Chelation Therapy May Lower Heart Risk
Chelation therapy, a process in which a chemical is delivered through the veins, is often used to remove toxic heavy metals (such as mercury) from the body. It’s also an alternative treatment for heart disease, the theory being that the chemical removes plaque from the arteries. To study the treatment’s effect in people with and without diabetes, researchers randomly assigned more than 1,700 heart-attack survivors ages 50 and older to receive 40 infusions of either a chelation solution or placebo. At the end of the five-year study, people with diabetes who received chelation therapy had a 52 percent lower risk of having another heart attack and a 43 percent lower risk of death from any cause than those who received a placebo. The treatment had no effect on people without diabetes, however. Chelation therapy is not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat heart disease.
Source: Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, published online Nov. 19, 2013