Oral EDTA Chelation May Help
Maintain Cardiovascular Function

Both Your Heart and Brain Can Benefit from
the Right Amounts of Malic Acid and Garlic

Representations of arteries showing advanced atherosclerosis compared to relatively healthy arteries.

A powerful natural treatment that may help keep your cardiovascular system clean has just been improved. This is not because garlic has been dropped, but because malic acid, an organic fruit acid found in apples and other fruits, has been added.

So now, in addition to garlic and EDTA, it contains research-supported amounts of malic acid. This molecule is a vital component in the energy-producing Krebs cycle and plays many other roles in the body, including the maintenance of proper acid balance and the removal of toxic or undesirable metals by chelation. This process can be understood as the removal of excess calcium and other minerals that promote plaque formation, blood clotting, and atherosclerosis.

Malic acid also has an oxygen-sparing effect (the ability to lower cellular oxygen consumption without affecting availability), and there are a number of indications that it is critical in controlling mitochondrial function in our cells.

You may already be aware of the power of oral EDTA chelation; it is a safe, convenient, and inexpensive dietary method that can help reduce problems from chest pain and high blood pressure to heart attack and stroke.

You may not know, however, that research indicates that your body requires a minimum level of supplemental malic acid to get certain benefits that can significantly improve your health and well-being, and that the majority of oral EDTA chelation supplements available today fail to supply it. Examine the data their manufacturers offer in explanation of their conclusions. As we will see, 600 mg/day is not enough.

Oral EDTA chelation is good news for your arteries, the conduits that deliver nutrients and other life-promoting substances throughout your body - from your heart to your brain to all your vital organs and tissues. It is essential to keep your arteries in good repair. That means maintaining optimal blood flow by preventing impedances such as plaque buildup and minimizing the levels of metals that can promote free radical damage. This is just what the ingredients cited above can help accomplish, and more.

Although the product is focused primarily on preventive maintenance for your cardiovascular system, your brain possesses fine arteries that supply it with oxygen and nutrients, so it too can realize improved functioning, leading to better memory. Minimizing metal toxicity can help you bootstrap yourself to better health.

Although various minerals are needed in limited amounts for proper cardiovascular function, excessive amounts can actually cause free radical damage. So the problem is one of maintaining proper balance, of steering between two potential problems: mineral levels that are too high or too low. Unfortunately, most people suffer from both of these, so oral EDTA chelation can be beneficial at the same time (but in the opposite way) that mineral supplementation is beneficial.

Bearing the idea of balance in mind can be valuable. Proper mineral balance can help prevent the dysfunctionality that can cause cardiovascular or cerebral disease. Nevertheless, there has been some concern that you can't have it both ways and that EDTA chelation, both oral and IV, can upset serum calcium levels. Scientific reports have indicated otherwise, however.

In one report, observations of 80 private-practice patients treated with slowly administered EDTA and supportive multivitamin/trace-mineral supplementation showed that this form of EDTA chelation therapy does not alter serum calcium concentration.2 Perhaps more importantly, the evidence also suggests that the so-called high normals (referring to metal concentrations) declined slightly, the low normals rose slightly, and those in the intermediate range remained unchanged.

Another study raised a cautionary flag. Sixty patients with intermittent claudication (leg pain when walking) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 20 courses of IV EDTA chelation therapy for from five to nine weeks.3 By the end of the study, there was some loss of essential minerals, but this problem has been shown to be addressable by supplementation. A shortage of one or more minerals is characteristic of most "normal" patients (i.e., without claudication). For more information on this subject and on oral EDTA in general, read Oral EDTA Helps Restore Cardiovascular Function – Aug. 1999).

At the Nutrient Requirements and Functions Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, researchers recently examined the hypothesis that EDTA chelation therapy may lead to a depletion of the essential mineral chromium, supplemental amounts of which have been shown to lead to improved blood glucose, lipids, and insulin activity.4 (Interestingly, EDTA has similar capabilities.)

