Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Alas, revolutions are stressful for those entrenched who appreciate the benefits of the status quo – but science is a methodology which prioritizes the clarification of verifiable truth and when superior medical treatments are discovered scientifically, progress can not be denied. EDTA chelation therapy has now been proven scientifically to offer safer and more effective treatment outcomes than standard of care treatments. Why is your cardiologist not up on the literature?
With a result that is likely to surprise and baffle much of the mainstream medical community, a large NIH-sponsored trial has turned up the first substantial evidence in support of chelation therapy for patients with coronary disease. Known as TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy), the highly controversial trial was presented today at the AHA by Gervasio Lamas. The trial was sponsored by two NIH institutes, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Chelation therapy with EDTA to remove heavy metals from the blood in order to treat coronary disease has been around– and provoked criticism– since the 1950s. Despite a lack of evidence and the skepticism of the medical community, passionate supporters have kept the therapy alive in alternative medicine circles.
TACT was funded by the NIH more than a decade ago as part of a much-publicized initiative to study the claims of alternative medicine. In 2008 enrollment in TACT was temporarily suspended in response to claims that the trial was unethical. The trial was additionally hampered by slow enrollment.
Now the results of TACT will likely provide ammunition to chelation defenders, but the trial investigators and other experts have expressed considerable caution about the proper interpretation of the results.
TACT was a double blind study testing active or placebo infusions of chelation in stable patients with a history of MI. Due to slow enrollment the trial was downsized, ultimately enrolling 1,708 patients instead of the planned 2,372 patients. To maintain the trial’s power to achieve a meaningful result the follow-up time was increased. Because of the this change, and because the data and safety monitoring board reviewed the data multiple times over the course of the study, the threshold for statistical significance was lowered to 0.036.
The primary endpoint of the trial– the composite of death, MI, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for angina– was significantly lowered in the chelation group:
· 26.5% in the chelation group versus 30% in the placebo group (HR 0.82, 0.69-0.99, p=0.035)
There were no significant differences in any of the individual components of the primary endpoint. Most of the difference between the groups was due to a lower rate of coronary revascularization in the chelation group:
· 15.5% versus 18.1% (HR 0.81, CI 0.64-1.02, p=0.076)
Nearly all the benefit in the trial was found to occur among the one-third of patients in the trial who had diabetes:
· 102 events versus 67 events (HR 0.61, CI 0.45-0.83, p=0.002)
The investigators were cautious in their interpretation, noting that the trial barely achieved statistical significance, most of the difference was found in the softer endpoint of revascularization, and the finding is less reliable since there was a high withdrawal rate (17%) of patients in the trial.
The authors said their findings were “unexpected and additional research will be needed to confirm or refute our results and explore possible mechanisms of therapy.” TACT, they concluded, “does not constitute evidence to recommend the clinical application of chelation therapy.”
At an AHA press conference, Paul Armstrong said that TACT was a response to an unusual situation. On the one hand, most physicians and scientists have dismissed chelation therapy as lacking any evidence or rationale. On the other hand, chelation therapy is strongly supported by the alternative medicine community and more than 100,000 people receive chelation therapy each year. Armstrong said the results of the trial were “hypothesis generating, not practice changing.”
NOV 4, 2012 @ 5:36 PM
Multiple sessions of EDTA chelation therapy protect lipids against oxidative damage, but Vitamin C supplementation also displays short term prooxidant effects.
New study shows that increased mortality is associated with even smaller levels of lead in the blood than previously reported
Randomized, controlled trial demonstrates renal function improvement after chelation therapy
Is chelation therapy for peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) safe?
Intravenous EDTA infusion can lead to a drop in total fasting plasma cholesterol
Lead may be a nonspecifically damaging factor related to the deterioration of renal function in patients with preexisting renal disease.
Any patient undergoing EDTA treatment for lead should be administered oral DMSA for a minimum of one week after EDTA treatment
Heavy metals have a high affinity for –SH groups, which serves to inactive enzymes. Pretreating with DTT protects against this inhibitory effect.
High mercury content in fish may diminish the cardioprotective effect that normally results from eating fish.
