In 1959 and 1960 Marvin J. Seven, who had six years experience with chelation therapy helped to arrange the first two major symposia on chelation therapy. The proceedings of these conventions were published as a textbook “Metal Binding in Medicine” and as “Proceedings of a conference on Biological Aspects of Metal Binding”. These books, if still available can be recommended to everyone who is studying chelation. This is the base for our present knowledge of the phenomenon of chelation.Unfortunately Seven died in 1961 and progress of chelation therapy in the USA was severely retarded in the next decade.
Other developments in EDTA chelation therapy
Outside the USA, in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia important scientific and clinical work was conducted independent from the development in the USA. The group of Zechmeister, Brucknerova, Malinovska, Hadasova and others at the University of Brno published their first results of the therapeutic application of chelation in patients with atherosclerotic disease in 1966.Still more impressive is their experimental work with limited budgets on the effect of calcification of the arterial wall. It was this research that came to the attention of the Chelation society in the USA who hurried to bring Anton Zechmeister to the USA in 1986 to testify for the FDA. It also led to the internationally organized symposia in Plzen, Czechoslovakia, on the Interaction of Chelating agents and Metals.
In the USA emeritus professor Martin Rubin, former associate of Frederick Bersworth may be considered as one of the earliest experts on the scientific clinical application of EDTA chelation therapy. He was the president of the International Chelation Research Foundation and wrote several basic scientific papers on the subject.
In 1973 the American Academy of Medical Preventics (AAMP) was founded “ to perform and encourage investigational research into the nature of the aging process in man and to establish standards for the diagnosis and for the medical treatment of atherosclerotic disease and all associated phenomena” In the 1977 members of AAMP realized that chelation therapy needed to become a well defined sub-specialty of medicine, if it ever would get recognition. In 1981 they made a proposal to the board of AAMP to establish a separate organization called the American Board of Chelation Therapy (ABCT). The specific purpose of this organization was and remains the testing of the proficiency of physicians to perform EDTA Chelation therapy. In 1995 the International Board for Chelation Therapy (IBCT) emerged from ABCT, intended to serve the interests of the non-American doctors. The newest development is that both sister organizations expanded their objectives and IBCT changed already its name into The International Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology (IBCMT). This was followed in 2003 by ABCT which name currently is ABCMT. Both organizations run a website since 2001.
In 1988 ABCT conducted a workshop for the first time outside the USA, in the Netherlands. Presently, IBCMT conducts every year at least two international workshops in addition to the two combined workshops with ABCT in the USA. The workshops are usually followed by the written or oral exams, which are needed to become certified in Clinical Metal Toxicology.
In spite of, or maybe because of growing popularity and acceptance of EDTA chelation therapy attacks from mainstream medicine, surgeons and cardiologists continue. Most of them are individual without providing well-founded arguments: “it is quackery”; “it is not scientifically proven”; “it is dangerous, and many deaths have been reported” etc. But some of them are well organized and even well founded, such as the “PATCH Study” of 2001. The desire to hurt the chelation community however is usually greater than the patience for accurate scientific work. So far all these studies have been flawed for not following the protocol and manipulating statistics. This is especially painful for the Patch Study, which was well subsidized and appeared in 2001 in an authoritative magazine such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This study claimed that EDTA did not work. It was heavily criticized for the poor setup and manipulation of the statistics, by several authorities, amongst them a cardiologist with outstanding reputation.
Another study, conducted by Guldager and Jorgensen in Denmark, early in the nineties, also tried to prove that EDTA chelation therapy was not effective. However, when taken into court by the Danish Chelationists, it turned out that they had not followed the protocol, and even that a patient who got benefit from the treatment was told that this would not be recorded, because “then they could not prove that EDTA doesn’t work”.
In 1983 the Dutch Government ruled that there was insufficient evidence for the efficacy of EDTA in the treatment of Atherosclerosis, and the administration of EDTA and other chelating agents for the treatment of heavy metal intoxication should be restricted to well-equipped hospitals. The Chief Heath inspector reacted with a letter to all physicians, stating: “physicians who continue to describe chelation therapy on ill-founded indications (other than heavy metal intoxication) should seriously consider the possibility that their activity will compel the Health Inspection to disciplinary action. Three Dutch doctors committed a unique fact in Dutch Medical History and brought the State of the Netherlands in 1985 to court, in order to have the Inspector’s letter revoked. In first instance they lost the case. But after much deliberation, and hiring another attorney (for considerable personal investment) they appealed. In March 1986 the High Court of Justice pronounced that the verdict of 1985 should be quashed, The Chief Health Inspector was ordered to publish within three weeks a new letter stating that his first letter was unlawful. Since that time, EDTA Chelation therapy is tolerated in the Netherlands, and no doctor has been challenged for conducting this treatment.
