Current medical crisis care
in dealing with many acute manifestations of cardiovascular and
circulatory disease, such as coronary thrombosis and cerebrovascular
accidents, is superbly efficient and often surprisingly successful
at saving life (surprising considering the state of the patients,
Heroic intervention, hightechnology
diagnostic and monitoring methods, skilled nursing, intensive
and complex medication and, where appropriate, surgery of sometimes
mindboggling complexity, all add up to a magnificent refinement
of those many skills required for the saving of life after a sudden
infarct, thrombosis or embolism, as well as other major causes
of emergency circulatory mayhem.
But . . .
There is a darker side to
the brilliant progress exemplified by such medical techniques,
relating to an apparent lack of awareness of, or interest in,
safer alternative treatment methods for dealing with precrisis
conditions. Among these relatively inexpensive and safe preventive
measures must be numbered chelation therapy. (It is also useful
in treatment of coronary thrombosis see below.)
Many of the drugs used by
conventional medicine for prevention and treatment of such conditions
do not address causes but rather tamper with symptoms (for example,
drugs which lower blood pressure, while ignoring the causes of
its elevation, or which interfere with calcium uptake without
dealing with the longterm effect of residual calcification,
or drugs which attempt to reduce heightened cholesterol levels,
proving themselves successful at this task but leading to a higher
mortality rate from other causes than were nothing done at all).
Most such drugs create at least as many problems as they solve
(compare this with the results of EDTA treatment on cholesterol
as described below).
There is also strong evidence
of the overuse of surgical methods, such as bypass surgery; indeed,
a recent US survey indicated that almost half of bypass operations
were not essential, even though this survey took orthodox criteria
as to what was 'essential' as the yardstick.
And whatabout transplants?
The concentration of surgical experts and their backup teams
with hightech, spectacular, surgical methods (such as are
employed in transplant surgery) benefit very few (albeit often
amazingly so), while depriving or delaying care for many more
through such allocation of scarce resources.
In the USA, where chelation
now has a 30year track record it might be expected that
insurance companies would be supportive of chelation therapy as
a cheaper alternative to bypass surgery. And yet this not yet
so. A recent legal action, brought by a patient against his insurance
company (for refusing to pay his expenses for highly successful
chelation treatment) led to some pertinent comments from the judge
trying the case. The case was heard in Lorain County, Ohio where
the judge, George Ferguson, ordered Aetna Insurance to pay the
chelation expenses, stating in his judgement:
It is interesting to note
that the Defendant (insurance company) would presumably pay for
very expensive bypass surgery where there have been 4000 deaths
in 300,000 cases, but is refusing to pay for chelation therapy
where there have been approximately 20 deaths in 300,000 cases.
Insurance companies are repeatedly urging second opinions where
surgery is recommended. The Plaintiff was advised to have surgery
on June 2 1987, at Elyria Memorial Hospital. Plaintiff obtained
a second opinion from a duly licensed physician, followed the second physicians
advice (chelation therapy), is alive today and saved the insurance
company the expensive coronary bypass surgical operation. (Day
vs. Aetna Life Insurance Company, 87CV12710, Elyria Municipal Court, Lorain County, Ohio, 1988)
The complexities of prejudice,
ignorance of alternatives, and in some cases outright vested commercial
interest, are all sometimes involved in the antagonism of many
medical practitioners to chelation therapy. Nevertheless, hundreds
of physicians support its simpler and safer approaches to degenerative
cardiovascular conditions, and its safety record is evident to
all who wish to investigate it.
Just what does EDTA do when
it is infused? In order to appreciate its activities we need to
return to cellular metabolism for a short while.
Reducing free radical
Body cells contain miniature
factories in which complex biochemical processes are continuously
underway with raw materials being turned into energy and protein
compounds. Within the cell there exist internal transportation
mechanisms and also the means for the transfer of raw materials
into the cell, as well as of processed products and wastes out
of it. These precise and dynamic functions, however, many of which
depend upon complex enzyme activity, are vulnerable should the
materials which surround the cell become damaged.
The intracellular membrane
which surrounds the cell is far from being a mere envelope, but
is involved in important organizational functions, including the
control of what passes through it. The active cell membrane is
itself made up of lipids (and cholesterol), proteins and water.
Should free radical activity take place in its vicinity, destructive
effects occur, producing lipid peroxidation (this is what happens
when fats become rancid). When this occurs the functioning of
cell 'factories' would be either severely disorganized or put
out of action, the organizational enzymes could be lost, the distribution
of raw material and finished manufactured products and energy
disorganized, and a process started of local tissue degeneration.
