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Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories, 9/11/2013
Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories

Chelation Therapy:

Chelation therapy, as discussed in this article, is a series of intravenous infusions containing disodium EDTA and various other substances. It is sometimes done by swallowing EDTA or other agents in pill form. Proponents claim that EDTA chelation therapy is effective against atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems. Its use is widespread because patients have been led to believe that it is a valid alternative to established medical interventions such as coronary bypass surgery. However, there is no scientific evidence that this is so. It is also used to treat nonexistent "lead poisoning," "mercury poisoning," and other alleged toxic states that practitioners diagnose with tests on blood, urine, and/or hair.

The proponents' viewpoints have been summarized in four books: The Chelation Answer: How to Prevent Hardening of the Arteries and Rejuvenate Your Cardiovascular System (1982), by Morton Walker, D.P.M., and Garry Gordon, M.D.; Chelation Therapy: The Key to Unclogging Y our Arteries (1985), by John Parks Trowbridge, M.D., and Morton Walker D.P.M.; A Textbook on EDTA Chelation Therapy (1989), by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.; and Bypassing Bypass: The New Technique of Chelation Therapy (2nd edition, 1990), by Elmer Cranton, M.D., and Arline Brecher. The scientific jargon in these books may create the false impression that chelation therapy for atherosclerosis, and a host of other conditions, is scientifically sound. The authors allege that between 300,000 and 500,000 patients have safely benefited. However, their evidence consists of anecdotes, testimonials, and poorly designed experiments.

This article identifies the major claims made for EDTA chelation and examines each in light of established scientific fact. The sources used for this review included position papers of professional societies, technical textbooks, research and review articles, newspaper articles, patient testimonials, medical records, legal depositions, transcripts of court testimony, privately published books, clinic brochures, and personal correspondence. [Note: Chelation with other substances has legitimate use in a few situations.

For example, deferoxamine (Desferol) is used to treat iron-overload from multiple transfusions. But this is not related to the topic of this article, and chelation with disodium EDTA is not a substitute for Desferol chelation.]

In 1960, Meltzer et al., who had studied ten patients with angina pectoris, reported that there was no objective evidence of improvement in any of them that could be ascribed to the course of EDTA chelation treatment. However, during the next two months, most of the patients began reporting unusual improvement in their symptoms. Prompted by these results, Kitchell et al. studied the effects of chelation on 28 additional patients and reappraised the course of the ten patients used in the original trial .

They found that although 25 of the 38 patients had exhibited improved anginal patterns and half had shown improvement in electrocardiographic patterns several months after the treatment had begun, these effects were not lasting. At the time of the report, 12 of the 38 had died and only 15 reported feeling better. (This "improvement" was not significant, however, because it was no better than would be expected with proven methods and because there was no control group for comparison.) Kitchell et al. concluded that EDTA chelation, as used in this study, was "not a useful clinical tool in the treatment of coronary disease."

The primary organization promoting chelation therapy is the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), which was founded in 1973 as the American Academy for Medical Preventics. Since its inception, ACAM's focus has been the promotion of chelation therapy. The group conducts courses, sponsors the American Journal of Advancement in Medicine, and administers a "board certification" program that is not recognized by the scientific community. ACAM's online directory lists about 850 members, about 550 of whom indicate that they practice chelation therapy.

In 1989, an ACAM protocol for "the safe and effective administration of EDTA chelation therapy" was included in Cranton's "textbook," a 420-page special issue of the journal that contains 28 articles and a foreword by Linus Pauling.

In 1997, ACAM issued a revised protocol describing the same procedures but adding circumstances (contraindications) under which chelation should not be performed. As in 1989, the document gives no criteria for determining: (1) who should be treated, (2) how much treatment should be given, or (3) how to tell whether the treatment is working.

Proponents claim that chelation therapy is effective against atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular disease. Its supposed benefits include increased collateral blood circulation; decreased blood viscosity; improved cell membrane function; improved intracellular organelle function; decreased arterial vasospasm; decreased free radical formation; inhibition of the aging process; reversal of atherosclerosis; decrease in angina; reversal of gangrene; improvement of skin color, healing of diabetic ulcers. Proponents also claim that chelation is effective against arthritis; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson's disease; psoriasis; Alzheimer's disease; and problems with vision, hearing, smell, muscle coordination, and sexual potency. None of these claimed benefits has been demonstrated by well-designed clinical trials.

In a retrospective study of 2,870 patients treated with NaMgEDTA, Olszewer and Carter (1989) concluded that EDTA chelation therapy benefited patients with cardiac disease, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. These conclusions were not justified because the people who received the treatment were not compared to people who did not.

In 1990, these authors carried out a "double-blind study" in which EDTA chelation was used to treat ten patients with peripheral vascular disease. The authors claimed that this was the first such study. The patients' progress was evaluated by measuring changes in their blood pressure and their performance in exercise stress tests before, during, and after the course of treatment.

Between 1963 and 1985, independent physicians published at least fifteen separate reports documenting the case histories of more than seventy patients who had received chelation treatments.

More recently, the results of two randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trials of chelation therapy were published in peer-reviewed German medical journals. The first was conducted by Curt Diehm, M.D., at the University of Heidelberg Medical Clinic . Diehm studied 45 patients who had intermittent claudication, a condition in which impaired circulation causes the individual to develop pain in the legs upon walking. About half of the patients were treated with EDTA and the rest received Bencyclan, a bloodthinning agent. In addition to determining the effect of each agent on the ability to perform pain-free walking exercises, Diehm measured the progress of the disease process in each patient during the four-week treatment period and three months after treatment was stopped. Statistical evaluation of the results after the blinding code was broken showed that patients in both groups had equally increased ability to perform pain-free walking exercises and that treatment with EDTA did not result in any change in the patients' blood flow, red cell viscosity, red-cell aggregation, or triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Diehm also concluded that the improvements in walking measurements in both groups were directly related to his success in convincing them of his strong interest in their well being and his ability to motivate them to make an effort to perform greater activity.

In the second trial, R. Hopf, a cardiologist at the University of Frankfurt, tested chelation in patients with coronary heart disease . In this trial, 16 patients with angiographic evidence of coronary heart disease were randomized and divided into an EDTA-treated and an untreated group. Before treatment, the treated group averaged 2.1 significantly narrowed coronary arteries, while the untreated group averaged 2.6. Patients were infused with 500 ml of either the EDTA solution or dilute salt water (a placebo) at three-day intervals for a total of 20 infusions.

On completion of the trial, patients in both groups said they felt better and performed weightlifting tests equally well. However, comparison of both groups before and after treatment, using angiography and other tests, indicated no improvement in blood flow through the patients' coronary arteries and a slight progression of their atherosclerosis. Hopf concluded that chelation had no effect on diseased coronary arteries.

This is an excerpt from a 1996 flyer from an osteopathic physician whose radio advertisements invite people who have been advised to have coronary bypass surgery to consult him first. There is no published scientific evidence that chelation therapy can render bypass surgery unnecessary or can help people with any of the conditions listed in the ad.

The experience to which the ad refers is not a trustworthy substitute for scientific testing. People with coronary artery disease who need bypass surgery and choose chelation instead place themselves at great risk.


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Implausibility of EDTA Chelation Therapy, 28/8/2005
Implausibility of EDTA Chelation Therapy

EDTA Chelation Therapy for

Planned clinical trials of ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and others call for investigation of chelation's biochemistry and pharmacology, its toxicity, and the history of claims made for it.

EDTA, known to reduce serum levels of polyvalent metals by chelation, was proposed in the late 1950s for removal of calcium from atherosclerotic plaques. Proponents now claim that EDTA can remove toxic heavy-metal ions and that it can neutralize or reduce oxygen free radicals. A review of atherosclerosis pathophysiology and EDTA chemistry reveals that (1) EDTA chelation effectiveness is implausible; (2) the preponderance of evidence shows ineffectiveness; and (3) EDTA augments oxidative reactions involving iron instead of inhibiting them, resulting in increased likelihood of production of oxygen free radicals rather than neutralization of them, as claimed.

The initial claim for EDTA chelation (1950s) was based on an assumption that the structure of arterial plaque depended on its calcium content. Calcium was compared to rivets in a steel structure, the removal of which would cause the arterial plaque to disintegrate, thus enlarging the lumen's diameter and increasing blood flow.

By the mid-1970s the mechanism of calcium removal had been challenged, as no proof had been presented. Advocates invoked parathormone (PTH) to explain perceived benefits, theorizing that when ionic calcium was removed from serum by EDTA chelation it was replaced by calcium from bone, the loss of which was said to stimulate PTH secretion, which promoted remineralization of bone. The calcium for bone remineralization was said to be supplied through "gradual transfer" of calcium from hardened arterial tissue and plaque. This was said to soften the arteries and cause the plaque to disintegrate .

A more recent chelation advocate theory states that atheromas are benign tumors that arise when artery cells mutate as a result of free-radical damage to their DNA .

The modern consensus of the genesis and pathology of atherosclerosis differs from both older and recent chelation theories. In brief, arterial atheromas begin as low-density lipoproteins (LDL), cross the endothelial cell layer of the artery at a point of local injury or oxidant damage, and are deposited in the subendothelial layer.

EDTA Chelation Therapy Protocol

The American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), an organization of physicians advocating use of EDTA chelation, developed the following protocol for EDTA administration . An intravenous infusate of 500 to 1000 ml of Ringer lactate or 10% fructose solution contains 50 mg EDTA per kilogram body weight, heparin, magnesium chloride, lidocaine, pyridoxamine, B-complex vitamins (including vitamin B12), and gram (usually 5 gm) amounts of vitamin C (ascorbate).

Current charges are in the range of $100 per infusion, with an average of 30 treatments. There are about 200 physician practitioners in the United States practicing EDTA chelation for degenerative disease.

Chelation advocate theories of calcium metabolism are also inconsistent with scientific consensus. Normal calcium levels are necessary for normal functioning of almost all tissues. Serum calcium levels are normally maintained at between 9 and 11.0 mg/dl.

