Australia and New Zealand already require a trial of chelation therapy before expensive surgery is recommended. Compare $2,000 for 20 chelation treatments versus $5,000 for angioplasty and 30,000 to $40,000 for bypass surgery.
Chelation therapy consists of intravenous injections of a synthetic amino acid whose generic name is ethylene diamine tetracyclic acid or EDTA. This compound removes toxic metals from the blood stream like lead, mercury, and excess iron and calcium deposits. The EDTA grasps the metals with a claw like action and encircles them with a complex ring which is then excreted through the urine. "Chele" comes from the Greek meaning claw of a lobster or crab.
EDTA chelation therapy is officially approved for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning involving lead, mercury and cadmium and for radioactive metal poisoning. Early researchers noted that adults with cardiac disease being treated for lead poisoning improved substantially.
Arterial plaques are made of fibrous tissue, calcium, and cholesterol and their formation is initiated by free radical damage. This free radical damage is accelerated in the presence of toxic metals. The theory is that EDTA or other chelating agents remove the metallic irritants which then allows the leaking and damaged cell walls to heal. In September 1992, Finnish researchers reported on a study that linked heart disease with the build-up of excess iron in the body.
The resistance of the medical profession seems to stem from two reported deaths from chelation therapy reported back in 1953.
The physician in question administered an overdose of EDTA without checking kidney function and caused kidney failure.
There has also never been a satisfactory double blind study comparing chelation therapy with placebo. However, long term studies of the benefits of coronary bypass surgery show no difference in death rate for the surgery compared to those treated with heart medications. And of the 400,000 coronary bypass surgeries performed each year in North America about 20,000 or 5 percent die as a result of the procedure.
Chelation therapy does not work for everyone. However, to date there are 3,539 published articles in lab and clinical journals on EDTA and EDTA chelation. In 1988, Dr. James Carter of Tulane University and Dr. Efrain Olszer of Brazil collaborated in a retrospective study of 2,870 cases offered chelation therapy. Seventy seven percent of patients with coronary heart disease had marked improvement and 17 percent good improvement. Of patients with hardening of the arteries of the legs, 91 percent had marked improvement and 17 percent good improvement.
In another retrospective study of EDTA chelation done in 1993, 89 percent of patients with serious heart disease were able to avoid surgery after chelation.
Properly performed by trained medical doctors, chelation therapy has a low toxicity. There were no serious side effects in over one million Americans and 8 million in other countries that have been chelated.
Dr. Gary Gordon, a founder of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) which trains and examines doctors who practice chelation therapy, points out that chelation therapy has been safe enough to give to toddlers who have been poisoned from lead based paints. Over 200,000 American children have safely been given chelation therapy for lead poisoning.
Reflecting the medical profession's confusion about chelation therapy in Canada, chelation therapy is legal in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta, but illegal in other provinces. In the United States, it is legal for a medical doctor to perform chelation therapy, but the practice is strongly opposed by medical associations.
All patients have a right to safe access to this treatment which is as much conventional as alternative. To obtain a list of qualified medical doctors who practice chelation therapy in Canada and the U.S. call the American Academy For The Advancement of Medicine at 1-800-532-3688 or 714-583-7666 or send a stamped self-addressed envelope to Box 3437, Laguna Hills, CA 92654.
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