New Hope For Victims of Atherosclerosis & Age-Associated Diseases
Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.
Intravenous chelation therapy, a simple office procedure using ethylene diamine tetraacetic
acid (EDTA) reverses and slows the progression of atherosclerosis and other age-related
and degenerative diseases. Symptoms affecting many different parts of the body often
improve, for reasons that are not yet fully understood. Blood flow increases in blocked
coronary arteries to the heart, to the brain, to the legs, and all throughout the
body. Heart attacks, strokes, leg pain and gangrene can be avoided using this therapy.
Need for bypass surgery and balloon angioplasty often disappears after chelation.
Published research also shows that chelation therapy acts as a preventive against
The free radical theory of disease (caused by free oxygen radicals) provides one
scientific explanation for the many observed benefits following chelation therapy.
Many scientific studies drcranton.com/edtabib.htmpublished in peer reviewed medical
journals provide solid clinical evidence for benefit. This non-invasive therapy
is very much safer and far less expensive than surgery or angioplasty.
Chelation therapy is a safe and effective alternative to bypass surgery or angioplasty
and stents. Hardening of the arteries need not lead to coronary bypass surgery, heart
attack, amputation, stroke, or senility. There is new hope for victims of these and
other related diseases. Despite what you may have heard from other sources, EDTA
chelation therapy, administered by a properly trained physician in conjunction with
a healthy lifestyle, diet, and nutritional supplements, is an option to be seriously
considered by persons suffering from coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular disease,
brain disorders resulting from circulatory disturbances, generalized atherosclerosis
and related ailments which can lead to senility, gangrene, and accelerated physical
Clinical benefits from chelation therapy vary with the total number of treatments
received and with severity of the condition being treated. On average, 85 percent
of chelation patients have improved very significantly. More than 90 percent of patients
receiving 35 or more chelation infusions have benefited enough to be grateful for
this therapy–even more so when they also followed a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the
use of tobacco. Symptoms improve, blood flow to diseased organs increases, need for
medication decreases and, most importantly, the quality of life becomes more productive
When patients first hear about or consider EDTA chelation therapy, they normally
have lots of questions. Undoubtedly you do, too. Here are the answers to those most
commonly asked questions, explained in non-technical language.
What is “Chelation”?
Chelation (pronounced KEY-LAY-SHUN) is the process by which a metal or mineral (such
as lead, mercury, iron, arsenic, aluminum, calcium, etc.) is bonded to another substance?in
this case EDTA, an amino acid. It is a natural process, basic to life itself. Chelation
is one mechanism by which such common substances as aspirin, antibiotics, vitamins,
minerals and trace elements work in the body. Hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood
which carries oxygen, is a chelate of iron.
What is Chelation As A Medical Therapy?
Chelation is a treatment by which a small amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic
acid (commonly abbreviated EDTA) is slowly administered to a patient intravenously
over several hours, prescribed by and under the supervision of a licensed physician.
The fluid containing EDTA is infused through a small needle placed in the vein of
a patient’s arm. The EDTA infusion bonds with unwanted metals in the body and quickly
carries them away in the urine. Abnormally situated nutritional metals, such as iron,
along with toxic elements such as lead, mercury and aluminum are easily removed by
EDTA chelation therapy. Normally present minerals and trace elements which are essential
for health are more tightly bound within the body and can be maintained with a properly
balanced nutritional supplement.
Is It Done Just Once?
On the contrary, chelation therapy usually consists of anywhere from 20 to 50 separate
infusions, depending on each patient’s individual health status. Thirty treatments
is the average number required for optimum benefit in patients with symptoms of arterial
blockage. Some patients eventually receive more than 100 chelation therapy infusions
over several years. Other patients receive only 20 infusions as part of a preventive
program. Each chelation treatment takes from three to four hours and patients normally
receive one to five treatments each week. It is the total number of treatments that
determine results, not the schedule or frequency. Over a period of time, these injections
halt the progress of the free radical disease. Free radicals underlie the development
of atherosclerosis and many other degenerative diseases of aging. Reduction of damaging
free radicals allows diseased arteries to heal, restoring blood flow. With time chelation
therapy brings profound improvement to many essential metabolic and physiologic functions
in the body. The body’s regulation of calcium and cholesterol is restored by normalizing
the internal chemistry of cells. Chelation has many favorable actions on the body.
Chelation therapy benefits the flow of blood through every vessel in the body, from
the largest to the tiniest capillaries and arterioles, most of which are far too
small for surgical treatment or are deep within the brain where they cannot be safely
reached by surgery. In many patients, the smaller blood vessels are the most severely
diseased, especially in the presence of diabetes. The benefits of chelation occur
simultaneously from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, not just in short
segments of a few large arteries which can be bypassed by surgical treatment.
Do I Have To Go To A Hospital To Be Chelated?
No, in most cases chelation therapy is an out-patient treatment available in a physician’s
office or clinic.
Does It Hurt? What Does It Feel Like To Be Chelated?
