Chelation Therapies

Chelation is a term that comes from the Greek word "chele" which means "claw", and in our practice it is referring to the way ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) grabs onto positively charged heavy metal cations.  EDTA is a negatively charged anion and it very effectively binds to heavy metals like a strong magnet does to iron filings.

Chelation therapy is widely accepted and employed as a mainstream treatment by medical doctors around the world to treat heavy metal toxicity because of this powerful ionic attraction of EDTA to the positively charged heavy metal cations. However, because of this powerful ionic bonding, chelation is also very effective for stopping and reversing cardiovascular disease.  This is because it chelates calcium, another positive cation.  Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal which is the 5th most abundant metal by mass in the Earth's crust and which is essential for life.  Calcium, which is a major contributor to plaque build up in blood vessel walls and being a positive cation, is attracted to EDTA exactly like Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Iron, Cadmium, Uranium etc.

The following diagram demonstrates the ionic attraction of the EDTA molecule to a metal cation as described above.


Disodium EDTA

(Edetate Disodium) (1.5gm; 2.0gm; 3.0gm dosage based upon body weight) in a pincer like fashion, EDTA grabs onto an electrically charged mineral ion such as lead, copper, iron or calcium. Once infused, the EDTA molecule is quickly excreted by the kidneys with toxic metals or minerals attached, whereas normally the body cannot excrete these toxins. For one thing, EDTA detoxifies you of heavy metals which frees up poisoned repair enzymes in the cells. EDTA chelation also removes calcium deposits from soft tissues (such as blood vessels), and this has been proven by the new technique of 'ultrafast ct scanning.' he procedure takes between 1.5 and 3 hours to complete depending on body size.

Other Benefits of EDTA Chelation include:

  • Lowered insulin requirements in diabetics
  • Lowered blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Normalization of cardiac arrhythmia's
  • Relief from leg muscle cramps
  • Reduction in allergic symptoms
  • Normalized weight
  • Improved psychological and emotional status
  • Enhanced sensory input: better sight, hearing, taste
  • Fewer excessive heart contractions
  • Lessened varicose vein pigmentation
  • Lightened age spots
  • Fewer aches and pains, arthritic and otherwise
  • Less reliance on pain medication
  • Hair loss stopped and reversed
  • Reversal of impotence
  • Alzheimer's Disease symptoms reversed
  • Reduced need for diuretics
  • Cold extremities warmed
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome overcome
  • Memory, and mental concentration improved
  • Post-cataract surgery vision loss restored
  • Cosmetic changes, including more lustrous hair, added eye sparkle, stronger unsplit nails, better skin color, fewer visible wrinkles and a more youthful appearance.

Calcium EDTA

This newer form of EDTA can be infused much faster than disodium EDTA and it is more effective at removing Lead and Mercury. The body actually has need for approximately 70 friendly trace element heavy metals, but there are another 12 poisonous heavy metals, such as Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Nickel, etc., that act as poisonous interference to the enzyme systems and metabolism of the body. No matter how many good health supplements or procedures one partakes in, heavy metal overload will be a detriment to the natural healing functions of the body. Heavy metal overload in the walls of coronary arteries seems to decrease levels of Nitric Oxide a compound known as "Endothelial relaxing Factor," and without this substance normal blood flow is impeded, increasing the risk of Vascular blockages. Heavy Metal Overload in the Adrenal Glands reduce the production of Hormones, which cause early aging, stress, decreased sex drive and aggravation of menopausal Symptoms. Heavy Metal Overload can lead to unresponsiveness of Diabetics to their medications and can lead to Neurological Diseases such as Depression and loss of thinking power. It can also aggravate conditions such as Osteoporosis and Hypothyroidism.

Hydrogen Peroxide

There is a very large amount of information about the benefits of hydrogen peroxide but for the sake of brevity; The effect of Hydrogen Peroxide in the human body is twofold. It kills, or severely inhibits the growth of, anaerobic organisms (bacteria and viruses that use carbon dioxide for fuel and leave oxygen as a by-product). This action is immediate, on contact with the anaerobic organism. Anaerobic bacteria are pathogens, the organisms which cause disease. All viruses are anaerobic.

