Using chelation therapy to prevent heart attacks and strokes

Other doctors - in fact the majority of the medical community – see red when the word chelation is uttered. They have been persuaded, on no scientific grounds, that chelation is at best useless, at worst harmful. Strong feelings on both sides have led to a great divide in the opinions expressed by doctors on the subject. Cardiologists in particular have seemed dead set against looking at the question of whether chelation actually works. Consider that they make a very good living at doing procedures which would become unnecessary if indeed chelation is proven to work.

Meanwhile, although chelation has been FDA approved since the 1950s for toxic metal removal, it has not yet been properly studied for its effect on heart attacks and strokes. The reason for this is that since the chelating agent, EDTA, is not on any patent, no large financial rewards would accrue to any potential funders (read: drug companies) to support such a study.

Enter the exception to the rule about cardiologists. Dr. Gervasio Lamas, chief of cardiology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, is a doctor who listens to his patients and has a strong background in research. He heard from enough of them that chelation did wonderful things in their lives — relief of angina, return of energy and avoidance of surgery — that he decided to go after a government grant to properly study the treatment and do the important scientific study which had been missing before. He wouldn’t give up. It took three years, but at last the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) was funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2002 to the tune of $31 million. It is currently being conducted at 100 medical centers in the US and Canada and has so far enrolled more than 1,500 patients. This is a huge accomplishment in the face of very little support from mainstream doctors. It is a prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind study —  in other words, the best kind of science you can do. Another few hundred enrollees are necessary to achieve statistical significance and really prove the value of this treatment. In two years the study will end and the results will be “unblinded," or made known to patients, participating doctors and the waiting world.

Potential patients must be over 50 years old. They must have had a heart attack, no more recently than six months ago. They will be screened and admitted into the study after documentation is reviewed and other criteria (non-smoker for at least three months, etc.) are satisfied.

The good news for patients is that you don’t need a referral to get into the study. The great news is the study is totally free to patients.

Participants will then come to a study facility once a week for a three-hour infusion for 30 weeks (okay to go on vacation during this time). After the initial infusions, an additional ten infusions are given on a less demanding schedule (every two to eight weeks). They will receive free vitamins for the duration of the study. Lab work and doctor visits are scheduled — all at no cost to the patient.

The reasons for doing this study are many. A person who has had a heart attack is at greater risk for having another. Participation in a study like this will benefit you and future patients by putting to rest the question “Does chelation therapy work?” All the scientific advances in cardiology (or any other branch of medicine) are based on similar studies.

If you want to see change in medicine, step up to the plate. If you or someone you know is over 50 and has had a heart attack, call 813-661-3662 and ask to speak to Bernie. More info available (including participating clinics) at this website.

We have a chance to make history. In the pursuit of scientific, rational, effective, safe and inexpensive healthcare, does it not make sense to do all we can to prevent heart attacks?

A scientific trial has been underway since 2003 which is designed to test the hypothesis that chelation therapy is effective for exactly this purpose. Chelation is a simple process for the removal of toxic metals from the body. It involves the administration of a medication by IV in the doctor’s office. Many physicians who have been using this treatment for decades (myself included) recognize its benefit in this regard.

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]