Report on the Proceedings of a Summit on New Directions for Chelation Therapy

Participants in the Summit for New Direction in Chelation Therapy

From March 13 to 15, 2013, the International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM) held a summit meeting about what should be accomplished next, now that EDTA chelation therapy has been supported as a useful treatment for vascular disease by the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).  Experts from around the world were invited.  This paper is a summary of the conclusions and recommendations of this gathering.  Key presentations were given by Drs. John Trowbridge, Efrain Olzsewer, and Eleonore Blaurock-Busch.  Representatives from the U.S., Canada, Indonesia, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Ecuador, and New Zealand participated, as well as the attendees for the Advanced Metals Workshop that was part of the spring meeting of ICIM.  Recordings of the lectures are available from This paper was prepared prior to articles on TACT published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the March 27, 2013 issue.


EDTA has been used as a treatment for vascular disease since Norman Clarke, Jr.’s work in 1952.  For a timeline of the many studies that have supported its effectiveness, see  In 1981, the AMA challenged the proponents of chelation therapy to produce a large-scale, randomized, controlled, clinical trial to prove its safety and effectiveness.  The members of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) led by president Ross Gordon collaborated with Walter Reed Hospital to begin such a study for treatment of peripheral vascular disease in 1987.  Unfortunately, the first Gulf War took the investigators away from the study, and it was not completed.  In 1999, Congressman Dan Burton, Chair of the Committee on Oversight, held a hearing bringing together the head of the Heart, Lung, and Blood section of the National Institutes of Health and several physicians who testified about their experiences with chelation.  NIH subsequently called for proposals, and eventually TACT was funded, with Gervasio Lamas as chief investigator.

TACT was unique in that it combined university research cardiologists and experienced chelation specialists with private offices.  134 sites from the U.S. and Canada participated in the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, clinical trial.  TACT continued for 7 years, and included 1708 patients with documented previous heart attacks who continued to receive evidence-based therapy.  The primary end point was a composite of new cardiac events to include death, heart attack, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, and need for revascularization surgery.  TACT showed that the therapy was unquestionably safe, and the group treated with chelation therapy had fewer cardiac events, which was statistically significant.  The results were announced by Lamas at the American Heart Association meeting on November 4, 2012 in Los Angeles.  Publication of the results is pending.  The authors called for further studies to confirm the results and explore the mechanisms of action.

Where we stand now, according to the Summit

  1. TACT conclusively showed that chelation therapy used according to the recommended protocol is safe.
  2. TACT and the many other studies that proceeded it support the use of chelation therapy as an option for patients with vascular disease, especially for those who also have diabetes and those with a history of anterior wall myocardial infarction.
  3. There is not yet enough evidence to state that chelation therapy should be given to all cardiac patients.  More studies need to be done.  A duplication of TACT would be ideal, as long as it included heavy metal testing.  However, another $30 million to repeat the study might be difficult to find.
  4. Strong consideration should be given to doing a challenge test for heavy metals (especially lead) for all patients with vascular disease.  If high levels are found, the patients should be treated with chelating agents.
  5. Regulatory agencies, such as medical boards, should immediately stop harassing physicians who offer chelation therapy to their patients who give appropriate informed consent.  Physicians who offer chelation therapy have accomplished exactly what the AMA asked them to do in 1981 to justify its use.
  6. Most physicians who offer chelation therapy are happy to serve as consultants for placebo-controlled RCT’s, but are uncomfortable with the ethics of giving placebos to patients who have come to them for help.  Certainly, patients should not be asked to pay to receive placebos, especially for a potentially life-threatening illness.  Physicians who provide chelation are almost always convinced that in their experience the therapy is very effective.
  7. Many chelation doctors feel that their primary goals of showing efficacy and safety with a RCT have been accomplished with TACT.  Gaining FDA approval of EDTA for use in vascular disease is secondary, and they encourage qualified investigators to move in that direction.

Recommendations of the Summit

  1. More research should indeed be done on metal toxicity, free radical pathology, and on various diseases that have been linked to free radical pathology, especially vascular disease.
  2. Chelation doctors do not have the resources to fund or carry out clinical trials, but they do have the expertise to help plan them.
  3. The conditions that are most likely to show benefit with chelation treatment and thus should have the greatest research priority are as follows:
    1. Patients waiting to have limbs amputated due to non-infected vascular disease.  For end points, all that is needed is to count the remaining limbs.  Claus Hancke’s work is most impressive in this regard.

b. Walking distance and A/B index in patients with peripheral vascular disease.  In our experience, a very high percentage of patients improve.  Ffrain Olzsewer and Jim Carter documented this.  There have been a couple of negative studies published on this subject in prominent journals, but they have been seriously flawed. Stephen  Olmstead has written a good research protocol to evaluate chelation treatment for peripheral artery disease that is almost ready to go.  He is willing to share his work with others. Attendees to the summit expressed significant concern that opponents of the therapy might proceed with new studies that are designed to fail, which has happened in the past.

  1. Brachial artery stiffness and other measurements of vulnerable plaque.  Peter van der Schaar is beginning a study on arterial stiffness.
  2. Diabetic patients who have evidence of vascular disease.
  3. Patients who have suffered an anterior wall MI.
  4. Patients who have angina that is difficult to control with drugs.
  5. Macular degeneration.
  6. Patients who have been told that revascularization surgery is an option
  7. Quality of Life measurements should be included in all research projects.  Chelating physicians insist that their patients feel considerably better with long-term treatment, even though the relatively short follow-up in TACT detect significant improvement.
  8. Other areas that are important to study and are likely to show successful outcomes:
    1. Patients with hypertension and elevated lead levels
    2. Arterial intimal thickness and high resolution ultrasound of the carotid arteries (see the work of Robert Bard)
    3. Osteoporosis
    4. Mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease associated with heavy metal toxicity
    5. Autoimmune diseases, especially scleroderma
    6. Fibromyalgia with high levels of toxic metals detected with a challenge test
    7. Diseases that are familiar to the public should be studied in order to raise awareness and support for chelation.
  9. There are many biomarkers in the laboratory that can help examine the mechanisms of action of chelation therapy.  Expert biochemists (Blaurock-Busch, Jaffe, Quig) are happy to consult with investigators as to which ones are most appropriate to utilize in this assessment.
  10. Various combinations of chelating agents, and different doses of such entities as EDTA and vitamin C are important to study.
  11. Chelation therapy is useful to study at all stages, to include

a.     Preventive

b.     Pre-emptive (early signs of disease)

c.     Treatment of established disease

d.     Treatment following revascularization  procedures

e.     Maintenance treatments are very important

  1. Such international lecturers as van der Schaar, Olzsewer, Rozema, Hancke, Dooley, and Godfrey continue to teach physicians on how to use chelation therapy safely and effectively.  Organizations such as ACAM, ICIM, and A4M hold workshops in the United States.  Excellent recent textbooks have been published by van der Schaar and Blaurock-Busch (both are available through the International Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology).  There is a need to move toward consistent protocols and best practices.
  2. Studies must be well-designed and conducted so that clear outcomes can be readily understood and will resonate with a large portion of the population, as well as stimulate Congressional action.
  3. Use of NBMI—a compound being studied by Boyd Haley might turn out

to be a powerful therapeutic modality.


Raising public, political, and media awareness is now essential.  Experienced chelating physicians can help provide solid data to support general understanding of efficacy, mechanisms, and positive outcomes in the treatment of vascular diseases. Registries might be the best way for clinicians to collect data without the constraints of a RCT.  Self-insured corporations, such as Parker-Hannifin are now paying for chelation therapy.  Cooperation among organizations with similar interests, such as ICIM, ACAM, AAEM A4M, ABCMT, IBCMT, and specialized laboratories is strongly encouraged to standardize protocols and set up registries.  This can be done quickly and with minimal expense.  Physicians from around the world should be included.  Experienced chelating physicians can serve as consultants for researchers who are qualified to perform RCTs.  NIH and various foundations are encouraged to fund projects discussed in this paper.  Pollution with heavy metals continues to get worse, and evidence is mounting that their toxicity is an important factor in the development of chronic degenerative diseases.

Chappell: Saving a Million Hearts

Saving a Million Hearts workshop at ICIM

By L. Terry Chappell


In September of 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS)  jointly announced the Million Hearts Initiative(1,2).  The goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.  Other groups such as the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, the American Pharmacy Association, and Walgreen drug stores quickly joined the effort.

Unfortunately, the action plan to achieve this lofty goal as published is likely to fail.  Nevertheless, those of us in Integrative Medicine should embrace the overall goal and use all of our skills to formulate a plan to prevent even more heart attacks and strokes than the efforts put forth by these prestigious organizations.  This article analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the Million Hearts Initiative(MHI) and shows how we can make it dramatically better.

Cardiovascular Disease as the Leading Cause of Death

In the United States there are about 2 million heart attacks and strokes each year with 800,000 fatalities.  Not only is this the leading cause of death, but also the overall medical cost of these diseases is estimated to be $450 billion per year.  From 1980 to 2000 there was a significant reduction in the death rate from cardiovascular disease, most of which was due to lifestyle changes and preventive medicine.  Yet cardiovascular disease is still by far the leading cause of death.  HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, states that heart disease is responsible for one of every three deaths in the U.S.

The MHI Plan to Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

The clinical interventions put forth by the MHI consist of four potential categories of drugs.  The treatment acronym is the ABC’S of prevention:  aspirin for high-risk patients, medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation if needed (varenicline, nicotine patches, etc.).  In addition, the MHI calls for improved nutrition through a reduction in the intake of sodium and trans-fats.  The MHI hopes to coordinate activities with Obama’s Affordable Care Act.  Electronic health records and quality recognition programs offered by both the government and various private insurance plans should also be useful for recruitment of patients to participate.

At present, only 47% of patients at risk take aspirin, 46% have blood pressure under control, and 33% have LDLs below 100.  The specific goals of the MHI are to increase all of these numbers to 65% by 2017.  A fourth clinical goal is to reduce smoking prevalence from 19% to 17%(1).

Emphasizing four interventions that might require drug therapy certainly makes one wonder about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry in this effort. There are at least 30 million people in the U.S. whose blood pressure and/or cholesterol are not under control.  That is a pretty large target population, just with these two factors.  Overall, Forbes estimates that the MHI seeks to put half of our adult population on drugs prescribed by doctors.

One of the strengths of the MHI plan is that it does not depend on intensive care by cardiologists and vascular surgeons.  In fact, several popular blogs written by these specialists have complained that cardiologists are being left out of the campaign.  Perhaps there is a reason for this omission.  The OAT trial(3) in 2006 demonstrated that opening totally occluded arteries with stents after uncomplicated myocardial infarctions involving those vessels actually increased the mortality rate when compared to medical management. Soon afterwards, the COURAGE trial(4) showed that angioplasty and stents for stable coronary artery disease were no more effective than proper medical management.  Before the COURAGE trial, 85% of all stents in the U.S. were surgically placed in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Both of these important studies have been virtually ignored in clinical practice.  Vascular specialists continue to place unnecessary stents in many patients each year.  A recent JAMA editorial(5) described this practice as an “expensive placebo”.   The authors further commented that “some entire medical subspecialties (might be) based on little evidence”.  No doubt there are valid indications for revascularization procedures and complex drug therapy.  Cardiologists are necessary.  Many of them would be more effective, however, if they focused more on nutritional biochemistry.

Of great interest is the study by Canto and associates(6) that analyzed 542,008 patients who had heart attacks from 1994 to 2006.  For those patients who suffered their first heart attack, the in-hospital mortality was inversely proportional to the number of traditional risk factors that were identified.  The risk factors they examined were hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and family history of heart disease.  Obviously, other factors were contributing to the increased mortality for these patients.  If we are to succeed, we must do a more thorough job of identifying risk factors and modifying them safely.

Criticism of the MHI Plan

The most obvious deficit in the MHI plan is that it does not include three commonly recognized lifestyle factors for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: regular exercise, stress coping measures, and weight reduction if needed.  Exercise alone is probably more effective than any drug one can take.  By excluding these important lifestyle factors it becomes highly unlikely that the MHI will succeed in real life.

The MHI appropriately states that we must reduce trans-fats and sodium in our diets, but it could do much more.  At the very least, patients at risk should avoid foods that are high in the glycemic index, aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and fried foods.  We also could eat organic raw veggies as much as possible.  The use of unrefined salt would add beneficial trace minerals.  Not surprisingly, the potential benefits of nutritional and herbal supplements are not mentioned in the MHI.

Diabetes is another prominent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  Weight control and low carbohydrate diets are important for prevention and treatment of diabetes.  Diet, exercise and supplements are often sufficient to achieve control of Type 2 disease without medications.

Poverty and inequality are factors that have been shown to increase cardiovascular disease.  Not only do these factors cause economic stress, but they also result in poor quality food and increased smoking as a stress-coping measure.  Such socioeconomic factors make it more difficult for the ABC’S of the MHI to succeed.  A more comprehensive approach as I describe is required to overcome the twin risk factors of poverty and inequality.

The MHI is careful to note that aspirin and statin drugs for cholesterol management are to be used only for high-risk patients.  However, that might serve to be the “fine print” that nobody reads.  Recent reports show that for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease the “number needed to treat” to prevent one heart attack with aspirin is 163 and for statin drugs is 200(7).  The “number needed to harm” for both of these interventions is much lower.  Thus the use of these drugs for primary prevention is highly questionable.  However, many physicians still prescribe them when not indicated, which is a waste of resources and the potential source of serious complications.

If we are going to succeed in saving a million hearts with our current socioeconomic and lifestyle stresses and our failure to change our therapies in response to definitive evidence, we should look at additional risk factors, especially ones whose remedies are much less likely to cause complications than the proposed drugs.  We should emphasize powerful lifestyle changes and safe, optimal supplements instead of diverting our attention toward aspirin, anti-hypertensive drugs, and statins. For this, we can rely on and offer our patients the insights and experience of integrative medicine.

Let’s Get Serious About Saving a Million Hearts

Obviously, we cannot save a million hearts and strokes all by ourselves.  But we can save way more than our share.  First, we should identify the hearts that need saving (although the case can be made that all hearts need saving).  We can determine if patients’ hearts are at risk mostly by performing a history and physical exam and gathering basic lab and other tests, some of which might have been previously been performed.  If patients have a history of documented vascular disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, smoking in the previous 5 years, or a family history of heart attacks or strokes, they automatically qualify.

Computerized risk assessments, usually based on the Framingham Risk Assessment, might or might not be helpful.  They provide striking graphic displays that demonstrate the effect of improving basic risk factors.  However, they don’t include the cumulative effect of a comprehensive risk factor plan like we are discussing.  If patients are at least 50 years old or the physician suspects high-risk lifestyles, one or more screening tests to determine if they are beginning to develop plaque in their arteries is indicated.  If a resting EKG has non-specific ST/T-wave changes, their heart might be at risk.  A stress EKG can have false positives and false negatives, especially in women.  A stress echocardiogram is more accurate in females.  An ultra-fast CT scan for calcium score is a good screening test.  A carotid intima media thickness(CIMT) ultrasound test by CardioRisk( is also a very sensitive screening test that can be done by that company periodically in your office.  The ankle/brachial index is a reasonable screen for peripheral artery disease, although not very sensitive, in my experience.  If positive, however, there is an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.

If we determine that a patient is at risk, a comprehensive cardiovascular risk factor evaluation is indicated.  For our patients who join the MHI, we often recommend a VAP cholesterol panel, including Lp(a)(8), HbA1C, ferritin, fibrinogen, CRPsensitive, red cell magnesium, 25 [OH] vitamin D3(9), and homocysteine test.  Virtually all of these tests and more are included in a comprehensive cardiovascular blood panel.  Two companies that offer such panels are Doctors Data( and Atherotech(  We also do a EDTA challenge test for heavy metals, with special attention to lead(10).  If available, heart rate variability testing frequently detects high sympathetic activity that is not balanced by parasympathetic output, even when the patient is unaware of excessive stress.   A saliva test strip for nitric oxide ( can detect low NO levels, which theoretically at least, can be improved with nutritional support.  Other tests for nutritional factors can certainly be ordered, but they are beyond the scope of this article.

In our report of findings, we estimate how much risk we think each patient has and how we feel we can improve that risk with various interventions.  Our individual patient data base is considerably larger than that of the MHI.  Our recommended treatment interventions include more aggressive lifestyle measures, nutritional supplements, herbal therapies, and other treatments as indicated.

Integrative Treatment Plan

Start with the ABC’S.  Instead of or in addition to aspirin, to reduce platelet aggregation, we can use fish oils, garlic, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols especially gamma), nattokinase, and/or lumbokinase.  Donating blood several times a year is another way to decrease blood viscosity.  One study showed an 88% reduction in the risk for myocardial infarction for 153 middle-aged men who donated blood in the previous 24 months(11)  That study has been criticized, but a more recent study(12) delineated a more complex mechanism and confirmed that blood donation might reduce the risk of vascular disease.  In addition to reduced blood viscosity, the resulting decrease in elevated ferritins substantially lowered free radical activity.  Rheologics (610-524-5427) makes a machine that measures blood viscosity.

The blood pressure might respond to garlic, potassium, magnesium, and other phytonutrients.  I have found rauwolfia with sandalwood and other herbs(BP Natural Relief) to be particularly effective(  Weight loss can often lower the blood pressure significantly. These measures might be sufficient by themselves, or they can be used in conjunction with medications to achieve good control.

For cholesterol, HDL, and LDL management, low carbs appears to be the most effective diet(13), especially if the triglycerides are high.  But this remains controversial.  The DASH, LEARN, Ornish and Mediterranean diets are alternatives.  Red yeast is a natural statin that can effectively lower cholesterol and LDL, with much fewer side effects than the drugs.  As with statin drugs, the main beneficial effect from red yeast rice might be to reduce arterial inflammation rather than to reduce LDL.  Always replace coenzymeQ10 when prescribing any kind of statin.  Both muscle inflammation and congestive heart failure have been attributed to low levels of coQ10, which is depleted by the statins.  Fish oils can help reduce cholesterol and so can cinnamon, niacin, berberine, and lecithin.  Intravenous essential phospholipids from lecithin have been used in Europe to treat coronary artery disease.  Proteolytic enzymes might also be effective to reduce inflammation.  Food allergies can be important, especially gluten and casein sensitivity.  A therapeutic trial of an elimination diet can be very helpful.

To stop smoking, hypnosis and acupuncture are somewhat effective. The medication varenicline(Chantix) might have its place, but the incidence of side effects is troubling.

For better fitness compliance an exercise prescription is mandatory, depending on the physical capacities of patients.  People often need to have specific goals to get the best results.  Al Sears’ PACE program with brief periods of intense exercise makes sense to me.  It is backed by the Harvard Professional Lifestyle Study(14).  Adequate fitness, however, can usually be achieved by walking for 30 minutes 5 days per week.

Always be aware of how important stress can be for cardiovascular disease.

