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C
helation Therapy
 

EDTA ­ How it Works and What it Does

© Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MRO

But what of the people previously treated with EDTA back in 1959?

Only one of the 47 people in that group had developed cancer. The cancer rate in people in the contaminated area who had not received EDTA was 600 per cent above that of the group who had had chelation.

Far and away the best protection from lead toxicity and its long­term effects is to avoid it altogether. However, this is of course not always within the control of the individual and a second best bet is to have the lead removed via chelation as a protective measure against its undoubted toxicity which can contribute towards the evolution of cancer.

Australian research scientist John Sterling, who has worked at the famous Issels clinic in Germany, mentions in a personal communication that Issels had noted a marked protective effect against cancer after use of EDTA chelation.

Animal studies (using mice) have shown that intravenous EDTA plays a preventive role against cancer, largely, it is thought, through removal of metallic ions which seem to be essential for tumour growth.

Walker and Gordon believe that the prevention offered to the citizens of Zurich was partly as a result of removal of metal ions and of lead (which can chronically depress immune function) and also due to the improvement in circulation which chelation produced. Tumours flourish in areas of poor oxygenation and the increase in the levels of this which chelation allows would, they believe, be sufficient to retard cancer development.

Halstead (1979) points to the significant increase in metal ions found as tissues age and the increased likelihood of cancer developing. There is also a proven link between high levels of certain metals in topsoil and cancer in the same regions. Interestingly, he confirms that most forms of chemotherapy involve drugs which have chelating effects either directly or as a result of breakdown of their constituents. He quotes experimental studies which show that in some forms of cancer such as Ehrlich's ascites tumour the use of EDTA was significantly able to strip the tumour cells of their heavy protective coat, allowing other mechanisms (such as protein digesting enzymes) to destroy the tumours.

At the very least EDTA chelation can be seen to offer a useful line of investigation in cancer prevention, and possibly treatment, in some forms of this disease.

Benefits for some mental problems

Dr Wayne Perry (1988) comments on one of the beneficial 'side effects' of EDTA therapy when he states: 'Those who have used EDTA have been impressed by the dramatic effects that can occur in some patients, and this action might be explained by its powerful anti­depressant effect, shown in a double blind trial over and above any placebo action' (See Kay et al 1984.) In discussing the objective evidence of general improvement amongst patients having EDTA he includes 'general alertness, concentration and memory' as common.

Clearly, if circulation to the brain is enhanced the function of that organ should improve. Equally important to mental function would be the removal of heavy metals, the toxicity of which are common causes of a wide range of problems affecting the brain and nervous system. It should therefore not be surprising that EDTA often leads to improved memory and reduced tendency to depression and other apparently 'psychological' symptoms.

The research team of McDonagh, Rudolph and Cheraskin have looked at just this aspect of EDTA chelation therapy's effect ­ the psychotherapeutic benefits. (McDonagh, Rudolph and Cheraskin, 1984, 1985a, 1985b) They used a standard medical questionnaire (Cornell Medical Index ­ see Brodman et al 1949) at the first consultation to allow 139 routine private­practice patients, 83 of whom were male, to answer questions from which 'depression 'tension' and 'anger' tendencies could be discovered. These same patients completed the same questionnaire at the end of a series of EDTA infusions (plus multimineral/vitamin support supplementation) over a two month period. There was a 40 per cent reduction in depression indications amongst those patients who showed a tendency towards depression in their first questionnaire. There was a 50 per cent reduction in 'tension' symptoms and a 46 per cent reduction in 'anger' indications at the end of the treatment period.

The researchers speculate that the improvement was due to overall improvement in cellular nutrition as a result of the enhanced circulation due to this form of treatment. They note that the improvements in emotional status, observed in this study, were superior in degree to any physical improvements noted in their many previous studies.

General symptoms and fatigue reduced after EDTA therapy

Using the same approach these researchers had over 100 patients complete the whole Cornell Medical Index (CMI) questionnaire before and after a chelation series which averaged 26 infusions over a two­month period. The CMI questionnaire is designed to collect a great deal of information in a short space of time. Anyone with more than 25 positive answers out of the 195 questions is considered to be suffering from a significant degree of current ill­health.

Before treatment, the average number of positive answers amongst these patients was 31.7, indicating an overall poor level of health. Some patients had as many as 95 'Yes' answers, with the lowest score being 3; more than half of the patients had over 25 positive answers. When the CMI questionnaire was answered again after the therapy series there was a drop of 46 per cent in those with more than 25 positive answers and the overall number of symptoms reported dropped by 15 per cent.

The CMI is divided into different sections and when these were analysed for before­and­after changes, the pattern that emerged was as follows:

    Musculoskeletal symptoms declined by 25 per cent; neurological symptoms by 19 per cent; cardiovascular by 19 per cent; skin conditions by 18 per cent; respiratory by 17 per cent; genital by 13 per cent; gastro­intestinal by 11 per cent and urinary by 11 per cent.

Specific attention was paid to fatigue in these patients, as this general symptom is amongst the commonest and most worrying for many people in poor health. Seven questions in the CMI relate specifically to the degree of fatigue/tiredness felt. The percentage of those answering this section who had no fatigue symptoms rose from 31 per cent to 56 per cent over the course of the treatment series, and of those originally reporting fatigue as a symptom, fully 39 per cent showed an appreciable improvement. Since most researchers and therapists involved in chelation therapy report that the greatest beneficial effect is not felt until up to 90 days after the cessation of therapy, these results may well indicate only the beginning of the benefits ultimately achieved.

Considering the fact that over half those involved were by any definition in very poor health, the improvements were remarkable, and the very general nature of their spread supports the contention of these researchers that they were due to generalized nutritional enhancement due to circulatory improvements resulting from EDTA therapy.

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About The Author
A practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. He regularly lectures in the United States as well as Europe where he instructs......more
 
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