Chelation Summary Discussion
Conditions for which EDTA has been used
EDTA chelation IV therapy: EDTA has been successfully used in the treatment of atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis for over 50 years. Yet there is a very select few Medical Doctors and even fewer Naturopathic Doctors who have received proper training in this wonderful technology. It will be difficult to find a doctor who practices EDTA because the AMA and FDA do not promote this technology to Medical Doctors. EDTA is administered directly into the blood veins and must be administered in a medical office, under the direction of a doctor who has been trained in EDTA IV chelation therapy.
You may need to check out the International College of Integrated Medicine, icimed.com, (ICIM), to find a doctor in your area that uses EDTA in his or her practice.
Oral EDTA: It was once believed, and is still believed by some doctors, that orally administered EDTA is only absorbed about 5% into the bloodstream, limiting it’s use as a treatment. This has been proven to be a false belief. It has been my experience as a doctor, that correctly consumed oral EDTA is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. It is also the experience of Doctor Gary Gordon, MD, whom I met at a physician’s continuing education seminar. Dr. Gordon has been using orally administered calcium EDTA for many years and is a pioneer in his field. When I met Dr. Gordon, his skin texture was like a 25 year old. Yet, he was well into his 70s. He is still very much alive and well, with all mental capacities just like when he was only 25 years old, though now, a lot wiser. He is now about 80 years old.
I have found best absorption to be on an empty stomach, taken with a lot of warm nano water. In my experience, the best absorption is with the following:
- Use of “nano” technology drinking water.(1)
- Take at the same time as your warm gelatine drink.(2)
- Use EDTA in a formula that is combined with other nutritional co-factors.(3)
- When using any EDTA, you MUST replace lost vitamins and minerals.(4)
- Cost comparison of an oral EDTA formula, verses IV administration.(5)
- Take it twice a day.
(1) Nano technology allows more complete absorption of nutrients. Nano technology is just starting to become more popular. You can begin to find this both in and out of the health industry. Some examples outside the health industry are some high tech oils that bond deeper in the metals, providing greater rust resistance and deeper lubrication principles. In the health industry, this technology is relatively new and very few manufacturers offer this option. When they do, the cost can be quite high. An easier and more cost effective route is using nano water. Water molecules found in nature (in today’s water sources), are grouped together in large sized clusters. Nano technology breaks these into smaller clusters of water molecules. Water is simply a medium that transports nutrients throughout the body. Using nano water molecules, will allow greater absorption of nutrients, without the need to purchase nano technology supplements. (I have gone into far greater detail in my “Polycrests” and “Gelatine” topics, found in the index of this website. Click on the subtitle: “Baking Soda and pH values.”)
(2) Gelatine, when taken on an empty stomach, with warm water, is readily absorbed through the stomach and duodenum linings, directly into the bloodstream. Taking the EDTA formula at the same time as your gelatine drink, will help enhance absorption of the EDTA molecules. Gelatine taken with food, instead of being absorbed through the stomach and duodenum linings, is mixed up with the food and therefore enters into the digestive tract where it is digested as food. EDTA, taken without food but with warm water, will have a greater chance of being absorbed into the blood stream, as opposed to consuming with food and entering via the intestinal tract. (Details of my recommendations for using gelatine to help build collagen stores, is located in the topics section of this website, under “Polycrests” and also “Gelatine”, subtitle “Gelatine.”)
(3) Oral EDTA taken alone, is not as readily absorbed, as when it is combined with several other nutrients in a formula designed to enhance absorption, bio-availability, and effectiveness.
(4) EDTA is a “claw” type of molecule. As administered, with in an IV or orally, it is combined with a lower stability constant mineral such as magnesium or calcium. As it enters the blood stream and passes into cellular tissues, when it comes in contact with a mineral with a higher stability constant, it dumps the magnesium or calcium, and captures the other mineral into its claw. As such, some important vitamins and minerals are lost in the EDTA chelation process. This cannot be helped. Therefore, it is imperative, that replacement vitamins and minerals are given routinely.
(5) While I worked as medical director in an Oregon clinic, patients receiving EDTA chelation were required to have 30 EDTA intravenous treatments, spread out over 30 weeks. One per week. Between each EDTA treatment (midweek), a replacement vitamin / mineral IV was administered.
The cost at that clinic was $95.00 per EDTA treatment, plus $85.00 per vitamin / mineral treatment. ($95.00 x 30 IVs) + ($85.00 x 30 IVs) = $5400.00. (2002 prices)
Our EDTA from the pharmacy contained 150mg of EDTA per ml. We used 20 ml per EDTA treatment. (150 mg x 20 = 3000 mg EDTA per IV treatment.)
