EDTA chelation reappraisal following new clinical trials and regular use in millions of patients: review of preliminary findings and risk/benefit assessment
EDTA chelation is regularly used in thousands of patients worldwide. An FDA approval of more than 50 years ago for heavy metal detoxification prompted many physicians to use EDTA as an alternative medicine for many categories of patients. Recently, NIH initiated the so-called Trial to Assess Chelation (TACT), which has been designed to evaluate whether EDTA and high dose oral vitamins and mineral could offer clinical, quality of life, and economic benefits for patients with a previous myocardial infraction. A 50% reduction of urinary Pb and improvement of systolic blood pressure was observed in 33 cardiovascular patients following 20 iv administrations. In another study involving 15 patients of different categories, EDTA also has been shown to be an effective and nontoxic chelator for the removal of xenobiotic metals such as Pb, Cd, Ni and Al. Administration of iv EDTA on weekly basis appears to be a sufficient and nontoxic protocol for treating patients with suspected overload and toxicity of xenobiotic metals especially Pb and Cd. The causative effect of xenobiotic metals in cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, renal and other diseases needs further investigation. Similarly, the use of EDTA chelation in other conditions, which are not related to xenobiotic metal toxicity needs further investigation and confirmation of therapeutic use from controlled randomized clinical trials. Metal balance and drug interaction studies are required to clarify the risk/benefit assessment for the long term use of EDTA in patients with excess xenobiotic metal toxicity and in other conditions.