These claims were rebutted by Margolis, who showed the studies were reported in a non-peer-reviewed journal created as an organ for physicians who perform EDTA chelation. Margolis found some studies were retrospective, some showed control outcomes equal to treated patients, and some studies broke blinds and codes prematurely .

Complications of EDTA Chelation

Early use produced complications because of high EDTA concentration -- larger than 3 gm/L -- and too-rapid infusion. Early deaths occurred from renal tubular necrosis, cardiac arrhythmias,and acute hypocalcemia. Lesser complications included allergic reactions, hypotension, and marrow depression . The trace metal most dramatically lost as a result of EDTA chelation is zinc.

In another study of 60 patients for metal excretion with EDTA, lead and zinc were found to be in 25-fold higher concentrations in 24-hour urine collections after the first infusion. Zinc plasma concentration was reduced by 34% by 5 to 9 weeks . In contrast, as shown elsewhere in this report, disodium EDTA chelation drops the serum calcium concentration acutely, but results in negligible long-term loss. The zinc and other losses probably occur through exchange of the sodium-calcium EDTA first formed, with serum zinc and other metals higher on the EDTA affinity scale.

EDTA infusion solutions usually contain megadoses of ascorbate, furthering potential for free radical formation, as shown by Herbert . Normally, most iron in the body is bound to protein and produces only a limited number of free radicals. Ascorbate causes release of iron from storage and transport protein, increasing the amount of ionic iron available for EDTA chelation, and increasing the potential for free-radical production . Pharmacologic amounts of ascorbate also increase iron absorption from the gut, producing even more available ionic iron. A number of studies have demonstrated deleterious effects on DNA synthesis from EDTA with and without ascorbate . Several studies have demonstrated teratogenesis .

These interactions are apparently not commonly appreciated, although known to organic chemists and experimental biologists for decades. Because of the short exposure time to EDTA during chelation infusions, and because of the long time needed to develop even microscopic changes, gross EDTA-induced changes may not be detectable in short-term investigations. In addition, the advanced age of most EDTA recipients makes it makes it unlikely that an increase incidence or severity of major disease would be manifest in survey data. However, it is likely that oxidant reactions do occur during infusion, that existing disease is worsened, and that younger patients may eventually show evidence of acceleration of their disease.

In one study of atherosclerotic, obese, diabetic rats (JCR:LA-cp strain), EDTA chelation was found to have no benefit on arterial lesions, but produced in a 74% increase in triglyceride levels .

A review of literature data to 1984 concluded, " Chelation therapy with intravenous injections of edetate sodium . . . promoted to treat coronary and other arterial atherosclerosis . . . evidence . . . is lacking." Based on reviews of the world medical literature, these same conclusions were reached by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council, the California Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Practice, the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology Therapeutics, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Osteopathic Association .


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How the "Urine Toxic Metals" Test Is Used to Defraud Patients, 19/4/2013
The report pictured to the right is a "urine toxic metals" test from Doctor's Data, a Chicago-based laboratory that performs tests for many chelation therapists and other offbeat practitioners. The patient who gave it to me was told by his doctor that his mercury and lead levels were high and should be reduced with EDTA chelation therapy.

Even if a problem exists, chelation may not be the best course of action.

Another experiment tested workers who had industrial exposure to mercury. The researchers reported that provocation with DMSA raised the 24-hour average urine mercury level from 4.3 µg/g before chelation to 7.8 µg/g after chelation .

The management at Doctor's Data knows that provoked testing artificially raises the urine levels and that the length of collection time greatly influences the results. David W. Quig, Ph.D., who is Doctor's Data's vice president for scientific support, communicates regularly with chelation practitioners about how to interpret the urine toxic metal test results and how to discuss them with patients. In 2002, Quig and two others presented a study of mercury levels in urine collected two hours after DMPS administration to 259 patients at a Nevada clinic. More than 75% of the patients tested at 21 µg or higher, and most of the rest fell between 3µg and 20 µg . At these levels, nearly everyone's mercury level would be classified as "elevated" or "very elevated" on the test reports. In a 2006 naturopathic textbook chapter, Quig acknowledged that mercury levels "are higher in specimens collected from 90 minutes to 2 hours after DMPS infusion than with longer collection times, because the peak rate of mercury excretion occurs about 90 minutes after infusion of DMPS." Quig's chapter also states:

In 2004, Irish researchers found that administering DMSA to healthy, symptom-free volunteers multiplied their urinary mercury levels an average of about six times, raising them to levels similar to those reported elsewhere among people who—based on provoked testing—had been diagnosed with mercury toxicity. The researchers concluded: "The oral chelation test using DMSA may lead to misleading diagnostic advice regarding potential mercury toxicity."

Despite all of this, Doctor's Data's reports classify mercury values in the range of 5-10 µg/g as "elevated" and further state that "no safe reference levels for toxic metals have been established." Practitioners typically receive two copies of the report, one for the practitioner and one to give to the patient. Very few patients understand what the numbers mean. They simply see "elevated" lead or mercury, and interpret the "no safe levels" disclaimer to mean that any number above zero is a problem. (The fact that the reports use the familiar green, red, yellow and red colors of traffic lights may also have an effect.) The patient is then advised to undergo "detoxification" with chelation therapy, other intravenous treatments, dietary supplements, or whatever else the practitioner happens to sell.

This advice is very, very, very wrong. No diagnosis of lead or mercury toxicity should be made unless the patient has symptoms of heavy metal poisoning as well as a much higher nonprovoked blood level. And even if the level is in the 30s—as might occur in an unsafe workplace or by eating lead-containing paint—all that is usually needed is to remove further exposure. Chelation therapy is rarely necessary.

Both Quig and attorney Algis Augustine (one of Doctor's Data's lawyer) caution chelationists not to rely solely on provoked urine testing to diagnose heavy metal toxicity. In April 2010, both spoke during the "Heavy Metals Detoxification Workshop" sponsored by the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), the leading organization that promotes chelation therapy. Quig's talk was titled "Appropriate Laboratory Testing for Metal Toxicology," during which he stated:

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing a chelating agent and various other substances. One form of chelation therapy is occasionally used to treat lead poisoning. However, lead poisoning is rare and has well-established diagnostic criteria. Slight elevations of lead levels are not poisoning and need no treatment because the body will lower them when exposure is stopped. Proper diagnosis of lead poisoning requires symptoms of lead poisoning, not just a slightly elevated level. Acute poisoning is always accompanied by a rise in zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP), without which it should not be diagnosed. Chronic poisoning would have severe symptoms that would be obvious to anyone in addition to severely elevated lead (and ZPP) levels.

Doctors who offer chelation therapy as part of their everyday practice typically claim that it is effective against autism, heart disease and many other conditions for which it has no proven effectiveness or plausible rationale . One such case was described in a 2009 decision by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims which found no credible evidence that childhood vaccinations cause autism. In that case, Colton Snyder underwent chelation therapy after a Doctor's Data urine test report classified his urine mercury level as "very elevated." After noting that the urine sample had been provoked (with DMSA) and that provocation artificially increases excretion, the Special Master concluded that a non-provoked test would have placed the result in the normal range. He also noted:

The medical records, including reports from Mrs. Snyder, reflected that Colten did poorly after every round of chelation therapy. . . . The more disturbing question is why chelation was performed at all, in view of the normal levels of mercury found in the hair, blood, and urine, its apparent lack of efficacy in treating Colten’s symptoms, and the adverse side effects it apparently caused .

Despite provocation, the toxic urine test report sometimes shows no elevated levels. But that doesn't deter the doctors who are intent on chelating children. They simply tell parents that the children have trouble excreting heavy metals and the test may not detect "hidden stores." In other words, no matter what the test shows, they still recommend chelation.

In 2003 and 2004, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry investigated a case in which a 5-year-old child was undrgoing chelation therapy for "metals exposure" that was diagnosed with provoked urine testing. The investigators identfied no significant source of mercury contamination and noted that provoked testing was not an appropriate diagnostic test .

In 2004, CIGNA HealthCare Medicare Administration, which processes Medicare claims for Idaho, North Carolina, and Tennessee, issued a "Progressive Correction Action Review" which concluded that many claim submissions for chelation therapy had been inappropriate. This conclusion was documented by a study of 40 claims which found that in many cases, "heavy metal toxicity" was inappropriately diagnosed and no need for chelation with edetate calcium disodium was documented. The review criticized provoked testing and noted that it does not provide a basis for diagnosing past or current poisoning .

Aetna considers laboratory testing for heavy metal poisoning "medically necessary" for people with specific signs of heavy metal toxicity and/or a history of likely exposure—but "medically unnecessary" for people with only vague, ill-defined symptoms and no history of likely medical exposure. Its Clinical Policy Bulletin on chelation therapy also criticizes provoked testing .

Each year, ATSDR receives dozens of calls from individuals who have been chelated (challenged) with DMPS or DMSA prior to collection of any urine samples, and subsequently been diagnosed as having mercury poisoning. The sole basis of these diagnoses was laboratory reports that indicated that the individual had been determined to have toxic levels of mercury, based solely upon comparison of post-chelation mercury values with historical (typically pre-chelation) values. Without exception these individuals have been advised to undergo additional chelation.

Some physicians have also looked to mercury as a possible cause of undiagnosed health problems and subsequent chelation therapy as a treatment for those problems. As a result, the use of chelation has expanded in recent years to include the treatment of mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic patients with no documented history of mercury exposure, and it is becoming increasingly, and unfortunately, common for practitioners to make a diagnosis of mercury intoxication and begin treatment without carrying out an adequate clinical workup .

The decision to perform laboratory testing for heavy metals, including antimony and mercury, should be based on whether or not documented health symptoms are consistent with overexposure to these metals. It is important to use reliable and recommended testing methods with well-validated reference ranges to measure the concentration of heavy metals in the body. Because results from elemental hair analysis and post-chelation-challenge urine tests do not provide sufficient evidence of heavy metal toxicity, they should not be used to justify searching the workplace for exposures or to treat heavy metal toxicity. In particular, they should not be used to justify chelation therapy, which can be potentially harmful to a patient .