Being “chelated” is quite a different experience from other medical treatments. There
is no pain, and in most cases, very little discomfort. Patients are seated in reclining
chairs and can read, nap, watch TV, do needlework, or chat with other patients while
the fluid containing the EDTA flows into their veins. If necessary, patients can
walk around. They can visit the restroom, eat and drink as they desire, or make telephone
calls, being careful not to dislodge the needle attached to the intravenous infusion
they carry with them. Some patients even run their businesses by telephone or computer
while receiving chelation therapy.
Are There Risks or Unpleasant Side Effects?
EDTA chelation therapy is relatively non-toxic and risk-free, especially when compared
with other treatments. Patients routinely drive themselves home after chelation treatment
with no difficulty. The risk of significant side effects, when properly administered,
is less than 1 in 10,000 patients treated. By comparison, the overall death rate
as a direct result of bypass surgery is approximately 3 out of every 100 patients,
varying with the hospital and the operating team. The incidence of other serious
complications following surgery is much higher, approaching 35%, including heart
attacks, strokes, blood clots, mental impairment, infection, and prolonged pain.
Chelation therapy is at least 300 times safer than bypass surgery.
Occasionally, patients may suffer minor discomfort at the site where the needle enters
the vein. Some temporarily experience mild nausea, dizziness, or headache as an immediate
aftermath of treatment, but in the vast majority of cases, these minor symptoms are
easily relieved. When properly administered by a physician expert in this type of
therapy, chelation is safer than many other prescription medicines. Statistically
speaking, the treatment itself is safer than the drive in an automobile to the doctors
If EDTA chelation therapy is given too rapidly or in too large a dose it may cause
harmful side effects, just as an overdose of any other medicine can be dangerous.
Reports of serious and even rare fatal complications many years ago stemmed from
excessive doses of EDTA, administered too rapidly and without proper laboratory
monitoring. If you choose a physician with proper training and experience, who is
an expert in the use of EDTA, the risk of chelation therapy will be kept to a very
While it has been stated that EDTA chelation therapy is damaging to the kidneys,
the newest research (consisting of kidney function tests done on 383 consecutive
chelation patients, before and after treatment with EDTA for chronic degenerative
diseases) indicates the reverse is true. There is, on the average, significant improvement
in kidney function following chelation therapy. An occasional patient may be unduly
sensitive, however, and physicians expert in chelation monitor kidney function very
closely to avoid overloading the kidneys. Chelation treatments must be given more
slowly and less frequently if kidney function is not normal. Patients with some types
of severe kidney problems should not receive EDTA chelation therapy.
What Types of Examinations & Testing Must Be Done Prior To BEginning Chelation
Prior to commencing a course of chelation therapy a complete medical history is obtained.
Diet is analyzed for nutritional adequacy and balance. Copies of pertinent medical
records and summaries of hospital admissions may be sent for. A thorough head-to-toe,
hands-on physical examination will be performed. A complete list of current medications
will be recorded, including the time and strength of each dose. Special note will
be made of any allergies.
Blood and urine specimens will be obtained in a battery of tests to insure that no
conditions exist which may be worsened by chelation therapy. Kidney function will
be carefully assessed. An electrocardiogram is usually obtained. Noninvasive tests
will be performed, as medically indicated, to determine the status of arterial blood
flow prior to therapy. A consultation with other medical specialists may be requested.
Is Chelation Therapy New?
Not at all. Chelation’s earliest application with humans was during World War II
when the British used another chelating agent, British Anti-Lewesite (BAL), as a
poison gas antidote. BAL is still used today in medicine.
EDTA was first introduced into medicine in the United States in 1948 as a treatment
for industrial workers suffering from lead poisoning in a battery factory. Shortly
thereafter, the U.S. Navy advocated chelation therapy for sailors who had absorbed
lead while painting government ships and dock facilities. In the years since, chelation
therapy has remained the undisputed treatment-of-choice for lead poisoning, even
in children with toxic accumulations of lead in their bodies as a result of eating
leaded paint from toys, cribs or walls.
In the early 1950’s it was speculated that EDTA chelation therapy might help the
accumulations of calcium associated with hardening of the arteries. Experiments were
performed and victims of atherosclerosis experienced health improvements following
chelation–diminished angina, better memory, sight, hearing and increased vigor. A
number of physicians then began to routinely treat individuals suffering from occlusive
vascular conditions with chelation therapy. Consistent improvements were reported
for most patients.
Published articles describing successful treatment of atherosclerosis with EDTA chelation
therapy first appeared in medical journals in 1955. Dozens of favorable articles
have been published since then. No unsuccessful results have ever been reported (with
the exception of several recent studies with very flawed data presented by bypass
surgeons in an attempt to discredit this competing therapy). There have also been
a number of editorial comments of a critical nature made by physicians with vested
interests in vascular surgery and related procedures.
From 1964 on, despite continued documentation of its benefits and the development
of safer treatment methods, the use of chelation for the treatment of arterial disease
has been the subject of controversy.