One of the best-documented treatment programs is Heart Math(15), which is a home tutorial using biofeedback.  Yoga, meditation, progressive relaxation, visualization, deep breathing, emotional freedom technique, prayer and acupressure are procedures that can be utilized.  All patients in the MHI should form a plan to improve their stress-coping activities, especially if their heart rate variability results are abnormal.

Nutrient deficiencies are frequently detected with the comprehensive cardiovascular risk profile, particularly magnesium.  Antioxidants are indicated if an increased amount of oxidized LDL is detected.  Linus Pauling’s admonition to treat patients who have elevated Lp(a) levels with vitamin C, proline, and lysine still rings true.  The optimal level of 25 [OH] Vitamin D3 is 60-100 ng/ml, although the listed normal is usually as low as 30 ng/ml.  Calcium might be given to lower the risk of osteoporosis or colon cancer, but always balance it with at least half of the milligram dose of magnesium.  Do not prescribe the ultra-high doses of 1500-2000 mg of calcium a day.  Studies have shown that high-dose calcium can lead to calcification of the arteries.  Coenzyme Q10, d-ribose, and l-carnitine are helpful adjuncts, especially for congestive heart failure and fatigue.  Medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil are useful to preserve brain function.  The herb, apoaequorin(Prevagen) is particularly good to preserve memory, in my experience.  The physician formulation of apoaequorin is four times as strong as the product available over-the-counter.

For many years, integrative physicians have found intravenous EDTA chelation therapy to be very effective in treating and preventing cardiovascular disease.  This is especially true if a build-up of toxic metals is detected.  Lead is the best-documented toxic heavy metal(10).  It has been linked to heart disease, cancer and autoimmune problems.  If mercury is found, DMPS or DMSA might be needed in addition to EDTA.  The published intravenous EDTA protocol appears to be effective, even if heavy metals are not found.  The author and associates demonstrated a dramatic decrease in subsequent cardiac events in high-risk patients who had received chelation therapy(16).  The results of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) are due to be published this summer.

An under-appreciated advantage of enrolling a patient in a course of chelation therapy is that the treatments are given once or twice a week during the basic course.  That means that each week, the nurse has a teaching opportunity to reinforce diet, exercise, stress-coping, supplement compliance, and habit control, all of which are important for saving hearts.  Our staff helps the patient set goals and identify barriers to reaching the goals.  As with any class or program, repetition is key.  It often helps to bring a friend.  When patients share their experiences and goals with others, results can be better than trying to follow the program by themselves.  Group visits to deal with risk factors and lifestyle might be a useful service to offer.

Monitoring and maintenance are two key concepts for a successful program.  The risk factors identified must be monitored often enough to assure that interventions are effective.  Too often the patient and the physician identify risk factors, correct them temporarily, but fail to be sure that the factors remain under control.  Non-invasive vascular tests should be repeated to monitor progress.  Lab biomarkers should be repeated at specified intervals.  The CIMT and the heart rate variability are particularly good monitoring tests.  However, the ultra-fast CT scan is not.

A summary of the integrative approach in seven steps is outlined in Table 1.

Research and New Frontiers

Several avenues of research are currently taking place, including genomics, molecular targeting, stem cell biology, and regenerative medicine(17).  Both conventional and integrative medicine are active in these areas of interest.  Progress is anticipated within the five-year target period of the MHI.  For example, stem cells harvested from autologous bone marrow are being tested to treat myocardial infarction(18).  Initial results were not impressive, but the authors were optimistic that revisions in protocol might yield better results.  Mikirova and associates(19) recently showed that chelation of heavy metals improved the number of stem/progenitor cells in circulation.  Our version of the MHI should be a fluid plan that can be improved as new evidence emerges.

One criticism of integrative medicine is that there are few large clinical trials to support the therapies that are utilized.  Harvard professors Groopman and Hartzband in their book, Your Medical Mind (7), point out that too often the larger the clinical trial, the less significant the results.  Their reason is that it takes a large study to have sufficient statistical significance to prove a minimal effect.  Smaller studies with larger effects are often more useful.

On March 31, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky, the International College of Integrative Medicine will hold a forum on the Million Hearts Initiative for clinicians experienced in the use of chelation therapy and other integrative techniques.  Round table discussions by the experts will explore further the ideas presented in this article.  Readers are invited to attend.  The proceedings will be published in the Townsend Letter.


How much effort is required to prevent a heart attack or a stroke?  How about a million heart attacks and strokes?  We applaud the conventional medical community and government for setting the MHI as a lofty goal.  Unfortunately, it is unlikely that goal will be reached with the plan that has been put forth.  On the other hand, utilizing a comprehensive, integrative approach, we can make a huge impact for those one million individual hearts and brains that we want to save.  Not infrequently, hypertension and hyperlipidemia can be controlled by detoxification of heavy metals, exercise, a healthy diet and stress management without the use of medications that might cause more adverse affects than beneficial ones.  Nutritional and herbal supplements, as needed, can be added with greater safety than many medications, with similar benefits.

Patients must be presented with all the evidence in an unbiased manner.  Then it is their responsibility to choose the therapies that suit them best. Individual treatment plans are more effective than rigid guidelines.  Our goal is to reduce their chances of having heart attacks or strokes over the long term to the lowest incidence possible.  With this effort, I am confident that we will prevent many heart attacks and strokes, while helping patients live longer.  Many patients will have a better quality of life as well.  Let’s start immediately, by providing comprehensive plans for our patients and letting the word spread, wide and far.


  1. New public-private sector initiative aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in five years.  Accessed 1/19/12.
  2. Frieden TR, Berwick DM.  The “million hearts” initiative—preventing heart attacks and strokes.  N Engl J Med 2011;365:e27. September 29, 2011.
  3. Hockman JS, Lamas GA, Buller CE,  Coronary intervention after persistent occlusion after myocardial infarction.  N Engl J Med 2006; 355:2395-2407.
  4. Boden WE, O’Rourke RA, Teo KK,  COURAGE trial research group.  Optimal medical therapy with or without PCI for stable coronary disease. N Engl J Med 2007;356:1503-1516.
  5. Prasad V, Cifu A, Ioannides JP.  Reversals of established medical practices: evidence to abandon ship.  JAMA 2012;307:37-38.
  6. Canto JG, Kiefe CI, Rogers WJ,  Number of coronary risk factors and mortality in patients with first myocardial infarction.  JAMA 2011;306:2120-2127.
  7. Groopman J, Hartzband P.  Your Medical Mind.  New York: The Penguin Press; 2011.
  8. McAna JF, Goldfarb NI, Couto J,  Improved cardiac management with a disease management program incorporating comprehensive lipid profiling.  Population Health Management 2011;15:1-6.
  9. Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL,  Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2008;117:503-511.
  10. Menke A, Muntaer P. Batuman V.,  Blood lead below 0.48 micromol/L (10 microg/dL) and mortality among U.S. adults.  Circulation 2006;114:1388-1394.
  11. Meyers DG, Strickland D, Maloly PA,  Possible association of a reduction in cardiovascular events with blood donation.  Heart 1997;78:188-193.
  12. Zheng H, Cable R, Spencer B, Iron stores and vascular function in voluntary blood donors.  Arterioscler Thromb Vascular Biol 2005;25:1577-1583.
  13. Gardner CD, Kiazand A Alhassen S,  Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women. JAMA 2007;297:969-977.
  14. Walking: your steps to health.   Accessed 1/19/12.
  15.  Lemaire JB, Wallace JE, Lewin AM, The effect of a biofeedback-based stress management tool on physician stress: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.  Open Medicine 2011;5:154-162.
  16. Chappell LT, Shukla R, Yang J, Subsequent cardiac and stroke events in patients with known vascular disease treated with EDTA chelation therapy. Evid Based Integrative Med 2005;2:27-35.
  17.  Nabel EG, Braunwald E.  A tale of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med 2012;366:54-63.
  18.  Hare JM.  Bone marrow therapy for myocardial infarction. JAMA 2011;306:


  1. Mikirova N,  Casciari J, Hunninghake R.  Efficacy of oral DMSA and intravenous EDTA in chelation of toxic metals and improvement of the number of stem/progenitor cells in circulation.  Translational Biomedicine 2011;2.  Available from http:www,



Schwartz: Chelation Therapy is Not a Placebo


By Ken Schwartz
Reprinted from the Townsend Letter with permission


Establishment physicians generally allege that patients who report feeling better and apparently act as though improved, are experiencing a placebo effect. There are several facts that invalidate this alleged explanation:

1. Typically, the chelation patient comes to the chelating physician as a last resort. He has received little or no relief previously. If the reported behavioral improvement is a placebo effect, how come it did not occur while under the care of previous physicians? Since the placebo effect is hypothesized to be linked to the confidence the patient has in his physician, and since in general, a patient will visit that physician first in whom he has the greatest confidence, then we would logically expect the placebo effect to be most likely to occur while under the care of the first physician, and least likely to occur when under the care of the last physician. By the way, let us note that rarely does the establishment physician attribute beneficial results to the placebo effect rather than the modalities he employs.

2. True placebo effects generally occur after the first application of a treatment. But very seldom do chelation patients report feeling better and improved physical performance after the first treatment. Very often a patient will have 10, 15 or 20 treatments before reporting a beneficial result. Such cases can only rarely, if at all, be attributed to a placebo effect.

3. The extremely dramatic results, such as a patient not being able to cross a room without puffing, and improving to being able to chop wood all day (I know cases of that sort) cannot plausibly be explained as a placebo effect.

4. Many patients have stopped treatment after 20 or so chelations without experiencing improvement, only to feel better sometime after ceasing chelation. It stretches credulity too far to believe that such cases could be placebo effects.

5. In some instances (my own is one example), the patient experiences benefit after a course of treatments only to have symptoms return several months after, but with a further series, the symptoms again clear. Hardly a placebo effect.

6. My reading of the literature discloses that rarely is the placebo effect reported as occurring beyond the 30%-35% range. But it is not unusual for chelating physicians to obtain benefits varying from slight to dramatic above 70%. To attribute to placebo effect such a high rate of success again stretches credulity.

Reprinted from the Port Townsend Health Letter—Spring 1989

Maile Pouls, PhD: Oral Chelation and Nutritional Replacement Therapy for Chemical & Heavy Metal Toxicity and Cardiovascular Disease

maileby Maile Pouls, Ph.D. Director of Research for Extreme Health

It is said there is a blessing within every misfortune. Sixteen years ago, chronic mercury exposure and attendant nutritional deficiencies nearly killed me. While it was happening, I viewed this terrible experience and the years I spent trying to regain my health as an unmitigated disaster. I have since discovered the gift of the misfortune.

The “disaster” occurred while I was working as a dental hygienist, which I did from 1967 to 1983. At that time, protective masks were not standard practice in the dental field, and the health risk involved in polishing silver-mercury amalgam fillings was not recognized. When dental fillings are polished, they emit small amounts of mercury, which can be both absorbed through the skin and inhaled by the dentist or hygienist, as well as the patient. Mercury is a known neuro- and immunotoxin.

In 1983, I developed alarming symptoms that rapidly worsened and multiplied until I was completely disabled. What began as mild dizziness and fatigue progressed to extreme symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis (MS): visual disturbances, pain, tremors, jerky movements in my limbs, constant low-grade fever, weight loss of 50 pounds, and extreme exhaustion. I went from one M.D. to another in an attempt to obtain a diagnosis, but no one could determine what was going wrong or how to treat me.

Through my own search in medical journals and textbooks, I discovered that my symptoms matched those of mercury poisoning. I consulted a naturopath who ran a hair analysis. My suspicions were confirmed—I had an extremely high level of mercury in my body. Only after years of perseverance and a variety of therapeutic measures (including removal of all of my mercury-amalgam fillings, colon and liver detoxification, and specific nutritional supplements) was I able to reclaim my health.

My experience created a passion in me for investigating healing modalities, especially in the area of heavy metal detoxification and nutritional supplements. I pursued further education in the nutrition field and embarked on research that led me to an understanding of the connections between toxins (particularly heavy metals) in our environment and food and water supply, nutritional deficiencies, and health problems, including degenerative conditions such as heart disease.

The blessing in my misfortune came with this path of investigation, which enabled me to design a program to help people recover from heavy metal toxicity and restore and maintain their cardiovascular health. The program is based on oral chelation and nutritional replenishment formulas I developed, and which are proving effective in preliminary clinical trials.

The Heavy Metal Hazard
Some metals are naturally found in the body and are essential to human health. Iron, for example, prevents anemia, and zinc is a cofactor in over 100 enzyme reactions. They normally occur at low concentrations and are known as trace metals. In high doses, they may be toxic to the body or produce deficiencies in other trace metals; for example, high levels of zinc can result in a deficiency of copper, another metal required by the body.

Heavy or toxic metals are trace metals with a density at least five times that of water. As such, they are stable elements (meaning they cannot be metabolized by the body) and bio-accumulative (passed up the food chain to humans). These include: mercury, nickel, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, platinum, and copper (the metallic form versus the ionic form required by the body).1 Heavy metals have no function in the body and can be highly toxic.

Once liberated into the environment through the air, drinking water, food, or countless human-made chemicals and products, heavy metals are taken into the body via inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption.2 If heavy metals enter and accumulate in body tissues faster than the body’s detoxification pathways can dispose of them, a gradual buildup of these toxins will occur.3 High-concentration exposure is not necessary to produce a state of toxicity in the body, as heavy metals accumulate in body tissues and, over time, can reach toxic concentration levels.

Heavy metal exposure is not an entirely modern phenomenon: historians have cited the contamination of wine and grape drinks by lead-lined jugs and cooking pots as a contributing factor in the “decline and fall” of the Roman Empire;4 and the Mad Hatter character in Alice in Wonderland was likely modeled after nineteenth-century hat makers who used mercury to stiffen hat material and frequently became psychotic from mercury toxicity.

Human exposure to heavy metals has risen dramatically in the last 50 years, however, as a result of an exponential increase in the use of heavy metals in industrial processes and products. Today, chronic exposure comes from mercury-amalgam dental fillings, lead in paint and tap water, chemical residues in processed foods, and “personal care” products (cosmetics, shampoo and other hair products, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap). In today’s industrial society, there is no escaping exposure to toxic chemicals and metals.

In addition to the hazards at home and outdoors, many occupations involve daily heavy metal exposure. Over 50 professions entail exposure to mercury alone. These include physicians, pharmaceutical workers, any dental occupation, laboratory workers, hairdressers, painters, printers, welders, metalworkers, cosmetic workers, battery makers, engravers, photographers, visual artists, and potters.5

In my clinical nutrition practice, when I discuss with patients my concerns regarding heavy metal toxicity, I often get the response, “That isn’t a problem for me.” Most are astonished to learn that we are all being exposed to and absorbing these harmful substances to some degree in our daily lives. The astonishment turns to alarm when they hear what heavy metals do in the body.

The Effects of Heavy Metal Toxicity
Studies confirm that heavy metals can directly influence behavior by impairing mental and neurological function, influencing neurotransmitter production and utilization, and altering numerous metabolic body processes. Systems in which toxic metal elements can induce impairment and dysfunction include the blood and cardiovascular, detoxification pathways (colon, liver, kidneys, skin), endocrine (hormonal), energy production pathways, enzymatic, gastrointestinal, immune, nervous (central and peripheral), reproductive, and urinary.6

Breathing heavy metal particles, even at levels well below those considered nontoxic, can have serious health effects. Virtually all aspects of animal and human immune system function are compromised by the inhalation of heavy metal particulates.7 In addition, toxic metals can increase allergic reactions, cause genetic mutation, compete with “good” trace metals for biochemical bond sites, and act as antibiotics, killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria.8

Much of the damage produced by toxic metals stems from the proliferation of oxidative free radicals they cause. A free radical is an energetically unbalanced molecule, composed of an unpaired electron, that “steals” an electron from another molecule to restore its balance. Free radicals result naturally when cell molecules react with oxygen (oxidation) but, with a heavy toxic load or existing antioxidant deficiencies, uncontrolled free-radical production occurs. Unchecked, free radicals can cause tissue damage throughout the body; free-radical damage underlies all degenerative diseases. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E curtail free-radical activity.

Heavy metals can also increase the acidity of the blood. The body draws calcium from the bones to help restore the proper blood pH. Further, toxic metals set up conditions that lead to inflammation in arteries and tissues, causing more calcium to be drawn to the area as a buffer. The calcium coats the inflamed areas in the blood vessels like a bandage, patching up one problem but creating another, namely the hardening of the artery walls and progressive blockage of the arteries. Without replenishment of calcium, the constant removal of this important mineral from the bones will result in osteoporosis (loss of bone density leading to brittle bones).

Current studies indicate that even minute levels of toxic elements have negative health consequences, however, these vary from person to person. Nutritional status, metabolic rate, the integrity of detoxification pathways (ability to detoxify toxic substances), and the mode and degree of heavy metal exposure all affect how an individual responds. Children and the elderly, whose immune systems are either underdeveloped or age-compromised, are more vulnerable to toxicity.9

Common Heavy Metals: Sources and Specific Effects
Aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel are the most prevalent heavy metals. The specific sources of exposure, body tissues in which the metal tends to be deposited, and health effects of each metal are identified below.

1. Aluminum
Sources of exposure: Aluminum cookware, aluminum foil, antacids, antiperspirants, baking powder (aluminum containing), buffered aspirin, canned acidic foods, food additives, lipstick, medications and drugs (anti-diarrheal agents, hemorrhoid medications, vaginal douches), processed cheese, “softened” water, and tap water.

Target tissues: Bones, brain, kidneys and stomach.

Signs and Symptoms: Colic, dementia, esophagitis, gastroenteritis, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, loss of balance, muscle pain, psychosis, shortness of breath, and weakness.

Among the patients I see in my practice, the highest aluminum exposure is most frequently due to the chronic consumption of aluminum-containing antacid products. Research shows that aluminum builds up in the body over time; thus, the health hazard to older people is greater.

D.R. McLaughlin, M.D., F.R.C.P. (C), professor of physiology and medicine and director of the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto, states, “Concentrations of aluminum that are toxic to many biochemical processes are found in at least ten human neurological conditions.”10 Recent studies suggest that aluminum contributes to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, senile and presenile dementia, clumsiness of movements, staggering when walking, and inability to pronounce words properly.11 Behavioral difficulties among schoolchildren have also been correlated with elevated levels of aluminum and other neurotoxic heavy metals.

2. Arsenic
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, antibiotics given to commercial livestock, certain marine plants, chemical processing, coal-fired power plants, defoliants, drinking water, drying agents for cotton, fish, herbicides, insecticides, meats (from commercially raised poultry and cattle), metal ore smelting, pesticides, seafood (fish, mussels, oysters), specialty glass, and wood preservatives.

Target tissues: Most organs of the body, especially the gastrointestinal system, lungs, and skin.

Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, burning of the mouth and throat, cancer (especially lung and skin), coma, diarrhea, nausea, neuritis, peripheral vascular problems, skin lesions, and vascular collapse.

The greatest dangers from chronic arsenic exposure are lung and skin cancers and gradual poisoning, most frequently from living near metal smelting plants or arsenic factories.