Several state licensing boards have taken action against doctors who used provoked urine testing as a prelude to chelation. In some of these cases, the test was of major importance in the public documents that describe the board actions. In the rest, the board action emphasized other misconduct and the test was either briefly mentioned or I learned of its relevance through other means. There have also been four civil suits against Doctor's Data and doctors who used them that alleged fraud.

In 2002, the Medical Board of California charged Ilona Abraham, M.D. with unprofessional conduct, incompetence, gross and repeated negligence, and inadequate recordkeeping in connection with her management two patients. In both cases, Abraham had failed to perform an adequate history and physical examination and had administered chelation therapy after diagnosing heavy metal toxicity based on provoked testing. In 2004, the case was settled by a consent agreement and order under which Abraham agreed to serve three years probation, during which time she would (a) pay about $26,000 for costs, (b) take certain remedial courses, and (c) engage the services of a practice monitor .


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Chelation Therapy and Insurance Fraud, 22/10/2012
Chelation Therapy and Insurance Fraud

Chelation Therapy and Insurance Fraud

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. It is claimed to be effective against kidney and heart disease, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, emphysema, multiple sclerosis, gangrene, psoriasis, and many other serious conditions. However, no well-designed research has shown that chelation therapy can help these conditions and manufacturers of EDTA do not list them as appropriate for EDTA treatment. A course of treatment consisting of 20 to 50 intravenous infusions costs several thousand dollars.

Chelation therapy is heavily promoted as an alternative to coronary bypass surgery. It is sometimes claimed to be a "chemical Roto-Rooter" that can clean out atherosclerotic plaque from the body's arteries. However, there is no evidence that it can do this. The organizations that have criticized chelation claims include the American Heart Association, FDA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council, the California Medical Society, the American Medical Association, U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology Therapeutics, American College of Cardiology, American Osteopathic Association, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Because chelation is not recognized as effective against cardiovascular disease or any of the other conditions listed above, Medicare and most other insurance programs do not cover it for such purposes. To get around this—when submitting insurance claims—some chelationists attempt to disguise what they do.

The primary organization promoting chelation therapy is the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), which was founded in 1973 as the American Academy for Medical Preventics. Since its inception, ACAM's focus has been the promotion of chelation therapy. The group conducts courses, sponsors the American Journal of Advancement in Medicine, and administers a "board certification" program that is not recognized by the scientific community. The 1998 edition of Encyclopedia of Medical Organizations and Agencies stated that ACAM had 535 members.

In 1989, an ACAM protocol for "the safe and effective administration of EDTA chelation therapy" was included in a 420-page special issue of the journal. The protocol calls for intravenous infusion of 500 to 1,000 ml of a solution containing 50 mg of disodium EDTA per kilogram of body weight, plus heparin, magnesium chloride, a local anesthetic (to prevent pain at the infusion site), several B-vitamins, and 4 to 20 grams of vitamin C. This solution is infused slowly over 3.5 to 4 hours, one to three times a week. Additional vitamins, minerals, and other substances—prescribed orally—"vary according to preferences of both patients and physicians." Lifestyle modification, which includes stress reduction, caffeine avoidance, alcohol limitation, smoking cessation, exercise, and nutritional counseling, is encouraged as part of the complete therapeutic program. The number of treatments to achieve "optimal therapeutic benefit" for patients with symptomatic disease is said to range from 20 ("minimum"), 30 (usually needed), or 40 ("not uncommon before benefit is reported") to as many as 100 or more over a period of several years. "Full benefit does not normally occur for up to 3 months after a series is completed," the protocol states—and "follow-up treatments may be given once or twice monthly for long-term maintenance, to sustain improvement, and to prevent recurrence of symptoms." The cost, typically $75 to $125 per treatment, is not covered by most insurance plans. Chelation therapy is one of several legitimate methods for treating cases of heavy metal poisoning, but the protocols differ from the ACAM protocol.

In 1997, ACAM issued a revised protocol describing the same procedures but adding circumstances (contraindications) under which chelation should not be performed. As in 1989, the document gives no criteria for determining: (1) who should be treated, (2) how much treatment should be given, or (3) how to tell whether the treatment is working.

"Chelation therapy is a safe, effective and relatively inexpensive treatment to restore blood flow in victims of atherosclerosis without surgery."

"Chelation therapy is used to reverse symptoms of hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis."

"Every single study of the use of chelation therapy for atherosclerosis which has ever been published, without exception, has described an improvement in blood flow and symptoms."

"Chelation therapy promotes health by correcting the major underlying cause of arterial blockage. Damaging oxygen free radicals are increased by the presence of metallic elements and act as a chronic irritant to blood vessel walls and cell membranes. EDTA removes those metallic irritants, allowing leaky and damaged cell walls to heal. Plaques smooth over and shrink, allowing more blood to pass. Arterial walls become softer and more pliable, allowing easier expansion. Scientific studies have proven that blood flow increases after chelation therapy."

"Chelation therapy is an office treatment which improves blood flow throughout the entire vascular system . . .."The reader is advised that varying and even conflicting views are held by other segments of the medical profession. . . . This information represents the current opinion of independent physician consultants to ACAM at the time of publication."

In December 1998, the FTC announced that it had secured a consent agreement barring ACAM from making unsubstantiated advertising claims that chelation therapy is effective against atherosclerosis or any other disease of the circulatory system. The cease-and-desist order is binding only on ACAM itself, not its individual members. Although the FTC could bring action against individual doctors who advertise falsely, it usually leaves that up to the state licensing boards. A few chelation therapists have had their licenses revoked, but most practice without government interference.

Because chelation has legitimate use for treating heavy metal poisoning, some chelation therapists submit fraudulent insurance reports claiming to have treated lead poisoning or another alleged toxic state. Lead poisoning in adults is uncommon and occurs primarily through (a) occupational exposure or (b) repainting an old house that had been painted with lead paint without taking proper precautions. The standard test for lead poisoning is a blood lead level, but some chelation therapists test urine and/or hair. If lead poisoning actually exists, whether discontinuation of exposure is sufficient treatment or chelation therapy should be administered depends on the blood lead concentration, the severity of clinical symptoms, the biochemical and blood abnormalities, and the nature of the exposure. The following questions can help identify deceptive insurance claims:

Do any claims for the treatment of lead poisoning list chelation or infusion therapy?

Do the dates of administration fit a protocol for lead poisoning treatment? Chelation therapy that spans several months should be regarded with great suspicion.

Has the doctor ever submitted a chelation therapy for any other claim?

Is the doctor an ACAM member or known to do chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease? An ACAM directory can be accessed online. (The complete list can be accessed by searching with a comma in the "Last Name" box.)

Do the blood levels justify doing chelation rather than simply advising the person to avoid further exposure or treating the person with oral medication? In adults, the use of chelation therapy should be reserved for those with significant symptoms or signs of toxicity.


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Suit Filed against Australian Chelationist, 12/12/2003
Quackwatch Home Page ||| More about Chelation Therapy

In December 1996 and January 1997, when Hough was 55 years old, Sinnathamby falsely promised that chelation therapy would clean out his arteries and make him feel generally more energetic.

Chelation proponents claim that their procedure is safe and effective against coronary atherosclerosis. However, there is no scientific evidence that this is true, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has obtained a cease-and-desist order prohibiting the American College of Advancement of Medicine from advertising any such claim.

(d) held himself out as a specialist providing chelation therapy treatment involving the use of Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid for members of the public requiring the same.

5. The Plaintiff attended the First Defendant and engaged the First Defendant for reward as his specialist medical practitioner to provide advice and information regarding the provision of chelation therapy to the Plaintiff.

(a) alternatively, the Plaintiff attended the First Defendant as the servant and/or agent of the Second Defendant to obtain advice and information regarding the provision of chelation therapy to the Plaintiff.

7. The Plaintiff was advised by the First Defendant that chelation therapy:

8. In reliance upon the advice provided by the First Defendant the Plaintiff attended at the Second Defendant's premises and received chelation therapy treatment administered by the First Defendant and the Second Defendant's servants and or agents.

11. The Plaintiff received chelation therapy treatment on the following dates:

12. The Plaintiff did not display the recognised indicators for chelation therapy such as:

13. As a consequence of the chelation therapy the Plaintiff had received, the Plaintiff sustained injuries which included suffering a cardiac arrest on the 14th January 1997 which required the Plaintiff to be resuscitated from ventricular fibrillation.

(a) failing to provide any or any appropriate advice to the Plaintiff of the risks and possible consequences of undertaking chelation therapy;

(b) failing to provide any or any appropriate warning to the Plaintiff regarding the risk of the Plaintiff suffering a cardiac arrest following the provision of chelation therapy;

(c) recommending an inappropriate treatment regime being chelation therapy to the Plaintiff;

(d) failing to undertake any or any appropriate investigations, examinations or tests or sufficient investigations, examinations or tests to ascertain whether the Plaintiff was a suitable candidate for chelation therapy;

(e) failing to provide any or any appropriate monitoring of the Plaintiff following the provision of the chelation therapy treatment.

(a) failing to provide any or any appropriate advice to the Plaintiff of the risks and possible consequences of undertaking chelation therapy;

(b) failing to provide any or any appropriate warning to the Plaintiff regarding the risk of cardiac arrest following the provision of chelation therapy;

(c) failing to undertake any or any appropriate investigations, examinations or tests or sufficient investigation, examinations or tests or ascertain whether the Plaintiff was a suitable candidate for chelation therapy;

(d) failing to provide any or any appropriate monitoring of the Plaintiff following the provision of the chelation therapy treatment;


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http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/kadile.html, 15/7/2012
In November 2003, the case was settled with a consent agreement that requires Kadile to (a) implement a strict mandatory disclosure procedure for patients contemplating chelation therapy; (b) undergo an evaluation to determine his fitness to continue practicing medicine, (c) fulfill certain educational requirements; (d) have his practice monitored for at least two years by an independent expert approved by the Board; and (e) pay costs related to the disciplinary process for an amount determined by the Board.

