Excellent article on Chelation

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I found this article from the LA Times interesting, especially since Jeremy Piven supposedly has mercury poisoning. THis is another reason that the alternative industry needs to be monitored more than it is now.


    Most people do not need chelation unless they have very high levels. The better cure is to be removed from the agent that is causing these high levels.

    Chleating can be dangerous, especially over the counter drugs. Chelation and should only be done by a doctor who is familiar with treating patients who have been poisons.

    There is research that high levels of metals does not change behavior in children or is useful for treating Autism.

    The writer is a mother of an autistic child.

    Want to get the lead out? Chelation pills are risky
    By Chris Woolston
    June 16, 2008 in print edition F-3

    The products: At a time when heavy metals are showing up in tuna steaks and toy cabooses, it’s only natural to worry about the metals in our bodies. The good news: Americans have much less lead in their blood than they did a couple of decades ago, back in the days of leaded house paint and gasoline. And though mercury levels seem to be slowly climbing, cases of acute poisoning severe enough to cause symptoms (such as upset stomach and breathing troubles) are still very rare.

    If you’re worried about a metal overload, you might be tempted to try one of many over-the-counter chelation agents that promise to bind heavy metals and flush them out of the body. Chelation products come in many guises, including DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) and EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid).

    DMSA and EDTA are mainstream medications. A prescription version of DMSA – brand name Chemet – is used (rarely) to treat severe overdoses of lead. Some poisoning centers treat metal poisoning by giving EDTA through an IV.

    The compounds have also made their way to heath-food stores, vitamin aisles and websites. A company called Vitamin Research Products offers 45 100-milligram capsules of DMSA for about $40. Users are instructed to take two or three capsules each day. (The company also sells a low-dose, 25-milligram version “with children in mind.”)

    FoodScience of Vermont sells a product called Chelation Factors that combines DMSA with cilantro, garlic, chlorella (a type of alga) and other ingredients. A one-month supply costs about $30. A company called Vibrant Life sells a one-month supply of Life Glow Basic capsules containing 400 mg of EDTA and other compounds for about $60. Phoenician Herbals sells 120 1,350-milligram EDTA capsules – a two-month supply – for about $20.

    The claims: Chelation products claim to rid the body of heavy metals and the illnesses that supposedly go along with them. A website selling DMSA from Vitamin Research Products says that the product can help treat autism, the childhood developmental disorder that, according to the site, is linked to mercury in childhood vaccines. The Vibrant Life website claims that EDTA “reduces iron and heavy metal stores in the body” and helps treat clotting problems and “vascular disease.”

    The bottom line: Chelation is sometimes necessary to treat severe cases of metal poisoning, but it’s “shocking and worrisome” that such products are sold over the counter, says Dr. Michael Shannon, chief of emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a specialist in lead poisoning.

    According to Shannon, chelation agents have several drawbacks that make them too risky to use without close guidance from a physician. Compounds such as DMSA and EDTA aren’t very choosy when it comes to binding to metals, so they’ll wash out important metals such as iron, calcium and manganese along with mercury and lead. Chelation agents can also be toxic to the liver. And if a person really does have an overload of lead or mercury, Shannon says the top priority should be removing the source of the metal, not taking a pill. If chelation is necessary, it should be DONE BY A DOCTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN TREATMENT FOR POISONING. (Caps. mine)

    EDTA capsules have another shortcoming, Shannon says. Unlike DMSA, the compound isn’t easily absorbed through the digestive system, which is why doctors deliver it through an IV. “There’s no evidence that it works when taken orally,” he says.

    “This whole chelation therapy craze is one of my pet peeves,” says Hilary Godwin, chair of environmental health sciences at UCLA. “It’s not something you should be doing on your own.” Because of its risks, doctors would never consider using chelation except in the most dire cases of metal poisoning, she says. “I can’t even imagine how many fish you’d have to eat in order to need chelation [for mercury].”

    Even when properly used, chelation has its limits. Godwin points to a 2004 study in the journal Pediatrics that found treatment with oral DMSA didn’t improve the thinking skills or behavior of children with moderate to high levels of lead in their blood.