To determine if EDTA chelation therapy leads to increased urinary losses of chromium and an altered distribution of chromium, two groups of subjects (one of which had recently undergone the therapy; the other had not) were examined. No significant differences in urinary chromium losses were found between the two groups, i.e., EDTA chelation therapy did not cause any significant loss of chromium. Whereas chromium levels can be strongly affected by mineral supplementation, EDTA chelation therapy has no apparent effect on those levels.

Malic acid has been found to help remove the toxic metals lead, strontium, and especially aluminum, among others. Your body manufactures malic acid along with citric acid, fumaric acid, and many others, some of which are important parts of the energy-producing Krebs cycle. Normally, when acting in this role, they get used and reformed in an endless cycle. If you're doing sustained aerobic activity, however, you need to be able to make more. Yet you may not be able to crank out as much of these organic acids as quickly as you need to for the higher metabolic demand. This justifies taking malic acid and the other organic acids as dietary supplements.

With regard to the chelation abilities of malic acid, the questions of how much to take and under what circumstances are more complex. In a preliminary clinical test with 15 fibromyalgia patients, a total daily dosage of 1200-­2400 mg of malic acid was given, along with 300-­600 mg of elemental magnesium (which is necessary for ATP production and has oxygen-sparing efects) for eight weeks.5 All patients reported significant reduction of muscular pain within 48 hours of starting the supplement.

However, a double-blind study by the same research group, using 1200 mg of malic acid and 300 mg of magnesium, failed to show a reduction in symptoms.5 So there is some evidence, although the study was unblinded, that malic acid at 2400 mg/day and magnesium at 600 mg/day are needed.

The chelation amounts for aluminum detoxification are consistent with the 2000+ mg/day found to be beneficial for fibromyalgia, both in the study references and in countless reports from the Fibromyalgia Foundation. In a study at the University of Barcelona, toxicologists administered malic acid to mice exposed to aluminum at about one-fourth the LD50 level.6 (LD50 is the level of a compound that will kill 50% of the experimental animals to which it is given.) Compared to other chelators, malic acid was the most effective, on a par with the synthetic chelator deferoxamine mesylate.

When the amount of malic acid is calculated based on the ratio of food consumption to body mass, the figures are similar to those used for fibromyalgia: approximately 80 mg/kg·day x 1/3 x 75 kg = 2000 mg/day (where 80 mg is the amount used in the animal chelation studies; the factor 1/3 reflects that rodents consume about three times more food per unit body mass than humans; and 75 kg is an average human body mass). Given that an apple contains several hundred milligrams of malic acid, it is possible, although difficult, to consume 2000 mg/day entirely from apples, by far the greatest source of malic acid in the diet. It is far easier, however, to take malic acid in supplement form.


  1. Domingo JL, Gomez M, Llobet JM, Corbella J. Influence of some dietary constituents on aluminum absorption and retention in rats. Kidney Int 1991 Apr;39(4):598-601.
  2. McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ, Cheraskin E. The effect of intravenous disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) plus supportive multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation upon fasting serum calcium. Med Hypotheses 1983 Aug;11(4):431-8.
  3. Lyngdorf P, Guldager B, Holm J, Jorgensen SJ, Jelnes R. Chelation therapy for intermittent claudication: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Circulation 1996 Jan 15;93(2):395-6.
  4. Anderson RA, Bryden NA, Waters R. EDTA chelation therapy does not selectively increase chromium losses. Biol Trace Elem Res 1999 Dec;70(3):265-72.
  5. Russell J, Michalek J, Flechas J, et al. Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with SuperMalic: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rheumatol 1995;22(5):953-7.
  6. Llobet JM, Domingo JL, Gomez M, Tomas JM, Corbella J. Acute toxicity studies of aluminium compounds: antidotal efficacy of several chelating agents. Pharmacol Toxicol 1987 Apr;60(4):280-3.

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