3. Cadmium
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, art supplies, bone meal, cigarette smoke, food (coffee, fruits, grains, and vegetables grown in cadmium-laden soil, meats [kidneys, liver, poultry], or refined foods), freshwater fish, fungicides, highway dusts, incinerators, mining, nickel-cadmium batteries, oxide dusts, paints, phosphate fertilizers, power plants, seafood (crab, flounder, mussels, oysters, scallops), sewage sludge, “softened” water, smelting plants, tobacco and tobacco smoke, and welding fumes.

Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers (in brain), brain, heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs.

Signs and Symptoms: Anemia, dry and scaly skin, emphysema, fatigue, hair loss, heart disease, depressed immune system response, hypertension, joint pain, kidney stones or damage, liver dysfunction or damage, loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell, lung cancer, pain in the back and legs, and yellow teeth.

Current studies are attempting to determine if cadmium-induced bone and kidney damage can be prevented (or made less likely) by adequate calcium, protein (amino acids), vitamin D, and zinc in the diet.12

4. Lead
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, ammunition (shot and bullets), bathtubs (cast iron, porcelain, steel), batteries, canned foods, ceramics, chemical fertilizers, cosmetics, dolomite, dust, foods grown around industrial areas, gasoline, hair dyes and rinses, leaded glass, newsprint and colored advertisements, paints, pesticides, pewter, pottery, rubber toys, soft coal, soil, solder, tap water, tobacco smoke, and vinyl ‘mini-blinds’.

Target tissues: Bones, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, nervous system, and pancreas.

Signs and Symptoms: Abdominal pain, anemia, anorexia, anxiety, bone pain, brain damage, confusion, constipation, convulsions, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, hypertension, inability to concentrate, indigestion, irritability, loss of appetite, loss of muscle coordination, memory difficulties, miscarriage, muscle pain, pallor, tremors, vomiting, and weakness.

The toxicity of lead is widely acknowledged. The greatest risk for harm, even with only minute or short-term exposure, is to infants, young children, and pregnant women. A federal study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) in 1984 estimated that three to four million American children have an unacceptably high level of lead in their blood. Dr. Suzanne Binder, a CDCP official, stated, “Many people believed that when lead paint was banned from housing [in 1978], and lead was cut from gasoline [in the late 1970s], lead-poisoning problems disappeared, but they’re wrong. We know that throughout the country children of all races, and ethnicities and income levels are being affected by lead [already in the environment].”13 In their book, ‘Toxic Metal Syndrome’, Dr.’s R. Casdorph and M. Walker report that over 4 million tons of lead is mined each year and existing environmental lead levels are at least 500 times greater than pre-historic levels.

In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that more than one million elementary schools, high schools, and colleges are still using lead-lined water storage tanks or lead-containing components in their drinking fountains.14 The EPA estimates that drinking water accounts for approximately 20% of young children’s lead exposure.15 Other common sources are lead paint residue in older buildings (as in inner cities) and living in proximity to industrial areas or other sources of toxic chemical exposure, such as commercial agricultural land. All children born in the U.S. today have measurable traces of pesticides, a source of heavy metals and chlorine-based chemicals, in their tissues.16

Lead is a known neurotoxin (kills brain cells), and excessive blood lead levels in children have been linked to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperactivity syndromes, and reduced intelligence and school achievement scores.17

5. Mercury
Sources of exposure: Air pollution, batteries, cosmetics, dental amalgams, diuretics (mercurial), electrical devices and relays, explosives, foods (grains), fungicides, fluorescent lights, freshwater fish (especially large bass, pike, and trout), insecticides, mining, paints, pesticides, petroleum products, saltwater fish (especially large halibut, shrimp, snapper, and swordfish), shellfish, and tap water.

Target tissues: Appetite and pain centers in the brain, cell membranes, kidneys, and nervous system (central and peripheral).

Signs and Symptoms: Abnormal nervous and physical development (fetal and childhood), anemia, anorexia, anxiety, blood changes, blindness, blue line on gums, colitis, depression, dermatitis, difficulty chewing and swallowing, dizziness, drowsiness, emotional instability, fatigue, fever, hallucinations, headache, hearing loss, hypertension, inflamed gums, insomnia, kidney damage or failure, loss of appetite and sense of smell, loss of muscle coordination, memory loss, metallic taste in mouth, nerve damage, numbness, psychosis, salivation, stomatitis, tremors, vision impairment, vomiting, weakness, and weight loss.

The primary source of exposure to mercury is “silver” dental fillings (approximately 50% mercury when placed); over 225 million Americans have these fillings in their teeth.18 Mercury fillings release microscopic particles and vapors of mercury every time a person chews. Vapors are inhaled while particles are absorbed by tooth roots, mucous membranes of the mouth and gums, and the stomach lining.

In people with mercury amalgam fillings, measurements of the mercury level in the mouth ranges between 20 and 400 mcg/m3. Keep in mind that this is continuous exposure. The National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health places the safe limit of environmental exposure to mercury at 20 mcg/m3, but that is assuming a weekly exposure of 40 hours (the workweek) and the mercury involved is outside the body.19 The Environmental Protection Agency’s allowable limit for continuous mercury exposure is 1 mcg/m3 but, again, that is based on mercury sources outside the body.20 Neither figure addresses 24-hour-a-day exposure from mercury in one’s mouth.

Hal Huggins, D.D.S., a specialist in the effect of mercury amalgams on health, reports that 90% of the 7,000 patients he tested showed immune system reactivity from exposure to low levels of mercury. In 1984, the American Dental Association (ADA), without providing scientific evidence, claimed that only 5% of the U.S. population is reactive to mercury exposure, and that this figure is insignificant. Meanwhile, the ADA mandates that dentists alert all dental personnel to the potential hazards of inhaling mercury vapors.21 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) goes further, instructing dentists to treat mercury amalgam as a toxic material while handling before insertion, and as toxic waste after removal.22

Mark S. Hulet, D.D.S., who conducts research on amalgam fillings, wrote a pamphlet for his patients, in which he cites five categories of pathological reaction to mercury fillings, as identified by dentists, doctors, and toxicologists. The categories are:

• Neurological: emotional manifestations (depression, suicidal impulses, irritability, inability to cope) and motor symptoms (muscle spasms, facial tics, seizures, multiple sclerosis)

• Cardiovascular problems: nonspecific chest pain, accelerated heart beat

• Collagen diseases: arthritis, bursitis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosis

• Immune system diseases: compromised immunity

• Allergies: Airborne allergies, food allergies, and “universal” reactors.

One of the keys to mercury’s effects on health may be its ability to block the functioning of manganese, a key mineral required for physiological reactions in all five categories, notes Dr. Hulet.23

6. Nickel
Sources of exposure: Appliances, buttons, ceramics, cocoa, cold-wave hair permanent, cooking utensils, cosmetics, coins, dental materials, food (chocolate, hydrogenated oils, nuts, food grown near industrial areas), hair spray, industrial waste, jewelry, medical implants, metal refineries, metal tools, nickel-cadmium batteries, orthodontic appliances, shampoo, solid-waste incinerators, stainless steel kitchen utensils, tap water, tobacco and tobacco smoke, water faucets and pipes, and zippers.

Target tissues: Areas of skin exposure, larynx (voice box), lungs, and nasal passages.

Signs and Symptoms: Apathy, blue-colored lips, cancer (especially lung, nasal, and larynx), contact dermatitis, diarrhea, fever, headaches, dizziness, gingivitis, insomnia, nausea, rapid heart rate, skin rashes (redness, itching, blisters), shortness of breath, stomatitis, and vomiting.

The greatest danger from chronic nickel exposure is lung, nasal, or larynx cancers, and gradual poisoning from accidental or chronic low-level exposure, the risk of which is greatest for those living near metal smelting plants, solid waste incinerators, or old nickel refineries.24

How can we Protect Ourselves from Heavy Metals?
Logic dictates that, once the potential harm from heavy metals is understood, their production and use should be phased out and toxic storage heavily regulated. As is obvious from the list of exposure sources above, logic is not the guiding principle here, except in the case of lead, the use of which has been curtailed.

Even if all heavy metal production were to stop today, however, enough heavy metals have been released into our environment to cause chronic poisoning and numerous neurological diseases for generations to come. There are presently 600,000 toxic waste contamination sites in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Of these, less than 900 have been proposed by the EPA for Superfund cleanup and approximately 19,000 others are under review. While some of these toxic messes were likely caused by accidents or ignorance, the majority came from illegal dumping by hazardous product or waste distributors, manufacturers, transportation companies, or waste management companies.25 Such practices have not ceased, as focus on profit continues to override concerns about health, the environment, and a more promising future for all of our children.

With the government doing little or moving very slowly to protect the public from the hazards of heavy metals, it is up to individuals to take measures to protect themselves. According to conventional medicine, there is nothing a person can do to address aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, or nickel exposure, aside from avoiding known sources. Given the prevalence of these toxins in our lives, this is impossible.

Fortunately, there is a way to get these harmful substances out of the body. Intravenous and oral chelation, detoxification protocols, and specific nutritional therapies can remove heavy metals and chemical toxins and reduce the toxic load our bodies endure on a daily basis.

The Chelation Solution
Chelating (pronounced key-layting) agents are substances which can chemically bond with, or chelate (from the Greek chele, claw), metals, minerals, or chemical toxins from the body. The chelating agent actually encircles a mineral or metal ion and carries it from the body via the urine and feces.26 Many organic acids found in the body or in foods can act as chelating agents, including acetic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, and lactic acid. Natural chelation processes in the body are responsible for such things as the digestion, assimilation, and transport of food nutrients, the formation of enzymes and hormones, and detoxification of toxic chemicals and metals.27

Intravenous chelation therapy involves injecting the chelating agent EDTA into the bloodstream for the purpose of eliminating from the body undesirable substances such as heavy metals, chemical toxins, mineral deposits, and fatty plaques (as in the arteries; the agent binds to the calcium in the plaques). EDTA (ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid) is an effective and widely studied chelating agent. It cannot chelate mercury, however, DMSA and DMPS, the chemicals which work intravenously to chelate mercury, are not approved by the FDA.

EDTA is a synthetic amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) and is approximately one third as toxic to the body as aspirin.28 Chelation therapy with EDTA was first introduced into medicine in the United States in 1948 as a treatment for the lead poisoning of workers in a battery factory. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Navy advocated chelation for sailors who had absorbed lead while painting government ships and facilities. The FDA approved IV EDTA chelation as a treatment for lead poisoning.

Physicians administering the chelation for lead toxicity observed that patients who also had atherosclerosis (fatty-plaque buildup on arterial walls) or arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) experienced reductions in both conditions after chelation.29 Since 1952, IV EDTA chelation has been used to treat cardiovascular disease.30

Over 1,800 scientific journal articles have been published on the use of EDTA in intravenous (IV) chelation. In the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of patients have received this therapy, as delivered by over 1,000 physicians in approximately 3,300,000 IV infusions. EDTA’s success rate in increasing blood circulation is 82%, provided the patients received sufficient chelation.31

How Chelation Aids Cardiovascular Health
Chelation reduces calcium plaques on arterial walls. These atherosclerotic plaques are not limited to arteries nearest the heart. On the contrary, they are widespread and can affect blood flow (oxygen delivery) to every cell, tissue, gland, organ, and system being served by the over 75,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. Chelation reaches every blood vessel in the body, from the largest artery to the tiniest capillary and arteriole, most of which are far too small or too deep within the brain or other organ to be safely reached in surgery.

Other scientifically documented benefits of intravenous EDTA chelation therapy for the cardiovascular system include:

• Stabilization of arterial intracellular membranes32

• Maintenance of the electrical charge of platelets in the blood, reducing blood clumping (aggregation) and preventing blood clots.33

• Marked improvement in nearly 100% of 2,870 studied patients with peripheral vascular disease34

• Normalization of half of treated cardiac arrhythmias35

• Reductions of cerebrovascular occlusion36

• Improved cognitive function in people with memory and concentration deficits and improved visual acuity (when problems are caused by arterial blockage)37

• Improved myocarditis due to lead poisoning.38

• Reduction of blood fat levels and improved capillary blood flow.39

• Increased peripheral blood flow to the extremities.40

• Improved compliance of vascular tissues; decalcification of elastic tissues resulting in improved elasticity and resilience.41

• Improved red blood cell membrane flexibility and permeability to potassium.42

• Decreased blood pressure levels, as a result of excretion of cadmium from renal tissues, diminished peripheral resistance, improved blood vessel resilience and pliability, decreased vascular spasm, and improved magnesium uptake.43

In addition to the effectiveness of IV EDTA chelation therapy in treating cardiovascular disease and heavy metal toxicity, research has documented its benefits for aneurysm, Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia, arthritis, autoimmune conditions, cancer, cataracts, diabetes, emphysema, gallbladder stones, hypertension, kidney stones, Lou Gehrig’s disease, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, scleroderma, stroke, varicose veins, venomous snake bite, and other conditions involving an interruption in blood flow and diminished oxygen delivery.44

The ten top killers of Americans (in the order of frequency) include heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, pneumonia, diabetes, cirrhosis, arteriosclerosis, suicides, and infant death. All but accidents, pneumonia, suicides, and infant death have an underlying connection to reduced blood circulation. More than 90 percent of Americans live in jeopardy of having a serious illness relating to the circulatory system.45

The human and financial cost of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. is astronomical. Every year, approximately 1.5 million Americans have a heart attack, 300,000 of who die before receiving medical attention. The treatment of cardiovascular disease rings up a total of $100 billion dollars annually—$200,000 spent every minute.46 Coronary artery bypass surgery (bypassing the blocked heart artery with grafted leg artery, average cost $44,000) is the most frequently prescribed surgical procedure for heart disease, costing $10 billion per year.47 Numerous leading medical doctors and authorities have stated that coronary bypass surgery is overprescribed and often unnecessary.48 Nearly 20,000 people die every year as a result of bypass surgery or angioplasty (ballooning of the occluded artery, average cost $21,000).49

Intravenous chelation is far safer, much less expensive, and less invasive. Proven effective in circulatory disorders, its benefits for cardiovascular patients is clear. IV chelation does pose some risks, however. Although nontoxic, EDTA produces side effects in some people. These include burning, redness and swelling at the injection site, fever, hypotension (low blood pressure), joint pain, skin outbreaks or rashes, upset stomach, and, rarely, irritation of the kidneys and liver.50

Some cardiologists who understand the benefits of intravenous EDTA chelation do not recommend its use with patients who are debilitated, emaciated, have weak or diseased kidneys, or advanced cardiovascular disease (end stage). They believe the sudden, massive infusion of EDTA puts too much stress on the kidneys, liver and detoxification pathways in these patients and could be harmful or even dangerous. Other doctors and medical researchers disagree, contending that “transient kidney malfunction” is a normal physiological adaptation occurring during the passage of toxic products (chelated metals and chemicals) through the kidneys, and that properly administered IV chelation will not cause kidney damage.51

A common misconception about chelation is that it lowers the levels of calcium in the bones and teeth as the body draws calcium from them to replace the calcium drawn from the blood by the chelation process. On the contrary, the calcium to restore blood levels is drawn from places in the body where calcium has built up unnaturally, as in arterial plaques (which contribute to clogged arteries), calcified bursae (a source of bursitis), arthritic joints, and kidney stones.52

Further, Garry Gordon, M.D., D.O., co-founder of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) and a pioneer in chelation therapy, states, “If calcium levels start to drop, the parathyroid glands kick in and start secreting parathormone which ‘steals’ back enough calcium from the EDTA (and other) chelators to keep the heart beating normally (serum calcium must stay at a constant level for normal heart function) and to activate cells called osteoblasts, which strengthen and rebuild bone. The more chelation we give people, the less osteoporosis they have and the less age-related calcium accumulation [arterial wall plaques] there is in the blood vessels.”53

There is no limit to the amount of IV EDTA chelation a person can be given and the peak beneficial effects last up to two months after treatment.54 IV chelation is safe for children as well as adults. People over 90 years old have enjoyed the benefits of chelation and more than 200,000 children in the U.S. have undergone IV chelation as treatment for lead poisoning.55

Intravenous chelation has two drawbacks, however. Although much safer and less expensive than coronary bypass surgery or angioplasty, it is still relatively expensive (hundreds of dollars per visit) and not widely available, as there are comparatively few experienced medical doctors certified in IV chelation therapy. Fortunately, there is an even safer, inexpensive, and more easily obtained alternative: Oral Chelation.

Oral Chelation
Chelation delivered orally involves ingesting nutritional food supplements which contain chelating agents (EDTA & numerous natural chelators) including: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and herbs.

Oral EDTA chelation has all the benefits of IV chelation, but is much slower acting because only 4% to 18% of an oral EDTA dose is absorbed (compared with 100% of an IV dose).56 Taken on a daily basis, oral chelation will gradually accomplish what its IV counterpart does in a few administrations. According to Dr. Garry Gordon, oral chelation is useful in reducing heavy metal toxicity and calcification, lowering blood cholesterol, lessening lipid peroxidation (free-radical oxidation of metabolized fats), thinning the blood, and preventing the formation of blood clots (a cause of heart attack).57

In some areas, oral chelation may actually outperform IV EDTA (only) chelation. In addition, Extreme Health’s oral chelation formula has the ability to chemically bond with and cause the elimination of mercury from the body (as evidenced by mercury levels in urine samples before and after chelation).58 As mentioned earlier, EDTA does not chelate mercury. In Extreme Health’s formula, it is the other chelating agents—cilantro, chlorella, and lipoic acid—that effectively act on mercury.

The heightened benefits of oral chelation may result from the synergistic effect of combining EDTA with numerous natural chelating agents, such as activated clays, certain bioflavonoids, chlorella, cilantro, coenzyme Q10, garlic, L-cysteine, L-glutathione, lipoic acid, methionine, selenium, sodium alginate, and zinc gluconate. Each chelating agent has a predilection for different chemicals and mineral or metal ions.

The addition of nutrients known to support liver function and detoxification also increases an oral chelation formula’s effectiveness. A companion formula of antioxidants and other nutrients enhances the chelation process by replacing beneficial minerals removed during chelation, promoting the healing of tissues, and preventing free-radical oxidative damage. As with chelating agents, different antioxidants work on different free radicals. For this reason, the formulas contain a wide range—there are 30 different antioxidants in the Age-Less formula.

Antioxidant activity may play a particularly important role in amplifying the benefits of chelation. Elmer Cranton, M.D., author of Bypassing Bypass, believes that the prevention of free-radical damage (which EDTA does) is the main action behind chelation’s positive effects.59

The effectiveness of oral chelation is a topic of debate, even amongst proponents of IV chelation. Our clinical research, however, demonstrates oral chelation’s benefits for atherosclerosis and heavy metal poisoning.60 Many health professionals believe that oral chelation is not a replacement for IV chelation. I agree with this view when the patient’s condition is too severe to wait for the slower-acting oral chelation to produce effects. When such patients have completed the recommended number of IV chelation treatments, however, oral chelation is of great benefit in maintaining their cardiovascular health.