    Godwin, mother of an autistic son, says she is especially irked by claims that chelation can treat autism, claims that aren’t supported by evidence, she adds. “Parental anxiety drives people to try anything.”

    [This Message was Edited on 12/28/2008]
  2. acer2000

    acer2000 New Member

    A lot of the failure of chelation has to do with doctors who don't know what they are doing and worse are out to scam people. DMSA can work wonders for mercury poisioning if dosed appropriately. Unfortunately most doctors are ignorant of this and dose it wrong and this can hurt people. None of this is going to change until the medical profession admits heavy metal poisioning is a common problem and they take the initiative to learn how to treat it. Because they think its so rare, most doctors don't know how to diagnose, let alone effectively treat it.

    I know two people who were completely cured using chelation. One was a former co-worker whos kid became autistic around the age of 2 after getting 6 vaccines in one doctor visit, another was a friend of a friend who had "CFS" and after chelation was way better. Her chronic mono went away for good. The autistic kid isn't autistic anymore. I am not saying everyone with "CFS" has metal poisioning, but it can be one of those things that they are supposed to "rule out", but suck at diagnosing, so it doesn't actually get ruled out correctly.

    I agree having DMSA available over the counter in a "nutritional supplement" is probably not the greatest idea, however. I also agree that vaccines shouldn't be avoided, but that they should be spread out in a sane fashion, so kids aren't getting 5 or 6 in one visit.
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Chelation is over hyped in alternative communities as having benefits. It can be very harmful if not used properly.

    One of the problems with chelation is that is also removes substances that you need to sustain life. People have died getting this "therapy".

    The reason the study with autistic children was cancelled is that it would be too dangerous. It would be unethical and inhumane. There have been several cases of autistic children dying from chelation. How many have possibly been harmed or even made worse from this procedure, we don't know.

    I do not put credience into alternative magazines (and yes I have read many) nor antedoctal reports which spread like Urban Legends.

    There have been no legitimate studies that people need chelation unless their levels are dangerously high. Even then you need a MEDICAL doctor who specializes in this area.

    While people have personal choice, they should also be warned of the dangers especially of oral chelation which you can get OTC.

    I will not argue the merits of Chelation as this article was posted for informational purposes.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/21/2008]
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    FDA links child deaths to chelation therapy
    Drug used to treat lead, mercury poisoning; often used for autism
    updated 1:24 p.m. CT, Thurs., March. 2, 2006

    ATLANTA - A drug that is sometimes used to treat lead poisoning — and is also believed by some parents to be effective against autism — caused the deaths of two children last year, the government said Thursday.

    One youngster was autistic; the other had lead poisoning.

    The deaths mark the first documented link between a chelation drug and cardiac arrest in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both children were treated with a product called Endrate.

    CDC officials are also looking into the 2003 death of a 53-year-old woman in Oregon who was given chelation therapy by a practitioner of natural medicine.

    Mary Jean Brown, chief of the CDC’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, said hospital pharmacies should consider whether stocking Endrate is necessary, given its risks and the availability of other treatments.

    The maker of Endrate, Hospira Inc., had no immediate comment.

    Chelating agents are chemical compounds, injected or given orally, that latch on to metals in the body and carry them out through urine or feces. Chelation is commonly used for lead poisoning.

    Some doctors have used chelation to treat autism, believing mercury or other heavy metals cause the condition’s symptoms. However, medical evidence does not support that belief, and the drug is not approved for that use, CDC officials said.

    Endrate is approved for treating certain heart rhythm disturbances and high concentrations of calcium triggered by a bone cancer.

    Since at least 1978, federal health officials have warned against giving it to children with lead poisoning. Endrate’s calcium-removing abilities can dangerously disrupt the body’s chemistry, Brown said.

    In August, a 5-year-old boy with autism died in Portersville, Pa., while receiving an infusion of Endrate in a physician’s office. A coroner later ruled that the treatment killed the boy.