3. Respondent trained as a psychiatrist and engaged in that practice specialty for many years. He has changed his practice and now practices what he describes as chelation therapy, environmental medicine, and general medicine, and a small amount of psychiatry.

He, on information and belief, has obtained recognition from three groups not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties: the "American Academy of Environmental Medicine," the "American Board of Chelation Therapy," and the "American College for the Advancement of Medicine."

6. Respondent caused or authorized to be published in the August 17, 1996 (Sunday) Green Bay Press-Gazette, a general circulation newspaper, an advertisement which stated that a "typical" patient treated with chelation therapy reported that his coronary artery blockage was halved by respondent's chelation therapy, and that "chelation therapy is an effective way to not only combat, but reverse some of the effects of atherosclerosis." Such advertising is false, misleading or deceptive contrary to § Med 10.02(2)(o), Wis. Adm. Code and constitutes unprofessional conduct.

14. Chelation therapy is a treatment which involves the infusion of intravenous EDTA into a patient's bloodstream. There are two kinds of EDTA: calcium EDTA and disodium EDTA. Disodium EDTA is used conventionally to remove calcium from the body, and is well accepted for use in cases where a patient has hypercalcemia and digitalis toxicity. Calcium EDTA is used to remove lead from the body in cases of lead poisoning, and is well-accepted for this use. The patient did not have any of these conditions.

15. Respondent prescribed and administered disodium EDTA chelation for this patient. 60 such chelation treatments were administered in Respondent's office between 12/3/91 and 5/12/94. Respondent represented to the patient's insurance carrier that the chelation was needed for mercury and lead levels in the patient. This statement is not supported by any test results or other charted entries for this patient. The statement was false and known by respondent to be false when made, and such statement constitutes unprofessional conduct under § Med 10.02(2)(m), Wis. Adm. Code.

D. Chelation therapy is not an indicated treatment for the circulatory problems, or any other conditions which the patient had.

D. Chelation therapy presents the following dangers to any patient, which dangers are exacerbated when used for a condition for which it is not indicated:

When used for diabetic patients treated with insulin, chelation has been shown to lower blood glucose concentrations and reduce insulin requirements; thus an additional risk to such patients is presented unless their insulin dosages are adjusted. This increases the risk of hypoglycemic shock, which can lead to death if not promptly treated.

Chelation therapy with EDTA can cause atherosclerotic disease by damaging blood vessels.

22. Respondent represented to the patient that chelation therapy would provide effective treatment for circulatory problems or another condition which the patient had.

23. In fact, chelation therapy is not an effective treatment for any of the patient's conditions.

24. Respondent knew or should have known that chelation therapy would not provide the treatment results represented by Respondent for circulatory problems (or any other condition which the patient had) or Respondent did not have sufficient knowledge of the truth or falsity of these representations and therefore made them without attempting to determine their validity.

31. In 1/92, evidence of an enlarged heart was present when the patient was examined elsewhere. Respondent examined the patient on 3/4/92, and scheduled the patient for chelation; respondent failed to observe or note this obvious physical finding of severe illness.

33. Respondent administered chelation therapy to this patient, and informed the patient's cardiologist that he was doing so.

However, in so informing the cardiologist, respondent stated, among other things, that he would be following the protocol of the "American College of Advancement in Medicine." Further, respondent stated that he wanted the cardiologist to know that "Chelation diminishes platelet aggregation" .

Respondent requested that the cardiologist be prepared to adjust the patient's medication, particularly the Coumadin® (warfarin) which the cardiologist had prescribed and which has the same effect upon red blood cells. Respondent failed to state in his letter that the ACAM protocol also calls for the addition of heparin to the chelation mixture, also a blood "thinner" (and to state how much would be administered to the patient); respondent also failed to state or otherwise inform the cardiologist of all of the ingredients of the chelation infusion. Such failure created the unacceptable risk of allowing the patient's blood to become too "thin," thus increasing the risk of internal bleeding or of stroke. Respondent also failed to monitor tests for blood clotting times closely in the patient, in violation of the ACAM protocol. All of this was unprofessional conduct pursuant to § Med 10.02(2)(h), Wis. Adm. Code.

B. Chelation therapy presents the following dangers to any patient, which dangers are exacerbated when used for a condition for which it is not indicated:

Chelation therapy with EDTA can cause atherosclerotic disease by damaging blood vessels.

37. Respondent's records indicate that he did not add heparin to the patient's chelation infusion until late in the patient's treatment. Respondent's statement to the cardiologist were thus false and constituted unprofessional conduct pursuant to § Med 10.02(2)(m), Wis. Adm. Code. Respondent's records contain no justification for either omitting, or for later adding, heparin to the chelation mixture.


...limit of 20 lines reached, additional matching lines are not shown...

Why Chelation Therapy Should Be Avoided, 14/5/2004
Why Chelation Therapy Should Be Avoided

Why Chelation Therapy Should Be Avoided

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA

and various other substances. It is falsely claimed to be effective against cardiovascular disease, autism, and many other diseases and conditions. Because chelation has valid use in some cases of heavy metal poisoning, many practitioners falsely diagnose lead, mercury, or other heavy metal toxicity to trick patients into undergoing chelation. The articles linked from this page explain why doctors who advocate the general use of chelation therapy should be avoided.

Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories

The Pharmacology of Chelation Therapy

Chelation Therapy and Insurance Fraud

Questions and Answers about Chelation Therapy (American Heart Association)

National Council Against Health Fraud Policy Statement

EDTA Chelation Therapy for Atherosclerosis and Degenerative Diseases: Implausibility and Paradoxical Oxidant Effects

Birmingham Technology Assessment Group Report

Chelation Treatment of Autism Is Bogus

Knudtson, ML and others. Chelation therapy for ischemic heart disease: a randomized, controlled trial. JAMA 87:481-486, 2002

Fraud Charged in Chelation Related Death

Chelation "Board" Denied Certification Provider Status in Florida

Chiropractor Convicted of Chelation Fraud

FTC Action against Organization Promoting Chelation Therapy

Part III: Required Disclosure Form for Chelation Therapy

Chelation Therapy: FTC News Release, 10/6/1999
Chelation Therapy: FTC News Release

Over Promotion of "Chelation Therapy"

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it made unsubstantiated and false advertising claims that non-surgical, EDTA "chelation therapy" is effective in treating atherosclerosis, and that the effectiveness of the therapy has been proven by scientific studies. The proposed settlement would prohibit ACAM from representing, in advertising, that chelation therapy is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis without possessing and relying upon competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the representation.

In addition, ACAM would be prohibited from making any representation about the efficacy or comparative efficacy of chelation therapy for any disease of the human circulatory system unless supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

ACAM, based in Laguna Hills, California, is an association comprised principally of physicians who administer traditional and complementary/alternative medical therapies including chelation therapy. ACAM promotes chelation therapy in brochures and promotional materials and by maintaining a Web page on the Internet. Chelation therapy involves the intravenous injection of a prescription drug, ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA), which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the limited use of ridding the human body of excess heavy metals.

According to the FTC's complaint detailing the charges, ACAM's advertisements and promotional materials for chelation therapy contained such statements as:

Chelation therapy is a safe, effective, and relatively inexpensive treatment to restore blood flow in victims of atherosclerosis without surgery;

Every single study of the use of chelation therapy for atherosclerosis which has ever been published, without exception, has described an improvement in blood flow and symptoms; and

Chelation therapy promotes health by correcting the major underlying cause of arterial blockage. Damaging oxygen free radicals are increased by the presence of metallic elements and act as a chronic irritant to blood vessel walls and cell membranes. EDTA removes those metallic irritants, allowing leaky and damaged cell walls to heal. Plaques smooth over and shrink, allowing more blood to pass. Arterial walls become softer and more pliable, allowing easier expansion. Scientific studies have proven that blood flow increases after chelation therapy.

Through the use of such statements, the FTC alleged, ACAM has represented that EDTA chelation therapy is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis, and that ACAM possessed and relied upon a reasonable basis when making the representations.

The proposed settlement, announced today for a public comment period, would prohibit ACAM from representing that EDTA chelation therapy is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis without possessing and relying upon competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the representations.

In addition, the proposed settlement would require ACAM to possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to support any claims about the effectiveness or comparative effectiveness of chelation therapy for any disease of the human circulatory system.

The proposed settlement would also prohibit ACAM from misrepresenting the existence, validity, results, or contents of any test, study, or research in connection with the advertising or promotion of chelation therapy.

Quackwatch Chelation Article ||| Quackwatch Home Page

Pharmacology of Chelation Therapy, 28/8/2005
Pharmacology of Chelation Therapy

The Pharmacology of Chelation Therapy

A small group of physicians claim that "chelation therapy" (CT) can reduce or reverse atherosclerosis by removing calcium from atherosclerotic arterial plaques . They also claim that CT neutralizes free radicals and eliminates dangerous metals such as lead. .

CT is distinguished from approved use of EDTA for indicated conditions. Chelation for hypercalcemia and heavy metal poisoning is approved and effective. It consists of repeated intravenous infusions of sodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid), the same material used as an anticoagulant in blood count tubes. The anion EDTA is negatively charged and exchanges its cation for another for which it has greater affinity. The calcium disodium salt exchanges calcium for lead and other heavy metals.

Chelation therapy using small amounts of EDTA is ineffective and could not work the way proponents claim it does. It is still potentially dangerous because it can increase the free radical load instead of reducing it.

Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories (Quackwatch article)

Chelation Therapy and Insurance Fraud (Quackwatch article)

Questions and Answers about Chelation Therapy (American Heart Association)

Walker M. The Chelation Answer. New York, NY: M Evans & Co., 1982.

McDonagh EW. Chelation Can Cure. Kansas City, MO: Platinum Pen Publishing, 1983.

Soffer A. Chelation clinics: An abuse of the physician's freedom of choice. Archives of Internal Medicine 144:1741-1742, 1984.

Diagnostic and therapeutic technology assessment: Chelation therapy. JAMA 250:672, 1983.