Aerobic bacteria (those that burn oxygen for fuel and leave carbon dioxide as a by-product as humans do) found in the human intestine are friendly bacteria, which aid in digestion. These organisms thrive in the presence of hydrogen peroxide.

The second effect of hydrogen peroxide is that it provides singlet oxygen, which, in turn, transforms biological waste products and industrial toxins into inert substances by oxidizing them. This makes them easy to handle for the kidneys and liver. It doubles the rate of enzymatic metabolism in the mitochondria within each cell, thus enabling the body to cleanse itself of toxins and still have plenty of energy to handle the business of living from moment to moment. This increase in metabolism probably accounts for some of the antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effects of hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a very effective chelate for cardiovascular calcium. It is more effective at removing plaque from the large arteries such as the Aorta than EDTA alone.


2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid is used in both conventional and complementary medicine to chelate and remove primarily lead and mercury from the body: DMPS (2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid sodium), also known as Dimovol, is a synthetic amino acid chelating agent of toxic heavy metals, which forms a water soluble complex with toxic heavy metals and is removed through the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract. DMPS chelation is administered by intravenous (I.V.) infusion.

Possible side effects include: temporary lowering of blood pressure or tachycardia, vertigo, general weakness or paleness 5 to 10 minutes after injection, and infiltration into the soft tissue which may create local itching that can last 30 minutes. Symptoms have been shown to generally be reversible after discontinuation of the drug. Aggravation of the metal related symptoms may result from the mobilization of heavy metals over the following several days after receiving DMPS treatment.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a major water-soluble antioxidant with a variety of biological functions. It may be important in maintaining proper immune cell function. Even though vitamin C commonly functions as an antioxidant, it can also act as a pro-oxidant, that is actually oxidizing tissues, which is what chemotherapy does.

Vitamin C converts free radicals into hydrogen peroxide, a molecule that can damage cell membranes if not neutralized by an enzyme inside the cell called catalase.

Tumour cells have 10-100 times less catalase than normal cells, and are therefore more sensitive than normal to hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin C accumulates in solid tumours at concentrations higher than those in surrounding normal tissue. The accumulation of vitamin C preferentially in cancer tissues has raised concerns that vitamin C may provide tumours with anti-oxidant protection from chemotherapeutic agents. In practice therefore, the avoidance of vitamin C and indeed all antioxidants, when going through a chemotherapy program, is important.

To obtain vitamin C at pro-oxidant levels, at which it destroys cancer cells, is only achievable by intravenous infusion.

Plasma levels of vitamin C between 300-400 milligrams per 100cc are required in order to kill significant numbers of cancer cells. This requires intravenous infusions of 75 grams of vitamin C, (in some cases less, depending on the size of the patient and the tumour cell mass), infused intravenously on a daily basis for three weeks in order to be able to attain these plasma levels. It's important to realize that the highest plasma level of vitamin C achievable in humans using oral supplementation is 4.5 milligrams per 100cc.

Many studies have been done on this approach in the laboratory and Phase I and Phase II clinical trials have been completed on this approach. (Phase II clinical trials have been carried out in Nebraska, USA and are about to be published). Phase III clinical studies are in discussion.

Our most common protocol is the use of 75 grams of vitamin C, in sterile water, with a number of minerals, particularly magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, B12 and some B vitamins. The patient is infused over 2.5 hours daily for 3 weeks (excluding weekends). The vitamin C level at the end of the infusion course is tested and if this is sufficiently high then some significant tumour kill has happened. If it isn't, then this regime may have to be repeated. Lipoic acid has been found to enhance the cancer killing effect of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a major component of EDTA Chelation as it is a mild chelator on its own and as part of the infusions, it enhances the chelating action of EDTA.


Plaquex is a mixture of essential phospholipids (lecithins or Phosphatidyl Cholines) made from soy beans. It is a new treatment from Europe for atherosclerosis - the deposit of fatty plaques in arteries and other blood vessels. The most important effect of Plaquex is its remarkable ability to reduce plaque deposition in the artery wall. It also lowers blood cholesterol and homocysteine levels. Studies in lab animals have shown that it increases life span by up to 36%.

