Chelation Therapy: Treatment Option for Chronic Degenerative Disease such as Atherosclerosis, Diabetes and Arthritis?

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

Chelation therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment for, and prevention of, chronic degenerative diseases.

Conrad G. Maulfair, Jr, DO

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)

What Do Heart Disease, Diabetes, Arthritis and Cancer Have In Common?

Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer are the big 4. Three of them are considered chronic degenerative diseases; they are ongoing and worsen over time. The likely common denominator among these diseases, and for that matter accelerated aging, is a toxic body load of heavy metals. Yes, toxic metals! There is a mountain of medical evidence validating the fact that small amounts of toxic metals; lead, cadmium, mercury, uranium, arsenic and others contribute to the development of chronic degenerative disease.
There are thousands of scientific references about lead in bodies associated with vascular disease, elevated blood pressure especially. Cadmium in the air over 28 cities was found to be associated with the incidence of vascular disease in people living in those cities.

Aluminum (al) has long been associated with decline of mental functions including Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum also damages the genetic material DNA. DNA besides being involved in genes is essential in everyday cellular function. Without proper DNA function the function of cellular activity deteriorates causing chronic degenerative diseases. Aluminum within cells will impair the cells energy production and therefore its health.

Arsenic is a well known metal poison. Arsenic can be introduced into the environment via pesticides and the glass and electronics industries. Its presence in human bodies has been shown to be associated with cancer, and peripheral vascular disease. Arsenic along with lead, cadmium, and mercury are neuro-toxic and associated with cardiovascular disease. Arsenic also affects glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Arsenic is added to animal feed to fight parasites in chicken.

The less toxic metals we carry around the healthier we will be. What is the best thing to do? There are three things: decrease the amount of toxic metals you are exposed to by finding out where they come from and avoiding future exposures, seek out the proper testing of heavy metal toxic load in your body, and finally remove the existing metal load with intravenous chelation therapy.

There is much that can be done to enhance and maintain a high quality of life. Handling toxic metals is an essential part of the effort.

Conrad G Maulfair, Jr. D.O.

More on Science of Chelation Therapy

The chemistry behind chelation therapy was not invented; it was discovered.  The Swiss Nobel Laureate Alfred Werner in 1893 suggested the chemical structure that was later confirmed by others.  This chemical structure which involves an organic molecule surrounding a metal ion was defined and termed “chelation” in 1920 and in 1913 the Nobel Prize was awarded for discovery of chelation chemistry.
The complex, of the organic molecule, when it surrounds a metal nullifies the reactive charge on the metal which is what causes certain metals to have undesirable reactions.  Again, this chelation complex was not invented in a laboratory; it was discovered as existing in nature.  It is a part of nature and it is a part of us.  Examples of chelation chemistry existing in nature include chlorophyll which is a chelate of magnesium, hemoglobin which is a chelate of iron, vitamin B12 which is a chelate of cobalt.  The coenzyme, cytochrome C, and the enzymes, catalase and peroxidase, are chelates of iron.

Chelation therapy as a medical treatment, in part, is the use of a chelating agent (organic molecule) introduced into the body, ideally as an infusion (intravenously).  As it circulates around the body, suspended in the bloodstream, it will attract and surround a metal ion.  The resulting complex, chelating agent (organic molecule) and the surrounded metal ion will eventually pass through the kidneys.  The kidneys recognize this complex as not being food and not needed or wanted and it is filtered from the bloodstream through the kidneys into the urine and then eliminated from the body.  More in a moment about why the activity of deburdening the body of minerals and metals can be so therapeutic.

The consideration of using this chelation chemistry therapeutically in man began to be formulated in the era around World War II as an antidote for arsenic-containing poison gasses.  Arsenic is a metal, that if immobilized, would decrease the effectiveness of the poison gasses.  Around the same time, the chelating agent EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetate acid) appeared on the scene in 1947.  Studies were done in Georgetown University and at Walter Reed Army Hospital on patients utilizing the chelating agent EDTA.  An entirely different application of chelation therapy in vascular disease and related disorders began to be reported in the medical literature around 1950.  Back to minerals and why they are so important in health and in disease.

Energy production is the most basic and essential activity in the body.  Impaired energy production will result in impaired health and is a major factor in the development of chronic degenerative diseases and the aging process as well.  The body’s energy is a composite of cellular energy production.  An average body has approximately 7,000 billion cells.  In order for cellular energy to proceed effectively and efficiently, enzymes must be present.  Enzymes are proteins which accelerate the cellular chemical reactions that result in the cellular energy production.  There are hundreds of enzymes.  This enzymatic reaction must have a coenzyme or cofactor to have an effective reaction.  Many coenzymes must have a mineral and/or a vitamin as an essential ingredient.  Magnesium and zinc, for instance, are coenzymes necessary for hundreds of cellular chemical reactions, so….if there is a deficiency of an essential coenzyme mineral it blocks the enzyme needed to insure that the cellular chemical reaction happens and that determines the cellular function, and consequently the health and function of the organ and other systems where the malfunctioning cells are located.

There is yet another way in which minerals affect health.  We have just learned of the essential nature of certain minerals in cellular health and therefore, body health.  Energy production of all kinds depends on this activity.  Toxic minerals can compete for positions with the enzymes.  Toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, uranium and others are particularly adroit at replacing the essential mineral (magnesium, zinc and others) on the cellular receptors.  This toxic mineral (wrong coenzyme/cofactor) prevents the enzyme from being active; therefore, the cell energy and function suffers and the body’s health and function suffer,  disease ensues and symptoms eventually follow and resulting symptoms are the central concern of standard medical treatment.

A chelation therapy program, as one of its modes of action, provides a solution for mineral imbalances, both essential and toxic, increasing the essential minerals and decreasing the toxic minerals and metals.  A chelation therapy program is a common sense comprehensive program that when properly designed and followed can restore health, cellular health resulting in increased energy and bodily health.

Dr. Maulfair's Birthday Reminds me...

You may have known I am quite partial to my husbands’ work and today is his birthday, he is happily working away seeing patients and exhibiting his high energy, as usual.  He is one of those rare docs who takes his own advice.  He does not ask his patients to do things he is not willing to do.  He uses chelation therapy as a preventive treatment and it sure pays off.  Into his 70’s he has the energy of a person much younger.  He enjoys his work and will work for many years to come because he makes real differences in the health of others and of course that is the most rewarding thing he could do.  He gains much happiness from the success of others.
He and many doctors like him, practice scientific preventive medicine and the positive outcomes are measurable.  His own vascular study revealed the arterial age of 51 years, so there you go.  Chelation therapy as a preventive program can prevent the problems of aging.  Scientific and measurable.

Look at all the bad news regarding health lately.  Heart disease remains the top killer and there is no reason for this other than lifestyle changes and out of the main stream treatments are not emphasized, knowledge of their benefits is not widespread.  YOU should be the one deciding what you are going to do about your health.  Pharmaceutical companies and some jealous medical business interests will continue to try to keep you in the dark and discourage you from trying something else.   I guess they expect poor or bad results because that is their lot in life.  They are accustom to poor outcomes.  Well, there are other ways to handled heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and the ravages of the aging process.  Educate yourself and escape from the expected.  You do not have to feel and be old when your age advances.  Really, you don’t.