Chronic degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and arthritis are called chronic degenerative diseases because they persist over a long period of time. Once the diagnosis of arthritis, diabetes or atherosclerosis is made it is generally accepted by patient and professional that the disease will be present for the rest of the patient’s life. What may escape notice is the disease process began long BEFORE symptoms were present and the diagnosis was made. A particularly salient example of this is atherosclerosis. Often the first “sign” or “symptom” of this disease is chest pain, if the disease is occurring in the arteries in the heart, or leg cramps, if it is occurring in the arteries in the legs. It could also be a stroke or strokelet if the disease is present in the carotid arteries. Subsequent to appropriate diagnostic procedures the patient is declared to have coronary artery disease, or peripheral vascular disease (blocked arteries in the legs) or carotid artery disease (blocked arteries in the neck). While the symptoms may seem to appear suddenly and the diagnosis made in a relatively short period of time, the arterial disease process, which resulted in the symptoms and the diagnosis, started 20, 30 or 40 years earlier.
Let us briefly examine the important parts of this chronic disease process. Our body is composed of approximately 10,000 billion individual cells. They are designed to perform specific functions. There are heart muscle cells, designed to contract and pump blood throughout the body. There are blood vessel cells present in numerous layers including cells that line the inside of the arteries, muscle cells and elastic fiber cells, designed to transport the blood, carrying nourishment to every cell. Keep in mind that the muscle and elastic fiber of the artery pumps blood along with the heart. These cells, fibers can become stiff, thus hardening of the artery. There are liver cells and kidney cells designed to clean the blood. The health of our individual cells is important then, is it not? If our cells are healthy, we are healthy, if they are not, we are not. When numerous cells and other substances in the body incur damage over a long period of time, a disease, for example, atherosclerosis, is diagnosed. Damaged cholesterol, for example, is deposited in artery walls and is an important part of the atherosclerotic disease process. This process is ongoing for years and years before it becomes a problem and before obvious symptoms occur. The result of this damage is the cell’s inability to function normally, a decreased ability to protect itself and perhaps even death and destruction.
Damaged cholesterol is the main ingredient in plaque, NOT undamaged, normal cholesterol. Medical science has been studying this damage and destruction for many years. It is known that a significant portion of this damage is caused by something called free radicals. Free radicals are reactive molecules that cause damage to cells and tissues by robbing them of electrons. This can happen to the lining of your arteries. It can happen to cholesterol. It can happen to the genetic material, the RNA and DNA within the cells. Virtually anywhere free radicals are present, damage to cells or tissue can result. Damage from free radicals left unchecked day after day, week after week, year after year results in the inability of cells and tissues to function normally. Eventually destruction, decreased function and death can result. The symptoms of disease processes then become obvious.
It is doubtful there is a person in the United States over 40 who does not believe, with certainty, that cholesterol is bad and that it causes blocked arteries. Most people regard high levels of cholesterol in the diet and in blood akin to a death sentence from atherosclerotic disease. People believe high levels of cholesterol result in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke when it is only true that a certain type of cholesterol makes up a significant part of the plaque that blocks arteries. This is the LDL type of cholesterol. It is not generally understood that it is not the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body that causes the plaque build up, but rather DAMAGED LDL cholesterol that makes up the majority of the plaque.[i] In other words, when LDL cholesterol is damaged by free radicals, it is much more likely to stay in the artery wall. If the LDL cholesterol is not damaged, it is less likely to be deposited in the artery wall. One of the primary effects of a comprehensive chelation therapy program is the potential to reduce free radical damage thus protecting the cholesterol.
