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EDTA chelation

Posted Jun 24 2009 7:01pm

EDTA IV chelation is unproven for any indication. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid ("EDTA") is a synthetic amino acid first used in the 1940' s for treatment of heavy metal poisoning. It is widely recognized as effective for that use as well as certain others, including emergency treatment of hypercalcemia and the control of ventricular arrhythmias associated with digitalis toxicity. Proponents claim that EDTA chelation therapy is effective against atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems. Its use is widespread because patients have been led to believe that it is a valid alternative to established medical interventions such as coronary bypass surgery. However, there is no scientific evidence that this is so. It is also used for "lead poisonng" by those who establish this condition by using non-FDA approved testing methods. To my knowledge there iwere two engative studies. In 1992, a group of cardiovascular surgeons in Denmark published results of a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study of EDTA treatment for severe intermittent claudication   A total of 153 patients in two groups received 20 infusions of EDTA or a placebo for 5 to 9 weeks, in a clinical protocol duplicating the conditions used by Olszewer and Carter in 1990. The changes seen in pain-free and maximal walking distances were similar for the EDTA-treated and the placebo group, and there were no long-term therapeutic effects noted in 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. These investigators concluded that chelation was not effective against intermittent claudication. In 2001, researchers at the University of Calgary reported that cardiac patients receiving chelation therapy fared no better than those who received placebo treatment. The patients were randomly assigned to get intravenous infusions twice weekly for 15 weeks and monthly treatments for 12 more weeks. Thirty-nine patients in each group completed the 27-week protocol and were followed for about six more months. The chelation and placebo groups showed no difference in exercise capacity or feelings of well-being, but both groups increased their ability to walk on a treadmill by an average of one minute

Guldager B and others. EDTA treatment of intermittent claudication: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of Internal Medicine 231:261-267, 1992.
Knudson ML and others. Chelation therapy for ischemic heart disease: a randomized, controlled trial. JAMA 287:481-486, 2002.
Ernst E. Chelation therapy for coronary heart disease: An overview of all clinical investigations. American Heart Journal 140:139-141, 2000.
Ernst J. Commentary. Chelation therapy does not benefit heart patients. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies 7153, 2002.

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