Present situation with regard to EDTA
At this time we rather refer to Clinical Metal Toxicology when we discuss chelation therapy, because “chelation” is still too much associated with the misconception that EDTA could chelate calcium out of the calcified plaques in the arteries. We use chelating agent for many more pathological conditions than atherosclerosis.
Araki S, Aono H, Murata K. Mobilisation of heavy metals into the urine by CaEDTA: relation to erythrocytes and plasma concentrations and exposure indicators. Br J Ind Med. 1986 Sep;43(9):636-41
Fine SD: Calcium disodium edetate and disodium edetate. Drugs for human use; Drug efficacy study implementation. Fed Reg (35)8: Jan. 13, 1970.
Hardy HL: Clinical experience with the use of calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate in the therapy of lead poisoning. Fed Proc 20 (Suppl 10):252, 1961
Haumont S and Vincent J: Action of calcium versenate on lead fixed in vivo in compact bone. Exp Cell Res 18:404, 1959
Heller J and Vostal J: Renal excretion of calcium-disodium-ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid — a new tubular secretory mechanism? Experientia 20:99, 1964.
Kneller LA, Uhl HSM and Brem J: Successful calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate treatment of lead poisoning in an infant. N Engl J Med 252:338, 1955.
Vogt W and Cottier II: Necrotizing nephrosis after treatment of a case of subacute-chronic lead poisoning with CaEDTA in high doses. Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift 87(22): 665 1957.
Williams JD, Matthews GA and Judd AW: Oral calcium disodium versenate in treatment of lead poisoning. Brit J Indust Med 19:211, 1962.
Agata Calderone, Teresa Jover, * Toshihiro Mashiko, * Kyung-min Noh, Hidenobu Tanaka, Michael V. L. Bennett, and R. Suzanne Zukin. Late Calcium EDTA Rescues Hippocampal CA1 Neurons from Global Ischemia-Induced Death. Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461 The Journal of Neuroscience, November 3, 2004, 24(44):9903-9913; JNEUROSCI.1713-04.2004
Adams WJ and McGee CT: Chelation therapy: a survey of treatment outcomes and selected socio-medical factors. J Adv Med 5(3):189, 1992.
Cantilewa LR, Klassen CD: The effect of chelating agents on the excretion of endogenous metals. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 63:344, 1982
Catsch A and Harmuth-Hoene AE: Pharmacology and therapeutic applications of agents used in heavy metal poisoning. Pharmac Ther. A, (1):1, 1976.
Chelation therapy (Diagnostic and therapeutic technology assessment). JAMA 250:672, 1983.
Chelation therapy: a second look. The Harvard Medical School Health Letter, IX:1, 1984.
Chelation Therapy Clinic: Chelation therapy - the treatment of choice for relief from and prevention of, cardiovascular and age-related diseases. Aukland, New Zealand, The Chelation Therapy Clinic, 1987.
Chelation therapy. Resolution: 66 (I-84). AMA House of Delegates. 1984.
Chelation therapy. Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs. Report F (I-84). AMA House of Delegates. 1984.
Chelation therapy - An informal summary. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Bethesda, Maryland. June 1992.
Curran CL: Metal chelating agents and hepatic cholesterol synthesis. Proc Soc Exper Biol & Med 88:101, 1955.
Davis PS and Deller DJ: Effect of orally administered chelating agents EDTA, DTPA and fructose on radioiron absorption in man. Aust Ann Med 16:70, 1967.
Foreman H: Pharmacology of some useful chelating agents. In Seven MJ and Johnson LA (eds): Metal-Binding in Medicine. Philadelphia, JB Lippincott, 1960.
Foreman H: The use of chelating agents for excelerating excretion of radioelements. J Am Pharm Assoc (42): 629, 1953.
Foreman H: Summary remarks by the chairman. [Proceedings of a conference on biological apects of metal-binding.] Fed Proc 20 (Suppl 10):257, 1961.
Foreman H: Use of chelating agents in treatment of metal poisoning with special emphsis on lead. Fed Proc 20 (Suppl 10):191, 1961.
