Chelation Therapy


The use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body is known as chelation therapy. It is considered as a safe and inexpensive method to restore normal blood circulation in the body. The most commonly found heavy metals in the body are lead, arsenic, and mercury and the others are uranium, plutonium and iron etc. The agents used in this therapy are also used in alternative medicine like heart disease and autism. DMSA is the most commonly used agent in recent times having replaced EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and BAL, organic dithiol compound dimercaprol or British anti-lewisite.

In recent days, new agents are being discovered, but their main function is to make the metal ions in the body less active. In the process, they become water-soluble. This allows them to be absorbed into the blood stream and can be disposed off easily. The intake, amount and agent should be decided by a professional physician or doctor and may be taken either intravenously, intramuscular or it can also be oral. Dimercaprol or BAL is used for arsenic, mercury and lead poisoning while Penicillamine is used for gold toxicity.

Although there are many who dispute about the beneficial effects of chelation therapy, there are some doctors who suggest it for the treatment of circulatory system. When calcium is deposited in the cell walls, the reaction of the enzymes cannot be carried out thus leading to depression, premature aging, nutrition deficiency etc. Chelation therapy first works on the metal ions like lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, aluminium and help in the production of free radicals.

The persons undergoing this therapy seldom suffer from bouts of depression. The cause might be due to overall cellular function and a result of good circulation of blood in the body. Removal of harmful toxins may cause the brain to function more effectively. It also helps in boosting high levels of energy and can be used in diseases concerned with blood circulation like cramps in the leg etc. Others say that it can also be useful in treating other diseases like muscular dystrophy, psoriasis and Alzheimer's.

Like all therapies, this therapy also has its own share of detractors who list several side effects like irregular heart beat, joint pain and painful urination. All the chelating agents have to be taken with the guidance of a professional physician or doctor. Pregnant women and persons having kidney problems, brain tumor and disease pertaining to the liver should not undergo chelation therapy.

Sathyanarayana has done Post-graduation in Applied Geology and is interested in writing articles on health.