Will Chelation Go Mainstream for Coronary Artery Disease ? 

A common problem after the procedure known as balloon angioplasty is a renarrowing of the artery that had been opened up by the procedure. A new publication from Dartmouth’s Hitchcock Medical Center  has been given the title- Copper Chelation Is A Promising New Therapy For Clogged Arteries. https://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/news/2003_h1/28may2003_copper.shtml
For many years chelation therapy has been advocated by alternative medicine practitioners as a helpful treatment for heart disease. This has never been accepted by conventional cardiology.
Now researchers at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute have published their study  which has shown that the restenosis of arteries, a very common common problem occurring in as much as 30% of patients after balloon angioplasty, can be stopped by using copper chelation therapy. This treatment is thought to work by significantly diminishing the influence of growth factors and cytokines that are expressed in the artery naturally, after the procedure.

Dr. Kenneth A. Ault, M.D., Director of MMCRI (Main Medical Research Institute) says “This represents a major contribution to medical science. This finding could be ready for widespread clinical use in humans in a very few years.”

Scientists from the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Dartmouth found that copper is necessary for the restenosis of an artery to occur, as it enables the regrowth of cells after the injury that occurs within the artery as a result of the procedure.

Thomas Maciag, Ph.D. was the lead investigator credited by Dr. Elazer R. Edelman, Director of Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center in Massachusetts, who said “Maciag and colleagues appear to have solved a long-lingering paradox in the field of growth factor biology. Their imaginative work may provide novel treatment modalities for a range of critical diseases.” Certainly this is a crucial discovery in Cardiovascular Medicine as balloon angioplasty is a very common procedure. It is used for those found to have blockages of their coronary arteries, and the restenosis phenomenon occurs in about 30% of cases and requires another surgical procedure to fix it, with all of its attendant risks and expense.

This work was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with the title “Copper Chelation Represses the Vascular Response to Injury.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12754378/

The researchers found that the specific copper chelator tetrathiomolybdate, stopped inflammation and growth of new tissue which is responsible for restenosis of the artery after treatment, as the artery is naturally responding to the cellular arterial injury which occurs as a part of the procedure. They found that chelating copper makes the cells resistant to stress, thus lessening the chance of cellular inflammation and cell regrowth. They say that this understanding of the biochemical pathways of the cellular response to stress and injury should lead to an accepted and approved treatment to prevent restenosis of arteries after balloon angioplasty. They say that this “new” discovery is actually the result of fifteen years of research in basic biology. They also noted that not only would the treatment be simple and inexpensive to apply, it had very few and “readily reversible’ side effects.

It is of note that in the statement above given by Dr. Edelman of  Harvard he said, “Their imaginative work may provide novel treatment modalities for a range of critical diseases.”

This brings us to the longstanding use of chelation therapy as an alternative medicine procedure which although not accepted in conventional medical circles has shown significant research over the years which backs up its use for a variety of medical conditions. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chelation-for-coronary-heart-disease-what-you-need-to-know

Chelation refers to the chemical formation of a complex that traps metals that are present in the body and allows the body to excrete the metal lowering its level in body tissues and in the circulation.


EDTA Chelation therapy has been FDA approved for many years for treatment of heavy metal poisoning involving lead, mercury and cadmium. It is also approved for chelation from radioactive metal poisoning. Clinically, for maximal effectiveness the treatment must be repeated on a regular basis. It is generally recommended to be done on a weekly basis for at least twenty treatments.

How did chelation therapy come to be used for cardiovascular disease ?

Going back to the 1950s, when chelation treatments were being given to patients who suffered from lead poisoning, the observation was made by treating physicians that patients who also suffered from cardiovascular disease saw symptoms from  those conditions improve. Since cardiac complications were known to occur as a result of lead and other toxic metal poisoning, the notion arose that perhaps EDTA chelation should be used to help those with various cardiovascular conditions. Arterial plaques which contain calcium are formed in part related to the free radical damage caused to the inner lining of the arteries called the endothelium. This free radical damage is worsened by the presence of toxic metals. Thus, chelation treatments may help the arterial wall by lessening  free radical damage as the metal is removed, which will allow healing of the endothelial layer of the artery. Chelation IV therapy has now been used for many years as an alternative medicine treatment for a wide array of conditions, not only to detox from metals but also affect other conditions that could be affected by the exposure to these toxic metals, which are increasingly abundant in our modern world. Chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease has never been officially recognized by the medical community.

Chelation therapy is an intravenous injection of the chelating agent called EDTA, generally given together with other nutrients and fluid infused at the same time. Common formulas used by chelating doctors include magnesium, Vitamin C and B vitamins. It is known to be effective for removing toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, and it also reduces excess iron or calcium deposits.

Tulane University published a study of chelation therapy 1988. They did a retrospective review of greater than 2,500 people who had been given a series of IV Chelation infusions. They found that 77% of patients with coronary heart disease reported symptomatic improvement. Patients who had peripheral arterial disease of the legs had an even greater percentage improvement-91%.

Due to the variety of possible benefits that might be seen with the metal detoxification provided by

IV chelation treatments, they have been recommended for many conditions including:

  • Coronary artery plaque
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • COPD (emphysema)
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis

More research needs to be done to see how different chelation protocols

might be found to be helpful for cardiovascular disease and other conditions that could be helped by

chelating metals and removing them from the body.

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