Forssman O and Nordqvist P: The action in vitro and in vivo of sodium versenate on the phagocytic activity of neutrophile leukocytes. Acta Haemat 31:289, 1964.
Gordon GF: Oral chelation with EDTA. J Holistic Medicine 8(1):79, 1986.
Gotto AM Jr: Chelation therapy in 1984. Texas Medicine, 80:36, 1984
Handbook of Metal-Ligand Interactions in Biological Fluids. Guy Berthon ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc. N.Y., N.Y. Vol 2. p. 1301,1995
Handbook of Metal-Ligand Interactions in Biological Fluids. Guy Berthon ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc. N.Y., N.Y. Vol 2. p. 1486, 1995
Hart H and Lazlo D: Modification of the distribution and excretion by radioisotopes by chelating agents. Science 118:24, July 1953.
Kebe SR: ACTH and a chelating agent for schizophrenia. West Med 4:46, 1963
Klassen CD: Heavy metals and heavy metal antagonists. Goodman and Gilman's :The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 6th Ed.: 1615,1980
Klassen CD: Heavy metals and heavy metal antagonists. Goodman and Gilman's :The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 6th Ed.: 1627,1980
Klassen CD: Heavy metals and heavy metal antagonists. Goodman and Gilman's :The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 6th Ed.: 1634,1980
Klassen CD: Heavy metals and heavy metal antagonists, in Gilman AG, Goodman LS, Rall TW, Murad F (eds): The pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 7th ed. New York, Macmillan, pp. 1605,1985
Oser BL: Observations on the chronic ingestion of a chelating agent by rats and dogs. Fed Proc 20(Suppl 10):158, 1961
Painter JT and Morrow EJ: Porphyria. Its manifestations and treatment with chelating agents. Texas State J Med 55:811, 1959
Pullman TN, Lavender AR and Forland M: Synthetic chelating agents in clinical medicine. Ann Rev Med 14:175, 1963
Rutman JZ, Melttzer LE, Kitchell JR, et al: Effect of metal ions on in vitro gluconeogensis in rat kidney cortex slices. Am J Physiol 208:841, 1965
Schroeder HA, Menhard EM and Perry HM Jr: Antihypertensive effects of metal binding agents. J Lab & Clin Med 23:416, 1955
Schubert J: Radioelement removal by chelating agents: application of mass action laws and other factors. Fed Proc 20(3) Part II Supp#10:206, 1961
Seven MJ: Observations on the dosage of intravenous chelating agents. Antibiotic Med 5:251, 1958
Seven MJ and Johnson LA: Metal Binding in Medicine, JB Lippincott, Phila, 1960.
Seven MJ: Observations on the toxicity of intravenous chelating agents. In: MJ Seven and LA Johnson (Eds). Metal Binding in Medicine JP Lippincot, Phila, 1960
Administration. Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 82: 266, 1953
Sincock A: Life extension in the rotifer by application of chelating agents. J Gerontol 30:289, 1975
Tandon SK: Combination therapy: a better approach to chelation in metal intoxication. Plzen.lek.Sborn. Suppl.56:187, 1988
Walshe JM: Triethylene tetramine. Lancet, ii 154, 1970
Keberle M: The biochemistry of desferrioxamine and its relation to iron metabolism. Ann NY Acad Sci 119:758, 1964
Lipschitz D, Dugard J, Simon M, et al: The site of action of desferrioxamine. Br J Haematol 20:396, 1971
Westlin W: Deferoxamine in the treatment of acute iron poisoning - Clinical experiences with 172 children. Clin Pediatr 5:531, 1966
Hruby K, and Donner A: 2,3-dimercapto-1-proponesulfonate in heavy metal poisoning. Medical Toxicol 2:317,1987
.McGowan EL, Tillotson JA, Knudsen JJ, and Dumalo CR: Biological behavior and metabolic fate of the BAL analogues DMSA and DMPS. Proc West Pharmacol Soc 27:169, 1984
Graziano JH, Leong JK, and Friedheim E: 2,3 Dimercaptosuccinic acid: a new agent for the treatment of lead poisoning. J Pharm Exp Ther 206:697, 1978
Graziano JH: Role of 2,3 dimercaptosuccinic acid in the treatment of heavy metal poisoning. Med Toxicol 1:155, 1986
Kapoor SC, Wielopolski L, Graziano JH, and LoIocano NJ: Influence of 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid on gastrointestinal lead absorption and whole-body lead retention. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 97:525, 1989
Maiorino RM, Bruce DC, and Aposhian HV: Determination and metabolism of dithiol chelating agents: VI. Isolation and identification of the mixed disulfides of meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid with L-cysteine in human urine. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 97:338, 1989
.McGowan EL, Tillotson JA, Knudsen JJ, and Dumalo CR: Biological behavior and metabolic fate of the BAL analogues DMSA and DMPS. Proc West Pharmacol Soc 27:169, 1984
Kean WF, Dwosh IL, Anastassiades TP, et al: The toxicity pattern of d-penicillamine therapy. Arthritis Rheum 23:158, 1984
Selander S: Treatment of lead poisoning. A comparison between the effects of sodium calcium edetate and penicillamine administered orally and intravenously. Brit J Indust Med 24:272, 1967
Stein HB, Patterson AC, Offer RC, et al: Adverse effects of d-penicilamine in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Int Med 92:24, 1980
Walshe JM: Penicillamine, new oral therapy for Wilson's disease. Am J Med. 21:487, 1956
Calcium disodium edetate and disodium edetate. Drugs for human use; drug efficacy study implementation. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Food and Drug Administration. Federal Registrar 35 F.R. 437, 1970.
