chelation therapy - more history, development & evidence...

As Dr Chaplan states in his article, Intravenous Chelation has been around for over 50 years and originated by Nobel Prize winner Dr Alfred Werner, who developed and introduced special de-clogging and cleansing agents directly into the bloodstream in the 1930’s.

Subsequent development did not occur until the 1950’s when in 1956 Dr Norman Clarke, Director of Research at Providence Hospital in Detroit applied Intravenous Chelation Therapy (ICT) to the treatment of Cardiovascular disease. He found it extremely effective in dissolving arterial calcium deposits and an excellent overall treatment for Atherosclerosis. He subsequently showed it was also very successful in relieving the incidence & pain of Angina Pectoris.

In the 1970’s Dr Carl Pffeifer Principal of the Brain Bio Centre in California began his search for a ‘holding treatment’ that could be used in place or alongside ICT, which his patients could take home. His research was so successful that many patients no longer needed ICT after taking his ‘supplementary oral mixture’ for a few months. It proved extremely effective both in assisting the removal of plaque as well as prohibiting the formation of new plaque.

In the late 70’and early 80’s when Dr Chaplan joined Dr Pffeifer the oral mixture was developed and refined to its current mixture and became available in a capsule form - called Chelogarde.

The Proof
In the 1980’s Dr’s Olszewer and Carter did a retrospective analysis of treatment results from 2,870 patients, with various chronic degenerative and age-associated diseases that had tried Chelation Therapy. They concluded that EDTA chelation therapy resulted in ‘marked’ improvement in 76.89 percent and ‘good’ improvement in 16.56 percent of patients with ischemic heart disease; also, ‘marked’ improvement in 91 percent and ‘good’ improvement in 7.6 percent of patients with peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication (limb weakness).

Within the patients who suffered with cerebrovascular and other degenerative cerebral diseases, 24 percent had ‘marked’ improvement, and 30 percent had ‘good’ improvement. Of four patients with the skin condition scleroderma, three had ‘marked’ improvement and one had ‘good’ improvement. Seventy five percent of all of the patients had ‘marked’ improvement in “geriatric symptomatology of vascular origin.

As Dr Chaplan wrote in his article the Danish study in the 90’s showed that the condition of 85 percent of a group of 470 cardiovascular patients treated with EDTA chelation therapy improved. Within that group 72 of which were awaiting coronary bypass surgery, 65 percent subsequently did not require the operation following EDTA chelation therapy.

Is Chelation safer than operations such as Angioplasty’s or Drugs?
Recent news has been particularly grim for advocates of invasive heart disease therapies, including angioplasty and bypass surgery.  For instance, Dr W Boden published in the New England Journal of Medicine a study tracking 920 heart attack patients for approximately 23 months randomly divided into two groups, the patients were treated either surgically or non-invasively. He concluded.  -
“Invasive strategy (patients) had worse clinical outcomes during the first year of follow-up”. The number of patients (who died or had another heart attack) were significantly higher in the invasive-strategy group…” Boden concluded that:  “Most patients with non-Q-wave myocardial infarction (a type of heart attack) do not benefit from routine, early invasive management…”

Others have similar findings: Dr T Preston wrote in MD magazine in 1995 that “fully half of the bypass operations performed in the United States are unnecessary… except in certain well-defined situations, bypass surgery does not save lives or prevent heart attacks...”

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) developed EDTA chelation guidelines in 1973 and there have been no fatalities associated with the procedure.

“Intravenous chelation therapy is safe, and proven to be more than three times as safe as taking an aspirin, according to the biotoxicological tests performed on laboratory animals,” states Dr J Trowbridge. Indeed, the “LD-50” - a lethal dose for 50 percent of those taking it - of EDTA is calculated at 2,000 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight of a human being, while aspirin has an LD-50 of only 588 mg/kg.

Won’t an Oral Chelating Formula Deplete My Body’s Calcium?
One may wonder about the possibility of chelation therapy causing a lack of calcium in the bones and structural system of the body, ultimately causing osteoporosis or a similar disorder. The answer to this is a strong “NO”. The reason for this is that the form of calcium used by the body - called calcium apatite - is different from that bound by EDTA, and virtually impossible to be chelated by something like EDTA. Several studies targeting the possibility that EDTA causes bone calcium loss have indicated that it does not. Instead, it can actually stimulate dormant bone-forming cells and thus combat osteoporosis.

