Toxin-zapping treatment may help heart patients

Updated: Aug. 5, 2015 at 10:19 AM EDT
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MIAMI (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) - Chelation is a treatment doctors have used for years to remove certain toxins from the body, most often when someone suffers accidental lead poisoning, but for any other treatment, most traditional doctors thought it was a scam or called it "quackery."

A decade long study has now convinced the conventional cardiologist who led it to reconsider chelation for heart disease.

"We have no natural way of excreting these metals, and these metals are all around us," says Gervasio Lamas, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

During treatment, patients receive an IV of a medication that allows the metals to pass through the body. Urine tested the next day shows a huge spike in toxins.

"Lead and cadmium are incredibly toxic to the heart and to the blood vessels," Lamas says.

In a study of 1,700 heart attack patients, people who received chelation therapy had a 41 percent reduction in cardiac events over five years.  Dr. Lamas says, "I was shocked. My cardiology colleagues were shocked. I am a believer now."

Dr. Lamas says the study also shows that heart attack survivors who were also diabetic had a 43 percent reduction in the risk of death after chelation alone.

The FDA still considers chelation an experimental therapy, so it is not covered by most insurance companies. Dr. Lamas says  more study is needed before the treatment would be FDA approved for heart attacks.

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