not have even heard of the treatment and would be reluctant to prescribe it if they had. The American Medical Association has not yet approved chelation therapy for atherosclerosis, although it does endorse its use in the treatment of lead poisoning. Many insurance companies will not compensate policy holders for chelation therapy unless it is given for proven lead poisoning of a serious degree. If chelation therapy is given for atherosclerosis, it is often labeled "experimental" or "not necessary " or "not customary" by medical insurance companies and payment is denied. They deny payment to patients for chelation therapy even though they do pay for bypass surgery, and even though chelation might have saved them tens of thousands of dollars. Like many other aspects of our lives, a considerable amount of politics seems to be involved—in this case, medical politics.
Politically powerful traditional medical groups and manufacturers of cardiovascular drugs have consistently suppressed knowledge of chelation therapy, perhaps because of a large vested interest in competing coronary related health care. The cost of all medical care for victims of heart disease in the United States, including coronary bypass surgery and prescription drugs, exceeds $50 billion per year. Obviously, many hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies would experience a decline in need for their services if chelation therapy were to become universally popular.
Physicians who remain skeptical about chelation therapy are those who have never used it. They are either completely uninformed about the research that has been done to document the safety and effectiveness of chelation therapy, or they are committed by training or source of income to other therapeutic procedures, such as vascular surgery and related procedures. Many physicians have merely accepted criticisms of an editorial nature stemming from such sources, without digging into the true facts for themselves. Recent reports of clinical trails alleging to disprove chelation therapy are all so flawed in design that they offer no evidence at all. Doctors, however, are usually too busy to read every word, and often accept the misleading summaries and abstracts, without analyzing the data for themselves. The bypass and cardiovascular drug industries have been extremely well marketed—to the medical profession as well as to the public.
EFFECT metal IN stents and joint replacements?
EDTA has no effect on intact metals used for implants in the body, or anywhere else for that matter. EDTA binds only dissolved and positively charged (oxidized) metal ions dissolved in solution. Stents and joint replacement are made from alloys such as highly refined stainless steel, vanadium alloys and titanium, that will not dissolve in body fluids
DOES HEAVY METAL TOXICITY CAUSE HEART DISEASE
It is a myth that heavy metal toxicity is an important cause of age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart disease. Dr. Cranton has tested hundreds chelation patients for levels of toxic metal levels. Although small amounts are present in virtually everyone, levels have only very rarely been found to be in the toxic range. Although laboratories used by some chelation clinics tend to exaggerate the toxic potential of such low levels, we still do not know how EDTA chelation therapy brings its benefits.
WHAT ELSE IS INVOLVED IN A COMPLETE
PROGRAM OF CHELATION?
Your lifestyle counts. Chelation therapy is only part of the curative process. Improved nutrition and healthy lifestyle are absolutely imperative for lasting benefit from chelation treatments. Chelation is not in and of itself a "cure-all"—it reduces abnormal free radical activity and removes unwanted and toxic metals, allowing normal healing and control mechanisms to come in to play. It has many actions in the body and we do not yet know what is the most important. Healing is facilitated, allowing health to be restored with the help of applied clinical nutrition, antioxidant supplementation and improved lifestyle. A full program of chelation therapy involves all of these factors. Chelation therapy is also compatible with other forms of therapy, including bypass surgery if all else fails. If cardiovascular drugs are needed, they can be taken with chelation with no conflict.
In addition to receiving the recommended number of chelation treatments, patients eager for long-term benefits should follow a healthy lifestyle, take a spectrum of nutritional supplements, be physically active and eliminate destructive lifestyle habits such as tobacco and excessive alcohol.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBO) involves treatment of the entire body in a small chamber totally immersed in 100 percent oxygen, at pressures greater than the normal atmosphere. HBO stimulates new blood flow, and keeps organs alive and functioning, even when they are deprived of adequate blood flow. HBO also helps fight infection. HBO is especially helpful in cases of gangrenous or pre-gangrenous feet, to speed healing while the slower process of chelation has time to work, and to restore brain function following a stroke. Many patients receive hyperbaric oxygen treatments on the same day that they receive chelation for the added benefits of the two types of therapy.
A scientifically balanced regimen of nutritional supplements reinforces the body’s antioxidant defenses and should include vitamins E, C, B1, B2 B3, B6, B12, PABA, beta carotene, and coenzyme Q10, and others. A balanced program of mineral and trace element supplementation should also include calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, vanadium, and chromium.
It is important to eliminate the use of tobacco. This applies to cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, snuff or chewing tobacco. It has been a consistent observation that patients who continued to use tobacco following chelation will experience comparatively less improvement and for a shorter time.
Relatively healthy adults are often able to tolerate the moderate use of alcoholic beverages without generating more free radicals than they can detoxify. Anyone who drinks alcoholic beverages excessively risks harmful free radical damage. Victims of chronic degenerative diseases should minimize the consumption of alcohol.
Finally, physical exercise is very helpful. Even a brisk 30-minute walk several times per week will help to maintain the health benefits and improved circulation resulting from chelation therapy. Lactate normally builds up in tissues during aerobic exercise, and lactate is a natural chelator produced within the body. Which brings us to the final question!
IS CHELATION THERAPY FOR YOU?
Only you can make that decision!
Chances are, your doctor won’t help you decide. Patients who choose chelation therapy often do so against the advice of their personal physicians or cardiologists. Many have already been advised to undergo vascular surgery. Occasionally, a patient never hears about chelation therapy until he or she is hospitalized and a friend or relative begs him or her to look into this non-invasive therapy before proceeding to surgery. In an impressively large number of instances, a new patient comes for chelation on the recommendation of someone who has been successfully chelated. Many patients have benefited even after one or more failed bypasses.
You are encouraged to communicate with someone who’s shared your dilemma, someone who can tell you about his or her own experience with chelation therapy. Feel free to contact others with problems similar to yours who have chosen chelation therapy. Most patients who have been helped will be happy to give you their side of the story.
Copyright © 2012 Elmer M. Cranton, M.D., all rights reserved