In addition to heart patients, I particularly recommend oral chelation for anyone with a family history of heart disease, longstanding poor dietary practices, or a history of exposure to heavy metals or toxic chemicals. More generally, oral chelation is useful to anyone who wants to prevent cardiovascular disease and clear their body of the metals and toxins that we all accumulate and which can cause a variety of health problems.

As such, oral chelation can serve as a convenient, non-invasive, long-term health maintenance and preventative program. The gradual dosage delivery significantly reduces the risk of side effects; oral chelation is safe for children and adults.

Oral Chelation and Nutritional Replacement Protocol
Over 15 years of clinical nutritional experience and three years of researching nutritional supplement formulations enabled me to identify the optimal substances for detoxifying heavy metals from the body. In evaluating available oral chelation formulas, I found none that had all the ingredients necessary to comprehensively chelate heavy metals and mineral plaques, and assist the kidneys and liver in the detoxification process. As a result, Extreme Health has developed two formulas: Oral Chelation formula and Age-Less, a companion formula for total mineral and nutritional replacement.

The formulas exert beneficial effects on the entire cardiovascular system. By detoxifying your body and allowing your veins and arteries to open up, these formulas ensure that your tissues, glands, organs, and interrelated systems receive ample oxygen-rich blood, which in turn improves their efficiency.

In terms of ingredients, the formulas have two overall advantages:
1. They are plant-enzyme based. Enzymes, which are the catalysts for all metabolic actions, assist in the optimal assimilation and utilization of the food people consume (giving them the most nutrients for their money). Enzymes also assist in the assimilation and utilization of the other nutrients in our formulas; thereby ensuring you get the most out of each ingredient. Without enzymes, proper utilization of nutrients is not achieved. With enzyme supplementation, you get up to ten times more assimilation of food and nutrients as without.

2. Aside from EDTA, the nutrients in the formulas are whole food/plant based which means you get the range of nutrients and co-factors found in that plant or food, rather than only isolated fractions (as in synthetic vitamin supplements). The healing actions are thus more powerful. In addition, since the formulas are plant based (concentrated food nutrients), there is no need to be concerned about drug interactions or side effects.

Dosage starts at one tablet of Age-Less at breakfast (increasing gradually to three tablets) and one capsule of the Oral Chelation Formula at dinner (increasing gradually to three). It is important to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of filtered water daily. If intake is far below that, it can be raised in increments.

In many cases, people are much more toxic than they realize and experience irritability, low-grade headache, or overall achiness. These symptoms arise from the heavy metals or chemical residues that have been pulled out of tissues and are circulating in the body prior to excretion. The symptoms do not indicate an adverse reaction to the formulas, but rather that the body has been storing significant amounts of toxins. Decreasing the dosage of the formulas and increasing water intake will eliminate these symptoms.

Diet and Nutrition
In keeping with a whole-body approach to health and medicine, we recommend that our patients implement healthy dietary and lifestyle practices along with the Oral Chelation Formula program. Abuse of alcohol, drugs (recreational or prescription), and tobacco products, chronic stress, and lack of exercise are obviously detrimental lifestyle factors.

A poor diet is equally detrimental. We recommend that everyone, but particularly people concerned about cardiovascular disease, avoid the following foods and beverages or ingest them only in small amounts: alcohol (any form), baking soda, butter, caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, others), canned vegetables, chemical ingredients (mold inhibitors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, meat tenderizers), chlorinated (tap) water, commercially prepared foods, fats and oils (especially fats from commercially raised animals, saturated fats, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), fried foods, heated polyunsaturated fats (fast foods oils, theatre popcorn oil), lard, margarine, MSG (monosodium glutamate), processed and refined foods, red meat (or any products from commercially raised animals), salt (sodium chloride), soft drinks, softened tap water, spicy foods, sugar, commercial salad oils (many contain trans-fatty acids, refined by bleaching, chemicals, heat, and solvents), tallow, tropical oils (palm, cottonseed), and white-flour foods.61

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to cardiovascular disease.62 Certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients have been identified as vital for maintaining cardiovascular health. Degrees of deficiency of one or a combination of the following nutrients will result in corresponding symptoms of physical disease or inadequacy in the cardiovascular system:63

• Vitamins: C, E, A (beta-carotene), D, B (1, 2, 3 [niacin and niacinamide], 5, 6, 12), folic acid, and biotin.

• Minerals: Calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

• Amino acids: L-carnitine, L-lysine, L-proline

• Coenzyme Q10.

All of these nutritional supplements and more are in the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas.

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals in the body. When sufficient levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are maintained in the body, the continued absorption of specific heavy metals is greatly reduced.

Nutrients Known to be Protective Against Heavy Metal Toxicity:

Heavy Metal   Protective Nutritional Supplement

Aluminum       magnesium

Arsenic            Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iodine, selenium, vitamin C, zinc.

Cadmium        Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, vitamin C, zinc.

Lead Amino acids (containing sulfur), calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc.

Mercury Amino acids (containing sulfur), pectin (alginate), selenium, vitamin C. 67

All of these nutritional supplements and more are in the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas.

Ingredients of the Oral Chelation Formula
1. Chelating agents: EDTA and nutrients that assist in the mobilization of metals and toxins; alginate, garlic (high allicin potential), activated attapulgite (clay), chlorella (freshwater algae; needed to bind up the liberated mercury and carry it out of the body via the feces64 ), lipoic acid, methionine, and L-cysteine (heavy metal scavengers).

2. Antioxidants: Lipoic acid (extremely powerful, known as the “ideal antioxidant,” vitamin C, catalase, methionine, and L-cysteine.

3. Lipotropics (improves fat metabolism): Trimethylglycine, carrageenan, and L-lysine (blood vessel “teflon,” fatty plaque chelating agent, cellular fuel, reduces angina pectoris). L-lysine is an amino acid involved in the structural repair of damaged blood vessels. It has a beneficial effect on lead toxicity and high blood pressure.

4. Plant-based enzymes (bromelain, lipase, catalase): ensure optimal utilization of all of the above nutrients.

Ingredients of the Age-less Replenishment and Antioxidant Formula
1. Chelating agents: EDTA and nutrients that assist in the mobilization of metals and toxins; Vitamin B1, vitamin E, bioflavonoids, cilantro, coenzyme Q10 (cellular fuel), L-glutathione, selenium, and zinc gluconate. Cilantro (Chinese parsley) has been shown in clinical trials and research to mobilize mercury, tin and other toxic metals stored in the brain and spinal cord and move them rapidly out of those tissues. This is a revolutionary discovery—cilantro is one of the only substances known to “mobilize” mercury from the central nervous system.65

2. Minerals: Calcium, magnesium, manganese, chromium, copper gluconate, molybdenum, potassium, selenium, vanadium, and zinc gluconate.

3. Essential vitamins: A (antioxidant, blood vessel stabilizer), D-3 (cellular fuel), E (antioxidant, chelator, blood vessel stabilizer, reduces angina pectoris), B1 (cellular fuel), B2 (cellular fuel), B3 (niacin [lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, cellular fuel, reduces lipoprotein] and niacinamide [cellular fuel]), B5 (lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, cellular fuel), B6 (cellular fuel), B12 (blood cell nutrient, cellular fuel), PABA, inositol, folic acid (blood cell nutrient, cellular fuel), biotin (cellular fuel).

4. Liver Support (artichoke hybrid): an effective, powerful ingredient for detoxifying the liver during chelation, normalizing liver metabolism, and preventing further damage due to internal and external toxins such as alcohol and environmental poisons. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Liver is the body’s filter for toxins. When the liver cannot keep up with the toxic load, toxins accumulate in that organ. This ingredient helps clear toxins out of the liver, including during phase 2 liver detoxification (conjugation for water solubility and excretion), which most programs and formulas do not address.

5. Antioxidants: bioflavonoids, catalase, coenzyme Q10, Ginkgo biloba, grape seed OPCs (oligomericproanthocyanidins), green tea, hesperidin, lutein, lycopene, quercetin, rutin, L-taurine, and 14 others.

6. Phytonutrients: hawthorn berry (cardiac tonic), iodine (as kelp; thyroid and energy production support), milk thistle and beet juice powder (support liver in detoxification and cleanse blood), and MSM (methyl sulfonylmethene; increases blood vessel elasticity), among others.

7. Amino acids: L-choline, L-carnitine (lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, cellular fuel), L-proline, and L-taurine (supports heart muscle and function).

8. Lipotropics: chondroitin sulfate. A constituent of the arterial wall, possessing anti-coagulant (reduces blood-stickiness), anti-lipemic (anti-fat in bloodstream), and anti-thrombogenic (reduces clotting) properties.

9. Plant-based enzymes: bromelain, lipase, catalase.

Note: In-depth information on formula ingredients is available upon request.

Summaries of Clinical Studies on the Oral Chelation and Age-less Formulas

Note: Copies of the full studies are available upon request.

• In 1998, Extreme Health conducted heavy metal urine analyses on 14 patients, ages ranging from 29 to 68 and from a variety of different occupations, before and after only one day’s dose of the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas. Omegatech, King James Medical Laboratory, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio, analyzed the urine samples.

The results showed significant excretion of all six of the heavy metals most commonly encountered and damaging to health. The following are the average percentages of increase in the 14 patients’ heavy metal excretions after just one day on the formulas:

Aluminum: 229%
Arsenic: 661%
Cadmium: 276%
Lead: 350%
Mercury: 773%
Nickel: 9,439%

• Hair analyses. Through Great Smokie’s Diagnostic Laboratory, we conducted on two patients before oral chelation and after six months on the program showed significant reduction of heavy metals. In one case, a dentist who had high exposure to mercury, the second hair analysis showed a decrease or a normal reading in all heavy metals that were abnormally high on the first hair analysis, except for mercury which was higher. In the other case, a dental hygienist, the second hair analysis showed a decrease or a normal reading in all heavy metals that were abnormally high on the first analysis, except for silver which went higher.

Heavy metals can be stored deep in the tissues, brain, and nerve ganglion. When all heavy metals except one decrease after chelation, we know that this one was stored at the deeper levels and is finally being pulled out of those tissues and mobilized for excretion. Thus, the higher readings are a positive sign that chelation is under way. In individuals with chronic or longstanding exposure to high amounts of heavy metal, the hair analysis readings can remain high and even go higher for a period of six to twelve months depending on the amount of previous exposure.

Mr. Bob Smith, Vice President of Elemental Analysis, Great Smokie’s Diagnostic Laboratory, who has interpreted the hair analysis of many thousands of patients, stated that, in his professional opinion, “your results exhibited significant reduction of heavy metals in just six months.”

• Dr. James Scheer of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in North Charleston, South Carolina, is presently conducting a study of 20 children, aged 5 to 15, with symptoms of ADD and ADHD and unacceptable blood lead levels, to determine if oral chelation and removal of the lead affect the behavioral symptoms. Hair, urine, blood, and feces will be evaluated for heavy metal toxicity and then reevaluated after one day, three months, and six months of taking our Oral Chelation and Age-Less Formulas. The study is single blind, with placebo used on half of the children.

• A medical doctor in Alamo, California, tested one of his patients who took the Oral Chelation and Age-Less Formula with no other supplements or medications. After only two months of this regimen, blood tests showed significant reduction of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

• Philip Hoekstra III, Ph.D., a pioneer of thermology, conducted thermological studies on six patients before they began taking the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas (no other supplements or medications) and after six months on the program. The study was conducted over the past years, under the auspices of the California Preventative Medicine Foundation in San Rafael, California.

Thermology is a diagnostic imaging based on measurements of heat emissions from the body filmed by infrared sensing devices and projected onto a computer monitor. Cells emit heat in the course of energy conversion. If there is a disturbance in the energy-conversion processes, as occurs in the case of blocked or narrowed arteries, the lessened heat emissions and reduced blood flow appear as darker areas on the thermology scan. In this way, thermology tracks the progressive deterioration of the flow of infrared energy along atherosclerotic arteries and can be used as early detection of heart disease.

The results of Dr. Hoekstra’s study revealed marked improvement in blood circulation in all but one of the patients, as documented by the thermologic images. Vascularization (improved blood flow) of the feet increased by as much as 33%—significant improvements after only a six-month trial.

Nancy Gardner Heaven, director of the Foundation, states, “It appears that even though the clients selected for this study had varying complex heart conditions, all but one had an improvement of at least a 20% increase in circulation, reducing the level of stenosis [narrowing] of the vascular system. I feel very good about recommending the use of this product [Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas] to my patients with cardiovascular disease or a family history where prevention is an issue.”

Patient Reports on the Oral Chelation Formula
Currently we are following 85 persons with a variety of health concerns that are taking the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas. They report improvement in the following conditions: headaches, cold hands or feet, skin problems, and degenerative diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and angina pains. They have also experienced positive effects in symptoms and conditions related to energy level, overall stamina, memory (forgetfulness), ability to concentrate, circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, vision, respiration, and sexual drive or stamina.

The following are reports from three patients:
• Diana Goolsby, 36, and her son Landon, 3, had high heavy metal readings in their hair and urine analyses and were experiencing heavy metal toxicity effects. Diana had a range of symptoms and Landon was having difficulty in learning to speak and suffered chronic, recurrent viral infections (flu and colds). We started both of them on the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas.

After three months of consistently taking the formulas, Diana reported to me that she had increased energy, improved circulation, improved vision, and a decrease in headaches and angina pains. She stated, “I am amazed at the overall recovery of my body. My eyes have improved a lot. They are not so tired anymore and the muscles in the eyes do not seem to have the pulling sensation that I had before. Improvement in my immune system is also a big plus. I am no longer so weak that I pick up every cold or flu symptom that I come in contact with. Landon shows improvement in his immune system. I also notice that his speech is improving with the chelation.”

• Cindy Bright, 43, a patient with diabetes who presented with severe lack of mental clarity stated, “Since I’ve been on the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas I have no more ‘brain fog’ and the mental fuzziness is completely gone.”

• Terry Batt, in his 50s, who had a quadruple coronary artery bypass two years before and was experiencing pain and numbness in his right leg, wrote, “I have been taking the Oral Chelation and Age-Less formulas for three to four weeks. Since that time, I have noticed that the numbness in my right ankle is gone.”

Research has proven the benefits of chelation for cardiovascular disease, heavy metal toxicity, and other conditions. The number of physicians who are available to diagnose and treat advanced health problems and administer intravenous chelation continues to grow. This development, along with the recent advent of oral chelation, reflects the rapid changes occurring in U.S. health care. The transformation of medical practice is due to both public dissatisfaction with the “cut or medicate,” linear-delivery system of medicine and the demonstrated effectiveness of alternative and complementary therapies. Preventive health protocols (diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications), chelation therapy, and nutritional sufficiency is the medicine of the future.

Extreme Health was the guest speaker on Oral Chelation at the 1999 Holistic Dental Association Conference in Denver, Colorado, on May 14-16. The Holistic Dental Association (HDA) is an organization dedicated to providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to their patients and families, as well as a forum for the development and sharing of health-promoting therapies. James Kennedy, D.D.S., past president of the HDA and current editor of the HDA’s magazine, The Communicator, and Richard Shepard, D.D.S., executive director of HDA, both endorse the Oral Chelation/Age-Less formulas.

Extreme Health is appealing to doctors and health research centers interested in conducting related clinical studies. Please call Extreme Health’s CEO/Founder, Ms. Michele Payne at 800-800-1285.

