The word chelate means to >attach on=. In nutrition, it has several usages. Mineral supplements are often prepared in a chelated form. The mineral is bound to an amino acid or some other carrier protein or molecule. The word chelation, however, also refers to a range of methods used to remove minerals from the body.
What Is Chelation Therapy?
There are several forms of chelation therapy. Intravenous or IV chelation therapy involves placing chelating agents such as EDTA, DMPS, penicillamine or vitamin C directly into a vein. There they have the effect of attaching on to a variety of minerals that are in the blood and in the walls of the arteries and veins.
Oral chelation therapy is the use of oral agents such as vitamin C, sulfur amino acids, herbs including yellow dock and bugleweed, or a nutritional balancing program based on a hair analysis to achieve the same purpose of removing toxic metals from the body.
Why Chelation Therapy?
When one is exposed to toxic metals, or if one becomes deficient in vital minerals, toxic metals can replace vital elements in enzyme binding sites throughout the body. Depending on where they lodge, they can contribute to a wide range of health conditions from arthritis and hardened arteries to fatigue, infections and cancer. This is well-proven in medical research.
Removing the toxic metals and replacing them with preferred minerals in the enzyme binding sites and body structures can bring about remarkable improvements in one's health. Many times operations such as heart bypass surgery may be avoided if one undertakes a program to replace toxic minerals with preferred minerals in the body tissues.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of IV Chelation
Intravenous chelation therapy is performed by licensed physicians and involves a series of 2-4 hour sessions. An IV is inserted into a vein, allowing the chelating agent to drip into one's bloodstream. The physician may perform a hair analysis before starting the IV chelation, focusing mainly on the levels of the toxic metals.
Results may be faster with IV chelation compared to oral chelation. This is especially true of conditions involving the arteries, because the IV solution comes into immediate contact with the arteries and veins. There is an abundance of medical literature showing that IV chelation can help clear the arteries of plaque, which is partially composed of calcium deposits.
The disadvantages of IV chelation compared to oral chelation are several. First, the minerals are removed indiscriminately. That is, the chelating agent will remove normal minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and others. Although this is true of all chelating agents, it is more of a problem with the IV method. Several clients have reported adverse reactions to IV chelation. This most likely is due to an excessive depletion of one's calcium and magnesium.
Intravenous chelation may also place some extra strain on the kidneys, through which the minerals are excreted. In some patients, this may be hazardous. Dr. Paul Eck noticed this effect many years ago when reviewing hair analyses for physicians using IV chelation and brought it to their attention.
A third disadvantage of IV chelation is that it can actually unbalance one's body chemistry. By itself, IV chelation is a 'sledgehammer' approach and not a delicate balancing of the body chemistry. This may cause a worsening of one's overall health if the problem is an unbalanced chemistry, rather than the presence of toxic metals.
Can One Use IV Chelation And The Nutrition Program At The Same Time?
It is possible to use them together. For example, if a person chooses IV chelation for fast results, supplementation based on the principles of nutritional balancing could enhance the chelation process and cannot do any harm. Many physicians give supplements in or with the IV drip, but often these supplements are not designed to balance chemistry according to the principles of nutritional balancing.
There will be cases where it is difficult to balance the chemistry because the IV chelation is altering body chemistry so radically.
What Minerals Are Removed Through Chelation?
A wide variety of minerals are removed through chelation therapy. Some agents, like EDTA and DMPS, are wide-spectrum. They remove many minerals, including vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and others.
Some agents are more narrow in their action. For example, penicillamine is used to remove copper. Deferroxamine is used to remove iron and aluminum.
Specific Cautions With Chelation
Oral chelation using high doses of vitamin C can lower the copper level and may increase the oxidation rate. This is a concern for fast oxidizers, who are often deficient in copper and whose oxidation rate is often already too rapid. High-dosages of vitamin C may also remove other vital elements, which must then be replaced in the proper quantities.
Oral chelation via nutritional balancing solves these problems by tailoring the program to each individual and each metabolic type. Nutritional balancing has the further advantage of supporting and compensating for the removal of the toxic metals.
For example, cadmium has a sodium-raising effect. Removing cadmium can cause a severe drop in the sodium level. Giving nutrients that support the sodium level greatly facilitates the removal of cadmium from the body. It is our experience that cadmium will not be released from the body without this support.
IV chelation has the greatest possibility of unbalancing body chemistry because of its invasive nature and the powerful chemical chelating agents involved. While it is definitely a worthwhile therapy, we would recommend its use only after the gentler balancing approaches have been tried first.
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.