    In February 2005, a 2-year-old girl with lead poisoning was treated with three chelating agents — one of them Endrate — and died at a hospital hours later from what an autopsy concluded was cardiac arrest due to depleted levels of calcium.

    © 2008 The Associated Press.
  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I respect your opinion but have to disagree with your logic.

    Children and adults have died from Chelation. To do a study on chelation would be against the Hippocratic oath, "First Do No Harm".

    Doctors who are specialist in poisoning know how the body works and what can/does happen during Chelation. It is not a procedure to be taken lightly. Can you imagine the lawsuits if someone became sick or died during such research, even if they were going to do Chelation? The protocols of research would and should prohibit experiments like this.

    This does not mean that traditional medicine is perfect. Far from it.

    The alternative industry which makes billions of dollars, relies on theories that do not have credibility. They use scare tactics to get business.

    In the meantime, people are self diagnosing and delaying real medical treatment because alternative medicine is unregulated. People want quick fixes and the alternative industry jumps on this.

    I am quite well versed of the reputation of autism.com.

    The alternative industry wants to make profits by making outrageous claims of what they can do and they can do it because they are unregulated. Providing over the counter supplements for things such as chelation is unconscionable.

    People are desperate because of this DD. But the truth remains that at this time there are no cures for FM/CFS/ME and doctors can only treat the symptoms.

    Money needs to be spent on legitimate studies.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/22/2008]
  6. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Death by Chelation, Revisited by Kimball Atwood, MD

    Regarding the latest report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the 5-year old boy who died after receiving disodium EDTA to treat his autism:

    Roy Poses was absolutely correct that Dr. Mary Jean Brown, the CDC’s “expert in chelation therapy,” missed the real point of the tragedy: that the child was a victim of quackery, not merely of “medical error.” The truth is even more disturbing than that, however. Dr. Brown may have been technically correct that if calcium-disodium EDTA had been used instead of disodium EDTA, the child would likely not have died of hypocalcemia (though he might have died of another complication; calcium-disodium EDTA is also a dangerous drug). But this was not a simple case of mistaken drug identity, or "look-alike/sound-alike medications," as Dr. Brown supposed. Disodium EDTA is the form of EDTA preferred by the major advocacy group for all implausible uses of "chelation therapy," the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)*—the same organization that the FTC had cited in 1998 for “false or misleading” claims regarding “chelation therapy” and atherosclerosis.

    The reason for that preference seems to be that when EDTA was first being pushed as a miracle cure for atherosclerosis (‘60s-‘70s), its purported mechanism was to leach calcium from plaques. That claim, which can still be found in pro-chelation literature, has largely given way to the theory that chelation works as an anti-oxidant by removing heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper, and iron. Both of these theories are implausible on stoichiometric and physiological grounds. The disodium form of EDTA persists as the ACAM-recommended preparation, not only for atherosclerosis but for arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, psoriasis, high blood pressure, scleroderma, cancer, macular degeneration, and more. The rationale for “chelation therapy” in autism, according to advocates, is that the disease is caused by mercury poisoning—mainly from childhood immunizations. This claim is not supported by epidemiologic studies

    Dr. Brown might be disturbed to learn that disodium EDTA is the form used in the current, $30 million, Phase III "Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy" (TACT), jointly sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The reason that NIH investigators chose the more dangerous form of EDTA is that it was “recommended by the American College for Advancement in Medicine” Curiously, it’s almost impossible, merely by looking on the NCCAM website, to discover which salt of EDTA is used in the TACT. Except in the well-hidden RFA (Request for Applications), only “EDTA” is named, without reference to cations.

    Thus most descriptions of the TACT are similar to this one posted by the NIH: “EDTA…is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating lead poisoning and toxicity from other heavy metals. Although it is not approved by the FDA to treat coronary artery disease, some physicians and alternative medicine practitioners have recommended EDTA chelation as a way to treat this disorder.” On the contrary, disodium EDTA has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of lead poisoning, but only for the emergency treatment of hypercalcemia and dig-toxicity (and for these purposes it is considered obsolete).