1 Harte, J., et al. Toxics A To Z: A Guide To Everyday Pollution Hazards (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 103.
2 Harte, J., et al. Toxics A To Z: A Guide To Everyday Pollution Hazards (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 34-6.
3 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 186.
4 Lewis, H. Technological Risk (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990), 125.
5 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 149.
6 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 187, 217, 230-34.
7 Casdorph, H., M.D., and Walker, M., D.P.M. Toxic Metal Syndrome (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing, 1995), 95.
8 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 177.
9 Weiner, M. The Way of the Skeptical Nutritionist (New York: Macmillan, 1981). Elemental Analysis (Asheville, SC: Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories, 1999), 4.
10 Casdorph, H., M.D., and Walker, M., D.P.M. Toxic Metal Syndrome (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing, 1995), 120.
11 Crapper-McLachlan, D.R., and DeBoni, U. “Aluminum in human brain disease—an overview.” Neurotoxicology 1 (1980), 3-16. Crapper-McLachlan, D.R., and Van 12 Berkum, M.F.A. “Aluminum: a role in degenerative brain disease associated with neurofibrillary degeneration” in Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 70, D.F. Swaab et al., Eds. (Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, 1986), 399-409.
12 Harte, J., et al. Toxics A To Z: A Guide To Everyday Pollution Hazards (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 246-47.
13“U.S. plans a system for tracking levels of lead in children’s blood.” New York Times (August 29, 1992), 10.
14“Schools Warned of Lead in Water Fountains.” Associated Press, Washington, D.C. (April 11, 1989).
15 Winter, M.S. Poisons in Your Food (New York: Crown Publishers, 1991), 187.
16 Zavon, M.R., et al. “Chlorinated hydrocarbons insecticide content of the neonate.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 160 (June, 23, 1969), 196-200.
17 Harte, J., et al. Toxics A To Z: A Guide To Everyday Pollution Hazards (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 49.
18 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 184.
19 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 196.
20 Kellas, B., Ph.D., and Dworkin, A., N.D. Surviving the Toxic Crisis (Olivenhain, CA: Professional Preference Publishing, 1996), 196.
21 Huggins, H., M.S., D.D.S. It’s All In Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing, 1993), 5-11, 36-37.
22 “Dental group agrees with FDA and EPA on issue of toxic mercury.” Townsend Letter for Doctors 88 (November 1990), 720.
23 Casdorph, H., M.D., and Walker, M., D.P.M. Toxic Metal Syndrome (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing, 1995), 150.
24 Harte, J., et al. Toxics A To Z: A Guide To Everyday Pollution Hazards (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), 103. Nutrient Mineral and Toxic Metal Chart (Boulder, CO: Trace Mineral International, 1999). Werbach, M., M.D. Nutritional Influence on Illness (Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 1993), 679-80. Toxic Elements (Asheville, SC: Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories, 1998). Golan, R., M.D. Optimal Wellness (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995), 39.
25 Brown, P., and Mikkelsen, E. No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990), 182-183.
26 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Shah, H., M.D. Everything You Should Know About Chelation Therapy (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing), 37-38.
27 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 114.
28 Foreman, H. “Toxic side effects of EDTA.” J Chron Dis 16 (1963), 319-323.
29 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 74.
30 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 14.
31 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 14.
32 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 17-18.
33 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 17-18.
34 Olszewer, E., and Carter, J. “EDTA chelation therapy: a retrospective study of 2,870 patients.” Journal of Advancement in Medicine Special Issue 2:1-2 (1989), 197-211.
35 Goldberg, B., and the Editors of Alternative Medicine Digest. Alternative Medicine Guide to Heart Disease (Tiburon, CA: Future Medicine Publishing, 1997), 82.
36 McDonagh, E., et al. “an oculocerebrovasculometric analysis of the improvement in arterial stenosis following EDTA chelation therapy.” Journal of Advancement in Medicine Special Issue 2:1-2 (1989), 155-166.
37 Casdorph, H., M.D. “EDTA Chelation therapy: efficacy in brain disorders.” Journal of Advancement in Medicine Special Issue 2:1-2 (1989), 131-153. Alsleben, H., M.D., and Shute, W., M.D. How to Survive the New Health Catastrophes (Anaheim, CA: Survival Publications, 1973).
38 Freeman, R. “Reversible myocarditis due to chronic lead poisoning in childhood.” Arch Dis Child 40 (1965), 389-93.
39 Zelis, R., et al. “Effects of hyperlipoproteinanemias and their treatment on the peripheral circulation.” J Clin Invest 49 (1970), 1007.
40 Schroeder, H., and Perry, H., Jr. “Antihypertensive effects of binding agents.” J Lab Clin Med 46 (1955), 416.
41 Shin, Y. “Cross-linking of elastin in human athersclerotic aortas.” Lab Invest 25 (1971), 121. Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 164.
42 Jacob, H. “Pathologic states of erythrocyte membrane.” University of Minnesota, Hospital Practice (December 1974), 47-9. Soffer, A., et al. “Myocardial response to chelation.” Br Heart J 23 (1961), 690-94.
43 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994), 164-65.
44 Walker, M., D.P.M. The Chelation Way (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1990), 54.
45 Walker, M., D.P.M. The Chelation Way (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1990), 54.
46 Rath, M., M.D. Eradicating Heart Disease (Copyright 1993, by Matthias Rath, M.D.), 11.
47 Rath, M., M.D. Eradicating Heart Disease (Copyright 1993, by Matthias Rath, M.D.), 11.
48 CASS Principle Investigators and Associates. “Myocardial infarction and mortality in the coronary artery surgery study (CASS) randomized trial.” New England Journal of Medicine 310:12 (March 1984), 750-758.
49 Goldberg, B., and the Editors of Alternative Medicine Digest. Alternative Medicine Guide to Heart Disease (Tiburon, CA: Future Medicine Publishing, 1997), 20-21. Strauts, Z., M.D. “Correspondence re: Berkeley Wellness Letter and chelation therapy.” Townsend Letter for Doctors 106 (May 1992), 382-83.
50 Oral Chelation: The Bright Hope For Heart Health (Old Lyme, CT: Alternative Medical Publishing), 33.
51 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Shah, H., M.D. Everything You Should Know About Chelation Therapy (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing), 96.
52 Walker, M., D.P.M. The Chelation Way (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1990), 36.
53 Gordon, G., M.D., D.O. , “Chelation Therapy”, Life Enhancement 32(April 1997), 9-10.
54 Lamar, P. “Calcium chelation of athersclerosis—nine years, clinical experience.” Fourteenth Annual Meeting, American College of Angiology, 1968. Oral Chelation: The Bright Hope For Heart Health (Old Lyme, CT: Alternative Medical Publishing), 33.
55 Brecher, Harold and Arline. Forty Something Forever: A Consumer’s Guide to Chelation Therapy and Other Heart-Savers (Herndon, VA: Healthsavers Press, 1992), 161. Walker, M., D.P.M. The Chelation Way (Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, 1990), 48.
56 Halstead, B., M.D. “The scientific basis of EDTA chelation therapy.” Summarized in Life Enhancement (February 1998), 8.
57 Walker, M., D.P.M., and Gordon, G., M.D. The Chelation Answer (Atlanta, GA: Second Opinion Publishing, 1994). “Garlic-EDTA Chelator.” Website article at www.
58 Urinalysis studies conducted by MailePouls, Ph.D., and Greg Pouls, D.C., 1998.
59 Cranton, E., M.D. Bypassing Bypass (Trout Dale, VA: Medex Publishers, 1993).
60 Urinalysis studies conducted by MailePouls, Ph.D., and Greg Pouls, D.C., 1998 and currently. Thermology studies conducted by MailePouls, Ph.D., and Greg Pouls, D.C., 1998 and currently, with Philip Hoekstra III, Ph.D.
61 Balch, James., M.D., and Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Garden Park City, NY: Avery Publishing, 1997). Golan, R., M.D. Optimal Wellness (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995), 49-50. Roberts, H., M.D. Aspartame (NutraSweet) Is it Safe? (Philadelphia, PA: Charles Press, 1990). Blaylock, R., M.D. Excititoxins, The Taste That Kills (Santa Fe, NM: Health Press, 1997), 214.
62 Cranton, E., M.D. Bypassing Bypass (Trout Dale, VA: Medex Publishers, 1993), 83.
63 Rath, M., M.D. Eradicating Heart Disease (Copyright 1993, by Matthias Rath, M.D.), 196.
64 Klinghardt, D., M.D., P.h.D. “Migraines, seizures, and mercury toxicity.” Alternative Medicine Digest 21 (December-January 1997-98), 64.
65 Klinghardt, D., M.D., Ph.D. “Amalgam/mercury detox as a treatment for chronic viral, bacterial, and fungal illnesses.” Annual Meeting of the International and American Academy of Clinical Nutrition, San Diego, CA, September 1996.
66 Needleman, H., M.D., Landrigan, P., M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free- How to Keep Your Child Safe From Lead, Asbestos, Pesticides, and Other Environmental Hazards (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Publishing, New York, NY, 1994) 38-39.
67 Schauss, A., Ph.D., Minerals and Human Health: The Rationale for Optimal and Balanced Trace Element Levels (Life Sciences Press, Tacoma, WA, 1995) 4-5.

Lee: Interview with Arline Brecher


From Laura Lee’s “Conversation for Exploration”                                                   

Reprinted from the November 2002 Townsend Letter with permission

Laura Lee: Hi, and welcome to “Conversation for Exploration.” I’m your host, Laura Lee. I’ve been hearing, and reading, about chelation therapy lately. It began when a neighbor of mine suffered a heart attack, and he was telling me how he opted not for the standard follow-up surgeries, but for chelation therapy. “Why not just remove the plaque in my arteries, slowly, gently and non-invasively,” he said, “rather than suffer through the traumatic, risky, open heart surgery the hospital pressures you to do?” And when I commented to an acquaintance how lucky he was to be, at 85 years old, so bright, energetic, and still at his career, he replied, “Oh, I owe that to chelation therapy for removing the toxic metals from my system. Renewing my memory, energy, and zest for life is an added benefit.”

Numerous studies show that chelation therapy removes not just plaque and heavy metals, but some of the key causes and signs of aging and a long list of degenerative disease, say Harold and ArlineBrecher. They are the husband and wife team behind the books Forty-Something Forever: A Consumer’s Guide to Chelation Therapy and other Heart Savers and Bypassing Bypass. Arline, a science and medical investigator and writer, joins us from Reston, Virginia.

Hi Arline, good to have you here. You document in your book how safe and effective chelation therapy is, as well as inexpensive. And how devastating toxic metals are to our system. Why isn’t chelation therapy part of the standard procedure for heart patients, and a preventative measure for the rest of us?

Arline Brecher: Oh, that’s a wonderful question, and one I’ve been asking for 27 years. And it’s the reason I wrote the book. When we first heard about chelation therapy in the 1970’s, Harold and I were medical writers and attending a conference. We had met two astonishingly bright holistic-style doctors who were on the cutting edge of new therapies and new discoveries and not afraid to step out and try things that they thought would be more beneficial to their patients than standard treatments. Well, we knew the best way to get a great story was to invite them out for dinner, and they said ‘sure.’ Later in our hotel room the phone rings, and they explained, “We’re going to have to break our dinner appointment, there’s a meeting that we’ve been invited to, and we’re going to go there instead.” Out of pure ego, I said, “a meeting that’s more important than talking with us? Well, if it’s that important, I guess I should go to the meeting,” and he said “You’re not invited. No reporters are allowed in.” So I said, “well, can I come as a human being?” They laughed and said, “if you promise not to write about what you hear, and not to tell anybody about what you’re going to learn, until we are ready to talk about it.” Well, can you imagine a more intriguing….

LL: No, I can’t!

AB: So there we were, in a hotel room, with about 40 doctors. There was a host at the door that they all seemed to know, and the way they all greeted him, it was like somebody returned from the dead. He was the one who had invited a select number of doctors to this off-the-cuff meeting that was not part of the regular conference. The story was that this was Dr. George Frankel, a very well-known cardiologist who had been absent from active life for more than six months. No one knew where he had been or what he had been doing. One afternoon he had been carried off the golf course by his golfing partners, suffering a heart attack. And there he was with his own hospital colleagues attending, and rattling off the percentage that his arteries were blocked and scheduling him for bypass surgery. His reaction was, ‘not me guys’ – the same prescription he had given to so many of his patients, he didn’t want to hear when it came to him.

As luck would have it, it was the week before New Year’s and the Christmas holidays. The doctors always say that this is a matter of life and death and we have to rush you into surgery and we won’t be responsible if you don’t have this bypass done at once. But it turns out that the Red Cross will not release blood for a bypass surgery, which by the way, they do not consider an emergency operation, the week before the Christmas holidays because they are holding back the blood for all the auto accidents that they are expecting. So he had a ten-day reprieve. And he scooted out of the hospital and got on the phone and did what we call a “DID” – “Doctor in Distress” and called everyone he knew and asked, “what is there that I can do besides bypass surgery for my blocked arteries?”

Finally he got a call from a colleague he hadn’t heard from in years, who said, “have you ever heard of chelation therapy?” And what gives me chills is that people are still asking this question 30 years later. Dr. Frankel said, “no, what is it and how do I spell it?” And this doctor said, “if you go to your university library and look it up, you will find more than 4,000 published studies on chelation therapy in the medical journals, mostly from the foreign literature. There is one place in the US, Dr. Ray Evers in Mobile, who conducts a chelation clinic, and if I were you, I’d make arrangements and go there at once.”

And so Dr. Frankel did as he was advised. Dr. Evers was a magnificent human being, and let anybody come, no matter how sick they were. He was doing a very dangerous thing; dangerous for him, not for the patients, because chelation therapy was in such disrepute. But no matter how sick somebody was, and most of Ray Evers’ patients, and I’ve met and talked with lots of them, were carried in, they were too sick to walk. In those days, in the 1970’s, you didn’t see healthy people in chelation doctor’s offices. You didn’t see healthy people being chelated preventively, or just with early signs of angina. You saw the basket cases, the almost dead, almost everything else had failed, and they had been told to go home and put their affairs in order. Dr. Frankel was accepted as a patient and instead of just being treated – because it didn’t take him long, as a doctor, to realize how much better he was feeling, and how his progress was going – he paid attention to the other patients there. He watched them improve, and so he stayed for six months, learning how to be a chelating physician with Dr. Evers as his mentor.

And so he said to the doctors in the room that night, “Now let me tell you why I called this meeting. When the word of this goes out, there will be such a demand, when the public finds out that there is a safe, effective, and non-invasive way to overcome the dread disease of atherosclerosis, and we are not ready for that. We have no doctors trained, no association ready to certify people, and train them, we have no research, no publications, nothing. We’re starting from scratch here. So each of you who is invited here today to form a medical association to do what needs to be done, so chelation therapy can be widely offered, safely and effectively by trained, skilled doctors.”

We were there the night that the organization now known as ACAM, the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, was born. It does everything that Dr. Frankel suggested needed to be done: they hold conferences twice a year, they train doctors in chelation, and they supervise the certification of those doctors. And now, 30 years later, at last, the government-funded study to prove out the validity of chelation therapy was just announced. Your timing is wonderful, Laura Lee.

LL: That the conclusions are in, or they are just beginning the study?

AB: They are just beginning the study. It is 30 million dollars, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It will be a multi-center, randomized clinical trial, to determine both the safety and efficacy of chelation therapy for treating coronary artery disease. The proponents have been begging for this for years. The opponents have done everything they could to block this kind of research. And so now to go back to your first question: why don’t more people know about chelation. Well, money, greed, power….

LL: And politics.

AB: And politics. You know, medicine is so full of politics. People have caught on, that health care is disease care in this country, and it’s in crisis.

LL: That’s why we seek alternatives, when the standards don’t work. OK, so there’s a logical sequence here. We know how devastating the heavy metals are. It’s acknowledged that chelation is the treatment of choice for cases of acute toxic heavy metal poisoning. And we know how widespread heavy metals are out there. So explain the connection between heavy metals and heart disease. You write that it was once thought that chelation took the calcium out of the plaque. But there’s a new understanding that the chelation takes away the heavy metals and also free radicals are implicated in the hardening of the arteries, not to mention the devastating effect it has on so many of the body’s systems.

AB: Atherosclerosis, which is the main culprit when they talk about cardiovascular disease, is hardening of the arteries. The more appropriate way to understand that is to call it calcification of the arteries. We have a population that has been fed the idea that we need more calcium. But that is one of the most devastating nutritional myths out there. Calcium, while it is a vital mineral, is the most damaging mineral you can over-ingest. Because it takes X amount of magnesium to balance out X amount of calcium. And if the biochemistry of the body has gone askew for any reason, then the input/output of the cells and balancing of the calcium and magnesium goes awry, with the result that there’s calcification buildup in the arteries.

LL: So it goes back to what my mother said, and her mother before her: everything in balance.

AB: Oh yeah, but getting that balance is a whole lot harder these days than when our mothers and our grandmothers were doing it. That same wonderful Dr. Evers, to whom we dedicated Forty-Something Forever wrote a piece many years ago called “Magnesium and the Link to the Mystery of Aging and Calcification.” I hold this paper and I’m in awe over its impact and scientific validity because Dr. Evers was not a scientist, he was a clinician, a doctor, he took care of people, he was a pioneer. He wrote a paper on this subject that holds up to today’s knowledge, and has a wisdom that many of today’s doctors have forgotten. So when we’re talking about EDTA chelation therapy, we are talking about removing from the cells, those toxic elements that prevent the cells from functioning properly. It’s not just the toxicity of the elements that it’s removing, the lead, arsenic, mercury, and so forth. It’s not just that. It’s that with those deposits in the cells, the cellular biochemistry that keeps us in balance including and maybe primarily, the calcium-magnesium balance, is upset, and that allows the calcification that causes the disease. Now it gets more complicated, naturally; this was a real simplification. People need to understand that calcification starts as a biochemical deficiency of magnesium, among other things.

LL: And it’s a system-wide deficiency. So when you go in with open heart surgery they are just fixing one piece, you’re not addressing the whole puzzle.

AB: It’s worse than that. You’re being kind. Can I be unkind?

LL: Yes, please. Tell it like it is. That’s what you’re good at.

AB: I used to say, when I was younger and kinder, and hadn’t yet talked to so many thousands of people, that your whole arterial system suffers from exactly the same amount of calcification and blockage as that very small portion that they show you on an X-Ray. They do the bypass or that angioplasty on that little piece of pipe! Because that’s all they can reach. But what about down to your toes, and the tip of your fingers, and up to your brain. People understood that. And it’s true. But what is left out of that explanation is this: it’s not just that the bypass and the stents and the contraptions that they use in this ‘cut ‘em apart and sew’ em up.’ Now here comes the anger. It’s because that damages the arteries for all time. Because you’re never well again. Because no matter what they tell you, it’s a lie. Because it’s not true that there are benefits to the surgery.

LL: So once again the medical profession ignores the safe, the effective, the non-expensive, the non-invasive, and the whole-body benefits that come from chelation. And they keep selling, and they keep pressuring people – I heard it from my neighbor – that you must get the risky and traumatic procedures, that do damage. It seems criminal.

AB: Laura Lee, I’ve heard more horror stories. Let me tell you the one that stands out in my mind. A man called up one day, and told me his situation. He had just had bypass surgery and was now looking for a chelation doctor. He knew all about chelation. Why did you have bypass? I asked. He told me that he had a minor heart attack while on vacation, and he got the whole sales pitch, but he told them that he wanted to go home and have chelation therapy. “Oh no,” they said, “you can’t do that.” So they got hold of his wife, and they scared the heck out of her. They told her that because of the heart attack, he had lost his mental capacity, and he was not in a condition where he could make a self-determination about his therapy. That he wouldn’t live to leave the hospital, and it was her obligation to save his life by signing the consent decree for the operation.

LL: So she could force him to do it.

AB: That’s right, and she did. And he said to me, ‘you know, I love my wife, and I was afraid that she wouldn’t survive if I didn’t have it. But I couldn’t put her through that, so I thought I’ll have chelation after the operation.’

LL: What does the operation do, that it damages your system to the extent that it will never get back to normal?

AB: First of all, when they do the bypass, they are replacing artery with veins. Excuse me God, did you mean us to have replaceable arteries? I don’t think so. Veins don’t work like arteries. That’s number one. Number two: if you follow the literature and the research, which I do, this is the way it goes. You never find out what’s wrong with what they are doing when they pronounce it “new and wonderful,” until they come along with an improvement. That has to do with stents and angioplasty and every so-called technological development that’s come down the orthodox trail in the 25 years I’ve been following chelation therapy. When angioplasty came along for the first time, the first study that came out after a sufficient amount of time passed, what do you know – angioplasty was found to be a precursor to cardiovascular surgery. So now we get to do two or three operations where before we only did one. Now about the stents – it wasn’t until they invented stents that they were willing to admit that the place where they did the sewing together was the first place for new plaque to build up and start the problem all over again. But now when they introduced stents, they said that they prevent the problem of it coming back together. Well, then we found that the stents themselves cause further damage. And now guess what – we have new stents, and now they admit the old stents cause problems. And the new stents are coated with radioactive material.

LL: So it just gets worse and worse. Well, rather than push the plaque in the arteries around, why not remove it altogether? And not just from around the heart, but throughout the body. And not just the plaque, but the heavy metals, so the cells can function normally. How can they ignore these proven effects of chelation therapy? We’ll find out more from ArlineBrecher. Her book is Forty-Something Forever. Even if you don’t have heart disease, the number one killer out there, this is a book worth reading so you can take the steps now to prevent it, and improve your overall health, measurably.

LL: Let’s continue our conversation with ArlineBrecher. Arline, a couple of things. You are explaining how the medical institution not only ignores chelation therapy, they are lobbying against it. Could you please give us a quick history of chelation, tell us what the EDTA, the ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid does; is it so hard to understand what this stuff does?

AB: One of the problems with EDTA chelation therapy, is the intensive research to explain the exact biochemistry has never been done because there has never been anybody to fund it. So most of what we know is from the best research ever – watching the clinical results of thousands and thousands of patients. Where it came from, is a development of EDTA. It’s a totally non-toxic drug. You wouldn’t believe there was such a thing. The FDA approved formal clinical trials, several of them; there just never was enough money to get them completed. Right now, EDTA is the drug of choice for heavy metal toxicity, which is where it is totally accepted. That’s what it’s for. Next is to get it approved for the decalcification of cardiovascular disease and these other uses. The FDA accepted all these research protocols without demanding a safety study because the safety of EDTA has never been questioned. So one of the things that is really distressing about the doctors who want to trash chelation therapy because it interferes with their own very lucrative practices, is that they spread a lot of mythology about it being dangerous, causing liver damage, or kidney damage. When actually, all the research that has been done has been done on patients and keeping very good clinical records on their progress, which proves its safe use.