Pentel P, Jorgensen C, Somerville J. Chelation therapy for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Minnesota Medicine 67(2):101-103, 1984.

Van Rij AM and others. Chelation therapy for intermittent claudication: A double blind, randomized, controlled trial. Circulation 90:1194-1199, 1994.

Chelation Therapist Charged with Insurance Fraud, 21/1/2005
Chelation Therapist Charged with Insurance Fraud

Chelation Therapist Charged with Insurance Fraud

A federal grand jury has charged Scott Rulon Werner, MD, of Cedar City, Utah, with 54 law violations in a scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies. According to the indictment, Werner falsely represented on insurance claim forms that he had provided IV services when he had actually performed chelation therapy for ailments for which chelation therapy is not approved for use . Insurance plans pay in response to claim forms that contain code numbers for the patient's diagnosis and treatment. If the codes are compatible and the type and amount of service do not fall outside of the company's payment parameters, the claim will be processed with little or no human review. Because chelation is approved only for treating heavy metal poisoning, some chelation therapists who use it for cardiovascular disease or other conditions attempt to disguise what they do. According to the indictment, Werner not only used improper codes but also attempted to modify patient records when he thought he was being investigated. The pertinent portions of indictment state:

32. From in or around December 1997 to in or around March 2002, Scott Rulon Werner, M.D., defendant herein, knowingly and willfully devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud public and private health care benefit programs and to obtain money from such programs by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representation, and omissions, in that the defendant submitted false claims representing that he had rendered IV therapy services for beneficiaries, when in truth and fact the defendant rendered chelation therapy services for beneficiaries, resulting in payments from health care benefit programs to which the defendant was not entitled.

33. It was part of the artifice and scheme to defraud that the defendant recommended and performed chelation therapy services for beneficiaries who presented with various illnesses and symptoms other than those associated with heavy metal toxicity.

35. It was further part of the artifice and scheme to defraud that the above claims were submitted to reflect falsely that a beneficiary had received IV therapy services when in truth and fact the beneficiary had received chelation therapy services.

The information contained in the HCFA-1500 claims prepared at the defendant's direction and control failed to disclose any information which would have put the public and private health care benefit programs on notice that the defendant has performed chelation therapy services for their respective beneficiaries.

37. During in and around 199, the defendant, o clinic personnel acting at the defendant's direction and control, began altering patient chart entries from "chelation therapy" to "IV therapy." The changes were made in different ways, including among others: (a)placing a sticker containing a false chart entry for "IV" over a chart entry for "chelation" therapy; and (b) revising the chart entry template on the clinic's computer from "chelation" therapy services to "IV" therapy services. The foregoing protocol was either in effect or implemented shortly after the clinic was served on or around September 20, 1999 with a Medicaid subpoena for records relating to specific beneficiaries .

Regulatory Actions against Chelation Therapists, 13/1/2014
Regulatory Actions against Chelation Therapists

Regulatory Actions against Chelation Therapists

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. It is falsely claimed to be effective against cardiovascular disease, autism, and many other diseases and conditions. The use of chelation for such purposes should be considered substandard medical practice. A few states have banned such use, but most handle complaints on a case-by-case basis and base their decision on the individual circumstances of the case.

The table below summarizes disciplinary actions that state licensing boards have taken against more than 100 physicians who have administered chelation therapy for inappropriate reasons. In some cases, the action was taken because the state medical board believed that the use of chelation itself was ground for disciplinary action. In other cases, the complaint against the physician had other grounds or was based on conduct that would be regarded as improper regardless of whether or not chelation was involved. Note:

Probation, ordered to stop inappropriate chelation

Probation, chelation therapy prohibited

Restrictions Restrictions prohibiting use of chelation therapy Probation, restrictions, and $968 penalty Emergency suspension Probation Indefinite restriction and $9,942 penalty

indefinite probration, $10,000 fine, no chelation

3 more years probation, no chelation therapy

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/ftcchelation, 18/12/1998
Over Promotion of "Chelation Therapy"

false advertising claims that non-surgical, EDTA "chelation therapy"

would prohibit ACAM from representing, in advertising, that chelation therapy

the efficacy or comparative efficacy of chelation therapy for any disease

medical therapies including chelation therapy. ACAM promotes chelation therapy

the Internet. Chelation therapy involves the intravenous injection of a

and promotional materials for chelation therapy contained such statements

Chelation therapy is a safe, effective, and relatively inexpensive

Every single study of the use of chelation therapy for atherosclerosis

Chelation therapy promotes health by correcting the major underlying

blood flow increases after chelation therapy.

that EDTA chelation therapy is an effective treatment for atherosclerosis,

would prohibit ACAM from representing that EDTA chelation therapy is an

or comparative effectiveness of chelation therapy for any disease of the

in connection with the advertising or promotion of chelation therapy.

Glenn Braswell's Advisors, 11/2/2013
Murray Susser, MD, who heads the Longevity Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, is listed in a 1999 Medi-Plex Physicians Nutrition Network brochure as chairman of Gero Vita's medical advisory board. He entered general practice in 1967 after completing a one-year internship but "evolved" into "clinical nutrition" within a few years. A description of his facility stated that it offered "acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition, chelation therapy, heavy metal detoxification, physical therapy, stress management, weight management, oxidative therapies, and detoxification therapy." A biographical sketch published iin 1990 stated that he had also worked as medical director in the offices of Robert Atkins, M.D., and has been president of the American Association of Medical Preventics, "an organization composed of doctors who primarly give chelation therapy."

Ilona Abraham, MD,* who practices in Encino, California. The Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute's directory states that her practice includes intravenous nutrition, chelation therapy, total mercury detoxification, neural therapy, electrodermal skin testing, adrenal stress index tests for immune enhancement, "natural" hormone replacement therapy, and that she "prescribes smart drugs in connection with nutrition, anti-aging, and detox therapies."

Another doctor who was said to practice in Ohio and do chelation therapy. Other information on the Internet said he promoted "Bioactive Cell Complex," a product made from organ cells of young animals, that, when taken by mouth allegedly "congregate at the human counterpart of the organ from which they were taken and "imprint" their vigor and vitality upon like organs in the human body" to give the user vigor; renewed sexual satisfaction, and a more youthful appearance . (This claim is nonsense because any such cells would be digested and not enter the body intact.) In 2010, the doctor whose name and picture appeared in Braswell publications contacted me and said that Braswell used his name and photograph without permission and that he did not belong to Braswell's advisory board or write the articles in which his name and picture appeared.

Douglas Hunt, MD,* who practices in Burbank, California and has hosted a radio show. The directory of the American College for Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) lists his specialties as allergy, bariatrics, chelation therapy, hypoglycemia, metabolic medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine, and "yeast syndrome." (ACAM is a professional organization that promotes chelation therapy and many other dubious treatment methods. In1998, the FTC secured a consent agreement barring ACAM from making unsubstantiated advertising claims that chelation therapy is effective against atherosclerosis or any other disease of the circulatory system .)

Ron Kennedy, MD, who operates the Anti-Aging Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, California, and a large Web site called The Doctor's Medical Library The ACAM directory lists his specialties as chelation therapy, bariatrics, cardiovascular disease, degenerative disease, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition.

Gary S. Ross, MD,* practices in San Francisco and teaches nutrition and clinical science at Meiji.College of Oriental Medicine in Berkeley. The ACAM directory lists his specialties as allergy, chelation therapy, degenerative disease, family practice, nutrition, and preventive medicine.

Carol Uebelacker, MD,* who practices in Milwaukee and is listed in the ACAM directory with specialties of allergy, cardiovascular disease, bariatrics, chelation therapy, family practice, and gynecology.

Paul (Pavel) Yutsis, MD,* who operates the Yutsis Center for Integrated Medicine, Brooklyn, New York, where he offers "hyperbaric oxygen therapy, preventive medicine, nutritional therapy, general practice, clinical ecology, pediatrics, and chelation therapy." He is also "Assistant Professor of Medicine" at the Capital University of Integrative Medicine, a nonaccredited school in Washington, D.C., that advocates a wide range of quack practices.

Dennis Harper, DO, who practices in Utah, is listed in the ACAM directory as specializing in allergy, chelation therapy, osteopathic manipulation, and "yeast syndrome."

James R. Privitera, MD, who practices in Covina, California, and is listed in the ACAM directory as specializing in allergy, chelation therapy, metabolic medicine, nutrition. In 1975, he was convicted of conspiring to prescribe and distribute laetrile (a quack cancer remedy) and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Donald C. Thompson, MD, DPh,* a family practitioner in Morristown, Tennessee, whose activities and interest have included pain management, hormones, herbs, exercise, meditation, anti-aging therapies, orthomolecular treatment, chelation therapy, glandulars, homeopathy and psychotherapy.

Medical association settles false advertising charges over promotion of "chelation therapy." FTC news release, Dec 8, 1998.

Dubious Aspects of Osteopathy, 20/4/2007
The percentages of DOs involved in chelation therapy, clinical ecology, orthomolecular therapy, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and several other dubious practices appear to be higher among osteopaths than among medical doctors. I have concluded this by inspecting the membership directories of groups that promote these practices and/or by comparing the relative percentages of MDs and DOs. listed in the Alternative Medicine Yellow Pages and HealthWorld Online's Professional Referral Network. The most widespread dubious treatment among DOs appears to be cranial therapy, an osteopathic offshoot described below.

Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. Proponents claim it is effective against atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems.

However, no controlled trial has shown that chelation therapy can help any of them. Chelation therapy with EDTA is one of several legitimate methods for treating cases of lead poisoning, but the protocol differs from that used inappropriately for other conditions.

To its credit, the AOA has adopted a negative position statement on chelation therapy:

WHEREAS, chelation therapy utilizing calcium disodium edetateis currently labeled by the Food and Drug Administration and recognized by most physicians as medically acceptable only in the management of acute or chronic heavy metal poisoning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that pending the results of thorough, properly controlled studies, the American Osteopathic Association does not endorse chelation therapy as useful for other than its currently approved and medically accepted uses. Adopted 1985, revised and reaffirmed, 1990, 1995 .