This is the picture of what
happens when atherosclerosis begins in an artery wall. Much lipid
peroxidation activity involves the presence of metal ions such
as iron, copper or calcium and it is these which EDTA so effectively
locks onto, preventing their destructive influence from operating.
Research over the past 30
years has confirmed this benefit from EDTA (e.g. Barber and Bernheim).
Of course, this protective influence would be much enhanced were
there an appreciable presence of antioxidant nutrients such as
vitamins C and E, selenium, and amino acid complexes such as glutathione
peroxidase, which not only mop up free radical activity but also
assist in building up cell membrane stability.
Cell energy production
Within each cell there reside
up to 2500 miniature energy producing factories, the mitochondria.
One of the main functions of each mitochondria is to translate
inorganic phosphate (ADP), sugar (glucose) and oxygen into adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), the universal form of energy used by the body.
This energy producing activity of the mitochondria involves a
series of intricate, complex and vital biochemical processes dependent
on vast numbers of enzymes (estimates vary from between 500 to
10,000 complete sets of oxidative enzymes in each mitochondria)
which are themselves dependent upon dozens of nutrient factors
If calcium is abnormally deposited
in arterial walls this inhibits some enzyme activity and negatively
influences ATP (energy) production. If through free radical activity,
or through any other disturbing influences on normal energy production
or transfer by damaged mitochondria, cells can become energy starved,
they tend then to become more acidic. This happens for a multitude
of reasons: it may be to do with ageing or to calcium/magnesium
ratios becoming unbalanced, due to free radical activity, local
toxicity, oxygen deficit, nutritional imbalance, etc. Elmer Cranton,
MD, reminds us that EDTA increases the efficiency of mitochondrial
oxidative phosphorylation (energy production) quite independently
of any effect on arterial blood supply' and let us not forget
his statement that EDTA can reduce the production of free radicals
by a millionfold.
Cells which have become energy
starved and more acidic for whatever reason start to attract calcium
ions, drawing them into the cell, further blocking energy production.
An increase in calcium inside cells, accompanied by reduced oxygen
and lower energy manufacture and availability, is a typical picture
found in degenerative cardiovascular conditions. It is also a
prescription for the muscles which surround the arteries to go
into spasm. This is the reason for the use of calcium channel
blocker drugs, which may be effective in blocking calcium uptake
by muscle cells but do nothing about the underlying condition.
Morton Walker and Garry Gordon
(1982) have discussed calcium channelblocking drugs:
Calcium channel blockers are
not as efficient in permanently restoring heart health as is EDTA
chelation therapy, but even these calcium antagonists are clearly
better, as a coronary medical programme, than open heart surgery.
They inhibit the excessive accumulation of calcium in the heart
cells and allow ATP production. Additionally, if you are the patient
in heart spasm, you can help avoid death of the starved portion
of your heart muscle. You will not show the elevated enzymes (CPK,
LDH, SCOT and others)that your doctor measures in your blood test each day to see how
many heart cells have really died and released their enzymes.
An actual heart attack will be avoided . . . you will usually
be able to go home from hospital the next day by having calcium
channelblocking agents and/or chelation therapy.
Elmer Cranton and Arline Brecher
(1984) describe some of the stages involved:
Impairment of the calcium/magnesium
pump allows more ionized calcium to enter the cell, activating
an enzyme that leads to the production of prostaglandin related
leukotrienes, a chemical process which releases free radicals.
When excessively stimulated by leukotrienes, white blood cells
run amok and initiate free radical production, which causes increasing
inflammatory damage to healthy tissues. Small blood vessels dilate,
causing swelling, oedema, and leakage of red blood cells and platelets
through blood vessel walls which result in microthrombi (microscopic
clots). Some red blood cells then haemolyse releasing free copper
and iron, which in turn catalyse an increase of free radical destruction
to lipid membranes in the vicinity of a millionfold, triggering
another vicious cycle.
This process is compounded
by the presence of additional vitamin D and cholesterol because
free radical activity helps to convert cholesterol into substances
with vitamin D activity, resulting in plaque (in which cholesterol
is usually bound) attracting calcium, thus cementing the material.
EDTA infusion, which has the
ability to remove metal ions, stops or slows metals which are
significant causes of free radical production. In removing metals,
local toxicity is reduced and enzyme production and function improves.
We should not underestimate the role of toxic metal ions in the
body, whether these are of lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, iron
or aluminum. Once these have been chelated by EDTA and removed
from their deposition sites, free radical activity and consequent
disruption of metabolic function is largely prevented. Once this
has happened normal enzyme function resumes.