by Ray Evers, MD
Reprinted from Townsend Letter with permission
Chelation 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