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There are many reasons to rid the body of toxic metals. But for many people, discovering what is chelation therapy and how it benefits their health, learn that there more reasons to skip chelation therapy, than to try it. That's because most health insurance companies won't pay for chelation therapy.
At more than $3,000.00 for a complete series of treatments, the cost of intravenous chelation can be prohibitive for many people. It's also very inconvenient. What is chelation therapy for the full course? You have to visit the doctors office or chelation clinic as many as 30 times, each time for as long as three hours.
You probably already know about chelation (key-lay-shun) therapy. So what is chelation therapy and is it really a means of clearing the body of excess metals and minerals? Yes. It's traditionally administered through an IV infusion containing a synthetic amino acid called ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). EDTA is a known chelating agent-meaning that it binds to metal and mineral molecules. (For this reason, the treatment is often referred to as "EDTA chelation.") The EDTA and the metal molecules are then excreted out of the body through the urine.
First used in the 1940's for heavy metal toxicity, which is why chelation therapy was approved by the FDA for lead poisoning and remains the conventional treatment of choice. But in the 1960's, some forward-thinking doctors theorized that EDTA chelation might work for other problems as well, like combating the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Talk about bad timing, about the time chelation was being suggested as a treatment for atherosclerosis, the first "successful" coronary bypass surgery was performed. The mainstream medical community embraced the bypass approach with fervor, and chelation was left in the dust, and wondering what is chelation therapy and is it proven.
But a small group of physicians stuck with it. And although most mainstream doctors still recommend costly, dangerous, and terribly invasive surgery, the IV chelation approach has grown slowly but steadily over the last several decades. The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), a professional association that supports the use of chelation therapy, estimates that there were more than 800,000 IV chelation therapy sessions in the U.S. in 1997 alone. 1
So see what is chelation therapy, and how does and why is chelation therapy impacting heart health? The original theory was that EDTA chelation rids the body of calcium deposits that led to "hardening of the arteries" (or calcification)2. Some research suggested that high levels of accumulated iron in men and postmenopausal women explained their higher heart attack risk, and that removing that iron through chelation could lower that risk. 3
Chelation authorities now say that the therapy's beneficial effects on blood circulation, shows what is chelation therapy and may also have positive effects on impotence, intermittent claudication, and vision problems like age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. And new research suggests that removing heavy metals through chelation can treat and/or prevent many serious diseases, including pancreatitis, gout, both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis-even cancer.
The research supporting metal toxicity's link with cancer is particularly intriguing. Several studies have linked high body iron stores with an increased risk of cancer5, particularly lung cancer6. In one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, women with the highest iron levels7 were 50 percent more likely develop any type of cancer than women with the lowest iron levels. Chelation may reduce that risk by binding and eliminating high body iron stores.
But now there's a new way to get all the detoxifying benefits of chelation right in your own home at a fraction of the cost of IV treatments.
It's known as Detoxamin and it's a suppository. Aside from that, it's far preferable to IV treatment and certainly better than bypass surgery or any of the potential manifestations of heavy metal poisoning.
With Detoxamin; studies have shown that EDTA is readily absorbed in the colon8. In fact, some chelation experts believe this new delivery method may be even more effective than IV administration, and safer too.
Here's why: Detoxamin EDTA suppositories are inserted at night, before going to bed. This is not only convenient, but maximizes the efficiency of the treatment. During sleep, there is less metabolic competition for the EDTA, so the chelating agent doesn't have to work as hard. Plus, the chelating agent doesn't encounter as much resistance while you are lying down, so it can more effectively chelate the entire body.
Each suppository delivers 750 mg of EDTA, as opposed to the 2 grams delivered during an IV treatment. Three nights of suppository treatment deliver the same amount of EDTA received in one IV dose. But because it's so much more affordable and so convenient, most people don't have a problem with using Detoxamin EDTA suppositories more frequently. This approach results in less EDTA traveling through the body at a much slower rate, which puts less strain on the liver and kidneys.
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When scientists began to understand the devastating effects of oxidation on the heart, to determine what is chelation therapy, researchers learned that excess metals in the body encourage the production of free radicals and molecule fragments. Chelation helps reduce the levels of metals in the body, thereby reducing the production of free radicals and preventing peroxidation or breakdown of cell membranes, DNA, enzymes, and lipoproteins. Plus, reducing the free radical threat frees up the body's natural healing mechanisms, so those resources can be directed at halting or even reversing the progression of disease. 4
Recently, researchers proposed another explanation for chelation's heart-healthy benefits. The endothelium, or lining of the arteries, produces several vital substances that reduce blood flow resistance.
For example, the endothelium generates nitric oxide (NO) which causes capillary relaxation and expansion; prostacyclin, a prostaglandin which slows blood platelet aggregation and promotes vasodilation; and heparin, a natural substance with the same name as a blood-thinning drug, which prevents clotting.
All these substances are critical to maintaining optimal blood circulation. But excess heavy metals in the body can diminish the endothelium's ability to produce NO, prostacyclin, and heparin-a triple whammy for your arteries. Chelation therapy can remove those heavy metals, restoring optimal production of these substances critical to cardiovascular health.
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Research has shown that the EDTA in Detoxamin suppositories can remove toxic metals, and just as effectively as IV chelation. An unpublished study for Detoxamin, conducted by Ted Rozema, M.D., shows that 10 consecutive days of treatment with Detoxamin EDTA suppositories significantly reduced blood lead levels in children with proven lead toxicity. After treatment with just one suppository, the children's urinary lead excretion skyrocketed from 4.23 mcd/gL to more than 325 mcd/gL.9
When you talk to doctors and patients who have used Detoxamin, their stories are nothing short of amazing.
1) "Questions & Answers: The NIH Trial of EDTA Chelation Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease" 2002 www.nccam,nih,gov/news/2002/chelation/q-and-a.htm
2) Waters RS, Bryden NA et al "EDTA chelation effects on urinary losses of cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, magnesium and zinc" Biol Trac Elem Res 2001 Dec;83(3):207-221
3) Sullivan JL "Iron and the sex difference in heart disease risk" Lancet 1981 Jun 13;1(8233):1293-1294
4) Cranton EM, Frackelton JP "Free Radical Pathology in Age-Associated Diseases: Treatment with EDTA Chelation, Nutrition and Antioxidants" Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1989 Spring/Summer;2(1-2)
5) Stevens RG, Beasley RP et al "Iron-binding proteins and risk of cancer in Taiwan" J Natl Cancer Inst 1986 Apr;76(4):605-610
6) Selby JV, Friedman GD "Epidemiologic evidence of an association between body iron stores and risk of cancer" Int J Cancer 1988 May 15;41(5):677-82
7) Stevens RG, Jones DY et al "Body iron stores and the risk of cancer" N Eng J Med 1998 Oct 20;319(16):1047-1052
8) Elia M, Behrens R et al "Evaluation of mannitol, lactulose and 51CR-labelled ethylenediaminetetra-acetate as markers of intestinal permeability in man" Clin Sci 1987 Aug;73(2):197-204
9) Rozema, T "CaEDTA Suppositories to Treat Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children" unpublished