Chelation – the new research

Category: Chelation Therapy

This is an article update to reflect new evidence concerning the association of cadmium and lead exposure to cardiovascular disease and chelation therapy.

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we are one of the leading centers specializing in EDTA chelation for cardiovascular problems.

Medical practitioners have treated atherosclerotic disease with chelation therapy for over 50 years. Lack of strong of evidence led conventional practitioners to abandon its use in the 1960s and 1970s. This relegated chelation therapy to complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, who reported good anecdotal results.1

Now people today are looking for alternative options to angioplasty, surgery and drugs to treat their heart condition. Chelation therapy is a promising treatment shown to reverse heart disease and atherosclerosis. The treatment of course is controversial.

Chelation involves the intravenous infusion of vitamins, magnesium and a chelating agent known as EDTA. This mixture serves to chelate, or bind, toxic heavy metals, calcium and free radicals in blood vessel walls, which are then excreted in the urine. As a result, blood vessels become more pliable and circulation improves, which leads to the reduction or elimination of chest pain and other symptoms of vascular disease. Patients who have completed a course of chelation therapy often notice an improvement in energy and well-being, and are often able to reduce or eliminate their need for medication.

Is the controversy over?

  • “There are reasons to think that chelation to remove metals might treat or prevent heart disease.
  • Some complications of diabetes mellitus may be caused by chemical reactions that happen to the excess sugar in the blood. These reactions are catalyzed, or facilitated, by metals.
  • The environment is polluted with metals that are toxic to our systems. Lead (gasoline, plumbing), arsenic (well water, rice, apple juice), mercury (many fish), and cadmium (from rechargeable batteries) are among the top 10 most toxic substances listed by the US government. EDTA chelates lead and cadmium.

Concurrent with these conceptual developments and because of the large number of Americans receiving chelation therapy, in 2002, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded a $30 million clinical trial of chelation therapy in patients 50 years of age or older with a prior heart attack and good kidney function to finally understand whether EDTA chelation for coronary disease was safe and effective. So, the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) was born.”2

The above is from the medical journal Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association.

Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)

The Magaziner Center often conducts clinical research trials, which has led Dr. Magaziner to be selected as an investigator of the NIH-approved Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). The results of this landmark study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).3

From that paper:

  • TACT is the first randomized trial designed and powered to evaluate the effects of an EDTA-based chelation regimen on clinical outcomes in patients with coronary disease.
  • The trial randomized 1708 patients, administered over 55,000 double-blinded infusions, and accrued over 6200 patient-years of follow-up experience.
  • These data showed that among patients with a prior myocardial infarction, a chelation regimen of 40 infusions of disodium EDTA, ascorbate, B-vitamins, and other components resulted in a modest reduction in a composite outcome of cardiovascular events.
  • The treatment effect persisted over the 5-year follow-up period without evident reduction in effectiveness.

New research from the medical journal Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy – Case reports and case series have suggested a possible beneficial effect of chelation therapy in patients with atherosclerotic disease. Chelation reduced adverse cardiovascular events in a post myocardial infarction (MI) population. Patients with diabetes demonstrated even greater benefit with a 41% relative reduction in risk of a cardiac event. 4

New research Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

  • Lead and cadmium, have convincing published reports documenting their cardiovascular toxicity: lead and cadmium, ranked second and seventh, respectively, as environmental chemicals of concern by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  • They are removed from the body most effectively by edetate disodium (EDTA) 5

February 2016 from the medical journal Current Cardiology Reports: An abundance of data, known for decades, is available linking metals, such as lead and cadmium, with cardiovascular disease. However, the idea that these toxic metals could be a modifiable risk factor for atherosclerosis did not become apparent clinically until the completion of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy in 2012. This pivotal study was the first double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of its kind to demonstrate a clear improvement in cardiovascular outcomes with edetate disodium therapy (EDTA) in a secondary prevention, post-myocardial infarction population.

This effect size was most striking in diabetic patients, where the efficacy of edetate disodium was comparable, if not superior, to that of current guideline-based therapies. Given the economic burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the potential impact of this therapy could be enormous if the results of this study are replicated.6

Below is more information on Chelation in part presented by the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) a non-profit medical organization of whom Dr. Magaziner is a past-president and active board member.


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1 Peguero JG, Arenas I, Lamas GA. Chelation therapy and cardiovascular disease: connecting scientific silos to benefit cardiac patients.Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2014 Aug;24(6):232-40. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

2 Gervasio A. Lamas, MD Chelation Therapy A New Look at an Old Treatment for Heart Disease, Particularly in Diabetics Circulation.2015; 131:e505-e506doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010774

3 TACT Investigators. Effect of disodium EDTA chelation regimen on cardiovascular events in patients with previous myocardial infarction: the TACT randomized trial. JAMA. 2013 Mar 27;309(12):1241-50. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.2107.

4 Lamas GA, Ergui I. Chelation therapy to treat atherosclerosis, particularly in diabetes: is it time to reconsider? Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2016 May 5:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

5 Lamas GA, Navas-Acien A, Mark DB, Lee KL. Heavy Metals, Cardiovascular Disease, and the Unexpected Benefits of Chelation Therapy. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;67(20):2411-2418. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.02.066.

6 Lamas GA, Issa OM. Edetate Disodium-Based Treatment for Secondary Prevention in Post-Myocardial Infarction Patients. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2016 Feb;18(2):20. doi: 10.1007/s11886-015-0690-9.