The oral formula I now use contains 400 mg EDTA per packet. (3000 mg divided by 400 = 7.5 packets needed to equal one IV treatment.)
Each bottle of the EDTA formula we use contains 30 packets and sells for $62.00. (30 packets divided by 7.5 packets needed to equal one IV treatment = the equivalent of 4 IV treatments per bottle.)
Each bottle of this EDTA oral formula also contains all the vitamins and minerals needed to replace those lost, plus additional quantities. Each packet contains enough of so many ingredients, that this formula also replaces the need for additional daily doses of a high quality multiple vitamin / mineral supplement. Therefore, the need for an additional replacement IV has already been built into this formula.
Assuming all the oral EDTA has been absorbed, it would take 7.5 bottles of this supplement to received the same quantity of EDTA as we required each EDTA patient to receive when the IV route was administered. Total cost for the IV route was $5400.00. Total cost for 8 bottles of this EDTA formula is $496.00. ($62.00 per bottle x 8 bottles = $496.00)
EDTA suppositories: Each suppository is 1/10 a normal IV dose. Suppositories come packaged ten to a box. Therefore one box is equivalent to one medically administered EDTA chelation IV therapy. The suppositories can be administered in the privacy of your home. There are a few doctors who do not agree with this delivery method because they feel the EDTA is not very well absorbed via the rectum. (It is only minutely absorbed in the stomach, which is why the manufacturer produced the suppositories.) The manufacturer has doctors who do believe, and some evidence to back up their claims, that suppositories deliver 90% of their EDTA into the bloodstream.
You may need to visit the manufacturer’s website www.medicardium.com, to help locate a physician in your area who sells these suppositories.
DMPS chelation: An IV push form of chelation therapy which must be administered under the supervision of a doctor who is licensed to use DMPS in the state of his licensure. The Journal of Chelation Therapy, produced by the American College for Advancement in Medicine, advises that DMPS be used only as a diagnostic tool to determine current levels of heavy metal toxicity. Also, if you have old silver amalgam dental fillings, it is strongly advised you do NOT receive DMPS as DMPS has been found in saliva and is believed may actually leach out mercury from the old fillings, thus causing a RISE in mercury toxicity in the body.
DMSA chelation: An oral form of chelation therapy which is the most gentle form of chelation, yet is highly effective. DMSA must be administered under the supervision of a doctor who is licensed to use DMSA in the state of his licensure.
Chelation therapy is the “chelating,” or removal, of heavy metals toxicity. There are three basic chelators in use today: EDTA, DMPS and DMSA.
Intravenous EDTA is administered via a 500 CC IV drip, and usually takes three to four hours to complete if using magnesium EDTA. Calcium EDTA has been found to be equally as effective, more gentle to administer, and can be administered much faster. Calcium EDTA can also be administered via a “push” method, which requires about 20 minutes. Calcium EDTA can also be taken orally. DMPS is usually administered via a 10 CC IV Push, and usually takes 20 - 30 minutes to complete. DMSA is an oral form and can be taken at home, as prescribed. Your doctor will determine which form of chelation therapy is best indicated for you.
EDTA is also available in the form of a suppository. There are two manufacturers of EDTA suppositories. Both are made and available in the USA, but must be purchased through a doctor’s office.
Most generally, all chelators are considered to be removers of heavy metals toxicity. EDTA is the only chelator that has been used over the last 50 years to also reverse the effects of arterial plaque, thus preventing further strokes, and / or heart attacks.
EDTA is a “claw” molecule that removes elements with a high stability constant, which usually means heavy metal toxicity. Most heavy metals are imbedded within various cell walls where they do their damages to those cells, and are not freely moving around in the body. All heavy metals have varying stability constants with the chelation molecules. During the normal chelation process, the chelator picks up heavy metals, then when a metal with a higher stability constant comes in contact with the chelator molecule, the chelator will drop the metal with the weaker stability constant in favor for the metal with the higher stability constant. Thus, during a normal chelation session, some unbound heavy metals will be freely moving around in the body. Due to the normal perfusion of blood and body fluids through the intestines, some heavy metals will find their way into the intestines where they will eventually be re-absorbed back into the blood stream.
Drinking a large amount of nano water, with a high ORP (oxidative reduction potential) (see topic: “Polycrests”, then click on Baking Soda and pH values.), will be very helpful. Drink a minimum of one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. Thus a 150 pound person should consume 75 ounces of water, daily. This is pure water, not juice, coffee, or other beverages.