LL: EDTA is unusual in that it has been used in hundreds of applications, you find it as a preservative in foods, in dyes. You say that the word comes from the Greek “chele,” which means claw, because it gets in there and grabs on to the metals and pulls them out, so they can exit the system.

AB: Exactly. It was first used in the fabric dye industry in Germany when the Germans felt that they were going to be cut off from industrial supplies of citric acid, and developed this product instead.

LL: And it does even better than citric acid for that use.

AB: The first use of it in a clinical application was in one of these happenstances, in the days when you didn’t have to go through lengthy procedures to try something out. When doctors were free to say, “Hey, I see a patient with a problem, I’d like to try something.” Let me interject something. We have such a roster of pioneers in this business. Harold and I have a dream of leaving a legacy, an Alternative Medicine Hall of Fame. We want the people who come behind us to recognize us, to recognize, understand, and appreciate the pioneers of holistic medicine. How they became what they became, how they contributed to what will someday be standardized treatment, because what goes on these days ain’t going to last. And so much of what was ‘poo-pooed,’ twenty and thirty years ago, like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, today is standard. And so the website will be up soon, “Alternative Medicine Hall of Fame” honoring the pioneers, there are so many. I just wanted to mention that.

LL: Great idea. About chelation, you say that it removes, in this order, the heavy metals – chromium, iron, mercury, copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, cobalt, aluminum. Zinc and iron are necessary. Men can get too much iron, but women lose iron, and get anemic. And zinc is hard to hang on to, that’s another common deficiency.

AB: After menopause is when women’s rate of heart disease matches men’s. There is research documenting that.

LL: And then there’s the free radical connection.

AB: Exactly, because that sparks the free radicals. It’s another way of saying ‘biochemical instability” that is causing nutritional deficiency that’s upsetting the way everything in the body works. That’s the other aspect that should be so obvious to any physician, but it’s the age of specialization, and the orthodoxy pretends that when you have something wrong with your left toe, it has nothing to do with your right eye. That’s not true. You can’t have a healthy heart if you have a sick body anyplace. It can’t be. Whatever goes wrong in one part of the body eventually will spread and affect every part of the body. And the whole idea of keeping yourself in balance, and nutritionally fortified, and to get rid of the toxins that we ingest everyday, is the only way to remain healthy.

LL: You give a nice list in your book, of the various names we give the various sites in the body that degenerate. Let me read this paragraph: “First cells, then tissues, then genetically weakened organs give way. The result is some form of degenerative disease, involving the heart – call it heart disease, the joints – we call that arthritis, the brain – we call that Alzheimer’s, pancreas – we call that diabetes, the immune system – we call that AIDS. Or whatever organ is the first to falter.”

AB: I’m glad I wrote that.

LL: It’s all the same cause, of the cells going wrong, and depending on where they are, is what name you’re going to give it.

AB: And the pharmaceutical industry is built on having a separate item to counteract every one of the diagnostic names. To the point where the pharmaceutical industry, of late, has even made up diseases. Social anxiety became a disease when they came up with Prozac. It’s reached the point where I don’t know how they can be believed.

Charles Farr, one of the great pioneers of chelation therapy, said, “Have you ever noticed that the same diet that is good for arthritis, is good for diabetes, is good for heart disease, is good for allergies, is good for depression.” What a remarkable statement that is. Nothing I ever heard pointed so clearly that something is either healthy for the body or unhealthy for the body. “I don’t care what’s wrong with you, what you call it, or how it’s been diagnosed, or what state you’re in today. There is only one way to reverse a disease. Build health into the cells, and crowd out the disease.” You can’t beat the disease, drug the disease, cut it out of the body, radiate or chemo it out of the body. You can’t do anything else to combat the disease except build health. And that’s what we’re dedicated to.

Basically, it’s a philosophical difference. Why the big fight against chelation…why we haven’t heard about it…why the orthodoxy fights it tooth and nail. It’s because chelation therapy represents an entirely different paradigm of healing, medicine, and health. If we are right, they are all wrong. That’s a fearful idea for them to contemplate, because what we talk about is building health into the body, which is the only way to banish disease.

LL: But it seems both are necessary, Arline. If you get run over by a car, and your life is slipping away, you want them to come in with the surgery and the heavy-duty drugs to keep you alive. And then you can worry about your general health and well-being after that. Maybe that same philosophy – ‘we can get in there with high tech procedures’ – they get enamored of that and see that as the only solution, across the board. So they don’t see that chelation therapy and other alternative therapies can help before you get to the crisis stage of degenerative disease. But we do need both approaches in medicine.

AB: I’ve had no biochemistry, I’ve never studied science, I was never interested in becoming a doctor. But you are your own best doctor. Be really sensitive and aware of when you felt well, and when you don’t, and what you’ve done to change that, and how you made your self healthier every day. Get your blood work and find out what you need, and pay attention to rest, and food, and chelation if you need that. Because if you do, even those traumatic events for which surgery and trauma care might be necessary….

LL: You’re going to weather them better.

AB: Exactly. And chelation therapy has great word of mouth. People see their friends who’ve just been chelated, and ask them why they look so good. Do you know, we’ve sold over one half million copies of Forty-Something. And I take no credit for that. Easily one-third of those sales have been people who send ten copies at a time to all their friends. They find it easier to tell their friends what they’ve been doing.

I want to read you a letter. This is from Samuel Benjamin, and he writes: “After being told by my cardiologist that after two blocked arteries I was a candidate for bypass surgery, I began making inquiries to friends, and out popped two words: chelation therapy. With my life at stake, I began researching the subject by reading books and articles, both pro and con. And next I located an office practicing chelation, asked for a list of patients, and proceeded to interview about 40 patients, which were very affirmative.” Aren’t people smart?

“Then I researched bypass surgery and discovered that the Office of Technology Assessment, an arm of the US government, stated that bypass surgery has never been carefully evaluated before being rushed into use by the AMA.” Well, this is true. “Ten billion dollars are spent yearly on 300,000 procedures with a casualty rate of 20,000 patients annually. At a symposium by the AMA, a Dr. Henry MacIntosh stated that bypass should only be used in cases of crippling angina which does not respond to conservative treatment.”

LL: So not just the standard treatment for everybody.

AB: Right. And he continues: “So my only alternative was chelation. So I requested my insurance company underwrite the cost of about $3,000 for 30 treatments, and they immediately refused. But would underwrite an unproven and dangerous procedure, a bypass, at a cost of approximately $70,000. I felt I just entered LaLa Land.”

LL: Do the math, right?

AB: “Prior to chelation: 1) No energy. I napped at least two hours a day. 2) could only walk 50 feet before a cramp in my left leg stopped me. 3) due to diabetes, macular degeneration had dimmed the sight in my left eye, requiring reading of large print publications. After 18 chelations, 1) energy returned, eliminating naps of two hours daily; 2) blockage in left calf disappeared; now walk distances; 3) bonus: one morning, I picked up a newspaper and read it. Without question, the above improvements are due solely to the chelation treatments since for over five years, medication has not helped. I indict the AMA, the medical Mafia, for doing a hatchet job on alternative medicine, particularly chelation, to the detriment of the public, who so desperately need this procedure. I also chastise the public for allowing the medical profession to remain on a pedestal, hiding behind their ignorance. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and personal physician to George Washington, over two hundred years ago, declared the following. ‘Unless we put the medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privilege to others to constitute the best medical science. All such laws are un-American, and despotic, and have no place in the republic.’ Here’s a new Hippocratic Oath: I believe in the AMA, I believe in the drug industry. I believe in bypass surgery, I believe in the tooth fairy. I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the mighty buck. Signed, Samuel Benjamin”

LL: I want to add here the quote that you have in the beginning of your book, from your hero, Ray Evers. He said, “One does not have true freedom until one is free to choose how he wishes to be treated medically.” Our hour is about to end, so I have to ask you about the across-the-board improvements: the reversals of the signs of aging, the improved memory, improved vision, improved energy, and all the rest of the list that you have seen from patients, heard from patients, and that have been documented. It’s very logical to understand those improvements if the cellular health and balance returns to each of the cells of the body. Then of course the body would revive itself across the board. It’s just logical.

AB: You’ve got it! You see, one of the big damning charges, because we are so opposite the drug industry, is that it’s snake oil, it claims to do everything. And that reveals their ignorance. If chelation therapy works, biochemically, the way we say it does, the proof of it is, it does everything, because that is the way the body works.

LL: So you take out the poisons from inside each of the cells, the cells go back to balance and doing their job, and health returns.

AB: And there goes your wrinkles, and you get your memory back, and your eyesight clears, and you walk with a spring. And you breathe easier, and the lungs are better, the heart is better, everything is better.

LL: Arline, thank you for being an advocate for health, and how we can regain our health, protect our health, and the various methods we need to know about to take those steps. Thanks for the 27 years of work you’ve done on this mission.

AB: Thank you for this wonderful conversation, I’ve enjoyed it so much.

Glassman: Chelation Therapy

DANIELS-obit-videoLargeFrom the New Age Journal article by Judith Glassman
Reprinted from Townsend Letter with permission

“After my angina came back, I thought, this is the end for me. I sold my big house, sold the elastics business I had been in for thirty years, and did a lot of cleaning up to make life easier for wife after I was gone,” 59-year-old John Flore of New Jersey says, “When I first started EDTA chelation therapy, I was planning on dying.”

Flore had had a triple bypass three-and-a-half years earlier, but when the chest pain returned and an angiogram revealed that his grafted arteries had closed up, he refused to even consider more heart surgery. “That operation was the most awful thing in my life,” he recalls. “I’d die before I’d do that again.”

Instead, Flore began an unconventional treatment—and thrived. At the urging of a neighbor, he began seeing New York City holistic physician Warren Levin, who gave him a detailed medical workup, then recommended a drastic change in diet, nutritional supplements, and treatment with the controversial drug ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid, a man-made amino acid commonly known as EDTA.

The treatment consists of a series of intravenous infusions given two to three times a week for a total of 20–40 infusions or more, depending on the particular case. The infusions usually last three-and-a-half to four hours, and each generally contains three grams of EDTA.

When Flore began the therapy, he had trouble walking the short distance from the train station to Levin’s office. “I couldn’t walk a block. My legs felt as though they were going to collapse.” But after about fifteen treatments, his chest and leg pain had totally disappeared. “I feel terrific,” he says now. “I even look younger—I don’t have any more little wrinkles around my eyes. Chelation has given me a new lease on life.”

Since the ’50s, 400,000 people like John Flore have undergone chelation therapy for a staggering variety of ailments, including angina pains, peripheral vascular disease, gangrene, memory loss, senility, chronic skin ulcers, and retina damage from diabetes. Many of them have pronounced it a miracle cure.

The 1,000 MDs, who practice chelation, claim it has valid long-term effects. These physicians maintain that EDTA has an extraordinary success rate—long-lasting, subjective improvement in 75–90 percent of all patients. Says Elmer Cranton, former president of his county medical society and author of a recently published book called Bypassing Bypass, “My patients don’t get all completely well. But 85 percent improve enough so that they’re happy with the treatment.” Furthermore, Cranton and his colleagues claim that when administered according to established protocol, EDTA is one of today’s safest medications, less toxic than aspirin.

If reports such as Flore’s, Cranton’s and others are accurate, chelation ranks as one of the greatest discoveries of all time. Most of the ailments chelationists claim to treat successfully stem from impaired circulation, often caused by arteriosclerosis—the progressive accumulation of arterial plaque that clogs and stiffens arteries, leading inevitably to heart attacks and strokes. Arteriosclerosis affects up to 100 million people in the United States, and modern medicine offers no cure. Drugs and surgery temporarily relieve symptoms but do nothing to stop the progress of the disease.

Still, not everyone shares chelationists’ enthusiasm. The treatment is at the center of a whirlwind of medical controversy. Even the most open-minded physicians—like William Castelli, medical director of Framingham Heart Study, the longest-running analysis of the relationship between diet and heart disease—are skeptical.

But California doctor Ross Gordon is so sure EDTA is safe that he himself has undergone chelation treatment. President of the 400-member, 11-year-old American Academy of Medical Preventics (AAMPS), which designed and distributed guidelines for the therapy and helps to defend chelating physicians who are challenged by state medical boards, Gordon has treated himself for the past 15 years with more than 100 infusions of EDTA. “I’m 54 now,” he says. “When I was 32, my blood pressure was 220/110. Today my blood pressure is 130/85; I’ve taken no medication for the past 20 years, and that’s the reason chelation is worth fighting for.”

Caught in the middle are millions of desperate patients. They are in pain—often life-threatening pain—that mainstream medicine can’t seem to relieve. Yet their doctors discourage them from seeking alternatives. Chelation therapy using EDTA has become so controversial that the key issue is often obscured; a good deal of research suggests that chelation effectively improves impaired circulation.

Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid is a chelating agent, from the Greek Chele, meaning claw, which describes its action of grabbing ions, electrically charged metal atoms, and incorporating them into its structure. It is also an antibacterial agent and is widely used as a preservative.

EDTA has a particular affinity for heavy and toxic metals and was approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for lead poisoning in 1959. Unexpectedly, lead-poisoning victims who also suffered symptoms of arteriosclerosis reported that chelation reduced their angina and leg pain and increased their endurance. Because of these unforeseen benefits, doctors began studying the effects of EDTA on patients with arteriosclerosis.

In a series of patient studies performed between the mid-1950s and 1960, Norman E. Clarke, Charles N. Clarke, and Robert E. Mosher, physicians at Detroit’s Providence Hospital, observed striking subjective improvements in nearly 200 patients with a variety of symptoms, including angina, circulatory problems, and cerebrovascular senility.

In 1959, J. Roderick Kitchell, Chief of Cardiology at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia, and surgeon Lawrence E. Meltzer studied 10 patients with disabling angina who had not responded to any therapy. EDTA seemed ineffective, and the study was discontinued. But two or three months after their treatment ended, some patients reported fewer and less severe angina attacks. Five of nine patients who had had abnormal EKGs also improved. The enlarged hearts of three patients returned to normal size.

Although cautious, Kitchell and Meltzer concluded that all these improvements, plus their similarity to Clarkes’ findings, were persuasive evidence that “chelation may well be an effective treatment for coronary artery disease.”

Cranton and other physicians point to more recent studies for objective evidence of chelation’s benefits. In 1981, for example, AlchardCasdorph, former assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California Medical School in Irvine treated 18 patients with documented arteriosclerotic heart disease, some of whom had undergone bypass surgery but were still in pain. All their symptoms improved, and there was a small but significant increase in the heart’s pumping action in 17 of the 18 patients. Casdorph has also successfully treated patients with reduced cerebral blood flow and gangrenous limbs. In another recent study, Kansas City osteopath Edward McDonagh showed that chelation therapy can reduce abnormal retinal pressure in diabetic patients.

But patients’ own stories substantiate these medical reports.

Three years ago 51-year-old ReberTesterman, a Pennsylvania farmer, was told by a surgeon that the only treatment for his gangrenous left foot would be amputation of his leg from the knee down. Testerman was in constant pain; the only way around the three farms he managed was to drag his leg after him. He could sleep only in a big stuffed chair with his leg propped up over the side, and even then the pain would wake him after an hour. When his surgeon recommended amputation, Testerman decided to take a chance on chelation therapy. Even after chelation, he lost two of his toes and one side of his left foot, but he’s pleased to have his leg and nearly total mobility. “I feel if I had started chelation three months earlier I wouldn’t have needed any amputation at all,” he said recently.

In 1980, 46-year-old Jeri Hornsby had bypass surgery on her left carotid artery, hoping the operation would increase blood flow to her brain and relieve her dizziness, poor vision, and failing memory. Instead, she got worse: “I’d try to introduce my husband to someone and would totally go blank. ‘This is my…my…my…’ and I’d just stand there. I finally stopped introducing him.” Told surgery could do no more for her, Hornsby began chelation therapy. “After my fourth treatment, I started feeling better. After my seventh, I could drive again.”

Chelationists are justifiably angry that orthodox medicine ignores the existing studies. Indeed, the AMA writes that its unsuccessful literature search to confirm chelationists’ claims covered the period from 1966-1984. Yet pro-chelation literature reveals that the relevant studies took place prior to that period.

Patients are angry, too. Each EDTA infusion costs an average of $75, so a course of 20 with diagnostic tests runs up to $2,000. That’s far less than bypass surgery, which can cost more than $25,000, but insurance companies routinely pay for bypass, while patients must fight to be reimbursed for chelation and are flatly refused.

EDTA’s proponents point out that the arguments mounted against chelation could just as easily be aimed at chelation therapy’s main rival, the current darling of mainstream heart medicine, bypass surgery. Bypass has never been tested by controlled clinical trials. It is far more costly than chelation and far more dangerous, a criticism with which many mainstream physicians agree. Writing in the December 1984 Atlantic Monthly, Thomas A. Preston, chief of cardiology at Pacific Medical Center was forcefully blunt, “The operation does not cure patients, it is scandalously overused, and its high cost drains resources from other areas of need.”

Although bypass does offer most patients relief from angina for an average of two to five years, Elmer Cranton says this makes it even more dangerous; patients often think they’re all right and go on living unhealthy lives. As Cranton explains, “The bypass approach treats the tip of the iceberg, the site where plaque has developed most rapidly, while ignoring the rest of the circulatory network.”

Some chelationists believe that the therapy works because EDTA helps unclog the circulatory system by drawing calcium from plaque or that all of EDTA’s various effects stem from its proven action, as a lead chelator. Others say the EDTA helps reduce the effects of free radicals—highly reactive atomic structures lacking one electron that contribute to the process of aging.

Richard Casdorph has related the action of EDTA to that of a new class of heart medication, the calcium-channel blockers, that appear to reduce the entry of calcium into cells. Since arteries need calcium ions to contract, blocking them is believed to keep arteries relaxed and open. Casdorph says, “When you block the influx of calcium at the cellular level, you get a vasodilatory effect.”

What may be equally significant about chelation therapy, obscured by the furor over EDTA, is that it’s part of a holistic package, consisting of diet and other factors proven to allay heart disease. The chelation diet is low in fat and has no refined sugar, or white flour or rice. It is high in fiber, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables—similar to the diet recommended by the American Heart Association. EDTA treatment is also generally accompanied by serious mineral supplementation, primarily zinc, chromium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Michael Schachter, a board-certified psychiatrist practicing orthomolecular psychiatry and holistic medicine in Nyack, New York, points out, “We must check potassium levels since many patients who come for chelation therapy are on diuretics that cause a potassium loss.” Many chelating physicians insist that patients stop smoking, sometimes refusing to treat them until they do. And most patients are encouraged to begin an exercise program.

