As you go through life, you ingest or absorb toxic metals from various sources, including (but in no way limited to) some species of fish, amalgam dental fillings, and lead paint. (Lead, in fact, is one of our most problematic environmental toxins, leading to many debilitating health problems.) EDTA chelation therapy is used to flush lead and other toxic metals from your body.
How Lead Became So Abundantly Used
Lead is abundant, durable, malleable, and resistant to corrosion...it's no wonder it has been such a popular metal throughout human history. Ancient Romans found a multitude of uses for it, from lining water pipes and drinking vessels to sweetening wine. What they didn’t realize were the detrimental health effects that could be caused by lead toxicity. It is now believed that lead poisoning was responsible for the bizarre behavior, mental incompetence, gout, stillbirths, and sterility that afflicted the Roman aristocracy—and quite possibly contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire.
Fast forward to 1921, when General Motors engineer Thomas Midgley, Jr., came up with another use for lead. As a gasoline additive, it reduced engine knock and improved performance. Of course, it was known to be toxic. Thomas Midgley himself was plagued with a “mysterious illness” while experimenting with it and, in 1924, 15 refinery workers died and 300 more became severely psychotic as a result of working with leaded gasoline.
But that didn’t matter. Thanks to corporate greed and government complicity, lead’s well-documented adverse effects were ignored, and for more than 60 years this potent toxin spewed into our environment. Leaded gas was finally phased out in 1986, and air levels of lead dropped dramatically. But even today, lead remains in our soil, water, air—and bodies.
Bones Bear the Burden of Lead Toxicity
More than 90 percent of your body’s total burden of lead toxicity resides in your skeleton. And for those who grew up in the days when lead was also in paint, pipes, water tanks, cans, and a plethora of other consumer products, that’s a lot of lead. In fact, we harbor a whopping 650 times more of this heavy metal in our bones than people did 100 years ago.
Lead is a neurotoxin that causes mental retardation and developmental delays in children and a multitude of cognitive problems in people of all ages. It also damages the endothelial cells lining the arteries and curbs production of nitric oxide, impairing circulation, raising blood pressure, and increasing risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney dysfunction, cancer, and premature death.
If lead would stay put in the bones, it might not be such a problem—but it doesn’t. Along with other minerals, lead is released into the bloodstream and transported to tissues throughout the body. Generally, this release is slow, gradual, and unnoticed. But there are times when it picks up speed. During pregnancy, when extra calcium is needed for fetal bone development, blood lead levels rise, increasing risk of hypertension for women with high levels, and causing low birth weight and physical and mental developmental delays for their children.
Lead is also mobilized during mid-life and old age. Women are especially vulnerable after menopause, when bone loss increases. It is estimated that blood lead levels go up 30 percent during the five years after menopause! Men also lose bone mass as they age, and the resultant increase in blood lead levels negatively affects them as well.
EDTA Chelation Therapy Gets the Lead Out
We all need to take steps to address lead toxicity, and the fastest way to do this is to undergo intravenous (IV) EDTA chelation therapy. EDTA is a synthetic amino acid that forms a tight chemical bond with lead and other heavy metals such as iron, mercury, and cadmium, and carries them out of the body in the urine.
EDTA chelation therapy has been the number-one FDA-approved therapy for lead poisoning since 1948. After World War II, sailors suffering with lead toxicity acquired while painting battleships and docks with lead-based paint were treated with EDTA chelation therapy, and their results were remarkable. Not only did these men have the expected restoration of memory, energy, vision, and hearing, but those who also had heart disease experienced unexpected improvements in angina and circulation. That's because, by reducing the body’s toxic metal and free radical burden, EDTA chelation therapy improves the health of the arteries and slows the process of atherosclerosis. Chelation also has blood-thinning effects and discourages the formation of potentially dangerous blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Astute physicians took heed and began using chelation for patients with cardiovascular disease and circulatory problems and, for a decade or so, its popularity mushroomed. Then the politics and economics of modern medicine intervened.
To make a long story short, this relatively inexpensive therapy had no chance against the Goliaths of cardiology (surgery and drugs). EDTA chelation therapy became embroiled in controversy, where it remains to this day. Fortunately, a few thousand physicians refused to give up on it and still use it today.
Is Chelation Therapy Right for You?
Although I most often recommend EDTA chelation therapy for patients with heart disease or circulation problems, I believe it provides benefits for most everyone, especially those over the age of 50. Other conditions EDTA chelation therapy can be used for include:
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Diabetic ulcers and other diabetes complications
- High blood pressure
- Memory and mood disorders
- Neurological problems
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Slow-healing wounds
EDTA chelation is administered in a doctor’s office. During a session, you relax in a recliner while the chelating agent is slowly administered through an IV. Each treatment session lasts 90 minutes to three hours, and a complete course consists of 25 to 30 treatments, administered once or twice a week.