Calcium Disodium Edta

Calcium Disodium Edta - Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

Do you often find yourself overhearing health care professionals talking about things like Calcium Disodium EDTA? Wondering what it is and how it can benefit your health? Well, we have all the answers here! This blog post will discuss the benefits and side effects of calcium disodium EDTA, along with dosage information. We will also cover how EDTA works in general terms so that you can make more informed decisions regarding its potential use in your life. 


What Is Calcium Disodium EDTA?

Edetate calcium disodium (EDTA) is a synthetic chelating agent used for over 50 years to treat lead and heavy metal poisoning. It works by binding to the metals in the body, forming a stable complex which can then be excreted through urine or feces. This makes EDTA an effective treatment for acute toxicity from lead, cadmium, mercury, and other heavy metals. 

However, recent research has shown that EDTA may have additional benefits beyond chelation therapy. It has been suggested that EDTA can help improve cardiovascular health by reducing plaque buildup in arteries. This is because the same mechanism that allows EDTA to remove heavy metals from the body also helps it to bind to calcium deposits in the arteries, preventing them from hardening and causing blockages. 

Calcium Disodium EDTA Mechanism Of Action

As mentioned above, EDTA works by binding to metals in the body and forming a complex that can be easily eliminated through excretion. This process is known as chelation. 

The word "chelate" comes from the Greek word "chele," meaning claw, which describes how EDTA binds to metal ions similarly to how a crab's claw would grab onto something. This unique ability to bind to metals makes EDTA so effective in removing heavy metals and calcium deposits from the body.

Calcium Disodium Edta

Some studies have also suggested that EDTA may act as an antioxidant, helping to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. These properties make it a popular choice for alternative medicine practitioners who use it for conditions such as heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. However, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of EDTA's antioxidant effects.

Benefits of Edetate Calcium Disodium

Chelation Therapy

As mentioned earlier, the primary use of EDTA is for chelation therapy. This treatment involves administering EDTA intravenously over several hours to remove heavy metals from the body. Chelation therapy can treat acute heavy metal poisoning or chronic conditions caused by long-term exposure. The benefits of chelation therapy include:

  • Reducing symptoms of lead and heavy metal toxicity, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Protecting the kidneys from damage caused by heavy metals.
  • Improving cognitive function and memory in people with lead poisoning.

Chelation Therapy Of Calcium Disodium EDTA

Research has been conducted to compare the inorganic lead chelation effectiveness of edetate calcium disodium (EDTA) and succimer (DMSA). In one study, both substances were observed to produce positive outcomes, although DMSA was generally regarded as superior and preferred. This study, however, acknowledged the lead detoxification efficacy of EDTA [1].

In another study that compared the lead detoxification effectiveness of these two compounds, it was found that improvements were noted within a group of 37 patients with elevated blood lead levels after two treatment courses. Each course consisted of 5 days of treatment followed by a 10-day break. DMSA was perceived to have a stronger effect, but when considering balanced dosages, EDTA was found to be better absorbed and thus more effective [3].

Furthermore, another study discovered that for patients suffering from chronic metal poisoning who had developed neurological disorders (ND) and/or cardiovascular diseases (CVD), EDTA was found to be an excellent choice for symptom alleviation [2].

Cardiovascular Health

In addition to its use in chelation therapy, EDTA has also been studied for its potential benefits on cardiovascular health. Some studies have shown that EDTA can help to:

  • Dissolve plaque buildup in arteries and improve blood flow.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Edta Has Also Been Studied For Its Potential Benefits On Cardiovascular Health

Several studies have pointed out the potential benefits of EDTA in treating heart diseases and neurotoxicity. 

A research on EDTA Chelation Therapy for the Treatment of Neurotoxicity has shown a collateral benefit of EDTA on heart disease [2]. 

Another research study, which evaluated the Effect of Disodium EDTA Chelation Regimen on Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Previous Myocardial Infarction, concluded that more extensive evidence is needed for routine iron chelation therapy in treating patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the study also found slight improvements in reducing adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including many revascularization procedures [4]. 

Furthermore, a comprehensive synthesis study concurs that despite limitations in related research, EDTA is beneficial in combating arterial disease. The study further suggests that, given the negative effects of heavy metals on the cardiovascular system, EDTA has been proposed as a useful agent against the development of atherosclerosis [5].

Calcium Disodium Edetate Uses

Calcium disodium EDTA is used in chelation therapy and has other significant medical applications. Let's delve into exploring other uses of this versatile synthetic chelating agent.