The heart of the therapy is the chelation experience: support groups that meet for three-and-a-half to four hours at a time, two or three times a week. Patients sit together in groups, giving each other positive reinforcement, encouragement, and support. They can’t walk around easily; distractions are few; the talk is of recovery. There’s little else to do but focus on the illness, the treatment, and getting well again. New patients walk into a room of others sitting in big recliners, each with a needle in one arm attached to an intravenous stand to one side. They usually remember that first moment vividly. Reber Testerman recalls, “What helped me most was the atmosphere. It was just relaxed and felt like home.” Jeri Hornsby says, “When you walk into the chelation therapy room and hear everyone talking and laughing, you’d think there wasn’t anybody sick in there. It’s like a big, happy family. And you think, all these people are getting better, so I’m going to get better.”

Bypassing Bypass: The New Technique of Chelation Therapy
by Elmer Cranton and ArlinBrecher, 1985

Chelation Therapy by Dr. Morton Walker, 1980

Reprinted from the Port Townsend Health Letter—Winter 1986

Freedenfeld: Chelation Study Criticized

by Stuart H. Freedenfeld, MD
Reprinted from the November 2002 Townsend Letter with permission

freedenfieldMany of our patients may have heard about a study published in JAMA, January 23, 2002, that claims to prove that chelation therapy has no benefit over placebo. I implore you to read the publication for yourself and I think you will conclude, as I did, that this study reaffirms the clear benefit of chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease.

The study was reported as a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. This means that neither doctors nor patients knew who got which treatment (double blind), and that participants were assigned to placebo or treatment group in a random fashion, and that one group got the “real thing” and the other group got a placebo. Unfortunately, in this study both groups got the real thing though one group got a more complete version of the real thing, so in fact, there was no placebo group. As anticipated, both groups improved significantly, and the “real thing” group improved more than the “placebo” group, but because the difference was small, the study could not demonstrate a statistically significant difference and therefore the conclusion was that chelation doesn’t work any better than placebo.

All patients had to have positive stress tests at 2-14 minutes of exercise to be included in the study. Both groups (39 patients in each group) were treated with a comprehensive evaluation of risk factors and both were given comprehensive vitamins and supplements as recommended by chelating physicians (but ignored by many conventional cardiologists). Both groups were also given 30 intravenous treatments twice weekly and then every four weeks for a total of 33 treatments. All intravenous treatments contained all the vitamins and minerals recommended by the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) except the “placebo” group did not get one of the ingredients – EDTA.

Though EDTA has been touted as the cornerstone of chelation therapy, it has never been felt to be the only important component of the treatment. If it were, then the other ingredients would not be used. In fact, each of the ingredients in the protocol serves important additive roles and the sum of the parts creates the benefits even if some of the ingredients are omitted.

So what did the study show?

•    Both groups had statistically significant improvement in time to ischemia on treadmill testing. (P<0.001 means the likelihood that this would be due to chance rather than the treatment is less than 1 in a thousand.) The treatment group receiving EDTA had a 16.66% better improvement than the “placebo” group. Because there were only 39 people in each group, this was not statistically significant. But if the same trend continued with a larger group, this would have been highly significant.

•    Both groups improved in essentially all areas measured. The EDTA treated group improved more than the “placebo” group in essentially all measures, but again the study size was too small to prove differences between the groups. But absence of proof is not the same thing as proof of absence!

• Evaluation of treatment relied upon treadmill testing which is an unreliable predictor of cardiac events, which really primarily identifies obstructing plaque in the coronary arteries, not the inflammatory plaque that is now accepted as the most likely cause of heart attacks. EDTA chelation has never pretended to clear out hardened plaque, but does claim to improve functional capacity and prevent heart attacks. If clearing out hardened plaque was useful, then we would expect that bypass surgery and angioplasties would improve life expectancy, but this has not been the case except in a small select group of obstructing hard plaque lesions.

• All patients were followed for one year after treatment. In the “placebo” group one patient developed a documented MI and 6 others were admitted for worsening angina. Four of these 7 patients had angioplasties and 1 other patient had a bypass. In the EDTA group, there was 1 MI and 9 admissions for worsening angina but no patients went on to angioplasty or bypass surgery! If treatment was stopped after 27 weeks, it is not surprising that some patients had return of angina. But it is very significant that NONE of the EDTA treated group went on to surgery compared to 5 out of 40 in the other group.

• In the placebo group 4 patients were withdrawn (there were actually 43 initially), 2 of these had unrelated medical conditions and 1 had increased angina, the fourth had bypass surgery. Of the original 41 in the EDTA group, 1 was withdrawn for an increase in serum creatinine (an event that we see and just watch as we continue chelation treatments) and 1 that was hospitalized with angina. So even in the dropouts there were twice as many cardiac problems in the group not receiving EDTA.

Unfortunately, the publication did not specify individual data on each patient. In a study this small it is common to see trends in individuals that may not be seen when all data scores are grouped together. I am sure others will get the raw data and reassess the results and come to alternative conclusions. For example, in this study, all stress tests were stopped at 14 minutes and anyone still going at that time was considered to have ischemia at 14 minutes! That means that if an individual developed ischemia at 13.5 minutes before the treatment and was able to exercise for 35 minutes after treatment, he would have been stopped at 14 minutes and declared to have ischemia at that time. His improvement would be listed as 30 seconds rather than 22 minutes. This kind of data collection would very significantly skew the results to avoid finding benefits.

Ray Evers, MD: Chelation Therapy and Preventive Medicine

by Ray Evers, MD
Reprinted from Townsend Letter with permission

medical-series-11-1485456-640x480Chelation therapy could hold the key to the basic treatment of some of our greatest killer diseases, those of the cardiovascular system. The diseases, all characterized by the same basic abnormality, that is, narrowing and closing off of the blood vessels, can affect any organ of the body. Everyone is familiar with the clinical picture of coronary heart attacks and strokes (hemorrhage of the brain) however, many other diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, adrenal disturbance, digestive problems, senility, emphysema, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc., may also be caused, at least in part, by interference with the proper delivery of blood to vital structures. Every cell of the body is totally dependent on the blood circulation to bring the essential nutrients to it and to take away the toxic products of metabolism. Any process that interferes with this constant flow will upset the delicate balance in the cell, change its ability to function properly, allow it to fall prey to toxic or hostile elements in the environment of that cell or tissue, and eventually may result in disease.

Fortunately, the circulatory system has a built-in safety mechanism to withstand a certain amount of obstruction. The flow through the average blood vessel is greater than the organ it supplies really needs. In fact, it is not until the blood flow is reduced to about 50% of normal that significant changes can be noted in the tissues supplied.

This great margin of tolerance is what permits young people to function without symptoms of clinical disease even though the process of arteriosclerosis has already produced measurable narrowing of arteries. Certain genetic factors, as well as nutritional defects, environmental poisons, stress factors, air pollutants, etc., may accelerate with patients in their forties until they are struck down in the “prime of life” by coronary attack or stroke. Military records show that in the Vietnam conflict about 95% of the bodies autopsied—between the ages of 18 and 25, representing the best physically fit men in America—had coronary artery disease. This shows that this disease does occur early in life. The statistics were almost identical to those from the Korean conflict.

All too often physicians have reassured many people, shortly before the catastrophe, that they are in the best of health. Anyone who assumes that a person is in excellent health in this day and age, on the basis of a few normal tests, is being dreadfully naive.

No one develops a coronary attack or stroke or peripheral vascular thrombosis or clot formation without a background of slow, insidious disease of the vessels. Until this fact is universally recognized, medicine will not advance beyond the cookbook style of “symptom” therapy. The greatest advance in preventive medicine lies in the medical community’s accepting this method of clearing the arteries of the deposits that close them BEFORE the symptoms, or attacks which make the disorder obvious to everybody. This is where chelation therapy has its greatest future.

An Example of Chelation
The word chelate comes from the Greek word “chele” meaning “to claw” (as a chicken). It refers to the way certain chemicals and body proteins can bind certain metallic ions that are positively charged to a negatively charged chelating agent. Most metals have a positive valence (electrical charge) of two. The chelating substance has negative charges of two that can combine with the positive ones of the metal and hold it fast in a pincers-like grip (as a claw). This combination or “chelate,” has entirely different properties from the metal alone or the chelating material alone. The binding of the metal is very sensitive to changes in temperature, acidity, metals, and other chemicals in the body. This means that although the metal is tightly held, a change in the above conditions can result in release of the metal and an exchange for another one, or binding of more or less the same metal. In this way, chelators naturally present in the body can pick up metals from one location, transport them to another, and rapidly release them when the local tissue factors change.

Iron and zinc are two important metals present in the body, and their transportation and migration in and out of cells are handled by the chelating process. The iron in hemoglobin, which is the pigment present in the red blood cells and is the oxygen carrier is an example of a chelated metal. In the plant world, chlorophyll, the green pigment that converts carbon dioxide and water into starch, is a chelate of magnesium.

This is a natural process and occurs in nature in many ways. It was not until 1942 that such chemical reactions were first discovered or explained and described by the biochemist. Now it is generally known and accepted that all the plant foods present in the soils are there in the chelated forms, and all the reactions such as we have just mentioned are chelated reactions. This method is widely used and certainly there is more research being done on it now than any other subject in biochemistry. A computer MEDLARS search of literature reveals over 3,500 articles have been written on this chemical process since 1966, as well as several books.

We believe very strongly in this method of therapy and feel it is a vital part of medicine of the future. That is why we believe so strongly in the “wholistic” approach to medicine. We must understand the whole person and also understand the cellular concept so we can understand the chemical reactions in the individual cells. I think this is very important, and medicine of the future lies with the doctors who truly understand the biochemistry of the human body because, after all, the human body is similar to a “biochemical” factory. Medicine of today, by necessity, is “bio-medicine.” Unless we know what is going on inside the cells, chemically speaking, we cannot do a good job in treatment of patients. For these reasons, I believe I have a right to my concept of medicine.

Chelation Therapy, A Natural Process
Let’s go back to what we said about electrical charges. Any element that has two or more positive electrical charges can be considered a metal for the purposes we are discussing. Calcium, usually thought of as a mineral, has two positive charges in its ionic form. Add the proper chelating agent, and calcium binds tightly to it and is excreted from the body through the kidneys.

As the inorganic calcium is removed from the blood by chelation, it will be pulled out of other metastatic areas to keep the blood level constant. The most readily available areas to supply this need are those where calcium has been abnormally deposited and where it is loosely bound. These sites are the inner walls of the blood vessels, heart, around tendons, joints, ligaments, the skin, kidneys, pancreas, and others. Thus, abnormal calcium deposits (inorganic) or calcification can be gradually reduced over a period of time because of these unique properties of chelating substances.

Calcium is not the only material that is present in the linings of the blood vessels in the disease of arteriosclerosis, but it does act as a cement-like binder, and when it is chelated out, the remaining material containing fatty substances, other minerals, and cholesterol are dissolved, metabolized by the liver, and excreted via the intestinal tract. As a result of the chelation of the plaque in the blood vessel, the lumen (space) of the blood vessel is greatly increased so that more blood can flow to the organs and tissues of the body. Even an extremely small increase in the diameter of this lumen will increase the flow through it by a much greater proportion. Thus, an increase of one millimeter in diameter of the lumen will permit a fourfold increase in flow to the organs and cells. That is the vital factor (Pousse’s Law).

It is unlikely that 100% removal of inorganic calcium is possible. However, we need only to increase the diameter of an artery by 25% to notice an appreciable improvement in blood flow. As the patient is being chelated, more and more calcium is removed until finally the calcium output (by examination of the urine) is returned to about the calcium baseline. As a result, clinical symptoms disappear, and the patient is greatly improved clinically.

People often ask the question, “Are we lowering the blood calcium?” No, the chelating process does not remove the blood calcium. The calcium that is chelated from the body is not the organic protein-bound calcium present in the bones and the teeth. So you have no reason to fear that chelation therapy will damage your bones or your teeth in any way.

We can now see that by copying nature’s technique of handling metals, an extremely valuable method has been devised to counteract directly the harmful effects of inorganic calcium deposits in the circulatory system. When combined with a proper nutritional program of live balanced foods and use of vitamins and supplements in the proper amount that will provide necessary stress-combating factors, we may begin to reverse the epidemic trend that cardiovascular disease has followed. Cardiovascular patients who have arteriosclerosis and have been diagnosed as being in need of bypass surgery should not be subjected to surgery until they have been given medical treatment such as chelation therapy. If this fails to improve the circulation, then we should by all means go ahead and do surgery, but medical treatment should be tried first.

Chelation treatment has been used successfully in such diverse diseases as angina pectoris, coronary arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, myocardial and coronary insufficiency, cerebral arteriosclerosis, hypertrophic arthritis, calcific tendonitis, calcific bursitis, hypertension, scleroderma, digitalis intoxication, calcinosis, arteriosclerosis obliterans, peripheral vascular insufficiency, intermittent claudication, aortic calcinosis, cerebral ischemia, diabetic retinopathy, emphysema, leg ulcers, gangrene, psoriasis, pityriasis, thrombophlebitis, hypoglycemia, heavy metal poisoning (lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic), cerebral degeneration and other degenerative diseases.

The clinical results in the majority of cases have been very gratifying. I have treated many patients with diabetic gangrene and arteriosclerosis obliterans with resulting gangrene and have been able to prevent amputation of extremities. In my experience with over 18,000 patients and 400,000 chelation treatments, the end results are almost miraculous. In almost all cases, it has produced marked improvement in circulatory function.

Our idea of the future of medicine is medicine that incorporates the use of chelation therapy, enzymes, physical medicine (including electronics), magnetic medicine, proper body alignment, and proper nutrition, as well as all other modalities. It is my hope that young physicians, the doctors of the future, will understand the need for this and have open, inquisitive, and unbiased minds.

We try to do all we can to get the body in chemical balance and the correct ratios of the minerals one to another, as well as the monovalent and the divalent elements into correct ratio. One of the methods we use in our work is “The Hair Analysis” in which we determine the metal contents stored in the human body. We often find that lead, for example, in the bloodstream does not correspond with the lead that is present in the hair. Many patients who suffer from arthritis actually have a high lead content in the hair.

Practically every enzyme in the body has some small amount of metal involved in its chemical structure. The metal is bound in chelated form. Without the trace metal, the enzyme is inactive. We see then that chelation is a process vital to our proper function and survival. Remember that we said that the binding is subject to changes in the cellular environment. If the conditions are not exactly right, the metal will not bind correctly or at all, and the enzymes may again be inactivated.

In a similar way, excess amounts of other metals, perhaps more active chemically than the correct one, may replace the normal one in the protein structure and block the proper action of the enzyme. This is how excess lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, and other environmental poisons may cause damage to vital structures by blocking normal enzyme action. They work over a long period of time and the damage they cause may be mistakenly attributed to virus infection, senile degeneration, neurotic or psychotic illness, hardening of the arteries, and others. These chemicals can lower tissue resistance and actually increase susceptibility to infection with bacteria and viruses, and accelerate the aging process. Recognition of the wide variety of symptoms and disease states initiated by intoxication with heavy metals is essential if the proper treatment is to be used in time, before the conditions become irreversible.

Almost every patient has some abnormality in heavy metals, with lead, mercury, and aluminum usually being the highest. An imbalance or high metal finding will explain many symptoms that have plagued the patient for years. It is not unusual to find patients who have seen many physicians, specialists, psychiatrists, neurologists, etc., and end up being told that they are nervous. Yet the simple cure is to remove the high level of one or more heavy metals.

The potential long-term effects of lead exposure are just beginning to be realized, when it is appreciated that children are getting huge quantities into their bodies by playing in dirt and dust that is constantly exposed to the fallout from smog or winds carrying exhaust fumes from the nation’s highways, freeways, and industrial complexes. It may eventually be necessary, in order to survive, for our next generation to require periodic chelation treatment to de-lead their bodies. The absorption of lead and the deposition of calcium in abnormal locations are continuous throughout life so that true preventive therapy should involve chelation therapy at regular intervals to prevent too great a build-up in the arteries and other tissues.

Now that you can see what a valuable addition chelation can be to a comprehensive program of preventive medicine, you probably wonder why so few people (especially physicians) have even heard of it. One reason is that there is no multimillion dollar campaign going on to advertise it to the medical profession. The chelating agent is no longer patented. (Disodium-edetate was patented by Abbott, and the patent expired in 1969. Since it is on the free market, no one company has been willing to spend the money and time to further research the drug.) As usual, a great idea often lies dormant if there is no promotional push to let everyone know about it. Only the pharmaceutical companies and the government can afford to spend the millions of dollars necessary to bring it to the attention of the medical profession and support the tremendous amount of research needed to market a drug for a specific purpose.

Another question often asked is does this therapy prolong life. Yes, it will prolong life and give a much better quality of life. We have worked with it long enough to state this enthusiastically. This has also been proven by the work of many other physicians. It is with every assurance that we try to re-establish a new ray of hope for our patients so that they may again enjoy life to the fullest. No treatment is a panacea. This therapy is worth trying in any case in which the patient is suffering from hardening of the arteries. We are treating a problem that is common to almost every living person and is responsible for about 60% of deaths in America, according to the Department of Vital Statistics of the U.S. Public Health Service.

I feel that this therapy is only a step forward, although a big step. We have started something that will require a generation of dedicated workers, or this advance may go unnoticed for another generation. We must be prepared to experience condemnations and problems, as we are experiencing now and can expect in the future. The lesser-informed members of the medical community will be stubborn and the opposition will be unrelenting. You will find that it is the medical bureaucracy that will be hard to convince that we have something valuable to offer. It is in third party medicine you find those who want no part of preventive medicine, unless they can find a way for their multibillion-dollar institutional complex to profit by it.

Chelation therapy seems to offer a new direction for hope since it influences the basic pathology taking place. Let us hope it gets the serious attention it merits—for our own sake—and for the sake of those who may need it desperately—our children!

I feel that a dedicated group of doctors will accomplish an awakening of a new method of treatment that is long overdue. Millions of crippled and ill patients will derive great comfort from this treatment. I am personally dedicated to do all in my power to spread the word and help accomplish that purpose. In accomplishing my goal, I use the following twenty letters (ten two-letter words) as the motto for my life, and they are: “IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.”

Reprinted from the Port Townsend Health Letter—Summer 1991

Jonathan Collin, MD: EDTA Intravenous Chelation Demonstrated Effective in Coronary Artery Disease by Electron Beam Tomography

DrCby Jonathan Collin, MD         

Reprinted from the Aug/Sept 2002 Townsend Letter with permission

Electron Beam Tomography (EBT) is a relatively new technique performed to evaluate the status of coronary artery disease. Available at an increasing number of university hospitals or affiliate institutions as well as at private, commercial radiology centers, EBT affords a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive means to assess calcification in the coronary arteries. Given the fact that atherosclerotic lesions contain at least 10% calcification and usually a greater percentage, EBT offers a definite alternative to a painful and sometimes risky angiogram procedure. Other techniques such as stress treadmill testing of the heart by electrocardiogram, thallium scan and ultrasound do not specify calcification of coronary arteries. While the cardiology community has reluctantly begun to consider this evaluation process, it offers the advantage that an individual can elect to obtain this screening without a doctor’s prescription; however, this generally means that health insurance will not reimburse it. (This was the case also when CT scans were introduced 2 decades earlier.) For many physicians involved in preventive and alternative medicine, EBT is an excellent screening procedure for younger men and middle-aged women to assess coronary artery disease risk.