Cheraskin E, Wussow DG, McDonagh EW and Rudolph CJ: Effect of EDTA chelation and supportive multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation with and without physical activity on the heart rate. J InternAcadof Prev Medi 8(6):5, 1984.
Cohen SH, Gong JK and Fishler MC: Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) treatment of internal radioactive contamination. Nucleonics (11)1: 56, 1953.
Darwish NM and Kratzer FH: Metabolism of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) by chickens. J Nutr 86:187, 1965.
Donsbach KW: Chelation Therapy; Has the Plug Been Pulled on Our Biggest Killer? Huntington Beach, CA, International Institute of Health, 1981.
Diagnostic and therapeutic technology assessment: Chelation therapy. JAMA 250:672,1983.
Editorial EDTA chelation: a rebuttal. J Adv Med 5:3, 1992
Grier MT and Meyers DG: So much writing, so little science: A review of 37 years of literature on edetate sodium chelation therapy. Ann Pharmacother 27:1504, 1993
Halstead BW, Rozema T: The Scientific Basis of EDTA ChelationTherapy, Second Edition. Tryon, N.C. TRC Publishing, Box 1241, Tryon NC 28782
Harper JW and Gordon GF: Reprints of Medical Literature on Chelation Therapy. Los Angeles, American Academy of Medical Preventics, 1975.
Hausmann E: Changes in plasma phosphate concentration on infusion of calcium gluconate or Na2EDTA. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 134:182, 1970.
Hay DR: Chelation therapy. N Z Med J 101(841):122, 1988.
Hay DR: Chelation therapy. N Z Med J 101(845):246, 1988.
HoIm LW: The use of calcium disodium salt of Versene in heavy-metal poisoning of livestock. Proc Am Vet Med Assoc (48): 33, 1954.
Jonas WB: Meta-analysis of EDTA chelation: Math that doesn’t matter. J Adv Med 7:109, 1994.
Jonas WB: Effectiveness of EDTA chelation therapy. Circulation 5:1352, 1995.
Koen A, McCann DS and Boyle AJ: Some in vivo effects of chelation. II. Animal experimentation. J Chron Dis 16:329, 1963.
Jones RJ: Chelation therapy (Letter). JAMA 250:672, 1983.
Konradi MG: Use of the disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetate for diagnosing latent forms of hypoparathyroidism. Prob Endokrinol (Russ.) (23)3: 46, 1977.
Kozlov VA and Novikova VM: Calcium ion-dependent immunosuppressive effect of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Zh Mikrobiol, Epidemiol Immunobiol (Russ.) (1): 69, 1978.
Leitner SA: Last chance to live. Wade Allen Publishing, Chesterfield, MO, 1980.
Luchi RJ, Helwig J Jr and Conn HL Jr: Quinidine txoicity and its treatment. An experimental study. Am Heart J 65:340, 1963.
Lelievre P and Betz EH: Effect of versene on oxygen consumption of tissues in vitro. C R Soc Biol 155:199, 1961.
Liberman UA, Barzel U, De Vries A and Ellis H: Myositis ossificans traumatica with unusual course. Effect of EDTA on calcium, phosphorus and mangenese excretion. Am J Med Sci 254:35, 1967.