All chelation therapy is hard on your vitamin / mineral stores. Some type of analysis should be done prior to receiving chelation therapy. A very efficient test is a hair analysis. It is very inexpensive and easy. Determination of your vitamin / mineral status will better help your physician make a proper vitamin / mineral replacement protocol for you. A more elaborate analysis is an Erythrocyte Mineral Analysis. This tests for the amount of minerals that are actually present inside the Red Blood Cells. It is also a much more expensive test.
The father of modern biochemistry was the French-Swiss chemist, Alfred Werner; who in 1893 developed the theory of coordination compounds, today referred to as chelates. For this turning point in reclassifying inorganic chemical compounds, Werner received the Nobel Prize in 1913. He went on to create accounting for the process by which metals bind to organic molecules, which is the basis for chelation chemistry.
The first applications of Werner’s monumental discovery were in the field of industrial production. Starting in the 1920’s, many new materials such as paints were introduced, and in their manufacturing the elimination of heavy metal contamination was crucial. Citric acid was found to be helpful, but in the mid 1930’s Germany was motivated to develop its own chelating material and not be dependent on importing citric acid. The synthetic substance they invented was EDTA (Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetate). While creating EDTA for their own use, the Germans manufactured so much and the product gained such a reputation that they began selling it on the global market foe industrial use.
Medical applications were not yet being considered for EDTA, but with war approaching military workers were afraid of poison gas being used, and they searched for antidotes. England especially had experienced poison gas in World War I, and at Oxford University researchers invented their own chelating substance to diminish the effects of exposure to poison gas.
After World War II the new threat was atomic warfare, and the United States of America began producing and stockpiling large quantities of EDTA, which was recognized as more effective than the British chelation material.
While this manufacturing of EDTA for protection against radioactive fallout was going on, no one paid attention to the first medical application in real life that had been carried out in 1947 by Dr. Charles Geschickter at the Georgetown University Medical Center. A patient undergoing chemotherapy had accumulated toxic nickel complexes in her system. In trying to save her, Dr. Geschickter thought of EDTA as the only thing that could work, and he successfully used it. This did not however lead to widespread use.
In the 1950’s EDTA was tried with equal success in curing people with lead poisoning who were working in a battery plant and the U.S. Navy used it on people who had acquired lead poisoning in repainting old ships. In both of these applications, not only did EDTA eliminate the poisoning, but also the patients were relieved of atherosclerosis, chest pains, arthritis, memory loss, inability to concentrate, etc. Hearing of these cures, heart specialists at Wayne State University used EDTA on a group of patients that were believed to have incurable conditions – even the most seriously ill of the group were restored to near normalcy. From the 1950’s on, many doctors continued, with confidence based on their experience, to utilize chelation therapy in a wide variety of medical applications with great success.
Published articles regarding successful treatment of atherosclerosis with EDTA began appearing in medical journals in 1955, and many more since then. In 1973, the American Academy of Medical Preventics was formed to educate physicians and promote the utilization of EDTA chelation therapy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. This organization was renamed the American Academy of the Advancement of Medicine in 1986. In 1983, the formation of the American Board of Chelation Therapy was formed to set parameters for the education and testing of physicians for competence in the administration of EDTA chelation.
Chelation, while absolutely legal, is limited in advertising claims for treatment of lead poisoning, hypercalcaemia (1) (when using magnesium ETDA), and ventricular fibrillation secondary to digitalis toxicity. The FDA has not approved claims for conditions other than these. Dr. Ray Evers, however, in 1978 won a precedent case regarding a physician’s legal use of a drug approved by the FDA for a specific condition, may be used for another condition for which it has not been approved.
(1) Hypercalcaemia is an elevated calcium level in the blood.
Many non-alternative doctors have since enjoyed and employed the benefits of this ruling in the distribution of their prescription drugs. The American Medical Association, while not yet endorsing chelation therapy for atherosclerosis, does approve its use in the treatment of lead and other heavy metal poisoning. It is most unfortunate that the EDTA patent expired in 1969, resulting in the loss of interest in research by major drug companies.
Patients who use chelation are those who have heart disease, a family history of heart disease, or heavy metal toxicity. Fully half of the bypass operations performed in the United States are unnecessary. A decade of scientific study has shown that except in certain well-defined situations, bypass surgery does not save lives or even prevent heart attacks: Among patients who suffer from coronary-artery disease, those who are treated without surgery enjoy the same survival rates as those who undergo open-heart surgery. MD Magazine, Feb. 1995.
Many diabetics and macular degeneration patients believe using chelation helps increase peripheral circulation. Chelation is also frequently used and found beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, organic poisoning, and heavy metal reduction.