Calcium is an important mineral nutrient. As we all know it is an essential ingredient in healthy bones and teeth. It is also an important factor in properly functioning cells including muscle cells. It is well known that calcium becomes an important part of the plaque structure contributing to making it “hard”, hence “hardening of the arteries”. This form of calcium is called metastatic calcium. A study from 1944 in the Journal of Pathology discovered evidence of calcium in the walls of arteries, where it should not be, long before there was any plaque formation.[ii] Although calcium is one of the many nutrient substances is essential for a healthy body it can be destructive. Another important mode of action of a comprehensive chelation therapy program is lowering of minerals in the body including the metastatic calcium deposited in the body tissues where it does not belong.
Free radical damage can be accelerated significantly if the minerals iron and copper are present in the area where the damage is occurring. Toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic can also contribute to accelerating the disease process and are also carcinogenic. Another mode of action of the comprehensive chelation therapy program is the removal of toxic metals and excessive iron and copper.[iii]
In summary, there are numerous damaging reactions that occur within the body at the cellular level resulting in the development of many chronic degenerative diseases including atherosclerosis. A comprehensive chelation therapy program is individually designed for each patient to treat or prevent the disease processes.
Let us explore the component parts of such a program. A properly prescribed, dispensed and monitored chelation therapy program is composed of three basic parts. The first part is the intravenous chelation treatment, which removes the metastatic calcium and the iron and copper which accelerate free radical damage. It also removes toxic metals such as lead and cadmium. The second part of the program includes specific nutrients, taken orally, that are essential for healthy cell function, and antioxidants as well as other substances to support and enhance the immune system. Mineral nutrients must be replaced. The third part of the program is diet and exercise. Educating oneself about the effects of free radicals and reducing free radical exposure is essential.
Numerous studies, evaluations, and medical papers have been written about chelation therapy over the past 40 years. Intravenous chelation treatments have been used for over 30 years with children to remove lead from the soft tissues of the body. It is extremely safe. Saunders medical textbook, Cardiovascular Drug Therapy, published in 1996, has a chapter dealing with chelation therapy and references 65 scientific articles.[iv] A recent study published in Evidence Based Integrative Medicine 2005; 2 (1), Insert footnote mark clearly shows evidence of the benefits of a comprehensive intravenous chelation program. People who had intravenous chelation therapy for vascular disease were followed for three years and experienced fewer cardiac events than people treated with bypass surgery, angioplasty or conventional medical therapy.
Studies have shown that millions of Americans are seeking alternative medical choices and relying less on the usual drugs and surgical medical modalities. It is encouraging to see that segments of the medical establishment are beginning to agree. A 1998 article in the American Journal of Medicine states “coronary arteriography (heart catheterization) is inadequate for assessing the severity of diffuse (many vessels) CAD (coronary artery disease)”. The authors also said that the adverse outcomes of invasive procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty outweigh the benefits when performed on patients who have good heart function. Their conclusion went on to say that this knowledge, which they gathered from 183 references, “… provides the basis for a shift in the management of CAD from an invasive procedure oriented viewpoint currently dominant in cardiology toward a non-invasive orientation.[i]
Chelation therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment for, and prevention of, chronic degenerative diseases.
Conrad G. Maulfair, Jr., D.O.
[i] Navab, Mohamad, et al: The Ying and Yang of Oxidation in the Development of the Fatty Streak. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 16:7, 1994.
[ii] Blumenthal, HT, Lansing, AI, Wheeler, PA: Calcification of the Media of the Human Aorta and Its Relation to Intimal Arteriosclerosis, Aging and Disease. The American Journal of Pathology. 10:4, July, 1944.
[iii] Halstead & Rozema: The Scientific Basis of EDTA Chelation Therapy. Second Edition, 1997, Pages 87-91.
[iv] Messerli, FH: Cardiovascular Drug Therapy: Chapter 175, Magnesium EDTA Chelation, Second Edition, 1996, Pages 1613-1617.
v. L. Terry Chappell et al, Original Research Article, Subsequent Cardiac and Stroke Events in Patients with Known Vascular Disease Treated with EDTA Chelation Therapy, a Retrospective Study. Evidence Based Integrative Medicine 2005: 2 (1).