Chelation: A Safe, Effective Therapy for Heart Disease

Chelation: A Safe, Effective Therapy for Heart Disease

Julian Whitaker, MD

If you have heart disease, the treatments can be as scary as the disease. What you fear and dread most is hearing your doctor say, “We need to operate!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you do have options.

One of them is EDTA chelation therapy. EDTA (ethylene diamine tetracidic acid) is synthetic protein that binds to metal ions such as lead, mercury, and calcium, making them soluble in the blood and allowing the kidneys to eliminate them from the body. Chelation therapy has long been an accepted treatment for heavy metal poisoning, but it’s received less respect as a therapy for heart disease and other circulatory disorders. This is a shame, because this is a therapy that really works.

Early Reports Were Positive

Back in the early 1950s, Dr. Norman Clarke published several reports on 286 patients with either chest pain or leg pain from blocked arteries, showing that 20 intravenous infusions of EDTA alleviated the symptoms and significantly improved the blood flow in over 80 percent of patients. His summary in the American Journal of Cardiology reported, “There has been significant relief in 87 percent of a large series of patients with angina pectoris, few recurrences of symptoms, and a significant lowering of previously reported mortality rates.”

Chelation therapy created a lot of excitement at the time, but fell out of favor in the mid-sixties, not because it was proven ineffective but because its patent had run out, leaving Abbott Laboratories with no incentive to “prove” what had been observed. In addition, surgery for heart disease was on a geometric rise, and EDTA chelation therapy, a relatively inexpensive, outpatient office procedure, was certainly less interesting to cardiologists.

However, a small group of physicians recognized the benefits of EDTA chelation therapy and continued to use it and study its benefits. Thanks to this and to word of mouth from patients who had benefited, its popularity grew. It has now been used worldwide by close to one million patients with cardiovascular disease.

Ongoing Studies Prove Chelation’s Worth

In 1988, James Carter, MD, chief of the nutrition section at Tulane Medical School, and Efrain Olszewer, MD, a clinical cardiologist from Sao Paulo, Brazil, published the results of clinic use of EDTA chelation therapy in close to 3,000 patients, 1,970 of them with cardiovascular disease. Using objective measurements such as treadmill performance, EKG, drug use, and blood pressure, 94 percent of 840 heart patients had either good or marked improvement, and a whopping 98.7 percent of 1,130 patients with leg pain from blocked arteries had either good or marked improvement.

As to chelation’s record of safety, over the last 30 years, approximately 600,000 patients have had about 12 million EDTA infusions in this country, and the FDA has found no evidence of any significant toxicity. In spite of claims of kidney or other organ damage by opponents of this therapy, the FDA concluded that “safety was not an issue.”

Bias Against Chelation Remains

In spite of evidence of obvious benefit, or perhaps because of it, most of the medical profession is dead set against this therapy. If you would like to see a cardiologist “go ballistic,” just mention that you might hold off on surgery and give chelation therapy a try first.

It never ceases to astound me how the medical industry successfully promotes and frightens people into expensive and dangerous therapies such as bypass that do not work, while unabashedly scaring them away from safe and comparatively inexpensive alternatives like EDTA chelation.

Richard Avoided Bypass Surgery

Richard, a 58-year-old man from England, began having severe chest pains while walking his dog. He was hospitalized, underwent an angiogram, and was told that his arteries were so severely blocked that it would be too dangerous for him to leave the hospital. Only immediate bypass surgery would save him.

In England, various forms of therapy coexist, so he asked his cardiologist about the alternatives to surgery. The cardiologist stated, “There are no alternatives.” This was all Richard needed to hear to check out of the hospital and come to the Whitaker Wellness Institute.

His initial stress test brought on pain at two minutes, and had to be stopped at four minutes. After 20 infusions of EDTA, his pain was completely eliminated, and on a repeat treadmill, Richard was able to walk for nine minutes and 31 seconds at a far higher workload, with no pain at all.

A “Walking Time Bomb” No More

Sixty-four-year-old Tom had multiple problems, including calcium in his aortic valve, numerous blockages in his heart arteries, and a 70 percent blockage in the left carotid artery going to his brain. He was told that he was a “walking time bomb” and unless he had his aortic valve replaced and bypass surgery, he would surely die. Other doctors also felt that the blockage in his neck would progress and he would need surgery there as well.

Tom decided to give EDTA chelation therapy a try before getting cut from stem to stern. After 20 treatments, carotid ultrasound showed that the blockage in his neck had reversed down to 15 percent, the calcification in his aortic valve had partially dissolved, his valve function had improved, and he was able to walk almost twice as far on the exercise treadmill.

Both men avoided the knife, and have improved so much that they are no longer candidates for surgery.


  • For information about receiving EDTA chelation therapy at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, contact a Patient Services Representative at (866) 944-8253 or click here.
  • Questions From the Heart by Terry Chappell, MD, explores chelation therapy in depth. My book, Reversing Heart Disease, provides an overview, as well as a comprehensive program for treating heart disease. To order, call (800) 810-6655.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Copyright 2007. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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