    The NIH language implies that disodium EDTA for any other purpose is merely “off-label” and is safe, which is what chelationists and their influential champions assert (see p.2 of this slow-loading document). But this is misleading, because the FDA has specifically contraindicated disodium EDTA for atherosclerosis, and a “black box” warning states: “The use of this drug in any particular patient is recommended only when the severity of the clinical condition justifies the aggressive measure associated with this type of therapy.” Thus the numerous unapproved uses of disodium EDTA, prescribed by that strange subculture of practitioners who preach “detoxification” as a near-panacea, do not meet FDA standards for off-label use. On p. 37 of the TACT protocol, version 2, NIH investigators refer to such practitioners as “prominent experts.”

    Perhaps unbeknownst to Dr. Brown, her statements would seem to challenge the NIH to explain why it would expose human subjects to a drug that the CDC considers highly dangerous, when a less dangerous substitute is readily available. The larger question is why the NIH would expose 2300 human subjects in a Phase III study of a treatment that has yet to successfully graduate from Phases I or II, and that has not been substantially studied in animals. Federal Code states: “Phase III studies…are performed after preliminary evidence suggesting effectiveness of the drug has been obtained…” The Declaration of Helsinki states: “Medical research involving human subjects must…be based on a thorough knowledge of the scientific literature…and on adequate laboratory and, where appropriate, animal experimentation.”

    * Rozema TC. The Protocol for the Safe and Effective Administration of EDTA and Other Chelating Agents for Vascular Disease, Degenerative Disease, and Metal Toxicity. Journal of Advancement in Medicine. 1997;10, 1:5-100

  7. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

  8. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member


    They are missing something importatnt in this article and that's doseages and timing. Also that ALA is the only true chelator of mercury form the brain so DMSA will only help to remove the body burden.

    Andrew Cutlers protocol of low dose oral frequent chelation is one of the safest methods and also involes thaking a bunch of supplemetns with breaks in between which is the one I am using with success.
  9. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Dr. Andrew Cutler specifically and others who are convinced that Chelation is not harmful in general make me skeptical because:

    1. Dr. Cutler is a big advocate of hair analysis. This has been scientifically proven to only be effective for only a few toxins. That means he may be recommending chelation when not needed and that carries a lot of risks.

    2. He recommends supplements for Chelation. Because these are OTC they can be dangerous at certain levels. These supplements are unregulated. Another big risk.

    3. The level at which many alternative doctors recommend chelation or detox, are lower than what most medical doctors would suggest. Again, an unnecessary and possibly dangerous procedure when not needed.

    4.Alternative practitioners pounce on consumers on the theory that toxins at a lower level in the body means you need chelation or detox.

    5. Recommending herbs for chelation may be harmful. People may attribute the side effects only to be told that they are herxing and should feel worse. In the meantime these people may be delaying true medical care.

    6. While Dr. Cutller is a medical doctor he uses unproven procedures.

    7.Chelation is a procedure that should only be done by expert medical doctors who have a lot of experience in this area. Even then, it can be harmful but may be needed as it might be a matter of life or death.

    I am very vocal about this subject because I have seen people and possibly some on this board harmed by advice from alternative practitioners and delaying real medical treatment.

    Medical procedures, medications can also have harmful effects. However we do not know what effects some of these unproven and possibly unethical alternative procedures may have as they are not under rigorous scrutiny.

    Bottom line. Alternative practitioners bypass the scientific method and the products they use may not be effective or harmful, as this is basically an unregulated industry.

    We do not want something like what happened to the children in China to occur.

    The alternative industry needs to be regulated as much as the medical community is.

  10. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Hi Gap,

    Have you read Dr Cutlers full protocol and book? He didn't say chelation is not harmful but in low frequent doses it is safer and far safer than living with mercury inside your body in my opinion.

    I was getting progressively worse before having my amalgams removed and starting chelation then I had a stage of a few months where I could actually go out for the day (something I haven't been able to do in a long time...). My bleeding gums also stopped.