An important therapeutic application of Plaquex treatment is increasing the hearts ability to withstand stress. This application is valuable for individuals who have suffered from heart attack or other heart injury. The "atherosclerotic plaque" that blocks an artery is composed of many constituents, but in general has two main ones, namely cholesterol and calcium. When treated with chelation therapy the calcium is addressed. Plaquex addresses the cholesterol component. The cholesterol involved in blocking arteries is the infamous "LDL or 'bad' cholesterol." The "good" HDL cholesterol seems to actually help reverse the negative effects of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The chief constituent of good HDL cholesterol is "Phosphatidyl Choline," also called Plaquex.

It is important that patients understand that Plaquex is usually not used as a substitute for EDTA chelation therapy, but is added to the treatment of some patients that would benefit for the effects of Plaquex. Plaquex cannot be mixed with EDTA chelation, so it is given on alternate treatment days. Unlike chelation using EDTA, Plaquex does not remove toxic heavy metals (ie Lead, Cadmium, Mercury). Instead, it appears to reverse cholesterol transport by creating surrogate HDL cholesterol which aids in the removal of excess LDL (bad) cholesterol from the arteries and also appears to lower the level of the highly atherogenic lipoprotein a (aka Lp(a). In addition, while EDTA chelation can only be used sparingly in the presence of reduced kidney function, Plaquex actually seems to improve or stabilize kidney function in those with pre-existing kidney disease.

Mechanism of Action in Plaquex and How it Works

Plaquex appears to aid in the removal of excess cholesterol from the membranes of cells and, along with existing HDL ("good") cholesterol, aids in the transport of free cholesterol from deposits in arteries, fat cells, muscle and connective tissue to the liver, where its excretion is enhanced. It also appears to lower the level of substance Lipoprotein a (Lp(a), which is a critical factor in the formation of blood clots during heart attack or stroke.

Sodium Thiosulfate

Being relatively non-toxic and inexpensive, Sodium Thiosulfate is very effective for chelating Arsenic and other heavy metals. It is a good chelator for removing calcium from the lining of blood vessel walls. It is also a very effective copper chelator. Sodium Thiosulfate is also used systemically for cyanide or arsenic poisoning and topically as an antifungal., sodium thiosulfate occurs as large, colorless crystals or coarse, crystalline powder.

Thiosulfate, is an exogenous source of sulfur and is available to the body, thereby allowing it hasten the detoxification of cyanide using the enzyme rhodanese. Rhodanese (thiosulfate cyanide sulfurtransferase) converts cyanide to the relatively nontoxic thiocyanate ion. Thiocyanate is then excreted in the urine.

Sodium thiosulfate's topical antifungal activity is probably due to its slow release of colloidal sulfur.

While sodium thiosulfate has been recommended for treating arsenic (and some other heavy metal) poisoning, its proposed mechanism of action is not known. Presumably the sulfate moiety may react with and chelate the metal, allowing its removal.

Uses/Indications - Sodium thiosulfate (alone or in combination with sodium nitrite) is useful in the treatment of cyanide toxicity. It has been touted for use in treating arsenic or other heavy metal poisonings, but its efficacy is in question for these purposes. However, because sodium thiosulfate is relatively non-toxic and inexpensive, it may be tried to treat arsenic poisoning. When used in combination with sodium molybdate sodium thiosulfate may be useful for the treatment of copper poisoning.

Sodium thiosulfate may also be useful for the topical treatment for some fungal infections (Tinea). In humans, sodium thiosulfate has been used to reduce the nephrotoxicity of cisplatin therapy.

Desferol (deferoxamine)

Deferoxamine is a chelating agent which forms complexes predominantly with trivalent iron and aluminum ions; it is thus of value in the treatment of acute/chronic iron intoxication, and also chronic aluminum overload in dialysis patients with end-stage renal failure (ESRF).

Deferoxamine complexes with iron to form ferrioxamine, a stable chelate, which cannot take part in further chemical reactions. It can also mobilize and chelate tissue-bound aluminum, forming an aluminoxamine complex. Both complexes - ferrioxamine and aluminoxamine - are freely soluble in water and are readily excreted through the kidneys. Excreted ferrioxamine gives the urine a characteristic reddish color. Some of the deferoxamine-metal complexes are also excreted in feces.

Recent Findings

Studies have shown that EDTA is a potent bacteriocidal agent and specifically for gram negative bacteria.

Feel free to contact Dr. Stewart's office to discuss your health issues in more detail.