Health Associates Medical Group is the original Chelation Therapy practice in Sacramento, California.  As pioneers in Chelation Therapy, we have successfully & safely administered thousands of Chelation Treatments over 25 years.

Why is it used?

The two leading causes of death for men and women over the age of 50 are heart attacks and strokes.  Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is usually involved in this pathogenesis of these two conditions. 

Risk factors include:

1.       A high ratio of total cholesterol to high density lipoproteins (HDL).

2.       Elevated blood levels of Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, Lipoprotein, Glucose or Insulin.

3.       Family History.

4.       Cigarette smoking.

5.       Obesity

6.       Sedentary Lifestyle

By using nutritional therapy and lifestyle modification many of these risk factors can be reduced or even eliminated.  However, despite their best efforts, some people may still develop coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease or peripheral vascular disease.

Symptoms may include:

1.       Chest pain (Angina)

2.       Shortness of breath.

3.       Memory Loss, Temporary Disorientation or Sensory Loss (Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA).

4.       Pain in the calves after walking short distances (Intermittent Claudication).

The “Mainstream” approach to vascular disease is Coronary Artery Bypass, Stent Placement or Balloon Angioplasty which is a localized treatment to a systemic disease.  Typically, atherosclerosis is not a localized problem, but a systemic problem.  The disease is generally not present in just one, two or three arteries but also in the brain, lungs, kidneys and legs. 

"Published research and extensive clinical experience showed that EDTA helped reduce and prevent arteriosclerotic plaques, thus improving blood flow to the heart and other organs. The scientific evidence indicates that a course of EDTA chelation therapy might eliminate the need for bypass surgery."


What is Chelation Therapy?

In our practice, we use Chelation Therapy as a safe and effective approach in the treatment of Vascular Disease and related disorders.  EDTA Chelation Therapy is an alternative treatment that has been safely administered by approximately 2,000 to 3,000 physicians in the United States.  Chelation Therapy is the intravenous infusion of a solution containing ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), a synthetic amino acid, along with vitamins and minerals.


How is it administered?

It is administered intravenously through a vein in the arm over a one to three hour period while the patient sits comfortably in a recliner chair allowing them to read, socialize or even sleep during the procedure.  Treatments can be administered as often as twice per week or as infrequently as once every 3-4 months depending on the degree of illness or previous treatments.  We usually administer a course of 10 treatments and then the patient is re-evaluated by the Doctor to determine progress.  Patients often require 20-30 treatments.


How does EDTA Chelation work?

Chelation therapy is a chemical process in which a synthetic solution- EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)- is injected into the bloodstream to remove heavy metals and/or minerals from the body. Chelation means "to grab" or "to bind." When EDTA is injected into the veins, it "grabs" heavy metals and minerals such as lead, mercury, copper, iron, arsenic, aluminum, and calcium and removes them from the body. 

SODIUM EDTA Chelation lowers calcium in the bloodstream and this stimulates the production of parathormone from the parathyroid glands.  Parathormone is responsible for the removal of calcium from abnormal locations (such as arteries) and the deposits this calcium in locations such as bones, where it needed.   Along with Magnesium, Chelation works as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow to the heart and other organs and can increase collateral circulation around a blockage.

Chelation serves as a powerful antioxidant and works a free radical scavenger that can reduce the oxidative damage to the lining of the blood vessels (endothelium) caused by lipid peroxidation. 

EDTA Chelation “chelates” or removes toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, aluminum, mercury, arsenic and other toxic heavy metals that we all can accumulate with age. This helps to restore enzyme systems to their proper functions and many now believe that this may be the major benefit of EDTA.

EDTA Chelation also reduces “Platelet Aggregation” (the tendency of platelets to cause coagulation). This reduction in platelet aggregation help to prevent inappropriate thrombosis or blood clots, which can blocks arteries leading to a heart attack, stroke or other vascular event.


