There have been no serious side effects from EDTA-chelation treatment since the 1950's, when it was first being administered. We have learned much about the treatment since then, and it is now safely administered by physicians trained by the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). There is a specific, safe protocol for EDTA-chelation administration.
Doctors critical of chelation therapy are usually unfamiliar with the literature and have no experience with the treatment in practice. Studies are in the design and production phases to further document the value of chelation for these controversial uses. A protocol sanctioned by the FDA was being conducted at army hospitals but for a variety of reasons it was stopped. Other studies have also been mysteriously blocked when they were well on their way to implementation.
The recent (1994) study from New Zealand on chelation and peripheral vascular disease does not discredit chelation therapy, although that was the conclusion of the authors. In that small study, which was mainly of smokers with severe disease, the "placebo" group actually received effective intravenous chelating agents-vitamin B1 and vitamin C--although weaker than EDTA. Sixty per cent of both groups improved. That is a large number for placebo effect, and argues that the control group received some effective agents. In five of the evaluations, the EDTA group did significantly better than the control group after only 20 treatments-too few for smokers with severe disease. None of the tests were better in the control group. Even the conservative Harvard Heart Letter said that "this study is unlikely to lay the chelation controversy to rest," and rightly so, since the results showed benefits from chelation. (Statistically, there was one "outlier" in the control group. Removing his aberrant results from the evaluation, shows that the EDTA group did remarkably better than the controls.)
For further information, I recommend Bypassing Bypass by Elmer Cranton, MD, an in depth look at chelation with a chapter on free radical theory. My own booklet on the subject is shorter but still gives a good overview. It will be a Good Health Guide published by Keats Publishing when it comes out in June of 1998.
Heart disease is the number one killer in America. Bypass surgery is expensive and risky, and has not been shown to be of clear benefit for the majority of patients who have bypasses. It is important to consider the value of chelation therapy, which has so many direct and side benefits with so few negative side effects. If you have vascular disease, it would be worthwhile to look for a doctor who does chelation therapy as part of a comprehensive approach to treatment. You can find one through the American College for Advancement in Medicine (800-532-3688, or on the web at www.acam.org).
Michael Janson, M.D. is the Past President of both the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), and the American Preventive Medical Association (now the American Association for Health Freedom), and he is a charter member of the American Holistic Medical Association. He is the author of The Vitamin Revolution in Health Care (1996, Arcadia Press), Chelation Therapy and Your Health, All About Saw Palmetto and Prostate Health, and Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution. He publishes a
monthly newsletter, Dr. Michael Janson's Healthy Living, available for free by Email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Dr. Janson is an international professional speaker on the subject of health and nutrition, dietary supplements and alternatives in medicine.
He practices in Arlington, Massachusetts (781-641-1901). You can find more information at his website: www.drjanson.com.