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Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease


According to World Health Organization report, cardiovascular disease is a group of disorders or health conditions that lead to the weakening of heart as well as blood vessels. A healthy heart is vital to longevity. In India, where cardiovascular diseases (heart ailments) have turned into a silent epidemic of sorts and are responsible for at least 27% of deaths, the matter of taking utmost care of cardiac health is more crucial than ever.

What is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation therapy has been utilized for several years to treat heavy metal poisoning. During treatment, a chelating agent is injected into the bloodstream, creating a chemical reaction. This chelator acts like a magnet, binding to metals and pulling them out of the body to be excreted in the urine. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, or EDTA, was patented in 1938. Other metals removed during chelation therapy comprise mercury, cadmium, copper, iron, and aluminium. It's also been known to remove arsenic, which is highly toxic in its inorganic form.

How is Cardiac Chelation Therapy Different?

Cardiac chelation therapy is a type of intravenous therapy shown to treat the hardening of the arteries and poor circulation, causing cardiac disease and stroke. Edetate disodium, the sodium salt of EDTA, binds to calcium and was initially utilized to treat digitalis intoxication and hypercalcemia. Later, alternative medicine practitioners began utilizing disodium EDTA to treat symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

As an integrative medicine practice, healthcare providers utilize cardiac chelation therapy to complement conventional medicine. This treatment isn't meant to replace existing health care provided by primary care doctors but to enhance it. Integrative medicine refers to a patient-centered approach which addresses the full range of health influences instead of only diagnosing and treating specific diseases.

Mechanisms of Action

Calcium Chelation: Chelating agents like EDTA bind to calcium ions within arterial plaque, forming soluble complexes excreted from the body. This process facilitates the removal of calcific deposits from the arterial walls, potentially decreasing plaque burden and improving arterial elasticity.

Antioxidant Effects: Chelation therapy may exert antioxidant effects by sequestering transition metals that contribute to oxidative stress within the vasculature. By reducing oxidative damage to endothelial cells and lipoproteins, chelation therapy may aid mitigate inflammation and atherosclerotic progression.

Endothelial Restoration: Some proponents depict that chelation therapy promotes endothelial repair and vasodilation, thereby enhancing blood flow and cardiac function. This purported mechanism could contribute to the observed clinical benefits of chelation therapy in certain patients.

How Cardiac Chelation Therapy Works?

Like heavy metal chelation therapy, cardiac chelation therapy is administered intravenously over several sessions. The Edetate disodium enters the bloodstream, binding with and attracting calcium deposits in the arteries. These deposits are part of the plaque that obstructs blood flow to the heart, which can result in heart disease.

The chelating agent cleans out the calcium deposits, reducing the chances of coronary artery disease and other heart problems. It also slows down atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as the hardening of the arteries. By taking out metals that bind with LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol known to damage the arteries, it can also act as an antioxidant.


The efficacy of chelation therapy for cardiac disease remains a matter of debate and ongoing research. While few small-scale studies and anecdotal reports suggest potential perks, more extensive clinical trials have yielded mixed results. The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), a benchmark study funded by the National Institutes of Health, reported modest reductions in cardiovascular events among patients with a history of heart attack who underwent chelation therapy. However, critics have raised concerns about the study's methodology and interpretation of results.

Benefits of Cardiac Chelation Therapy

The primary benefit of cardiac chelation therapy is the removal of plaque from arteries, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Because it frequently lessens pain and swelling, some patients also find relief from the pain of chronic inflammatory diseases, comprising arthritis, scleroderma, and lupus. Other potent benefits of this intravenous therapy comprise:

  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Reducing tiredness
  • Boosting cognitive functioning
  • Countering complications of diabetes mellitus

Controversies and Considerations

Safety Profile: Chelation therapy, particularly when administered intravenously, carries potential risks and side effects, including renal impairment, electrolyte imbalances, allergic reactions, and hypocalcaemia. Patients considering chelation therapy should be informed of these risks and monitored closely during treatment.

Regulatory Oversight: Chelation therapy for heart disease is often considered an alternative or complementary treatment and may not be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as conventional medical therapies. This lack of standardized regulation raises concerns about treatment quality, practitioner competence, and safety of patients.

Affordability and Accessibility: Chelation therapy can be expensive, especially when not covered by insurance, posing financial barriers to access for few patients. Moreover, the availability of chelation therapy may be restricted in specific geographic regions or healthcare settings, further exacerbating disparities in access to care.

Patient Education and Informed Consent: Given the controversial nature of chelation therapy and the dearth of conclusive evidence related to its efficiency, patients should be actively engaged in shared decision-making and offered with comprehensive information about potent risks, benefits, and alternatives. Informed consent should be obtained prior to commencing chelation therapy.

Need for Further Innovation: Despite years of investigation, significant loopholes remain in our understanding of chelation therapy for heart disease. Well-designed, adequately powered clinical trials are required to elucidate its efficacy, safety, and optimal patient selection criteria. Multidisciplinary collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and regulatory agencies is essential to advance the evidence base for chelation therapy.

In a nutshell, chelation therapy represents a controversial yet intriguing approach to managing heart disease, with purported mechanisms of action comprising calcium chelation, antioxidant effects, and endothelial restoration. While few clinical studies and anecdotal reports suggest potent benefits, the overall efficacy of chelation therapy remains uncertain, and concerns persist regarding safety, regulatory oversight, and accessibility. Patients considering chelation therapy should engage in informed discussions with their healthcare providers, weighing the available evidence, individual risk factors, and goals of treatment. Moving forward, rigorous research efforts are necessary to elucidate the role of chelation therapy in the contemporary management of cardiac disease and inform evidence-based practice.


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