One of the greatest attractions of chelation therapy is that it is very safe. There are very few medical procedures that can report, as can chelation, no fatalities at all. Every year, in contrast, prescribed drugs, hospital accidents and mistakes result in many deaths. By now, modern medicine has the benefit of a long history of chelation in heavy application, and those who specialize in it are sure of what it can do and the very best ways of using it.
In early experiments, EDTA was often used in doses up to 10 times the amount now recommended. This resulted in serious adverse side effects including renal failure. With the use of laboratory testing, including kidney function tests, and by following recommended protocols, a physician can chelate safely.
Following the guidelines of the American College of Advancement of Medicine (ACAM), estimates are at least 500,000 patients have received over 10,000,000 treatments without a single fatality attributed to EDTA. This cannot be said about surgical procedures or even taking aspirin.
You will need to see a doctor to get started on your intravenous chelation program. The necessary laboratory tests vary from patient to patient, but there are a few tests everyone will need. These tests include: CBC and Chem Screen plus magnesium; Creatine clearance to establish kidney function; Hair analysis to determine mineral status and implied levels of heavy metal toxins.
Other tests may include a pre and post-provocative challenge for heavy metal toxins, and rarely ordered are EKGs or Doppler study. Some tests will be repeated periodically, usually every tenth EDTA chelation.
Intravenous EDTA chelations for vascular problems vary from 20 – 30 EDTA treatments. These can be spread out over a number of months. Chelation for heavy metals are monitored and re-evaluated usually after 10 chelation treatment intervals.
Conditions for which EDTA has been used
No specific claims are made
Cardiovascular and Respiratory
Cardiac rhythm irregularities
Chronic obstructive lung disease
Congestive heart failure
Coronary heart disease
Transient ischemic attack
Diseases and Conditions
Free radical pathology
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Elevated blood fats
Elevated blood cholesterol
Post stroke syndrome
Heavy metal poisoning
DMPS (2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid sodium), also known as Dimovol, is a synthetic amino acid chelating agent of toxic heavy metals, which forms a water soluble complex with toxic heavy metals and is believed by many to lead to their removal through the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract. DMPS has been use in West Germany where it has been studied and is available as a commercial drug for the treatment of heavy metal toxicity. Studies in West Germany report safety in animals and humans in the doses given. DMPS does not appear to be toxic. Because DMPS has not been studied in the United States of America, it is considered "experimental" by the FDA.
DMPS chelation can be administered either by intravenous (I.V.), intramuscularly (I.M.), or by subcutaneous injection (S.Q.). The preferred administration is via an I.V. "push," pushing about 10 CC of solution. The I.V. push uses a syringe in which the nurse inserts the catheter into the patient’s vein, the catheter is connected with clear tubing to a large syringe containing the DMPS solution, and the patient usually takes charge to slowly push the solution into their vein over about a 20 – 30 minute period of time. In contrast, EDTA chelation is very "hot" to the veins, is mixed usually into a 500 CC solution, and must be administered via a very slow I.V. "drip" which will take about 3 – 4 hours to administer.
Possible side effects include: temporary lowering of blood pressure or tackycardia, vertigo, general weakness or paleness 5 – 10 minutes after injection, and infiltration into the soft tissue which may create local itching that can last 30 minutes. Symptoms have been shown to generally be reversible after discontinuation of the drug. Aggravation of the metal related symptoms may result from the mobilization of heavy metals over the following several days after receiving DMPS treatment.
DMSA (meso 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid) is also known as Chemet, Succimer, or Captomer. DMSA is an FDA approved chelating agent for lead toxicity, but has been shown clinically to detoxify other heavy metals as well. This medication binds with metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury, excreting them through the liver, kidneys and bowel. DMSA comes in capsule form and is given orally. Care must be taken to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day while receiving DMSA treatments. The amount of DMSA per treatment is calculated according to body weight. Other factors are also considered which may lower the prescribed treatment dose. The usual treatment plan is five days of DMSA oral consumption, followed by a seven-day break, and then a second five days of oral DMSA is taken. After each five day DMSA treatment period, vitamin / mineral I.V.s must be administered to replace loses as a result of the chelation treatment. An evaluation will be conducted and repeat series may be indicated. The evaluation of any chelation treatment involves a urine test, which is testing for excretion of heavy metals.
Side effects are few but may include flu-like symptoms such as headache, rash, itching, tingling, dizziness and transient elevated liver enzymes. Also, a loss of appetite and a metallic taste in the mouth may be experienced.
DMSA is the gentlest method of chelation of the three presented. It is considered safe for children in the proper doses.