The 1998 member referral list of the American College for Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) , the principal group promoting chelation therapy, identifies about 400 MD members and 121 DO members who list chelation therapy as a specialty. These numbers strongly suggest that the percentage of osteopathic physicians doing chelation therapy is about four or five times as high as the percentage of medical doctors doing it. Curiously, Ronald A. Esper, DO, of Erie, Pennsylvania, who was AOA's president in 1998, is an ACAM member and does chelation therapy.

95% OF DOCTORS THAT PRACTICE CHELATION THERAPY ARE M.D.s. CHELATION THERAPY IS 85-95% EFFECTIVE IN ALL PATIENTS THAT TAKE A FULL COURSE OF THERAPY. WHOEVER THE STUPID MOTHERFUCKER IS THAT MADE THIS WEB PAGE SUCKS DICKS AND DESERVES TO DIE OF THROAT CANCER.

I would have no objection to a merging of professions as mentioned in the article by yourself and others. I feel, biased as I may be, that I received an excellent medical education through my osteopathic medical training, and I hope that time will show that osteopaths as a group will become more respectable with the attrition of some of the older, more "dubious" influences on the profession. I hope, as the numbers of osteopathic practitioners increase, the percentage of those engaged in cranial and chelation nonsense will fall to more nearly match those of the medical profession as a whole (although one would wish it to fall to zero).

Suit against Dr. Stephen Edelson, 10/12/2003
24. After receiving the test results, Defendants recommended that HB undergo an extremely lengthy and expensive course of chelation therapy and intravenous gamma globulin treatment, followed by detoxification.

28. HB began to undergo the chelation and I.V. gamma globulin treatment recommended by Defendants. The treatments were administered by unsupervised workers that, on information and belief, did not have formal nursing training or professional licenses of any kind.

Defendants recommended that he continue on the vitamin chelation and gamma globulin protocol that he recommended.

41. Further, even if environmental or chemical agents had been proven to be a factor in causing autism, Defendants knew or should have known that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence supporting the idea that autism could be cured or reversed using chelation, I.V. gamma globulin or detoxification programs.

42. At the time Defendants administered chelation therapy to HB, they knew or should have known that the American Medical Association had issued a policy statement that states that "if chelation therapy is to be considered a useful medical treatment for anything other than heavy metal poisoning, hyperglycemia or digitalis toxicity, it is the responsibility of its proponents to conduct properly controlled scientific studies, to adhere to FDA guidelines for drug investigation, and to disseminate study results in the usually accepted standards."

43. Defendants heavily advertised chelation therapy as a "cure" for autism and performed chelation therapy on HB at an extremely high rate of profit, but did not conduct properly controlled scientific studies, adhere to FDA guidelines for drug investigation, or disseminate study results in the usually accepted standards.

44. Defendants failed to follow protocols that are recommended for those conducting trials of chelation therapy in autistic children. Defendants failed to conduct challenge doses in order to evaluate the likely effectiveness of chelation therapy, and once therapy was initiated, failed to monitor the results in order to evaluate the propriety of continued treatment.

45. Defendants represented that there was "no downside" to the chelation therapy they performed on HB. Defendants represented to Plaintiffs that the treatment was risk free. In fact, chelation therapy presents significant risks of which Plaintiffs were not informed.

46. One of the risks of chelation therapy is the possibility that patients undergoing chelation therapy may contract neutropenia, a blood condition seen most commonly in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. After undergoing the chelation treatment recommended by Defendants, HB was diagnosed with neutropenia.

Be Wary of "Board Certification" in Clinical Metal Toxicology, 28/8/2012
Chelation therapists in the United States have set up certifying boards so they can call themselves "board certified." The American Board of Chelation Therapy (ABCT) was founded in 1982 by Charles Farr, M.D., who practiced chelation therapy in Oklahoma. The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (ABCMT) was founded in 2003 and now has its headquarters in Chester, Ohio. Neither is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which sets the certification standards for in the United States.

The Illinois corporate database states that the American Board of Chelation therapy qualified for nonprofit status in 1986 but its registration status was revoked in 2004 .

I do not believe they will gain any such recognition because the underlying premises of chelation therapy and their diagnoses of "toxicity" are unsound. Most (if not all) "clinical metal toxicologists" claim that "heavy metal toxicity" is an underlying cause of heart disease, autism, and many other diseases, including cancer. Their favorite test for diagnosing alleged toxicity is a "provoked" urine test for which urine is collected after a chelating agent is administered . Chelation and other methods are then used to "detoxify" the body, which proponents say will enable it to heal whatever disease they claim to treat. Provoked testing as used by chelationists is a fraud , and chelation therapy has no rational use against the diseases that "clinical metal toxicologists" claim to treat .

Theodore Rozema, M.D., an ABCMT director who practices in North Carolina, was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force in 1963 following a court marshal proceeding in which he was found guilty of indecent assault of two female officers . In 1978, the North Carolina Medical Board placed him on three years' probation in response to a 1976 felony extortion conviction in Massachusetts . 1984, the North Carolina board charged him with using chelation therapy to treat patients with atherosclerotic heart disease, which the board considered to be improper conduct. This charge, however, was not pursued . In 1986, after he admitted to the State Board of South Carolina that he had presigned prescription blanks, that board suspended his licensed for six weeks and then placed him on indefinite probation . In 1990, after a federal court dismissed Rozema's appeal of the South Carolina board order, the North Carolina board placed him on probation, which he served until 1997.

The ABCMT's secretary John Parks Trowbridge, M.D., who practices in Texas, was charged in 1990 with false advertising in connection with "nonsurgical face lifts", chelation therapy, and cytotoxic testing . After further consideration, however, the Texas Board of Medicine dismissed these charges . In 1998, without admitting fault, Trowbridge signed an agreed order under which the Texas board reprimanded him for using patient testimonials in advertising . Trowbridge has also had tax trouble. In 2003, a tax court ruled that he had improperly failed to pay more than $420,000 in income taxes for 1996 and 1997 by setting up sham trusts and then simply refusing to pay . He was assessed $116,000 in penalties and another $25,000 for frivolously appealing these determinations . He appealed again, but in 2004, the court denied his appeal and sanctioned him $6,000 more for pursuing his frivolous arguments .

Robban Sica, M.D., an ABCMT director who practices in Connecticut, has had legal trouble related to "detoxification." In 2003, the Connecticut Department of Health charged her with improperly using chelation therapy to treat cardiovascular disease, failing to obtain adequate consent for such treatment, and failing to properly manage patients whom she said were suffering from heavy metal toxicity. In February 2005, she signed a consent order under which she agreed to (a) serve a year of probation, (b) stop using DMPS as a chelating agent, (c) stop using a provoked test to diagnose heavy metal toxicity, (d) use a patient consent form which states that chelation therapy has not been scientifically substantiated, and (e) have her practice monitored by an independent consultant . In March 2010, Sica was charged with violating the 2005 order by prescribing DMPS for 11 patients . In 2112, the board fined her $700 per patient, suspended her license for 30 days, and ordered close monitoring of her practice for two years .

Rashid A. Buttar, DO, the ABCMT's chairman, was sued by the U.S. Justice Department in 1997 for failing to repay a $113,783.59 military scholarship obligation. In 1999, the case was settled with a consent agreement under which he agreed to pay $115,500 . Buttar also defaulted on a $2 million Small Business Administration loan he obtained in 2008 to build new offices. In 2011, a federal judge ordered Buttar to repay the U.S. Government $2,120,135.27 plus $323.02 daily interest from July 23, 2010 onward . In 2009, the North Carolina Medical Board filed two sets of charges against Buttar. One accused him of charging four cancer patients exorbitant fees for worthless tests and treatments . The other accused him of mistreating four patients whom he falsely diagnosed with mercury toxicity . During a hearing held in April 2008 related to an earlier version of the first complaint, Buttar indicated that nearly all the patients he sees are diagnosed with heavy metal toxicity and receive chelation therapy, and an ABCMT board advisor who testified in his defense, John L. Wilson, Jr., M.D., stated that he had administered well over 200,000 intravenous infusions. . Wilson is also a board member of Moms Against Mercury, a group that is trying to get the use of dental amalgam banned. In February 2010, Buttar signed a consent order under which he agreed to (a) be reprimanded, (b) obey all laws and all rules and regulations involving medical practice, and (c) to provide an informed consent form that includes language specified in an attachment to the order . The agreement was a compromise in which Buttar acknowledged that his treatment of an out-of state child whom he had never examined had been illegal and the Board agreed that the settlement would resolve all other pending complaints against him, which included concerns about the other seven patients mentioned in the Notices of Charges.

Green S. Chelation therapy: Unproven claims and unsound theories. Quackwatch, July 24, 2007.

"Autism Specialist"Blasted by Omnibus Special Master, 24/3/2009
Bradstreet’s treatments included a wide variety of dietary supplements, secretin infusions, immunoglobulin therapy, chelation, glutathione, and prednilisone. He ordered numerous laboratory tests, many of which were non-standard tests not approved by the FDA, or ones performed outside the U.S.

Colten’s first urine test for mercury exposure was a post-provocation challenge test conducted on July 21, 2000. Prior to collecting the urine, Colten was administered 100 mg of DMSA, a chelating agent. The results were reported by Doctor’s Data laboratory as “very elevated,” at 11 µg/g creatinine. . . . However, the reference ranges for this test were based on subjects who were not chelated before measurement of their urinary mercury. Although the Doctor’s Data laboratory reported Colten’s results as “very elevated,” applying the correct reference range placed Colten’s post-chelation mercury level in the range of normal pre-chelation .

A post-chelation urine sample, taken on April 24, 2006, reported that any mercury present was below the detection limit. Another post-chelation urine sample, taken on June 26, 2008, was reported by another laboratory as well below the reference range for mercury. Another post-chelation urine sample, taken on September 25, 2006, found no detectable mercury .

No good data demonstrates that chelation therapy works to treat autism. Nevertheless, approximately 30-40% of Bradstreet’s patients were chelated during his treatment of them, a figure that remained consistent over the five years preceding the hearing .

