Supplements: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)

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Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)

EDTA chelation therapy is a nonsurgical treatment for heart disease. Doctors use a synthetic solution, called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), to pull unsafe waste from your bloodstream. This cleaning process leaves you with an improved blood supply to your legs, heart, and other organs. EDTA chelation therapy can help you avoid heart and artery disease. If you already have such a disease, EDTA might be an alternative to bypass surgery.

Your health care provider may offer chelation therapy. EDTA is injected intravenously at your provider's office. Later, you get rid of the waste it removes from your bloodstream through urination. Hospitalization is not necessary, so this therapy is more comfortable and less expensive than a bypass operation. The American College of Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) offers training in this therapy.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved EDTA chelation therapy as an alternative to bypass surgery. However, more than 500,000 heart patients have been treated safely with EDTA chelation therapy. There are more government-led safety tests under way now, which may confirm the safety of EDTA and eventually lead to FDA approval.

EDTA chelation therapy is approved by the FDA as treatment for lead poisoning and other metal poisoning.


Researchers originally came up with this method of cleaning the blood as a way to treat lead poisoning. The clean blood flow also seems to help people with heart disease. EDTA clears clogged arteries and improves blood flow to the heart. If you are at risk for heart disease or other vascular problems, using early chelation therapy reduces that risk. If your health care provider recommends a treatment like heart bypass surgery, EDTA may be another choice. If you do have a surgical procedure such as angioplasty or bypass, EDTA chelation therapy can help keep you healthy afterwards.

Chelation therapy is one of the only medically accepted treatments for lead, mercury, or arsenic poisoning. Research confirms that children with lead poisoning experience healthy growth spurts after undergoing EDTA chelation therapy.

EDTA may have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease because it removes unsafe metals, such as aluminum, from the brain. Chelation therapy helps your immune system work better, perhaps helping you resist conditions such as cancer and lupus. If you are already ill, EDTA can help you recover. A strong immune system also helps you quickly recover from wounds. EDTA can prevent gangrene and helps many people avoid amputation. The improved blood flow also can help people with arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Studies have shown that chelation therapy improves vision problems like macular degeneration.

Dietary Sources

EDTA is synthetic and not found naturally. It is usually combined with vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C and magnesium), and delivered through an intravenous injection (directly into your bloodstream).

Other Forms


How to Take It

You will receive your chelation therapy in a health care provider's office. It will be delivered slowly, over a period of three to four hours. Your health care provider will probably suggest two to three weekly EDTA treatments. Most people with heart disease need 20 to 30 such sessions.

You will follow a similar but shorter process if you are being treated for lead poisoning or an excess of other toxic heavy metals.


EDTA infusions must be given slowly. Treatments will be scheduled at least 24 hours apart in order to avoid potentially dangerous side effects. Overdose may lead to kidney failure, organ damage, seizures, or even death.

Your health care provider will monitor your blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, organ function, and other vital statistics during your treatment with EDTA.

Possible Interactions

EDTA chelation therapy is most effective when you eat foods low in fat and unrefined foods. This means eating a wide variety of fresh foods that have not been canned, frozen, or commercially prepared. You should also add more fiber to your diet. Your health care provider might suggest an antioxidant supplement and a multivitamin, which will help you get the most out of EDTA chelation therapy.

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Previously Published in OSA Today Reproduced by permission
Updated on: 02/01/10