Oral EDTA Use

Q I am 75 years old, and have been a diabetic for the past 35 years. I have high blood pressure, and recently had an angioplasty with placement of two stents in my main coronary artery.

One of my friends suggested that I take oral EDTA (1 gram) twice a day. He said this will not only prevent any further deposits of calcium from forming, but that it would dissolve any deposits elsewhere, and the blood circulation in my heart and body would normalize.

I have no knowledge about EDTA and its efficacy in the treatment of artery blockage problems. Consequently, I am seeking your advice regarding whether oral EDTA will be likely to help.

VK, Noida, India

Dear VK:

A I routinely provide EDTA chelation therapy (both oral and intravenous) to my patients with arterial insufficiency anywhere in the body (i.e., carotids, coronary, or peripheral arteries). Chelation will not only alleviate calcified arterial plaque throughout the vascular system, but also reduces the body burden of heavy metals like lead, mercury and aluminum—all of which adversely affect the energy-producing intracellular mitochondria. Coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty with stents, and endarterectomy may sometimes be necessary for selective blockages of the carotid, coronary, and peripheral arteries, but these procedures are also often of limited value. Certainly, such procedures can be lifesaving, in relieving selective lesions in arteries large enough for the surgeon or interventional cardiologist to manipulate. However, what is often overlooked is the fact that atherosclerosis is a systemic disease, not limited to a few partially obstructed sites. Chelation therapy, in contrast, biochemically benefits the entire vascular system, extending to the microcirculation throughout the body, where the oxygen exchange takes place.

If instituted preventively, chelation therapy often alleviates the need for procedures such as angioplasty or bypass. Intravenous chelation therapy is, of course, the most effective version. Although oral EDTA is poorly absorbed (about 10% of the dose), it has the advantage over intravenous therapy in that oral EDTA can be consumed every day—therefore, there is always some EDTA “on board.” Intravenous EDTA is entirely eliminated from the body within 24 hours, and is generally administered on a weekly basis. Since EDTA is an anticoagulant, oral EDTA every day effectively helps to prevent thrombotic strokes and heart attacks, as well as removing the calcified plaque.

For patients who need maximum therapy, I recommend both IV and oral EDTA. For those who are unable or unwilling to undergo intravenous chelation, for whatever reason, or are being treated with chelation for preventive purposes or as a supplement to interventions such as bypass or angioplasty with stents, I often recommend oral EDTA, with a product such as Life Enhancement’s EDTA Chelator Complex Original. Ten capsules per day provide 1,000 mg of EDTA, in combination with garlic and malic acid (malic acid effectively chelates aluminum, a potent cross-linking metal). Assuming that 10% of an oral dose of EDTA is systemically absorbed, such a course of oral EDTA provides 3 grams of absorbed EDTA each month—the equivalent of one intravenous dose spread over the course of the month.

You stated that you are a diabetic. Diabetes, as you know, accelerates the course of atherosclerosis and other degenerative diseases. Therefore, it is especially important to control your diabetes, in addition to undergoing oral or intravenous chelation therapy. I strongly recommend the insulin receptor-sensitizing anti-diabetic, anti-aging drug Metformin, as well as supportive supplements like Life Enhancement’s InsuLife, to prevent further diabetes-induced vascular problems.

Ward Dean, M.D.

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