The father of modern biochemistry was the French-Swiss chemist, Alfred Werner; who in 1893 developed the theory of coordination compounds, today referred to as chelates. For this turning point in reclassifying inorganic chemical compounds, Werner received the Nobel Prize in 1913. He went on to create accounting for the process by which metals bind to organic molecules, which is the basis for chelation chemistry.
Industrial Production of EDTA Chelation
The first applications of Werner’s monumental discovery were in the field of industrial production. Starting in the 1920’s, many new materials such as paints were introduced, and in their manufacturing the elimination of heavy metal contamination was crucial. Citric acid was found to be helpful, but in the mid 1930’s Germany was motivated to develop its own chelating material and not be dependent on importing citric acid. The synthetic substance they invented was EDTA (Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetate). While creating EDTA for their own use, the Germans manufactured so much and the product gained such a reputation that they began selling it on the global market for industrial use.
Medical Applications of EDTA Chelation
Medical applications were not yet being considered for EDTA, but with war approaching military workers were afraid of poison gas being used, and they searched for antidotes. England especially had experienced poison gas in World War I, and at Oxford University researchers invented their own chelating substance to diminish the effects of exposure to poison gas.
After World War II the new threat was atomic warfare, and the United States of America began producing and stockpiling large quantities of EDTA, which was recognized as more effective than the British chelation material.
While this manufacturing of EDTA for protection against radioactive fallout was going on, no one paid attention to the first medical application in real life that had been carried out in 1947 by Dr. Charles Geschickter at the Georgetown University Medical Center. A patient undergoing chemotherapy had accumulated toxic nickel complexes in her system. In trying to save her, Dr. Geschickter thought of EDTA as the only thing that could work, and he successfully used it. This did not however lead to widespread use.
EDTA Chelation for Lead Poisoning
In the 1950’s EDTA was tried with equal success in curing people with lead poisoning who were working in a battery plant and the U.S. Navy used it on people who had acquired lead poisoning in repainting old ships. In both of these applications, not only did EDTA eliminate the poisoning, but also the patients were relieved of arteriosclerosis, chest pains, arthritis, memory loss, inability to concentrate, etc. Hearing of these cures, heart specialists at Wayne State University used EDTA on a group of patients that were believed to have incurable conditions – even the most seriously ill of the group were restored to near normalcy. From the 1950’s on, many doctors continued, with conference based on their experience, to utilize chelation therapy in a wide variety of medical applications with great success.
Published articles regarding successful treatment of arteriosclerosis with EDTA and Chelation began appearing in medical journals in 1955, and many more since then. In 1973, the American Academy of Medical Preventics was formed to educate physician and promote the utilization of EDTA chelation therapy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. This organization was renamed the American Academy of the Advancement of Medicine in 1986. In 1983, the formation of the American Board of Chelation Therapy was formed to set parameters for the education and testing of physicians for competence in the administration of EDTA chelation.
FDA Approvals of Chelation and EDTA
Chelation and EDTA, while absolutely legal, are limited in advertising claims for treatment of lead poisoning, hypercalcaemia, and ventricular fibrillation secondary to digitalis toxicity. The FDA has not approved claims for conditions other than these. Dr. Ray Evers, however, in 1978 won a precedent case regarding a physician’s legal use of a drug approved by the FDA for a specific condition, may be used for another condition for which it has not been approved.
EDTA and Chelation for Alternative Medicine
Many non-alternative doctors have since enjoyed and employed the benefits of this ruling in the distribution of their prescription drugs. The American Medical Association, while not yet endorsing EDTA chelation therapy for arteriosclerosis, does approve its use in the treatment of lead and other heavy metal poisoning. It is most unfortunate that the EDTA patent expired in 1969, resulting in the loss of interest in research by major drug companies.
Patients who use EDTA chelation therapy are those who have heart disease, a family history of heart disease, or heavy metal toxicity. Fully half of the bypass operations performed in the United States are unnecessary. A decade of scientific study has shown that except in certain well-defined situations, bypass surgery does not save lives or even prevent heart attacks. Among patients who suffer from coronary-artery disease, those who are treated without surgery enjoy the same survival rates as those who undergo open-heart surgery. MD Magazine, Feb. 1995.
Many diabetics and macular degeneration patients believe using chelation helps increase peripheral circulation. Chelation is also frequently used and found beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, organic poisoning, and heavy metal reduction.
One of the greatest attractions of EDTA chelation therapy is that it is very safe. There are very few medical procedures that can report, as can oral chelation, no fatalities at all. Every year, in contrast, prescribed drugs, hospital accidents and mistakes result in many deaths. By now, modern medicine has the benefit of a long history of chelation in heavy application, and those who specialize in it are sure of what it can do and the very best ways of using it.
Following the guidelines of the American College of Advancement of Medicine (ACAM), estimates are at least 500,000 patients have received over 10,000,000 EDTA chelation treatments without a single fatality attributed to EDTA. This cannot be said about surgical procedures or even taking aspirin.