Chelation therapy involves injecting a man-made amino acid, called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), into a person’s vein to rid their blood of heavy metal toxins, such as lead, arsenic, or mercury. EDTA works by binding to the heavy metal in the blood; the body is then able to eliminate both the EDTA and the metal through the urine.
There are different types of EDTA. Calcium-disodium EDTA (Versenate) has been shown to be effective in controlling lead poisoning, and disodium EDTA (Endrate) is alleged to be an effective treatment for heart disease. However, disodium EDTA has only been approved for use in the treatment of toxic levels of digitalis, a drug used to treat congestive heart failure and certain arrhythmias, or for hypercalcemia (excessive calcium levels), and it carries a warning against its use in any situation other than extreme emergencies.
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