Blood vessel diseases are the leading killers in America and much of the industrialized world. Loss of circulation to affected parts of the body leads to some of the signs of this hardening of the arteries. This condition is even more common in diabetics and it is worse in smokers. Most of the time it is the result of lifestyle choices (diet, lack of exercise, high stress).
The signs of vascular disease appear on the legs as loss of hair, thinning and atrophy of the skin, non-healing sores, or even blackened toes from gangrene, and pain on exercise. In the heart, the signs are pain or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath or unusual fatigue. It can also affect the brain, causing loss of memory and confusion, momentary lapses of consciousness (sometimes called a TIA, or transient ischemic attack), or eventually strokes.
One of the most effective treatments for arteriosclerosis is being ignored and even maligned by mainstream practitioners. This treatment is known as chelation therapy, and it has been a successful treatment for over forty years. What is chelation therapy all about?
EDTA (Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) is a synthetic amino acid which has the ability to attach itself to metals and minerals, forming a particular kind of bond called a chelate, from the Greek word for claw. Heavy metals have a great affinity for EDTA and form strong bonds.
In the 1950's, EDTA was found to be an effective treatment for lead toxicity. In many cases, patients who coincidentally had symptoms of heart disease, such as angina, improved while undergoing treatment. Since that time, a number of studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chelation therapy for blood vessel disease, including improved blood flow to the heart, the legs and the brain. They have been published in reputable journals by experienced physicians and medical researchers.
Two events slowed down the growing use of EDTA in traditional medical settings. The patent on EDTA expired in the 1960's. Drug companies no longer had incentives to pursue or finance studies on the drug. The development of the heart-lung machine allowing open-heart surgery paved the way for more mechanical solutions to heart disease. Coronary artery bypass surgery has become a multi-billion dollar industry, including numerous unnecessary procedures. Estimates are that 50-75% of the surgery being done is unnecessary. Other studies show that non-surgical treatment is better than surgery.
The exact action of EDTA in improving blood vessel disease is not clear, and it probably works by several mechanisms. One effect of EDTA is to bind calcium in the blood stream, and alter the intracellular balance of calcium with magnesium. Calcium accumulates inside the cells with age, and this excess can disrupt enzyme systems. Pushing more magnesium into cells allows them to relax, and this opens up the circulation. There are also several other potential mechanisms of action.
One theory of aging and degenerative disease is the "free-radical theory." Free radicals are highly active molecular fragments formed during the production of energy in the cells. They have high energy, like sparks in a fireplace, and this energy can be used by the body, when properly handled. However, if these free radicals get out of control they can cause damage to surrounding tissues, just as sparks that get out of the fireplace can cause the rug to catch fire. Excess free radicals contribute to the obvious signs of aging such as wrinkling and loss of elasticity of the skin, and the deposition of age pigment (commonly called liver spots). Internal damage, such as heart disease and cancer, is less visible but even more serious.