Lochte HL Jr, Ferrebee JW and Thomas ED: The effect of heparin and EDTA on DNA synthesis by marrow in vitro. J Lab Clin Med 55435, 1960
Lonsdale D: EDTA chelation therapy. Am J Surg 166:316, 1993.
Lyons RD: Chelation: miracle cure or false hope? Med J Aust 142: 519, 1985.
Magee HR: Chelation therapy for atherosclerosis. Med J Aust 143:127, 1985.
Magee HR: Chelation treatment of atherosclerosis. Med J Aust 142:514, 1985.
Maxwell GM, Elliot RB and Robertson E: The effect of Na3EDTA-induced hypocalcemia upon the general and coronary hemodynamics of the intact animal. Am Heart J 66:82, 1963.
Meltzer L, Kitchell J and Palmon F: The long term use, side effects, and toxicity of disodium ethylelenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Am J Med Sci (242): 11, 1961
McCoy JE, Carre IJ and Freeman M: A controlled trial of edathamil calcium disodium in acrodynia. Pediatrics 25:304, 1960.
McDonagh E: Circulation changes in extremities with chelation therapy. Paper presented at American Academy of Medical Preventics Fall Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, November, 1982
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The homeostatic effect of EDTA with supportive multivitamin trace mineral supplementation upon high-density lipoproteins (HDL). J Osteopath Phys Surg Calif 8: #2, Spring 1982.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The effect of intra-venous disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) plus supportive multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation upon fasting serum calcium. Med Hypotheses 11:431, 1982.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The glycohemoglobin (HbA1c) distribution in EDTA chelation eligible patients. J Orthomolecular Psych 12:72,1983.
McDonagh EW and Rudolph CJ: A collection of published papers showing the efficacy of EDTA chelation Therapy. Gladstone, MO, McDonagh Medical Center, 1991.
McDonagh EW: Chelation can cure: How to reverse heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure or surgery. Kansas City, Platinum Pen Publications, 1983.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The effect of intravenous disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) upon blood cholesterol levels in a private practice environment. J Intern Acad of Prev Med 7:5, 1982.
McDonagh E.W, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The effect of EDTA chelation therapy with multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation upon reported fatigue. J of Orthomol Psy 13(4):1, 1984.
McDonagh EW ,Rudolph CJ, Cheraskin E and Wussow DG: The effect of EDTA chelation and supportive multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation with and without physical activity upon systolic blood pressure. J Orthomol Psy 13;1, 1984.
McDonagh EW,, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The psychotherapeutic potential of EDTA chelation. The J OrthomolPsy 14(3):214, 1985.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The clinical changes in patients treated with EDTA chelation plus multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation. The J Orthomol Psy 14(1):61, 1985.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: An oculocerebrovasculometric analysis of the improvement in vascular stenosis following edta chelation therapy. J Holistic Med 4(1): 21, 1982
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ and Cheraskin E: The Influence of EDTA salts plus multivitamin-trace mineral therapy upon total serum cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Med Hypotheses 9:643, 1982
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ, and Cheraskin E: The effect of EDTA chelation therapy plus multivitamin/trace mineral supplementation upon vascular dynamics: ankle/brachial doppler systolic blood pressure ratio. J Holistic Med 7(1):16, 1985.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CJ ,Cheraskin E: The effect of EDTA chelation therapy plus supportive multivitamin-trace mineral supplementation upon renal function: A study in serum creatinine. J Holistic Medicine 4:146, 1982.
McDonagh EW, Rudolph CS, Cheraskin E: The effect of EDTA chelation therapy plus supportive multivtamin-trace mineral supplementation upon renal function: A study in blood urea nitrogen (BUN). J Holistic Medicine 5(2):163, 1983
Meltzer LE: Chelation Therapy. In Seven MJ and Johnson LA (eds): Metal Binding in Medicine. Philadelphia, JB Lippincott, 1960
Meltzer LE, Palmon FJ, and Kitchell JR: Hypoglycemia induced by disodium ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid. Lancet 2:637, 1961.
Meltzer LE, Kitchell JR, and Palmon FJ: The long term use, side effects, and toxicity of disodium ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). Am J Med Sci 242:11, 1961
Monaco GP and Green S: Recognizing deception in the promotion of untested and unproven medical treatments. NY State J of Med 2:88, 1993