I’ve written about chelation for many years. In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I conclude, “Evidence against (chelation’s) effectiveness in heart disease is so clear, its continued use raises serious ethical questions. The therapy is very expensive and can be very lucrative for providers. Nevertheless, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine decided to do a very large study to try to establish once, and for all, whether chelation works or not.
Now, the AP has reported
that a federal investigation has found problems with the controversial study which is looking into chelation as an alternative medicine treatment for heart attack survivors.
Study participants, according to the AP report
, “were not told enough about the potential dangers of the treatment, called chelation . . . according to a report from the US Office for Human Research Protections.”
However, “the government is letting the study go on while the probe continues.”
The report indicates that “some doctors involved in the study have been disciplined by state medical boards, and at least three are convicted felons.”
The AP added
that “the $30 million study, with 1,500 participants so far in more than 100 sites around the country, is testing high doses of vitamin and mineral supplements and chelation, a treatment used for lead poisoning that has not been proved safe or effective for heart disease.”
The research “is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”
I continue to stand by my conclusion in my book: Intravenous chelation therapy should only be used in cases of heavy metal poisoning where objective tests validate the presence of toxic levels of specific metals. The risks of other uses of intravenous chelation or any use of oral chelation are not warranted in light of the lack of evidence for (safety or) effectiveness.