Derived from the Greek word chele, which means claw, c...
Derived from the Greek word chele, which means claw, chelation is the process by which heavy metals and other toxins are removed from the body by using a binding agent to grab and carry away these poisons. Chelation therapy has been used by alternative medical practitioners for centuries to treat things like mercury poisoning, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
The body cannot process heavy metals such as mercury, aluminum, iron, lead, zinc, and cadmium, making them toxic to a variety of internal systems. It is therefore imperative to remove these toxins before they do long-term damage. During chelation therapy, a chelating agent will react with the offending metal, bonding with its ions and forming a chemically-stable compound that will pass easily out of the body through the digestive or excretory systems.
Different chelating agents will be used depending on the metal needing removal. Some chelating agents are more effective than others—a few will do the job quickly while others will take some time or require multiple applications. One of the more common chelating agents is ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), a chemical that is injected into the blood where it chelates or binds to calcium and lead. This is commonly used to treat people with heart disease.
But injection isn’t the only chelation method. Chelating agents can be administered topically (with creams and gels), orally (through pills and powders), rectally (with suppositories), or intravenously (through injections). Oral and intravenous chelation methods are the most common and the best researched, although topical chelation treatments are gaining in popularity.
It should be noted that the body can naturally cleanse itself from small quantities of heavy metals by manufacturing its own chelating agents, such as cystein, glutathione, histidine, and metallothioneins. Using proteins, sugars, and lipids (fats) as building blocks, our bodies produce what is needed to naturally chelate heavy metals from the body. Additionally, there are some dietary foods that act as natural chelating agents, including things like cilantro, garlic, potatoes, and lima beans.
However, when heavy metal concentrations are too high, our bodies cannot keep up. In addition, as we age, our bodies are less efficient at making and processing these chelating agents, making chelation treatments more common in older adults.
There is a risk that a chelation treatment will diminish your body’s supplies of essential vitamins and minerals if not done in a controlled, expert fashion. It is therefore recommended that you go through chelation therapy only under the direct supervision of a trained, and experience, professional.