It has been generally understood by cardiologists that atherosclerotic plaque formation is irreversible except in certain unusual circumstances. Well organized fibrotic plaque in the coronary arteries has been recognized to be a serious, life-threatening risk for myocardial infarction and other cardiac events. Although some reports were made in the last decade that lifestyle changes, dietary restriction and relaxation techniques were capable of reversing atherosclerotic disease (see work by Dean Ornish, MD), there has been little further confirmation of this work by other researchers. At some recent American Heart Association meetings, preliminary work has suggested that certain cholesterol-lowering agents, specifically “statin” drugs, have demonstrated some degree of atherosclerotic reversal. Nevertheless, these approaches remain preliminary. No medical treatments have been otherwise promising in reversing atherosclerotic heart disease. It has been the contention of chelation physicians that intravenous EDTA chelation has been effective in the treatment of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. (A bibliography of references on the effectiveness of IV. EDTA chelation is available from the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM), phone 949-583-7666, fax 949-455-9679, web site:, email:

At the American Biologics symposium in June, 2002 in Rhodes, Greece, H. Richard Casdorph, MD, PhD gave a presentation reviewing strategies employing nutritional and biochemical techniques to prevent heart disease. His presentation included data using EBT measurements on patients receiving intravenous EDTA chelation therapy. Patients under review were studied prior to receiving EDTA chelation; repeat EBT studies were made after receiving chelation treatment. The calcification scores were significantly reduced in post-chelation EBT studies. While this study is preliminary, it does provide evidence by objective measurement that intravenous EDTA chelation has a role in the reversal of atherosclerotic plaque. Dr. Casdorph’s work reminds us that the effectiveness of chelation in atherosclerosis may be questioned but it cannot be editorialized that no evidence exists for chelation effectiveness. We now have an excellent non-invasive and inexpensive tool to assess effectiveness of chelation therapy.

Jonathan Collin, MD: EDTA Chelation: Why Is It Being Denied Access To Victims of Heart Disease?

heart-1414885-639x650By Jonathan Collin, MD
Reprinted from the Townsend Letter with permission

In February, 1982, a revised insert was added to the Medicare Carriers Manual, stating “our decision not to cover Chelation therapy for the prevention or treatment of atherosclerosis is based on PHS’s findings that there is a lack of well-designed, controlled clinical trials of its effectiveness, and that the risks to health and safety attendant upon its use are a cause for concern.” EDTA is an FDA-approved drug. It is approved for the removal of metal ions in heavy metal poisoning. Normally, any use of an FDA-approved drug prescribed by a physician is covered…Why, then, is EDTA the “Exception to the rule?”

A clinical trial of effectiveness is based on statistics derived from use on human subjects over a period of time. Physicians using EDTA for atherosclerosis have recorded and documented an excess of 1000 reports, involving thousands of case studies and established without any doubt that EDTA Chelation improves circulation in atherosclerosis. Yet, red tape has consistently blocked its acceptance and use in treatment in the United States.

FDA Refuses to Examine Evidence
Normally, when a drug is observed to improve a major killing disease, there is a rush to research and approve the drug in order to make it immediately available to the victims of the disease. Why, then, is there such a sluggish response in the case of EDTA Chelation? As demonstrated by reference to existing scientific literature, EDTA therapy is a safe and effective treatment for atherosclerosis. In 1962, the FDA was required to examine the effectiveness of drugs marketed from 1938 to 1962, which included EDTA. As a result of the review, the FDA gave manufacturers the opportunity to submit evidence to support EDTA effectiveness in treatment of occlusive vascular disorders. The manufacturers of EDTA chose not to respond. However, the American Academy of Medical Preventics did respond. The Academy submitted reams of data on EDTA to the FDA, but the FDA refused to review the data! At a time when official concern for escalating health care costs is heightened, chelation therapy fits the criteria espoused officially for reducing costs. The therapy does not require hospitalization, or surgery, and the lasting effects of EDTA chelation equal or exceed those of alternate treatments. The FDA has received extensive documentation stating those conclusions. Yet, the FDA continues to effectively block the use and application of EDTA chelation. These critics of EDTA repeatedly refer to obsolete studies, written by scientists with little personal expertise in the use of EDTA for occlusive arterial disease.

Hundreds of thousands of coronary artery bypass surgical procedures have been performed without benefit of controlled studies to prove safety and effectiveness. Medical insurance companies, including Medicare, have traditionally paid for these very expensive surgical procedures without exception. The U.S. Public Health Service evaluated and recommended against the use of EDTA for the treatment of occlusive arterial disease. They based their conclusions on recommendations from cardiovascular surgeons, from the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology, assuming that those groups represent experts in the field of EDTA therapy.

Politically powerful and traditional medical organizations have a vested interest in arterial bypass surgery. This is a $2 billion-a-year industry! Many hospitals depend on these procedures for financial stability and the surgeons derive their income from bypass surgery and related treatment. A successful cardiovascular surgeon earns up to $500,000 each year. Yet, these are the very people asked to evaluate the effectiveness of an alternative treatment. Is there any way the FDA can claim to have obtained an unbiased opinion?

Toxicology of EDTA: Are the Risks a Serious Cause for Concern?
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary defines toxicology as “the science of poisons—their source, chemical composition, action, tests, and antidotes.” Normally, one speaks of poisons as those chemicals, drugs, and biologicals that induce severe illness, bodily injury, and/or fatality. Examples are lye, arsenic, and cobra venom. These substances induce poisoning in minimal quantities.

One does not consider, usually, baking soda, aspirin, or adrenaline as poisons, at least in the relatively small dosages to which we are exposed. This brings up a key point of toxicology. That is, at what dosage, or concentration does a chemical begin to induce poisoning? For substances such as baking soda, the dose level has to be quite high before symptoms of illness begin. Indeed, there is a quantitatively defined level for each and every substance beyond which toxic reactions occur. Therefore, every substance has a point of toxicity; even such beneficial things as water and vitamins. EDTA chelation, then, has toxicity at some measurable level. The question arises, what is that level at which EDTA induces toxicity, and is that level relevant to the normal concentration used in an EDTA treatment program?

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (9/82), the American Medical Association is quoted as stating in unconditional terms that EDTA chelation is dangerous. Let’s see how dangerous EDTA actually is in pure toxicological terms. Toxicology defines the lethal dose (LD50) as the concentration of a specified substance which will induce death in 50% of the organisms to which it is exposed. The LD50 is the official standard used in medical pharmacology to determine and define the lethal dose and compare it with (he drug’s effective dose, that is, the dose that is maximally beneficial. When the effective dose equals or is only slightly less than the LD50, there is only a minimal or no margin of safety between effective treatment and death. The drug digoxin (digitalis), used in treatment of heart failure, has an LD50 which is only five times greater than its effective dose. This means, for instance, if a patient is prescribed 0.25 mg. of digoxin, and the patient consumes 1.25 mg. of digoxin, he stands a reasonable chance of serious poisoning, and possibly death (at a dose only 5 times greater than the regularly prescribed level.) Thus, digoxin is a relatively dangerous medication. If the Wall Street Journal article’s premise is correct, that EDTA is dangerous, it is reasonable to expect that the comparative LDso safety margin of EDTA would be at least as bad, if not worse, than digoxin. In other words, in comparing two drugs, digoxin and EDTA, the safest drug is the one with the highest LD50 in relation to the effective dose.

In The Scientific Basis of EDTA Chelation Therapy by Bruce Halstead, M.D. (1979, Golden Quill Publishers, Colton, CA) reference is made to toxicological studies of Barnes (1964), Stecher (1968), Christensen (1974), and Catsch (1976). Using the rat as a testing animal, these investigators injected EDTA and other drugs or substances into the abdominal cavity. The LD50 was measured for each. The results are listed below:

LD50 Values for Drugs Injected in Rat
1. EDTA: 1900 milligrams per kilogram weight of the rat
2. Aspirin: 420 milligrams per kilogram weight of the rat
3. Digitoxin: 3.7 milligrams per kilogram weight of the rat
4. Tetracycline: 320 milligrams per kilogram weight of the rat
5. Ethyl alcohol (liquor): 1225 milligrams per kilogram weight of the rat

It is clear in this data that EDTA has a much higher lethal dose50 than the commonly used heart medication digitoxin, the pain remedy aspirin, and the antibiotic tetracycline. The opinion of the AMA fails to provide any new data on LD50 of EDTA that clearly demonstrates a dangerous toxicity (which is expected if EDTA is truly dangerous.)

A specifically named risk widely proclaimed by opponents of EDTA treatment is its possible toxicity to the kidney, known as nephrotoxicity. A comment can be made that all substances, as previously mentioned, have toxicity, including kidney toxicity. The risks of kidney toxicity are dependent on the level of the chemical in the body within a given length of time. In Halstead’s evaluation of EDTA chelation, nephrotoxicity is generally the “result of using dangerously high doses of the drug and too rapid a rate of infusion.” The protocol currently under use for EDTA chelation specifies maximal concentrations of EDTA, maximal frequency of infusion of EDTA, and provision for rest between treatments. Yes, kidney toxicity is a documented fact, as it is with many other beneficial drugs. But today, a case of kidney toxicity is very rare, because of the limited dose and frequency, and careful laboratory monitoring of the kidney and genito-urinary system.

Beyond the kidney dysfunction and toxicity, it is possible to experience transient symptoms such as post-treatment hypocalcemia (calcium drop), and some patients have complained of headaches, nausea, weakness, fatigue, anemia, and dermatitis, but these reactions are rare, and may be a result of element and vitamin deficiency. In terms of the actual chelation process, the risks of EDTA DO NOT POSE CAUSE FOR CONCERN.

The Joy of Chelation Therapy
Can any medical treatment be a joy, a pleasure? Not many, not even a few can claim such bliss. One treatment, however, may fill such a role. The process of EDTA chelation therapy is noticeably cheering to the patient. The method of chelation appears outwardly to be all-so-medical. An individual is plugged into an I.V. bottle containing EDTA in solution. Sitting for three to four hours, watching the liquid drip slowly into one’s arm is hardly entertainment! Or is it? Observing a group of patients receiving EDTA chelation in the doctor’s office is a remarkable experience. One sees live and gregarious activity, friendly discussion, sharing medical and personal experience, laughter, mutual and fraternal association and even new friendships. Of course, these are hallmarks of any group activity, but how many groups are centered around medical treatments? EDTA chelation is not a philosophy, an encounter group, nor a fraternal society. It is an AMA-approved treatment for lead poisoning. Moreover, it is a process for reversing atherosclerosis, the disease that clogs the arteries. That such a treatment is a joy is something observed in hundreds of offices throughout the U.S., including this one, on a daily basis. It is a celebration of hope.

What makes chelation a joy? The first and foremost concern is that EDTA is a drug, a chemical, and therefore certain to cause certain side effects and possibly a serious toxicity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s look at sheer statistics. Bruce Halstead, M.D., has documented careful scientific studies of the toxicity of EDTA. On a scale of 1 to 10, where one is the most safe and ten is the most hazardous, EDTA ranks close to aspirin, about 2 to 3. A major heart medication derived from digitalis ranks 7 to 8. Doctors treating a certain disease may think nothing of prescribing a drug with a high toxicity, when its benefits outweigh the potential for harm, and when properly administered! We hear a lot of criticism about the toxicology of EDTA. There is no dispute that if EDTA is given in a dosage 100 times its normal prescription, it is harmful. But the same statement can be about digitalis, diuretics, pain medication, tranquilizers and sedatives, antibiotics, and even aspirin. So, while EDTA is a chemical, drug, it does not often cause side effects and rarely (very rarely) induces a serious toxicity. The same cannot be said for many commonly prescribed medications. For a patient on chelation therapy, experiencing no side effects or toxicity, this is a joy! Halstead cites that in the U.S. from 1970–1980, 100,000 patients received in excess of 2,000,000 treatments of EDTA chelation without any report of significant toxicity. For a “drug,” EDTA has certainly demonstrated a very effective record of safety.

One does not measure joy on the basis of escaping pain, however. How does EDTA chelation therapy produce joy? Reversing hardening of the arteries is one sure-fire way. EDTA treatment provides an increase m blood supply and oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body. Such circulatory rejuvenation improves convalescence during heart attack and stroke; relieves symptoms of transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes), angina and intermittent claudication of the extremities (pain on walking.) Work published by the International Association of Gerontology and Aging documents EDTA’s role in reversing the aging process by altering enzymes in the walls of the artery. Peer review literature in 1981–82 documents significant improvements in circulation through the carotid arteries and coronary arteries following chelation therapy (see Casdorph, H.R. in the Journal of the American Holistic Medical Association.)

Such studies carried out using the state-of-the-art cardiovascular tools via nuclear scanning techniques, defines objective evidence for the role EDTA plays in reversing atherosclerosis. When one can get up and walk several miles without experiencing any pain, this is joy. When one can play and work hard and cease to experience the incapacitating chest pain of angina, this is joy. Regaining memory and concentration thought to be long gone—this is joy. The joy is the change in relationships one shares with others following chelation therapy!

The Men and Women Who Prescribe Chelation
In terms of international medicine in 1982, EDTA chelation therapy is being practiced most openly in the United States. The EDTA treatment is very prominently at what Marilyn Ferguson (author of Aquarius Conspiracy, 1980) terms the leading edge of medical research. Already established as a treatment of atherosclerosis administered according to a medical protocol, it is under close scrutiny by expert researchers in several medical universities. Organizations supporting its use include the American Academy of Medical Preventics in Los Angeles, CA., the International Academy of Preventive Medicine in Kansas, the Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine in Bellevue, WA, the American Holistic Medical Association in Virginia, and others. University related research was formerly carried out actively by Norman Clarke Sr, M.D., and Norman Clarke Jr, M.D., at the Detroit General Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. More recently John Olwin, M.D., Professor of Surgery at Rush Medical College in Chicago, has investigated chelation therapy. Other investigators performing university research are H. Richard Casdorph, M.D. of Long Beach, CA.; Bruce Halstead, M.D. of Colton, CA.; Lloyd Grumbles, M.D. of Philadelphia, PA. The National Institutes of Health and the American College of Cardiology have been requested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to carry out a well-designed evaluation of EDTA over the next two years. It is appropriate, then, to devote some attention to those individuals prescribing chelation.

Bruce Halstead, M.D. is a premier researcher of marine toxicology. He is the sole author of a three-volume compendium exhaustively detailing the anatomy, physiology, and toxicology of marine organisms. Research exploration has brought him into medical consultation with more than 120 nations, including a rare consulting status with the first Soviet Medical School at Moscow and Vladivlostock. With an esteemed background in toxicology, Bruce Halstead has established a chelating medical practice in Loma Linda and, more recently, in Colton, CA. Halstead states in the preface of his book, The Scientific Basis of EDTA Chelation Therapy, “After having taken an extensive series of EDTA chelation/treatments, and having administered several thousand treatments to others, I have developed a deep appreciation of the clinical value of the therapy.”

In Chelation Therapy: How to Prevent or Reverse Hardening of the Arteries by Dr. Morton Walker, numerous chelating physicians are highlighted. H. Ray Evers, M.D., of Cottonwood, Alabama administered EDTA to Dr. George W. Frankel, M.D., Chief of E.N.T. of two Long Beach, CA, hospitals in 1971. The E.N.T. Chief observed his diabetic ulcers and gangrene clear up under The EDTA Chelation prescribed by Evers. Yiwen Y. Tang, M.D., F.A.B.F.P., of San Francisco, CA, chelated Roland 0. Hohnbaum, D.O., a Richmond, CA, chiropractor in 1975. The photographs of Hohnbaum’s feet before and after chelation are clear statements of medical reversal. Vascular surgeons advised Hohnbaum prior to chelation therapy to have his legs amputated. The illustrations reveal the elimination of the diabetic gangrene? The chiropractor was able to return to full-time work. Robert Vance, D.O., of Salt Lake City treated Dean Baxter, an executive of the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company of Houston in 1980. Dean was diagnosed by coronary angiography to have 10% blockage in one heart vessel, 90% blockage in two other major heart vessels. Dean turned down flatly orders given by several heart surgeons of Houston’s prestigious bypass surgery centers. Instead, he traveled to Utah and received a series of EDTA chelations. Post chelation radionuclide studies of the heart revealed major improvement of circulatory flow through the formerly blocked vessels. Baxter was given new medical orders to return to full activity and follow-up his dietary modifications. The doctors who ordered bypass surgery could not believe that chelation influenced this improvement! Harold Harper, M.D., of Los Angeles, CA., infused EDTA in a Houston physician suffering a heart attack in 1974. The patient, Lester Tavel, D.O., required electrical shock to restore his heart’s rhythm to normalcy, and the heart expanded, filling the chest. Enzymes demarking heart functioning were profoundly abnormal. Following a course of EDTA chelation given by Harper, Dr. Tavel was reexamined and found to have normal heart functioning.

Dr. Morton Walker narrates similar medical reports from chelating physicians Robert Rogers, M.D. of Melbourne. Florida; Sibyl W. Anderson, D.O. of Jenks, Oklahoma; Warren M. Levin, M.D., F.A.A.A.P., New York City; the late Carlos R Lamar, M.D., F.I.C.A., of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charles Farr M.D., Ph.D., of Norman, Oklahoma; Garry F. Gordon, M.D., of Sacramento, CA; Gus Schreiber, M.D., of Dallas, Texas; Leo J. Bolles, M.D., of Bellevue, WA; William Mauer, M.D., of Zion, Illinois, and more.

One Doctor’s Office
Gone the sterile hushed atmosphere of the doctor’s office. No more urgent whispered voices of softly-stepping nurses hurrying on nursely errands. Take one moment to visit the office of Dr. Jonathan Collin, M.D., a practicing preventive medicine doctor, in Port Townsend, WA.

You park in front of a restored Victorian home, painted spring-fresh green with leaded windows, a winding brick walkway, and of course, a picket fence. As you pass through the gate, you already begin to relax as you admire the manicured lawn, and feast your eyes on the multi-colored flora. As you near the office door, you hear the hum of excited and happy voices. When you open the door, you are at least prepared for a new experience.

At the front desk reigns Jill, office manager, guru in charge of cheerfulness, decor, and prompt payment of your bill. In a homey room to the left are a couch, recliners, chairs, tables, and lots of good reading. If you have a heart problem, you are likely to spend a lot of time in this room; a not-so-unpleasant idea, considering that here is the source of the happy voices. And why are these folks so happy? After all, they are suffering from a serious and debilitating disease. Perhaps, there is a joy in the experience of receiving EDTA.

Reprinted from Heart Disease In Transition: A Medical Newsletter Written For The Patient