Chelation Therapy FAQs

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What is chelation therapy?

The purpose of chelation therapy is to bind minerals and/or toxic metals in the body with a chelating agent in order to enhance elimination and, therefore detoxify the body. Of primary concern are calcium deposits in arteries, causing atherosclerosis, a serious risk for heart attack and stroke, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and others.

A number of different chelating agents are used in chelation therapy. Your doctor will choose the appropriate one depending on the mineral or heavy metal to be chelated. For example, DMPS is commonly used in treating mercury toxicity and EDTA is used in treating atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Your doctor may also recommend natural agents, such as dietary fiber, cilantro, chlorella, etc., to be taken during your treatment for increased chelation and detoxification support

Chelation therapy can be administered intravenously, rectally and/or orally. The route of administration is chosen depending on the objective of the treatment, the type of heavy metal to be chelated and patient tolerability. For example, EDTA is commonly administered intravenously. Oral administration can be performed at home while intravenous administration is performed in our office.

A number of therapeutic agents such as N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), Alpha Lipoic acid (ALA), Selenium, B vitamins, and others, are used in combination with chelation therapy, to provide antioxidant support and to optimize detoxification.

In addition, replenishing minerals is imperative while receiving chelation therapy as the chelating agents can bind essential minerals. Our Chelation Protocol includes this additional support using oral supplements and intravenous nutrients.

How is chelation therapy given?

Chelation therapy can be administered intravenously, rectally and/or orally. The route of administration is chosen depending on the objective of the treatment, the type of heavy metal to be chelated and patient tolerability. For example, EDTA is commonly administered intravenously. Oral administration can be performed at home while intravenous administration is performed in our office.

Is it safe?

When performed properly by a trained health care provider at Anatara, chelation therapy is safe, and well tolerated. The treatment protocols for chelation therapy are used by chelation therapy practitioners worldwide and have been rigorously tested.

Research has shown that the LD50 (the dose that will kill 50% of all test animals) of EDTA is 1900mg per kilogram of body weight, while the LD50 of aspirin is 420mg per kilogram of body weight. This means that the LD50 of EDTA is 88% higher than that of aspirin.

Chelation therapy is not indicated for everyone. People with kidney disease, receiving renal dialysis and who are pregnant or breast feeding should absolutely not get chelation therapy. Your doctor will perform a thorough assessment and formulate a treatment plan for you.

Are there side effects?

Generally chelation therapy is well tolerated with minimal side effects. The most common side effect is mild bleeding, bruising and burning sensation at the site of injection. Our center takes extra precautions to reduce this and ensure the patient is comfortable throughout the treatment. Rarely, short-term side effects may include, fever, headache, digestive upset including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. These side effects resolve when treatment is stopped.

What should I expect on my visit?

The doctors of Anatara Medicine will complete a thorough history of your health concerns, assess your symptoms using validated questionnaires, perform physical exams and order appropriate comprehensive laboratory testing. Chelation therapy may be given intravenously (IV) or orally, depending on the heavy metal, treatment objective, and patient tolerance. Intravenous chelation is performed in our office and involves receiving multiple IV treatments of the selected chelating agent and nutrients. Unfortunately, it is not possible to know the exact number of treatments you will need. We use symptom questionnaires and repeat testing to monitor progress and assess treatment success.

How long does IV chelation take?

IV chelation typically takes 1.5-3 hours. Additional IV therapies will be recommended and can be completed on the same day as your chelation treatment. Multiple treatments are necessary. Oral chelation involves a regimen of oral chelation agents along with supportive supplements that are taken at home.

How do I know if I have heavy metal toxicity? How do I get tested?

Please see below to complete a heavy metal questionnaire to assess your risk of heavy metal toxicity. After completion you may schedule a FREE 10 minute phone consult with one of our doctors.

Anatara Medicine uses the most accurate and highest quality laboratories to assess heavy metal toxicity. Assessment of your heavy metals will be done with symptom questionnaires, physical examinations and laboratory testing such as blood, urine and or hair analysis.

How do I know if I have clogged arteries?

There are many symptoms of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis), such as high blood pressure, chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and many more. Your doctor may have already diagnosed you with atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, or other cardiovascular disease. Anatara medicine will perform comprehensive testing to evaluate your cardiovascular health including specialty blood work and imaging.

Is Chelation Therapy an alternative to coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), and other conventional treatments?

There is evidence that shows cardiovascular patients treated with EDTA chelation therapy have a lower rate of subsequent cardiac events, including myocardial infarction and death, than those treated with cardiac medications, PTCA, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Data also suggests that chelation therapy might be effective in preventing blood clots and cardiac events from stents by reducing hyper coagulability.

Is there any research?

TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy) is the first large scale study to determine the efficacy and safety of chelation therapy, with or without high-dose vitamins, for those with cardiovascular disease including prior heart attacks, coronary artery disease, diabetes, etc. The preliminary results of this 10 year, $31 million study show that EDTA chelation therapy produced modest, but statistically significant reductions in cardiovascular events. Patients with diabetes were more positively impacted showing a 40% reduction in risk of death from heart disease, 52% reduction in recurrent heart attacks and 43% reduction in death from any cause. Gervasio Lamas, M.D., the study’s principal investigator, remarked “These are striking results that, if supported by future research, could point the way towards new treatments to prevent complications of diabetes.”

See below for links to research and literature on chelation therapy.

Is Chelation Therapy FDA approved?

The FDA has approved 11 chelating agents, including EDTA and DMSA, to treat heavy metal toxicities. Currently, chelation therapy is not approved by the FDA to treat other diseases, despite scientific research that supports its use in a variety of diseases.

How common is Chelation Therapy?

Practitioners all over the world use chelation therapy for variety of conditions.

A 2008 National Health Statistics Report estimates that in 2002, 66,000 adults received chelation therapy. This same report estimated that 111,000 adults and 72,000 children received some sort of chelation therapy in 2007.

Wax PM. Current Use of Chelation in American Health Care. Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2013;9(4):303-307. doi:10.1007/s13181-013-0347-2.

Patient Testimonials

70-something with Cardiovascular Disease
“Dr. Herskowitz is a brilliant healer, who as a doctor is an artist. I have known him, been his patient, for over 25 years. When I required quadruple bypass surgery in my late 40s, and all my bypass grafts clotted and occluded within six months, he invited me to change my understanding of health, and has guided me ever since. He is a man of deep integrity and wide-ranging creativity. His dedication to healing has led him to explore every possible avenue both Eastern and Western medicine offer and to understand the value of the ways of each. The Anatara Group will be a new standard in medicine.”

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