You can safely take a calcium supplement without defeating the chelation process. Calcium supplements won’t interfere with chelation particularly if each supplement is taken as far apart as possible. Ideally, if an oral chelating formula is taken at 7 am any calcium supplements should be taken at 7 pm to give the bones and tissues time to absorb what is needed and eliminate the rest.

Plaque Formation leads to Arterioscleriosis
Plaque is initiated by damage to the walls of blood vessels from free radicals, whose activity is promoted by such things as drugs, pesticides, radiation and oxidised (bad) LDL cholesterol. Free radicals are produced by the body’s energy-production system and escape to cause harm when antioxidant minerals and vitamins are deficient. A quick feed of glucose to the blood as a result of a meal containing sugar and white flour will cause an insulin response, and this hormone severely irritates blood vessel linings.

Once blood vessel linings are damaged a fatty layer develops underneath the surface layer of cells lining the blood vessels. Oxidised LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream is the usual cause of this. Eventually, these layers are dislodged, and the platelets adhere to the damaged surface. These red blood cells then start sticking together in clumps, and release substances which trigger the formation of a rough fibrous layer of cells.

Cholesterol can now stick to the coarse roughened fibrous surface very easily. In time this becomes hardened with a layer of calcium, and arteriosclerosis is a reality. The final step in Cardio-vascular disease is that sticky platelets form a thrombosis, and completely block an essential blood vessel in the heart (coronary thrombosis), in the brain (stroke) or an artery supplying the legs.  The process is insidious and even one year old children show some lesions.

How Chelation Therapy Helps Arteriosclerosis & Other Ailments
Scientifically a ‘Chelate’ is a co-ordination compound (such as haemoglobin) in which a central metallic ion is attached to an organic molecule at two or more points. In Chelation therapy, heavy metal poisoning (from lead, mercury, etc) or other diseases, are treated by substances which combine chemically with toxic substances (including cancer inducing free radicals) and render them harmless. Chelation derives from the Greek word for a crab and reflects the ‘grabbing’ mixture of the oral formula. In addition to removing toxic metals from the body, chelation removes excess blood calcium, improving oxygen and nutrient flow to all regions of the body simultaneously. Increased blood flow and oxygen transportation bring unequalled vigour and vitality to every part of your body.

Intravaneous or Oral Chelation?
The only true advantage that Intravenous Chelation Therapy (ICT) has over Oral Chelation is speed. Whilst a typical course of ICT (10-20 courses) would last 5-10 weeks the equivalent oral course would be anything between 6 and 12 months. Oral Chelation will be significantly less expensive however!

Dr Pffeifer’s and Dr Chaplan’s – Oral Mixture
The product developed by them and sold in the USA for the past 20 years is called ‘Chelogarde’. It has been so successful during the month of February when there is an annual National Heart Campaign, Chelogarde is recommended and advocated in most newspapers and health food stores across the USA.

Each container has 60 capsules and ideally you take 4 per day for at least 30 days or until symptoms such as Angina go away. Thereafter you continue to take 2-4 per day dependant upon the extent of your cardiovascular problems, or 4 capsules for 1 week in 4 thereafter, to limit further plaque build up (as plaque begins to reform after 2-3 weeks).

If you wish to undertake the equivalent of a full ICT course then remember 120 capsules does approximately the work of 1 ICT course only.

1. Boden, W.E., et al.(1998). “Outcomes in patients with acute non-Q-wave myocardial infarction randomly assigned to an invasive as compared to a conservative management strategy,”  New England J Med, June 18; 338(25):1785-1792.
2. Brecher, H. and Brecher, A. (1992). Forty Something Forever: A Consumer’s Guide to Chelation Therapy and Other Heart-Savers, Healthsavers Press, Herndon,VA.
3. Cranton, E.M. and Frackelton, J.P. (1984). “Free Radical Pathology in Age-Associated Diseases: Treatment with EDTA Chelation, Nutrition and Antioxidants,” J Holistic Med, 6:1.
4. McDonagh Medical Center. Chelation Therapy: History and How It Works.
5. Olszewr, E. and Carter, J,P. (1988). “EDTA chelation therapy in chronic degenerative disease,”  Med Hypotheses, Sep;n 27(1):41-9.
6. Olszewr, E., et al. (1990). “A pilot double-blind study of sodium-magnesium EDTA in peripheral vascular disease,” J Nat Med Assoc, 82(3):173-177.
7. Preston, T.A. (1995). MD Magazine, February.
8. Trowbridge, J.P. (1988). The Healing Powers of Chelation Therapy, New Way of Life, Inc., Stamford, CT.
9. Woodland Publishing - Chelation Therapy by M C Hawken – ISBN 1885670958