Chelation therapy involves an intravenous infusion of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The agent is believed to bind with and remove metals from the body, which are then urinated away. An EDTA-based chelation regimen significantly reduced the primary composite endpoint of death, recurrent MI, stroke, coronary revascularization, and hospitalization for angina. However, the treatment isn’t without risk, and health insurance doesn’t typically cover it.
It Reduces the Risk of Heart Failure
Chelation therapy uses medicine to remove toxic metals like lead, iron, mercury, and arsenic from the body. These metals can build up and cause health problems, including heart disease. However, there is no evidence that over-the-counter chelation products, such as dietary supplements and nasal sprays, work to treat heart disease. Furthermore, these over-the-counter products can cause serious side effects, including kidney damage. In TACT, one patient receiving EDTA infusions had to stop treatment because of high blood calcium levels, a sign of kidney damage. This happened after ten treatments. Another EDTA patient had to stop treatment because of an increase in the level of creatinine, a marker of kidney function. However, these symptoms were unrelated to the chelation treatment and did not interfere with the completion of the study. The reason why a few studies show positive results of EDTA chelation therapy for heart disease is that the chelating agent, disodium ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), reduces inflammation, decreases oxidative stress, and prevents plaque rupture and formation in the coronary arteries. However, other factors could explain these results. More research is needed to establish a clear and compelling mechanism by which EDTA chelation therapy benefits cardiovascular health. Nonetheless, this treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and help prevent death from heart disease.
It Reduces the Risk of Stroke
EDTA works by finding and sticking to the metals in the bloodstream, including calcium that clogs arteries. It also removes heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic. This process is known as chelation therapy, and though it’s not taught in medical school, doctors with specialized training can perform it. It is typically administered via intravenous infusion, and the sessions can last for hours or longer. Although the initial TACT results weren’t powerful, they did show that EDTA lowered people’s chances of having a stroke by about four percentage points compared to placebo. This result was strengthened by analyses of the subgroup of patients with diabetes, who experienced a more significant risk reduction. But the benefits were still so marginal that experts say chelation isn’t ready for routine use, and they’re calling for more high-quality studies to test its safety and efficacy. It’s important to remember that chelation is not a replacement for standard cardiovascular treatment, including medication and lifestyle changes. However, it can be a powerful addition to your heart health regimen if you need extra help overcoming cardiovascular problems.
It Reduces the Risk of Heart Attack
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the US, but many treatments are available. These include medicines, lifestyle changes, and procedures such as angioplasty. Many people also seek complementary health approaches like chelation therapy, which uses ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) to bind heavy metals in the blood and remove them. However, not all EDTA-based therapies are safe and effective. One theory behind chelation therapy is that it reduces the risk of heart attacks by binding calcium in fatty plaques lining arteries. This sweeps away plaque in much the same way that drain cleaners might open clogged pipes. This theory has yet to be backed by solid science, however. Several studies have failed to show that EDTA binds calcium in stable atherosclerotic lesions or prevents the progression of that lesion.
Nevertheless, a recent randomized controlled trial found that disodium EDTA infusions significantly reduced cardiovascular events in patients with previous myocardial infarction (MI). This effect was powerful in diabetic patients. However, the authors of this study note that more high-quality trials are needed to confirm these findings and determine whether current EDTA regimens benefit people with coronary heart disease who do not have diabetes.
It Reduces the Risk of Angina
Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) is one of the most commonly used chelating agents and has been claimed to reduce atherosclerosis by mobilizing the metals involved in its formation. EDTA is also thought to improve vascular elasticity, reduce blood cholesterol levels, decrease total body iron, and increase natural nitric oxide synthase enzyme production. Several studies have reported positive results of EDTA chelation therapy, particularly in people with peripheral artery disease. However, only a few randomized controlled trials have been published in this area. One study compared infusions of disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) with placebo infusions and daily oral multivitamins and minerals (OMVM). The primary endpoint was death, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for angina. Other prespecified secondary endpoints included exercise time to ischemia, quality of life, and walking distance.