MIAMI (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Chelation is a treatment doctors have used for years to remove certain toxins from the body, most often when someone suffers accidental lead poisoning. For any other treatment, most traditional doctors thought it was a scam or called it “quackery.” A decade-long study has now convinced the conventional cardiologist who led it to reconsider chelation for heart disease.
Carlos Perez and his wife, Helen, love to walk. Not too long ago, Carlos was having trouble with his legs.
“I would walk one block, two blocks, then have pain – a tremendous pain,” said Carlos.
It was the first sign of trouble for the otherwise healthy 83-year-old man.
“He came and sat down and said, `I feel faint,’ so I panicked and I said, `Oh, I can’t do anything, call 911,’” said Helen.
Carlos had a heart attack. After a successful recovery, he looked for ways to prevent another.
Mount Sinai Medical Center’s chief of cardiology, Dr. Gervasio Lamas, has studied chelation therapy for more than a decade.
Chelation extracts environmental toxins from the body.
“We have no natural way of excreting these metals, and these metals are all around us,” he said.
During treatment, patients receive an IV of a medication that allows the metals to pass through the body. Urine tested the next day shows a huge spike in toxins.
“Lead and cadmium are incredibly toxic to the heart and to the blood vessels,” Dr. Lamas said.
In a study of 1,700 heart attack patients, people who received chelation therapy had a 41 percent reduction in cardiac events over five years.
“I was shocked. My cardiology colleagues were shocked. I am a believer now,” said Dr. Lamas.
Thanks to chelation, “Now I walk 45-50 minutes fast. This chelation is fantastic for me,” Carlos said.
Dr. Lamas said the study showed heart attack survivors who were also diabetic had a 43 percent reduction in the risk of death after chelation alone.
The FDA still considers chelation an experimental therapy, so it is not covered by most insurance companies. Dr. Lamas said more study is needed before the treatment would be FDA approved for heart attacks.