In spite of the fact that none of Colten’s tests for mercury was high, and Colten responded poorly to chelation, Bradstreet ordered numerous rounds of chelation therapy .

Bradstreet conceded that Colten did not respond well to chelation.

The medical records, including reports from Mrs. Snyder, reflected that Colten did poorly after every round of chelation therapy . . . . The more disturbing question is why chelation was performed at all, in view of the normal levels of mercury found in the hair, blood, and urine, its apparent lack of efficacy in treating Colten’s symptoms, and the adverse side effects it apparently caused .

Barrett S. Baratz RS. Chelation therapy and insurance fraud. Quackwatch, Jan 24, 2009.

Discliplinary Proceedings against Eleazar M. Kadile, M.D., Part III, 27/11/2004
Part III: Chelation Therapy Disclosure Form

In December 2001, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board charged Eleazar M. Kadile, M.D., of Green Bay, Wisconsin, with ten counts of unprofessional conduct. The charges included false advertising; failure to give adequate informed consent; failure to keep adequate medical records; obtaining payment by fraud and deceit; and falsely representing that patients were suffering from toxic conditions. in November 2003, the case was settled with a consent agreement (stipulation) under which Kadile agreed to abide by a Final Decision and Order that requires him to (a) implement a strict mandatory disclosure procedure for patients contemplating chelation therapy; (b) undergo an evaluation to determine his fitness to continue practicing medicine, (c) fulfill certain educational requirements; (d) have his practice monitored for at least two years by an independent expert approved by the Board; and (e) pay costs related to the disciplinary process for an amount determined by the Board.

ACID (EDTA) CHELATION THERAPY

Malignancies, diseases, illnesses or physical conditions diagnosed for medical treatment by EDTA chelation therapy (list all):

(c) that EDTA chelation therapy has NOT been established through controlled trials to be effective for the treatment of circulatory diseases, specifically including atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), vascular insufficiency, diabetes or any other condition beyond those mentioned in (a);

(d) that the federal government and most insurance companies do NOT pay for or reimburse for treatment with EDTA chelation therapy for vascular conditions;

(e) that the medications in the EDTA chelation mixture could interact with other medications I am taking, could cause a medical emergency, and my other physicians should be informed of all ingredients in the EDTA chelation mixture, for my protection.

(f) that neither the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, or the American Academy of Family Physicians, recommends the use of EDTA chelation therapy for the treatment of any human disease, illness, malady or physical condition other than those for which it is labeled;

(g) That therapy with EDTA chelation may not be begun until three days have expired after the date of my execution of this informed consent form, unless I have furnished records showing that I am presently receiving chelation therapy from another physician.

I have read and understand the above. Having read and understood the above, I hereby elect to undergo treatment with EDTA chelation therapy.

Suit against Dr. Stephen Edelson, 17/12/2003
This stated that the boy had numerous different diagnoses, including neurotoxicity, chemical toxicity, heavy metal toxicity, among many others. Defendants represented that these diagnoses needed to be treated with biodetoxification, chelation, nutritional therapies, and intravenous ozone therapy.

27. Upon arrival at the Edelson Center, Defendants began administering the detoxification, chelation, ozone and nutritional therapies they recommended. These treatments involved daily injections (sometimes multiple injections per day) of chelating agents, ozonated blood, and liquid nutrients.

28. Contrary to the representations made by Defendants in their promotional materials, these therapies subjected the boy to substantial risks. Ozone treatments can result in embollic phenomena, or dangerous air or clots in the blood stream. Any I.V. treatment can result in sepsis (blood poisoning). Chelation therapy can result in renal failure and blood dyscrasias. By undergoing these therapies, The boy was subjected to risks of death and disablement.

29. The boy began to undergo the detoxification, ozone, chelation and I.V. vitamin treatment recommended by Defendants. The treatments were administered by unsupervised workers that, on information and belief, did not have formal nursing training or professional licenses of any kind.

34. At the conclusion of the duration of the second month of treatment, Plaintiffs were told that the boy still needed to continue treatment. Although testing performed at the conclusion of the two month treatment had allegedly shown that the boy was "toxin free," Edelson nevertheless told Plaintiffs that the boy would have to travel each week to Atlanta from their home in Springfield, GA to continue chelation therapy indefinitely, and would require a $1,000.00 test at a later point to check the boy's progress.

37. Defendants also refused to cooperate with the Parents in locating a local physician to administer the chelation therapy.

Defendants insisted that the boy undergo the therapy at their offices in Atlanta, a five hour drive, every week, despite the fact that this would significantly interfere with his school schedule and educational progress and place extreme burden on the Parents. When the Parents asked Edelson to cooperate in their efforts to locate a local physician willing to perform the chelation therapy, Edelson told the Parents that he would not cooperate with their efforts and that if they chose to use another physician, he would "have no part of it."

43. Further, even if environmental or chemical agents had been proven to be a factor in causing autism, Defendants knew or should have known that there is no reliable medical or scientific evidence supporting the idea that autism could be cured or reversed using chelation, ozone, detoxification or nutritional supplement programs.

44. At the time Defendants administered chelation therapy to GM, they knew or should have known that the American Medical Association had issued a policy statement that states that "if chelation therapy is to be considered a useful medical treatment for anything other than heavy metal poisoning, hyperglycemia or digitalis toxicity, it is the responsibility of its proponents to conduct properly controlled scientific studies, to adhere to FDA guidelines for drug investigation, and to disseminate study results in the usually accepted standards."

45. Defendants advised Plaintiffs that chelation therapy was medically necessary and that the therapy would reverse the brain damage caused by the boy's alleged heavy metal toxicity. They performed chelation therapy on GM at an extremely high rate of profit, but did not conduct properly controlled scientific studies, adhere to FDA guidelines for drug investigation, or disseminate study results in the usually accepted standards.

Dubious Aspects of Osteopathy, 7/12/1998
Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are the legal and professional equivalents of medical doctors. Although most offer competent care, the percentages involved in chelation therapy, clinical ecology, orthomolecular therapy, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and several other dubious practices appear to be higher among osteopaths than among medical doctors. I have concluded this by inspecting the membership directories of groups that promote these practices and/or by comparing the relative percentages of MDs and DOs. listed in the Alternative Medicine Yellow Pages and HealthWorld Online's Professional Referral Network. The most widespread dubious treatment among DOs appears to be cranial therapy, an osteopathic offshoot described below.

Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. Proponents claim it is effective against atherosclerosis and many other serious health problems. However, no controlled trial has shown that chelation therapy can help any of them. Chelation therapy with EDTA is one of several legitimate methods for treating cases of lead poisoning, but the protocol differs from that used inappropriately for other conditions.

To its credit, the AOA has adopted a negative position statement on chelation therapy:

WHEREAS, chelation therapy utilizing calcium disodium edetateis currently labeled by the Food and Drug Administration and recognized by most physicians as medically acceptable only in the management of acute or chronic heavy metal poisoning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that pending the results of thorough, properly controlled studies, the American Osteopathic Association does not endorse chelation therapy as useful for other than its currently approved and medically accepted uses. Adopted 1985, revised and reaffirmed, 1990, 1995 .

The 1998 member referral list of the American College for Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) , the principal group promoting chelation therapy, identifies about 400 MD members and 121 DO members who list chelation therapy as a specialty.

These numbers strongly suggest that the percentage of osteopathic physicians doing chelation therapy is about four or five times as high as the percentage of medical doctors doing it. Curiously, AOA President Ronald A. Esper, DO, of Erie, Pennsylvania, is an ACAM member and does chelation therapy.

Testimony of Dr. Robert Baratz, 15/4/2002
It is problematic when practitioners advance their personal ideas, often disguised as legitimate treatments, upon unsuspecting patients for both real and fanciful illnesses. Beside the unsubstantiated claims and methods promulgated by Hulda Clark, we regularly hear about inappropriate use of hyperbaric oxygen, chelation therapy, and conventional drugs, used for unapproved purposes, for allegedly "treating" "poisonings", arteriosclerosis, and cancer. We also hear about alleged diagnoses made by a litany of pseudo scientific mumbo-jumbo including: applied kinesiology, hair analysis, whole blood analysis, live cell analysis, and other such nonsense. These alleged illnesses are "caused" by environmental "toxins", dental "cavitations", alleged mercury and heavy metal toxicity, NICO, and other made-up conditions. Commonly we also hear of unapproved electrical devices used in both the "diagnosis" and "treatment" of these conditions.

So called "chelation therapy" is a case in point.

Some practitioners believe that they can use Magnesium Disodium EDTA or Disodium EDTA for allegedly removing calcium from atheromatous plaques which line diseased arteries. Atheromata(pl. of atheroma) are pathological collections of cells deep in the walls of arteries which contain various forms of cholesterol. Occasionally, some of these atheromata calcify. The "chelation therapists" mistakenly believe that treatment with Magnesium Disodium EDTA will remove this calcium and remove the atheromata. This belief is unsupported by scientific theory, scientific fact, and practical experience. A number of reviews on the topic of chelation therapy for treating atherosclerosis (the presence of atheromata) in the lining of arteries of major importance (aorta, coronary arteries, and major arteries to the extremities) has shown that this therapy is not only ineffective, but may also cause damage to the walls of arteries and actually cause atheromata to appear. The use of any form of EDTA for treatment of atheromata or atherosclerosis is not approved by the U.S. FDA.

At the very best, even the proponents of chelation therapy for atherosclerosis therapy admit that this concept is experimental.

The idea that EDTA chelation would remove calcium from atheromata is not supported by science. First, most atheromata are not calcified.

Where chelation therapy advocates have suggested any success it has been with the ability of people with severe peripheral vascular disease of the legs to improve their walking distances slightly after therapy. Even these claims are controversial, and there are data to suggest that these claims, largely supported by only subjective data, are specious.

Major medical organizations and publications, including the American Medical Association, multiple state licensing boards, the American Heart Association, Harvard Medical School Health Letter, and many medical scientists, have indicated that chelation therapy with EDTA is ineffective for treating, eliminating, or ameliorating vascular disease.

