Chelation (pronounced key-lay-shun) is a chemical reaction that results in a bond being formed between a metal ion and an organic (i.e., carbon-based — made mostly of carbon) molecule. The resulting complex, metal bound to molecule, is called a “chelate” and contains one or more rings of atoms in which the metal ion is so firmly bound it cannot escape. This allows the metal ion to be transported in the same manner as a prisoner, first handcuffed, then moved from one location to another.

In the presence of aging and disease, the cells’ ability to move metal ions through the system and eliminate them when they are in excess becomes progressively impaired. This is especially true for calcium.

Calcium has vital functions in the human body. Without calcium, teeth and bones could not exist. Nevertheless, as the body ages, lipid peroxidation damages the walls of the arterial tree which is repaired leaving a scar. Then calcium and oxidized cholesterol are incorporated into the resulting scar tissue.

“Hardening of the arteries,” or arteriosclerosis, on the other hand, is apparently an inevitable change of aging. The walls of blood vessels become stiffer as time passes, as does all connective tissue of the body. This is caused by cross-linkage of collagen, the protein which makes up the connective tissue of artery walls. This cross-linkage results in loss of elasticity and flexibility. We believe the process can be slowed, but not entirely prevented, by the liberal intake of antioxidants, especially vitamin C.

With atherosclerosis, as the years pass, calcium deposits b uild up, and calcified atherosclerotic plaques form, lining the walls of the arterial vessels. This plaque is composed of various lipids, so-called foam cells, scar tissue, and overgrown smooth muscles cells from the artery wall. In many people, this process begins in early childhood.

With arteriosclerosis, calcium also builds up and becomes many times more concentrated in the wall of the normal artery than it was in childhood. Calcium content is what atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis have in common. Aging can be thought of as a progressive dysfunction of calcium metabolism.

In distinction to the oral agents that serve to prevent atherosclerosis, intravenous chelation has been shown to actually reverse the effects of the disease. The agent used is ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid, also known as “EDTA,” sold commercially as Sodium Edetate.

EDTA is a synthetic amino acid. The usual dose is 2000-3000 mg (adjusted to body weight, age, and kidney function) added to 500 ml of “carrier solution” — sterile water with a mixture of vitamins and minerals. Most chelation doctors add vitamin C along with B vitamins, bicarbonate and magnesium.

The solution is infused slowly, one drop per second, and one treatment requires about three hours. The prisoner (calcium) is moved out of the body using handcuffs (EDTA). The half life of EDTA in the body is one hour; i.e., one-half is removed (filtered into the urine) after one hour, another half of what is left is removed after one more hour, etc. Within 24 hours 99% of the EDTA is gone from the body, and you are left with only the therapeutic benefit.

1.EDTA lowers blood calcium and thus stimulates the production of parathormone from the parathyroid glands. This mild pulse of parathormone is responsible for the removal of calcium from abnormal locations (such as arteries) and the deposition of calcium in locations (such as bones) where it should be. This accounts for the mild recalcification of osteoporotic bones seen with EDTA.

2.EDTA stimulates the enlargement of small vessels, so that they serve the purpose of collateral circulation around a blockage, rendering the blockage irrelevant.

3.EDTA controls free radical damage due to lipid peroxidation by serving as a powerful antioxidant.

4.EDTA removes abnormally located metal ions, such as copper and iron, that accumulate with age.

5.EDTA removes lead, cadmium, aluminum, and other metals, restoring enzyme systems to their proper functions.

6.EDTA enhances the integrity of cellular and mitochondrial membranes.

7.EDTA helps reestablish prostaglandin hormone balance.Prostaglandins, among other things, are responsible for the balancing act between contraction and relaxation of arterial walls and between clotting and the free flow of blood. Prostaglandins are produced from fatty acids, therefore lipid peroxidation upsets the balance of these vital hormones. EDTA chelates out the catalyzing metallic co-enzymes and thus inhibits lipid peroxidation, also serving the same function as an antioxidant.

8.EDTA reduces the tendency of platelets to cause coagulation too readily. This tends to prevent inappropriate thrombosis, which blocks coronary arteries during a heart attack.

9.EDTA increases tissue flexibility by uncoupling age-related cross-linkages that are responsible for loss of skin tone and for wrinkling.