A glimpse of history on Detoxification Therapy also known as (chelation therapy) reveals its age at over sixty five years old, basically since World War II. It was born out of necessity in Europe during the World War II as an antidote treatment for poisonous gases used during the war. Another medical need necessitated the birth of detoxification therapy during the war was to treat poison and toxicity of large number of British navy personnel suffering from lead poisoning through their jobs repainting the hulls of navy ships. These treatments had saved thousands and thousands of navy personnel and citizens.
Goals of detoxification therapy
Detoxification Therapy is a cleansing treatment geared to remove chronic deposit of heavy metals, toxins, drugs, chemicals and wastes from the tissues of the body. This treatment MUST be preceded by thorough evaluation of the patient’s blood lab work and urine. There are two forms of Detoxification Therapy, one being intravenous treatment which is fast acting treatment and the other one is an oral treatment which is a very slow acting treatment. In addition to heavy metal removal, the treatment is noted by USA medical establishments that the treatments are therapeutic and preventative of diseases associated with heavy metals. Obviously there are those who disagree with claims out lined by advocates. Some medical establishments strongly disagree with detoxification listed. Advocated claim that the treatment may help in the following health conditions:
– cardiovascular disease
– coronary heart disease
– peripheral vascular disease
– other age-related problems
They claim that the treatment aims to correct faulty metabolic functions in the body induced by faulty diet (fast food), life style (hazardous occupations, smoking) and the influx of heavily charged metals in drinking water (mercury, iron, arsenic, lead, plutonium, aluminum) etc.
The Thalassemia is one of the conditions that will benefit from detoxification therapy due to iron accumulation in the circulation.
Detoxification advocates claim that among the benefits of the treatment:
– improves metabolic function
– increases blood flow
– removes plaque
– opens blocked arteries throughout the body
Detoxification therapy is the main treatment recognized for its ability to remove heavy metal poisoning (lead, aluminum and mercury). It is the back bone of all therapies for the removal of heavy metals from the body.
There are several molecules that are capable of detoxifying the body in the therapeutic field divided between oral or intravenous treatments between natural medicine, orthodox medicine. Among detoxifying agents in natural medicine both oral an intravenous are Vitamin C, Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and SOD. Among detoxifying agents in orthodox medicine are EDTA and BAL.
Vitamin C Therapy
Vitamin C is one of the major detoxifying natural agents that would act as a general non-specific detoxifier. It is a available in both oral treatments and IV treatments and could be taken daily. Dr. Linus Pauling researched vitamin C and recommended frequent high doses of Vitamin C for malignancies and periodically as a prevention.
Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and SOD
Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and SOD are General Anti-oxidants that relief the body from there burden. Oxidative stress, toxins and radiation impose a lot of cellular and tissue inflammation. The treatments with anti-oxidants protect the cells and the tissues from the damage caused by oxidants. Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and SOD decreases inflammation and supports the immune system. It is worth mentioning that Alpha Lipoic Acid, which is transformed in the liver into a di-thiol, dihydrolipoic acid, is a mercury and arsenic detoxifying agent.
Molecules of detoxification therapy
Detoxification therapy employs a molecule that has an strong affinity (attraction) to heavy metals, toxins, allergens, wastes etc. EDTA, PAL (Dimercaprol) and DMPS are examples of these detoxifying molecules. The FDA approved detoxification therapy for Iron poisoning but not for coronary artery disease. Many physicians are using this therapy for many ailments including coronary artery disease and claim excellent results. The limiting factor of (EDTA) treatment is an increase in creatinine. Once infused in the circulation, EDTA searches for heavy metals. Once heavy metals are located then EDTA binds to it and leads it to be filtered with urine. Almost 80% of total infused EDTA will be filtered with urine in the next two hours following the infusion. The remainder 20% will be filtered in the following 24 hours.
BAL also known as (mercaptans) is an organic di-thiol compound that binds to arsenic with two strong chemical bonds formed between the arsenic and the thiols, SH groups .
Later on, it was modified into DMSA for the treatment of lead, arsenic and mercury poisoning. Soviet Union Researchers were able to introduce DMPS, (di-thiol), as a detoxifying molecule to remove mercury. Most mercury in the body comes from mercury dental fillings and affected fish consumption. Mercury is also implicated as “a potential etiological factor in neurodegeneration”. Soviet Union Researchers indicated that hepatic transformation of alpha Lipoic Acid into a di-thiol, dihydrolipoic acid enhances mercury and arsenic detoxification.
ALA is a common nutritional supplement. Another detoxification molecule that was introduced during WWII time as a synthetic amino acid, ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA). The molecule is administered by slow intravenous infusion over a calculated time depending on kidney’s function (creatinine value).
Chelators benefits and uses
In orthodox medicine EDTA became one of the most useful preservatives in most industries reaching 50,000 tons every year at the turn of the century. Most of our canned and prepared foods contain EDTA as a preservative agent.
important uses of EDTA in general are:
– detergent in industrial cleaning, developer in photography, preservative in food industry to prevent catalytic oxidation, solvent in cosmetics industry, oil production, preserver in dairy and beverage industry, chelator in medicine and anticoagulant in medical laboratory, a root canal irrigation in dentistry, in soft drinks containing ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate, in recycling of used lead acid batteries
Side effects and safety concerns
Chelation therapy may produce symptoms as it depletes heavy metals to which the body has become accustomed to. These symptoms include headaches, skin irritation, nausea or stomach upset, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, cramps, joint pain, feeling like fainting, and in rare cases, fever. calcium, potassium and other minerals could also be lost during this method of detoxification.