Chelation 101

chelation injection medBelow is my first posting on Chelation Therapy. For those of you that don’t know or understand what it is, this post should help you grasp the basics. For those that may want to reference more material, check out this article on Chelation Therapy.

What is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation therapy was first discovered in the 1950’s when lead poisoning victims were treated with the intravenous fluid now associated with chelation therapy.

It was extremely successful at removing toxic lead from the victims, and was used more frequently through time. It is so successful that chelation therapy is now used by more than 500,000 Americans each year.

Chelation (key-LAY-shun), by definition, refers to the bonding of specific chemicals to heavy metals and minerals. By extension, chelation therapy is an alternative therapy that includes removing heavy metals and minerals from the blood by injecting a chelating material into the bloodstream.

The heavy metals and minerals it has been successfully used to remove are as follows: mercury, iron, arsenic, calcium, copper, and lead. The process involves intravenous injections of synthetic amino acids, which are naturally occurring in the body.

The chemical composition of the fluid injected intravenously is known as ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid, and is referred to as EDTA. This EDTA easily bonds to many heavy metal and mineral ions (as mentioned previously), which allows them to quickly and easily be excreted through the urine.

Another benefit of chelation therapy is EDTA’s ability to bind to calcium, which is a mineral found in hardened and clogged arteries. Due to the binding, It is thought that chelation therapy can also treat hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), by binding to the EDTA and removing itself as urine.

his results in the opening of clogged arteries. This is seen as a successful alternative therapy as it can minimize the need for more invasive surgical procedures such as bypass surgery.

It is also widely believed that chelation therapy can be used used to successful treat ALS, Autism, MS, and Alzheimer’s, all which have links to heavy metals and minerals found in the body.

What are the controversies or questions regarding the legitimacy of chelation therapy?

Chelation Therapy today is often administered including high dosages of antioxidant vitamins and mineral supplements. While positive outcomes have still been present without high vitamin and mineral supplements, it has been suggested that the positive outcomes of the therapy could be attributed to these added vitamins and mineral supplements.

Another questions has been regarding the potential bone loss in relation to EDTA’s ability to remove calcium from the blood stream. On the contrary, EDTA works to strengthen the bones by turning on the output of the parathyroid hormone, which is directly linked to strengthening bone structures within the body.

As well, there is concern that kidney damage could be a result from chelation therapy. There is documented evidence of this, although this outcome was due to the lack of experience 30 years ago when the correct dosage of EDTA was still not known. Today, chelation therapy is governed by The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology, which insures that all administering the therapy are certified.

Regardless of governing by a regulatory body, chelation therapy is still considered controversial, and because of its lack of recognition by health plans, remains quite expensive. The proven benefits remain, and chelation therapy persists in the treatment of removing high levels of heavy metals and minerals from the body.