Elevated serum nickel concentrations found to be related to the pathogenesis of ischemic myocardial injury
EDTA Chelation Therapy resulted in “marked” improvement in patients with peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication
TACT is a groundbreaking double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that provided convincing evidence supporting EDTA chelation therapy for atherosclerosis
Increased blood viscosity is a plausible biological mechanism through which increases in hematocrit and fibrinogen may promote ischemic heart disease.
Heavy metal toxicity, especially mercury and cadmium, should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension, CHD, or other vascular disease.
EDTA chelation therapy, without added vitamin C, decreases oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation
Intravenous EDTA may be safe and effective for treating patients who have implanted medicated stents. Prospective clinical trials are needed
Chelation therapy seems to slow the progression of renal insufficiency in patients with mildly elevated body lead burden.
A statistically significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction occurred in patients with arteriosclerotic heart disease who received chelation therapy.
A collection of research studies compiled by Dr. Martin Dayton to update readers on positive & negative findings in chelation research
Do you have a patient with a history of myocardial infarction who is currently stable? A combo of high-dose vitamins and chelation show benefits.
A 27-month course of EDTA chelation therapy retards the progression of diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetic patients with high-normal body lead burdens.
EDTA chelation leads to a 10% reduction in the degree of stenosis of a carotid artery after endarterectory, should be used in conjunction with surgery.
EDTA chelation therapy is a viable alternative to surgery in patients with lower-extremity arterial occlusive disease.
EDTA chelation therapy for vascular disease actually results in fewer cardiac events than conventional primary treatment
In 1981, to inform physicians of the benefits of chelation therapy, Edward W. Macdonagh collected research articles containing several studies on chelation.
In September of 2011, organizations jointly announced the Million Hearts Initiative…
In March 2013, ICIM held a summit meeting about next steps for EDTA chelation therapy after the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).
Chelation therapy, a type of IV treatment promoted by some members of the CAM community, has long been mired in controversy.
There are some controversial protocol differences for the treatment of Cardiovascular Disease with EDTA Chelation Therapy
Whether it’s called homeopathy, natural therapy or complementary treatment, there’s no doubt that alternative medicine is booming.
ATHM asks Dr. Chappell questions: Did you always know you wanted to be doctor? Was there a specific event in your life that pushed you in that direction?
Who could have guessed that intravenous vitamin C has the power to save lives?
There are several facts that invalidate the allegation that benefits of chelation therapy are simply a placebo effect.
It is said there is a blessing within every misfortune. Sixteen years ago, chronic mercury exposure and attendant nutritional deficiencies nearly killed me.
Laura Lee speaks with Arline Brecher about the cost of chelation therapy, menopause, heavy metals, free radicals, and more.
Judith Glassman explores chelation therapy in this well-written editorial
JAMA published a study “proving” that chelation therapy works by placebo effect… Here’s why that’s not true.
Chelation therapy could hold the key to the basic treatment of some of our greatest killer diseases, those of the cardiovascular system.
Dr. Collin explains how Electron Beam Tomography can demonstrate the effectiveness of EDTA Chelation Therapy.
In February, 1982, a revised insert was added to the Medicare Carriers Manual, stating “our decision not to cover Chelation therapy… ”
A clinical study discussed by Dr. Collin in an unpublished report regarding the treatment of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis with chelation
“This can’t be happening” is often the first thought. Gripping, gnawing chest pains give way to a heavier, crushing feeling that generates fear…
Mind-body medicine, a term well known in medicine, has major roots in observations made in the 1960s by one of my lab directors at Stanford…
“We are living during an exciting time in the evolution of medical practice.” Read Dr. Gerber’s reflections on the progress in CVD care
Dr. Dayton explains the past, the present, and the future of integrative medicine relating to chelation therapy
In February, Dr. Casselberry announced that ABCMT will be absorbed by ICIM. ICIM will continue to advocate for chelation therapy doctors
Ramblings of a Maniacal Frenetic: Pragmatic Reflections on Helping Patients Understand Their Illnesses and Treatments by Trowbridge, MD, FACAM
Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States. Dr. Chappell suggests a comprehensive approach involving chelation therapy
Dr. Bruce Dooley presents an open letter to cardiologists explaining chelation therapy and offering the opportunity to learn more
Links to audio-recorded lectures from past ICIM lectures that relate to chelation therapy or heavy metal toxicology.