Los Angeles, CA: Chelation therapy for heart and vascular disease is an exciting but controversial alternative therapy that has been shown to be safe and statistically effective by TACT (the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy).
TACT is a 7-year, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial funded by the NIH and carried out by university cardiologists and experienced chelation physicians from around the United States and Canada. This randomized, double-blind study compared patients who were treated with medications with intravenous chelation therapy to those with medications but without chelation. The study showed potentially important improvement in patients who had previous heart attacks and were already under cardiology treatment, especially those patients with diabetes. There were 18% fewer cardiac events in the treated group and 39% fewer cardiac events in diabetics. The group treated with chelation had fewer subsequent surgeries than those who received a placebo. These findings were statistically significant, and unexpected by most cardiologists. Additional research is needed to confirm the findings and explain mechanisms.
The results of this 1708-patient study were presented at the American Heart Association meeting November 4, 2012 in Los Angeles.
The patients in the trial were 82 percent male, 94 percent Caucasian and about half were obese. All had experienced a previous heart attack, 83 percent had already had bypass surgery, stent implantation or balloon angioplasty. Thirty-two percent had diabetes, 68 percent had high blood pressure and 73 percent had been prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins. Patients were followed for an average of 55 months. The trial was conducted in 134 sites in the United States and Canada from 2002-2011.
Each patient received 40 infusions, each lasting at least three hours. The first 30 infusions were one week apart. The last 10 were two weeks to two months apart depending on the patient’s schedule. All told, researchers delivered 55,222 infusions. A stringent safety infrastructure made sure patients experienced no undue risk. In addition, the research team worked with a central pharmacy to ensure the safety and purity of the infused products and had in place a computerized system that calculated doses based on the patient’s kidney function and the system sent an alert if an infusion was completed faster than usual.
At an AHA press conference, Paul Armstrong said that TACT was a response to an unusual situation. On the one hand, most physicians and scientists have dismissed chelation therapy as lacking any evidence or rationale. On the other hand, chelation therapy is strongly supported by the alternative medicine community and an estimated 100,000 people receive chelation therapy each year.
This is a positive development for all doctors who practice chelation therapy. For one thing, the study shows that chelation is safe if properly administered. Also, our members and friends who practice chelation can now show that there is support scientific for using the treatment. These two things may seem like small victories, but to some it might be sufficient scientific rationale to offer the treatment to their patients with informed consent.
For more information on the development of EDTA Chelation Therapy go to http://chelation.me.
International College of Integrative Medicine Contact: Wendy Chappell, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org