Chelation therapy: Can it reverse heart disease?

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Chelation therapy: Can it reverse heart disease?

Question

Can chelation therapy reverse heart disease?

Pascasio
Florida

Answer

Chelation therapy, the use of chemicals injected into your body to bind to and remove metals and minerals, has long been used as a proven treatment for lead or mercury poisoning. Although it hasn't been proved to work for heart disease, some doctors think that chelation therapy could benefit heart disease by binding to the calcium in the plaques clogging your arteries and sweeping it away.

Given the potential risks and limited knowledge about the benefits of chelation therapy as a treatment for heart disease, it is not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, nor recommended by the American Heart Association for this purpose. Some of the potential side effects of chelation therapy include:

  • A burning sensation at the injection site
  • Fever
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to create new blood cells
  • Permanent kidney damage or failure
  • Death

However, researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine are conducting a nationwide study to see if chelation therapy can be a safe and effective heart disease treatment. As with any research study, talk to your doctor before you sign up to participate.

Last Updated: 07/30/2007
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