At the very best, chelation therapy with EDTA for treatment of atheromatous cardiovascular disease, is unproven and experimental.

Since their consent decree with the FTC, however, ACAM has apparently developed a scheme to make it appear that their members are participating in an "experiment" where EDTA therapy is "tested" "clinically". This alleged "study" has some of the trappings of a clinical trial, but none of the substance. It appears to be, in my opinion, a pseudoscientific babble of imprecise, unclear activities for its members to present to unsuspecting, often elderly patients who have real cardiovascular diseases. I have personally reviewed multiple cases of patients who were directed away from potentially life-saving, or life-prolonging, conventional, evidence-supported treatments for cardiovascular disease to chelation therapy which provided no benefit other than to enrich the practitioner who promoted and performed it. I have personally seen several patients maimed and several deaths by such careless practitioners.

Chelation therapy is only one of many such areas of illegitimate human experimentation. I have seen the elderly (and others) regularly victimized in schemes for "cancer cures", treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, alleged heavy metal poisoning, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. The since delicensed Colorado dentist, Hal Huggins, emptied the bank accounts of an elderly Kansas farm couple after convincing them that he could treat the wife's breast cancer and her husband's ALS. The husband nearly died during treatment when he aspirated unnecessary pills which were to allegedly "detoxify" him from his dental fillings.

Edelson Center Closed after Three Suits alleging Fraud and Malpractice, 22/9/2013
One service Edelson offerd for autism was chelation therapy, a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. Because chelation has valid use in some cases of heavy metal poisoning, many practitioners falsely diagnose lead, mercury, or other heavy metal toxicity. It use against autism is based on the idea that the problem is caused by poisoning with mercury that chelation supposedly removes. This idea has no scientific validity .

In 1995, the Georgia Board of Medical Examiners charged Edelson with (a) failing to document an initial physical examination in a patient's chart and failing to have adequate progress noted in another patient's chart, which constituted failure to conform to minimal an acceptable standards of prevailing medical practice; and (b) failing to keep adequate records of narcotic drugs prescribed for himself and members of his family. The case was settled with a consent agreement under which he was fined $5,000 and placed on two years' probation with a condition that he not perform chelation therapy except in cases of heavy metal poisoning, unless done as part of an approved clinical trial . A few months later, based on the Georgia action, New York State issued a censure and reprimand and placed him on probation . When Georgia's probationary period ended, he was no longer restricted. However, in 2004, the Georgia board reprimanded him again, ordered a fine, and placed him on indefinite probation , and in 2005, it permanently revoked his license .

After receiving the test results, Edelson recommended that the boy undergo a lengthy and expensive course of chelation therapy and intravenous gamma globulin treatment, followed by "detoxification" with dietary supplements.

The treatment involved "detoxification," ozone, chelation and I.V. vitamins administered by unsupervised workers who apparently have no formal nursing training or professional license of any kind.

Edelson had tests performed on 20 tubes of blood and reported that the boy's body had been "damaged immensely by poisons" and needed biodetoxification, chelation, and nutritional therapies beginning with seven weeks of daily treatments. Although it represented a financial hardship, the family paid $43,700 in advance for these treatments.

The treatments were difficult and painful, involving multiple intravenous treatment (chelation therapy) with frequent needle changes due to technician errors. The nutritional regimen included about 50 pills and capsules a day, which often caused the boy to vomit.

Barrett S. Misconceptions about immunization: Thimerosal causes autism; chelation therapy can cure it. Quackwatch, May 27, 2011..

Green S. Chelation therapy: Unproven claims and unsound theories. Quackwatch, revised July 27, 2007.

Regulatory Actions against Robban Sica, M.D., 6/8/2012
Robban A. Sica, M.D., who operates the Center for the Healing Arts in Orange, Connecticut, is facing charges that could result in revocation of her medical license. In 2003, she was charged with improperly using chelation therapy to treat cardiovascular disease, failing to obtain adequate consent for such treatment, and failing to properly manage many of these patients whom she said were suffering from heavy metal toxicity.

10. Respondent treated patient J.A. on various occasions from January 30, 2002 through April 25, 2002. J.A. had a history of acute atrial fibrillation in September 2001, hypertension controlled by medication, and hyperthyroidism. J.A. presented specifically for treatment of arteriosclerosis and requested EDTA chelation. A laboratory analysis of J.A.'s red blood cells dated February 8, 2002 reported an elevated level of antimony and slightly elevated levels of manganese. Respondent administered IV infusions of EDTA on fourteen visits from January 31, 2002 through April 2, 2002.

15. During the period of January 1, 2002 through the date of this Statement of Charges, respondent has administered and/or prescribed EDTA chelation therapy for coronary and/or vascular diseases and for diagnoses of various metal toxins in approximately 40 patients.

Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing EDTA and various other substances. It is falsely claimed to be effective against cardiovascular disease and many other diseases and conditions. Chelation has valid use in some cases of heavy metal poisoning. However, chelationists often diagnose it in patients with no history of toxic exposure and use treatment protocols that differ from standard protocols .

In February 2005, Sica and the Connecticut licensing authorities signed a settlement under which she agreed to: (a) serve a year of probation, (b) stop using DMPS as a chelating agent, (c) stop using a provoked test to diagnose heavy metal toxicity, (d) use a patient consent form which states that chelation therapy has not been scientifically substantiated, and (e) have her practice monitored by an independent consultant. The agreement also contained stringent recordkeeping and reporting requirements and a provision that Sica could not own shares or serve as an officer of any professional corporation or other form of medical practice in which she does not render a substantial amount of patient care .

In addition to chelation therapy, Sica offers other questionable services, the most notable of which is "electrodermal screening" with the Listen System, which Sica says can "help identify patterns of environmental sensitivities." However, the device merely measures skin resistance to a low-level electric current. According to a proponent's patent application:

Barrett S. Chelation therapy and insurance fraud. Quackwatch, May 11, 2000.

Barrett S. DMPS is not a legal drug. Chelation Watch, Jan 25, 2010.

URAC Violators, 17/11/2004
Chelation therapy is a series of intravenous infusions containing disodium EDTA and various other substances. It is falsely claimed to be effective against cardiovascular disease, autism, and many other diseases and conditions. The article about chelation therapy regurgitates these claims and sums up the negative evidence by calling chelation "controversial." The article fails to mention that (a) the theory behind chelation is senseless; (b) well-designed studies have demonstrated that it doesn't work against cardiovascular disease; (c) although chelation therapy is appropriate for some cases of heavu metal poisoning, chelation therapists don't use the standard protocol; and (d) the primary proponent group is under a court order not to advertise that chelation therapy is effective against cardiovascular disease. The article also states that, "However, a pooled analysis from the results of over 70 studies showed positive results in all but one," but it neglects to mention that the "positive studies" were either too small or too poorly designed to prove anything.

WebMD Health contains many staff-generated articles that promote nonsensical "alternative" methods, including homeopathic treatment of earaches and cancer. Colonic irrigation is senseless and has killed people. But instead of telling the truth, an article states that it "has yet to gain the endorsement of any mainstream medical organization." WebMD also includes an extensive collection of articles from Healthwise that fail to adequately criticize what they describe. Its chelation therapy article, for example, states that, "Chelation therapy has also been used by some health professionals to treat atherosclerosis and/or coronary artery disease, although there is inadequate current scientific evidence that proves this treatment is effective. Some believe that EDTA binds with calcium deposits (the part of plaque that obstructs the flow of blood to the heart) in the arteries and then the calcium deposits are 'cleaned out' of the arteries by the EDTA, reducing the risk of heart problems. This treatment is controversial, and research results have been inconsistent." An honest presentation would say there is no logical reason to believe EDTA chelation is helpful against cardiovascular problems and that the "inconsistent results" consist of poorly designed studies that claimed benefit and well-designed studies that found none.

Be Wary of the National Health Federation (1993), 31/7/2013
H. Ray Evers, M.D., who died in 1990, was a leading practitioner of "chelation therapy." During his career he claimed to have treated more than twenty thousand patients and supervised more than 500,000 chelation treatments. In 1976, at the FDA's request, a Louisiana federal judge prohibited Evers from using chelation therapy in Louisiana. Testimony in the case suggested that at least fourteen patients had died from this therapy at Evers' hospital. Later that year, Evers was given a suspended prison sentence and two years' probation after pleading guilty to "intimidating and impeding officers of the Internal Revenue Service." According to the IRS agents' report, Evers had cursed at them, threatened their lives, and attempted to run one of them down with his car when they visited his property in connection with a tax matter.

Evers then moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where, despite FDA efforts, a judge allowed him to continue doing chelation therapy.

In 1980, he opened the ninety-bed Evers Health Center in Cottonwood, Alabama. His letter to prospective patients stated that his practice was "limited to the diagnosis and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases by the nutritional, non-toxic, metabolic method including chelation therapy" and offered "special regimes of treatment" for arthritis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and other diseases. According to the clinic brochure, a patient's typical day would include a visit with Dr. Evers, spinal manipulation by his chiropractic associate, chelation therapy (three hours), and other therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen and colonic irrigation.

Michael Gerber, M.D., had his California medical license revoked after hearings before the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance in which he was accused in 1984 of improperly administering to patients. One patient was a fifty-six-year-old woman with treatable cancer who had allegedly died as a result of Gerber's neglect while he treated her with herbs, enzymes, coffee enemas, and chelation therapy.

Garry Gordon, M.D., has been president of the American Academy of Medical Preventics (currently called the American College of Advancement in Medicine), a group of doctors who do chelation therapy. He has also been medical director and board chairman of Mineralab (a large commercial hair analysis laboratory) and director of a subsidiary that sold questionable nutritional products.

Although he maintained that ADS was a "nutritional supplement," analysis showed it to be 99.4 percent water and a brownish sludge composed mainly of coliform bacteria (the same bacteria found in human feces). Halstead, who operated the Halstead Preventive Medicine Clinic in Colton, California, has been a leading promoter of laetrile, chelation therapy, and many other questionable practices.


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