The new chelation “surprise” decades in the making

Cardiologists across the country were recently shocked by the results of a new study. It showed that chelation therapy can be effective in treating—and even reversing—heart disease.

But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Fifteen years ago, the Federal Trade Commission conducted a serious investigation on claims that chelation therapy could reverse heart disease. They retained me as an expert witness for an administrative hearing on the matter. And there were enough positive studies—even back then—for the FTC to relent.

Now comes the NIH (National Institutes of Health) with a $30 million study to “prove” what hundreds of doctors and thousands of patients have already known for years.

Chelation therapy uses an FDA-approved drug called EDTA. EDTA has been known for many years to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the bloodstream and tissues. By the same token it is also thought that EDTA can remove the mineral calcium from plaques that block coronary arteries and other blood vessels. This makes arteries and blood vessels more pliable and allows the blockages to be dissolved.

Chelation therapy is administered under medical supervision by infusing EDTA directly into the bloodstream. Doctors often add other beneficial nutrients to the infusions as well.

In this new study, the treatment protocol included infusions of vitamin C and the safe blood thinner heparin. Of course critics are claiming that the heart health benefits seen in this study must be due to the vitamin C—not the chelation therapy itself. So, it seems the only time they give any credit to vitamin C is when they can use it to try to explain away the benefits of chelation therapy. Either way, it sure beats having to undergo the expensive and invasive surgical procedures most cardiologists recommend for blocked arteries.

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1. “Alternative therapy produces intriguing results in some heart patients but many questions remain.” American Heart Association Late-Breaking Clinical Trial Report. November 4, 2012.