    The hair test is not just left up to the labs - experienced people on the chelation board help interpret it as there's a whole lot more to it than just looking if heavy metals come out high such as mineral transportation etc.

    They have a board on yahoo that cutler himself also answers to ensure you have all the help you need - which is more than I've got from any doctor. In fact thanks to that board - I even managed to get some lab tests I desperately needed done that actually show results - cortisol testing and stool analysis.

    It's up to us all to do our own research - but enough of it before stating that anything is bad. I agree with Anchorholds as I have seen myself that chelation has worked and spoken to many people that are actually now recovered including children with autism, fibro, cfs etc.

    In his book, he explains all about supplementation and what to take and the levels he recommends aren't dangerous.

    What is needed to be proven - there are real people out there that are fully recovered - is that not proof enough?

    So yes. I agree high doses of chelation treatments and the wrong protocols can be harmful which is why you need to do your research as with anything else but we can't say t people not to try it especially as so many people have got better. People just need to be careful before jumping right in with only half the information.

    I personally wouldn't choose to work with a doctor on chealtion but rather someone who has yrs of experience and has seen results himself and is actualy better from it.

    Doctors have only made me much sicker - including a homeopath who gave me a high dose of DMSA whilst I still had filllings in! So there should be more chelation specialists like Cutler who know what they are talking about and it would be even more helpful if docs or alternative practitioners would have referred me to his chelation group a long time ago rather than giving me the wrong advice.

  11. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    The doctor's being sited by the medical boards are ones who may have an MD but are using unproven treatments, may not have the proper training to practice chelation or possibly harmed patients such as the doctor who was treating children with chelation.

    The "training" these doctors get may be based on alternative theories which are not medically plausible. What training they do get is not considered as high quality training that a toxicologist would get.

    These same doctors tend to over diagnose patients as being poisoned and these patients may not have high enough levels to justify Chelation. They may recommend supplements which could be dangerous when used at an improper dosage or are worthless.

    They may be giving B12 shots or recommending vitamins or supplements but that is not why they are being they may be investigated. To say this is misleading.

    A toxicologist on the other hand specializes in different treatment modalities for poisoning and have many years of QUALITY education compared to the doctors sited above.

    Toxicologist know what type of tests are needed. For example, they know that saliva tests as well as hair analysis are not necessarily accurate in diagnosing poisoning. Urine testing may not be accurate if taken without a chelator and using a chelator for this test should be closely monitored by a toxicologist.

    The former only see part of the picture with only one treatment for poisoning, chelation The latter at least have a better education that takes into account the whole picture when it comes to types of poisonings and their treatments.

    So unless you have been diagnosed by an MD who specializes in toxicology, a patient may or may not have been poisoned. If the patient gets better, it may or may not be due to the chelating. You just do not know what factors are causing what.

    As far as Cutler answering on a message board you might be getting a skewed version of chelation.

    You might want to reread the original article I posted.

    I think it is time to put an end to this post as it looks like posters are arguing using emotionally charged opinions ,anecdotal reports instead of supplying information. I will not be deleting this post but also most likely respond. I have stated my case. What people choose to do is their choice.


    [This Message was Edited on 12/28/2008]
  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I find your exaggerations of information very disturbing.

    Chelation was replaced by safer and more effective techniques decades ago for heart patients.

    In my 23 years of teaching, I have never seen a child taken away just because of noncompliance. Child protective services are supposed to try many methods such as parent training to keep the child with the parents.

    I do not buy into conspiracy theories. Livf is not the black and white.

    Of course different opinions are fine. They sometimes generate good information.

    If someone is banned from PH it is because their message is inappropriate stated and not necessarily the subject matter.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/29/2008]
  13. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Your story indeed counts. You have the right of free choice.

    I would absolutely not wish anyone to be sick.

    I am just showing another view as you are..

    I am not going to respond to issues I have already addressed.

    I certainly understand that you have been through a rough time

    I just came up with a different conclusion about chelation I am not the only one..

    Nothing wrong with that. It would be a boring world if we all thought the same.

    Take care.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/29/2008]
    [This Message was Edited on 12/29/2008]

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