Heavy Metal Chelation
What is Heavy Metal Chelation?
Chelation (pronounced key-LAY-shun) therapy is a safe, non surgical treatment used to rid the body of excess toxins, particularly metals. Chelating agents used in this therapy are intravenous solutions that must be administered under the supervision of a physician. These chelators draw out toxic metals and other harmful substances that impair body function, and help the body eliminate these toxins via the kidneys. Chelating agents can often prevent problems from occurring by restoring circulation to the body’s tissues. If serious health problems already exist, intravenous therapy is usually necessary.
Chelation therapy is used to treat a variety of health problems. First, chelating agents are used to bind with heavy toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury substances that enter the body through food, water, and other means-and excrete these metals from the body. As certain minerals accumulate in the body, they interact with other minerals, promoting the actions of some and inhibiting the actions of others. Lead, for instance, has been shown to inhibit the actions of calcium, iron, and potassium, all of which are important nutrients. When chelating agents are used to eliminate toxic metals such as lead from the body, essential nutrients are better able to do their job.
Chelation therapy is also used in the treatment of atherosclerosis and other circulatory disorders, as well as in the treatment of gangrene, which often is the result of poor circulation. In atherosclerosis, deposits of cholesterol, fats, and other substances collect on the walls of large and medium sized arteries in the form of hard plaque. It has been found that calcium acts as the “glue” that holds the atherosclerotic plaque together. Chelating agents bind with this calcium and carry it out of the body, breaking up the plaque deposits, unclogging the arteries, and permitting more normal blood flow.
Intravenous Chelation Therapy
Intravenous chelation therapy is often used to remove calcified, hardened plaque from the arterial walls, improving circulation. When used under the care of a physician, this procedure can be a safe alternative to vascular surgery. This therapy is also used to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the body. Most serious illnesses require repeated injections of the chelating agents.
The most common chelating agent now used in intra venous therapy is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). A strong substance, EDTA attracts lead, strontium, and many other metals, as well as calcium. Although there is controversy surrounding the use of this agent, it has not been found to be toxic when used correctly.
Prior to beginning a course of EDTA chelation therapy, you must undergo a thorough physical examination. This includes a series of laboratory tests, including evaluations of cholesterol, blood, kidney function, liver function, glucose, and electrolytes. In addition, an electrocardiogram and chest x-ray are routinely performed. Other studies often assess vitamin B12 and mineral status. Typically, kidney function studies are repeated several times during the course of chelation therapy. Blood studies may have to be repeated, too, depending on the initial laboratory results.
The course of chelation therapy varies from person to person, but a typical course includes two treatments per week, each of three hours duration. In addition to EDTA, physicians frequently administer supplements-including vitamin C, magnesium, and trace minerals with the intravenous infusion, depending on the individual’s particular illness and the results of the laboratory studies.