It Could Cut Heart Deaths by 43% But Medicine Says “No Thanks”
It’s been around for some 60 years. Medicine uses it to treat heavy metal poisoning. But mainstream medicine has laughed at the idea that “chelation therapy” could be useful for anything else.
Alternative medical practitioners, on the other hand, have been offering the treatment—which involves using the chemical EDTA to “bind” various minerals in the blood so your body can get rid of them—for decades. They claim it can treat a huge variety of conditions from heart disease to autism and even Alzheimer’s.
Some of the claims appear outlandish. Others, not so much.
Regardless, medicine hasn’t been interested. Science has looked down its arrogant nose with the same disdain it would give the idea of bloodletting or leeches. But the practice has continued. And enough people have claimed to benefit that at last the NIH decided to fund a trial that would settle the argument once and for all.
The results of that trial were published back in 2012, and the medical world was shocked. This “alternative” treatment, scoffed at for more than half a century, appears to lower the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular events. For people with diabetes, it cut the rate of these events by a whopping forty-one percent. It also cut the death rate by an even more astonishing 43%.
That’s pretty amazing. Amazing enough that the NIH is currently funding another study to validate the results. It’s enrolling people as we speak.
But guess what? Mainstream medicine flatly refused to acknowledge the study’s findings. Across the board, in face of evidence to the contrary, medicine simply said, “Nope. We’re not listening. We’re not going to acknowledge this. Chelation is quackery and that’s that.” In fact, some even criticized NIH for ever doing the study in the first place, in spite of the exciting results.
THIS is how Big Medicine kills the competition
Now, we’re not talking about a shady study published in some crackpot “journal” published out of someone’s basement. It appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one of the most prestigious medical journals there is. And it wasn’t run by some crank researcher who got his degree out of a Crackerjack box. The study chairman was chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The researchers involved were all highly respected names.
And it wasn’t a tiny study of a handful of people. There were over 1700 people in the trial and it lasted over 5 years. (Contrast that to drug trials that enroll a few hundred and last one year, then go on to be the “standard of care” for years to come.) It was a good-sized study with a long time-frame, and the medical world should have been buzzing with interest over the results. If this were a drug trial, the manufacturer would have been ecstatic. Doctors would be falling over themselves waiting for it to hit pharmacy shelves.
Instead, the study results were met not just with silence but with outright denial. Doctors were even up in arms that the JAMA had the audacity to publish them. One high-profile doctor wrote:
If published at all, [the study] should have been published in some crappy, bottom-feeding journal, because that’s all that it deserves.
He didn’t say this because of the study design or who performed it. He said it simply because he didn’t want to believe what the study showed. He’d been sneering at chelation therapy for heart disease through his entire medical career and simply couldn’t imagine that he might have been wrong.
Many doctors openly complained that the study should never have been done in the first place. Others disagreed only slightly, saying that since it had been done and produced results, there should be a followup study—but no, the original study should never have happened. Even those who agreed that the results were intriguing also tended to say chelation was quackery and they’d never recommend it.
They just couldn’t accept that something not created by Big Pharma might be effective.
See, here’s the thing: Big Medicine and Big Pharma condemn “alternative” medicine as “quackery.” Without fail, their reason is that it that there’s no evidence to back it up. Yet when someone does give them that evidence, this is what happens. If the study has positive results, Big Medicine dismisses them. Sometimes, as in this case, mainstream medicos even get angry. How dare those “alternative” practitioners try to show their treatments work! And yet, when a study fails to show a benefit for an alternative treatment, medicine and media are all over the news.
It’s a double standard. Big Pharma’s drugs can fail in clinical trials over and over yet still be approved and even embraced. Yet if an alternative treatment shows any promise at all, medicine ridicules and ignores it out of existence. We’ve seen it happen over and over.
Why? Because most alternative therapies just can’t be patented. They use natural products, or existing technologies, and the only people who stand to make even modest amounts of money are the front-line people out there actually doing the treatments.
Big Medicine can’t have that. And Big Pharma will suppress anything it can’t patent and turn into a blockbuster.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from these alternative treatments. It just means your insurance company won’t pay for them.
What on earth is chelation therapy and where can I get it?
Chelation therapy is pretty simple. It infuses a chemical called EDTA into your bloodstream through an IV. “Chelate” means “to bind,” and that’s exactly what happens. The EDTA binds to heavy metals circulating in your body and allows your body to excrete them.
Even mainstream medicine recognizes that chelation works for heavy metal poisoning, and moreover that it doesn’t have any ill effects. The argument here is whether it has any effect on heart disease. And the new evidence suggests that yes, it actually does—and a rather large one, if you’re diabetic.
That means that the only valid concern about chelation therapy is the cost. It runs somewhere in the range of $75 to $125 per treatment. However, if the results of the TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy) trial are valid, then the benefits would certainly outweigh the cost.
Do we know for sure that it’s worth it? No, though the study results are certainly intriguing. The TACT 2 trial currently enrolling should give us a more solid answer. It will either confirm or refute the results...whether Big Medicine likes it or not.
In the meantime, if you’re not scared off by the cost, getting rid of heavy metals can’t be a bad thing. New research shows that we’re exposed to far more of these than we’d imagine simply through air pollution. And other research has begun to link air pollution and heart disease. If you’d like more information on chelation, or you want to give it a try, you can visit the American College for the Advancement of Medicine’s site and search for a doctor in your area.
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