Are there any Adverse Effects to Chelation Therapy?

The risk of incurring any adverse effects has been greatly reduced by administering IV Chelation Therapy according to the protocol recommended by the American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM), the protocol that we follow here in our IV Department at Health Associates Medical Group. 

The most serious potential side effect of EDTA is nephrotoxicity or kidney damage although this has not been reported for any patients in which the standard ACAM protocol was followed.  We carefully dose the EDTA specifically for each patient based on body mass, kidney function, height, weight, sex and age.  We carefully monitor kidney function before, during and after Chelation treatments via blood tests called BUN and Creatinine.   In our office, we have found that the judicious administration of EDTA over prolonged periods can actually improve kidney function.

Other potential adverse effects include hypocalcemia or excessively low blood levels of calcium.  But once again, when administered safely and according to ACAM protocol, we have not experienced this side effect in our office despite having administered thousands of IV EDTA Chelation treatments.

With any IV therapy or even a blood draw, there is a slight risk of phlebitis (inflammation of the vein).  This is uncommon but if it does occur, it is usually more of an inconvenience than a problem and we have topical creams that can help with this.

The most common side effects are minor:

  • Mild to moderate discomfort at the infusion site during treatment.  This most often can be alleviated by infusion rate adjustments and warming the arm with a heating pad.
  • Mild hypoglycemia or a mild drop in blood sugar.  This is easily avoided by eating a healthy meal before treatment and bringing a health snack to eat during the treatment if needed.
  • Sometimes patients feel a little tired “washed out “or experience a mild headache following the treatment.  This is usually more common during the first few treatments and it gets easier as you progress.


Is there any proof that Chelation works?

EDTA was synthesized in Germany in 1935 and patented in the U.S. in 1941.  In 1955, Dr. Norman Clarke, Director of Research of Providence Hospital in Detroit, MI reported on his use of intravenous EDTA to dissolve what he referred to as “Metastatic Calcium” with favorable results.  Since 1955, hundreds of papers have been published on the effects of Chelation Therapy in a variety of chronic diseases with the vast majority reporting favorable results. 

The most recent study on Chelation Therapy is the TACT Study:  A recent study was published in the March 27, 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Effect of Disodium EDTA Chelation Regimen on Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Previous Myocardial Infarction”.  It demonstrated that “among stable patients with a history of MI (heart attack), use of intravenous chelation regimen with disodium EDTA, compared with placebo, modestly reduced the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.”  It showed an 18% overall reduction in cardiovascular events; specifically 23% reduction of MI (heart attack), 23% reduction of stoke, 19% reduction of coronary revascularization procedures, and 28% reduction of hospitalization for angina. It also showed a 7% reduction of death.

 Click here for the interview with Gervasio A. Lamas, MD, TACT Study Chair

Click here to read TACT Study

The most extensive confirmation of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of EDTA Chelation Therapy has been two massive Meta-Analyses by Chappell, L.T. and Stahl, J.P., “The correlation between EDTA Chelation therapy and the improvement in cardiovascular function: A Meta -Analysis. J Adv Med, 1993” and Chappell, L.T. and Stahl, J.P., and Evans, R.,“EDTA Chelation treatment for vascular disease: A Meta-Analysis using unpublished data. J Adv Med, 1994”.

These papers using both published and non-published studies evaluated the results of over 24,000 patients, in which 88% demonstrated clinical improvement.

Typical of these studies was that of Hancke, C and Flytlie, K., “Benefits of EDTA Chelation Therapy in Arteriosclerosis: A retrospective study of 470 patients. J Advancement in Medicine, 1993", which described improvements in 80-91% of a series of 470 patients with coronary artery disease.  The report included 92 patients who were referred for surgical intervention, but of whom only 10 ultimately required surgery either during or after their chelation therapy.  The authors estimated that EDTA chelation therapy not only resulted in an improvement in overall cardiovascular health, but saved over $3 million in insurance money as well!