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Flashcards in unit 16 Deck (20):

What is EDTA?

Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) is a chemical with a high affinity for bi- and tri-valent cations


What does EDTA bind?

calcium, magnesium, lead, and zinc


How does it exit the body?

The EDTA, with attached substances, is then excreted through the kidneys


What is EDTA used for? How is it administered?

EDTA is commonly used in conventional medicine as treatment for heavy metal poisoning, particularly lead. It is usually administered orally.


How is EDTA practiced in CAM therapies?

Chelation therapy is practised by repeatedly injecting a chemical solution of into a vein, often in combination with mega-vitamin therapy.


how many treatments and how much does EDTA cost?

A typical course of treatment includes 20 to 30 treatments at a cost of $100 each.


What has EDTA been recommended for by alternative medicine practitioners?

the use of chelation therapy in the treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease


What are the suggested mechanisms of action for EDTA therapy for cardiovascular disease?

EDTA may decalcify or remove calcium from the atherosclerotic plaque, reversing plaque formation in the arterial wall.

EDTA may inhibit the free-radical oxidization of LDL cholesterol and other lipids by removing metal ions necessary for this reaction. There is little supporting evidence for this mechanism.


What is the mechanism of EDTA decalcifying and removing calcium flawed?

Investigators feel this theory is flawed because the major constituents of plaque are scar tissue, cholesterol, blood cells and fibrin, not calcium. Since EDTA cannot pass through the artery cell membranes, it cannot chelate the calcium there. Even if EDTA could remove calcium from the walls of the narrowed blood vessels, cholesterol and fibrous tissue would remain to obstruct blood flow.


What other therapies besides atherosclerosis has EDTA been recommended for?

Chelation has also been recommended by unconventional practitioners for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, complications of diabetes, and a number of degenerative disorders.


Why do proponents of EDTA claim that it is not supported by conventional medicine?

Proponents of chelation therapy have often argued that chelation therapy is not supported by mainstream medicine because of the lucrative business of heart and bypass surgery. Moreover, as there is no patent on EDTA, its manufacturers have no incentive to carry out further studies or to promote its use.


What do proponents claim the benefits of chelation therapy are?

Proponents of chelation therapy argue that the usual treatments for vascular disease are expensive and have some associated morbidity and mortality. Chelation therapy using EDTA, by comparison, is less costly than traditional treatments and appears to be safe.


What is really happening with EDTA therapy? (Hint: it's a hazard to your health)

Rather than removing calcium from atherosclerotic plaque, it is much more likely is that EDTA is simply binding to calcium in the blood and removing it from the body. The body maintains the blood level of calcium by taking it from the bones. The net result is that chelation causes the loss of bone calcium—not a desirable outcome.


What are the most frequent and adverse effects of chelation therapy?

The most frequent adverse effect of EDTA is a burning sensation at the infusion site, which diminishes with lower infusion rates. As stated in the reading for this unit there have also been reports of renal toxicity resulting from EDTA


What has the research concluded on chelation therapy?

Other than its ability to treat heavy metal poisoning, chelation has never been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for any other health condition. The bulk of published studies on EDTA chelation therapy appears in the form of testimonials and inadequately documented single case reports published in books and pamphlets by physicians using the therapy.


What can we conclude about chelation therapy?

chelation therapy is associated with significant risks and costs, and there is a serious lack of credible evidence that it is effective.


Which treatment is least likely to cause harmful side effects?



What are the risks associated with chelation therapy?

The major risk associated with chelation is renal toxicity.


What diagnosis is chelation used for by both mainstream and alternative practitioners?

Heavy metal poisoning such as lead.


Outline the potential mechanisms for EDTA chelation therapy in the treatment of atherosclerosis.

Proponents of chelation therapy suggest that EDTA soften arteries by removing calcium from plaque, and inhibits free–radical oxidization of cholesterol.