Food Product Preservation

Calcium Disodium Edetate, commonly known as edetic acid, is a food additive used to prevent discoloration and maintain the quality of processed foods. It binds with metal ions, such as iron and copper, which can cause oxidation and spoilage in food products. By chelating these metal ions, calcium disodium edetate helps to extend the shelf life of various food products, especially canned and bottled goods.

Edta Has Also Been Studied For Its Potential Benefits On Cardiovascular Health

Treatment for Heavy Metal Poisoning

Calcium disodium edetate is also used as a chelating agent in treating heavy metal poisoning. Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, can accumulate in the body and cause toxicity if left untreated. Calcium disodium edetate works by binding with these heavy metal ions and allowing them to be excreted from the body through urine. This treatment is commonly used in accidental ingestion or occupational exposure to heavy metals.

Skin Care Products

In addition to its uses in food preservation and medicine, calcium disodium edetate can also be found in various skin care products. Due to its ability to bind with metal ions, it is often used as a stabilizing agent in cosmetics and personal care products. It can help prevent the degradation of active ingredients, extend the shelf life of these products, and improve their overall effectiveness.

Industrial Applications

Calcium disodium edetate has various industrial uses due to its chelating properties. It is commonly used to produce detergents, where it helps soften water by binding with minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It is also used in the manufacturing of photographic films and papers, as well as in metal plating processes.

Calcium Disodium Edta Side Effects

While calcium disodium edetate has many beneficial uses, it is essential to be aware of potential side effects that may occur with its use. These can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Kidney damage

One of the more prevalent side effects associated with the use of calcium disodium edetate is its detrimental impact on renal function. Kidney complications can manifest in a variety of forms, such as acute renal tubular necrosis, kidney failure, anuria, and proteinuria [7]. 

Moreover, it's important to note that calcium EDTA has a high affinity for zinc, making overdosage a potential cause for zinc deficiency, with children being particularly susceptible to severe zinc loss compared to adults [5]. 

This underlines the need for parents to be cautious when administering EDTA to their children, ensuring that doses are kept within recommended limits. Additional side effects encompass a range of symptoms like fever, nausea, chills, fatigue, and joint pain [5]. 

The renal implications of EDTA are further supported by another study that reported acute renal tubular necrosis and kidney damage upon daily administration of high doses of the agent. However, it was also observed that recovery often followed after treatment cessation [6]. 

In a study involving eight factory workers suffering from lead poisoning, a significant recovery was observed post-treatment with calcium disodium versenate, although minor side effects such as mild vomiting and diarrhea were recorded in one patient upon discharge. The remaining participants reported no adverse effects [7].

Drug Interactions And Contraindications Of Edetate Calcium Disodium

As with any medication, it is essential to be aware of potential drug interactions that calcium disodium edetate may have with other substances. These can include:

  • Antibiotics, such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin.
  • Blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.
  • Anticoagulants, such as warfarin.
  • Iron supplements

EDTA is contraindicated for patients with kidney conditions or anuria because the kidneys eliminate the drug. If the kidneys are compromised, it can lead to excessive accumulation of EDTA, which may cause further toxic effects on the kidneys [5]. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid EDTA, which falls under Category B drugs. It should only be used during pregnancy when necessary, as its impact on the fetus is undetermined [5]. 

One particularly tragic incident involved a 5-year-old autistic boy who lost his life due to a mix-up between calcium disodium and sodium disodium [8]. 

Additionally, EDTA therapy is generally discouraged for individuals with blood lead levels below 45 mcg/dl. However, in instances where patients exhibit symptoms that justify its use, the dosing of EDTA is determined based on body surface area and renal function status, as per the manufacturer's prescription information [5]. 

It's also important to be aware of potential drug interactions with EDTA. For instance, studies have shown that steroids can increase the renal toxicity of disodium calcium edetate in animals. Likewise, disodium calcium edetate can interfere with the action of certain zinc-containing insulin preparations via chelation [5]. Therefore, healthcare providers and patients must exercise due caution to prevent adverse outcomes.

Recommended Dosage and Uses For Edetate Calcium Disodium

The dosage and usage of edetate calcium disodium are based on the individual's age, weight, renal function status, lead levels, and other factors. It is available in various forms, including injectable solutions and oral capsules or tablets [5]. 

For the treatment of heavy metal poisoning, the recommended dosage for adults is 50 mg/kg body weight per day administered intravenously, while the oral dose is 1.5 grams four times daily [5]. 

In children, the dosage is based on body surface area and ranges from 500 mg/m2 to 750 mg/m2 for each intravenous administration, with a maximum of 3 grams per day [5]. It's important to note that doses should not exceed recommended limits, which can lead to adverse effects. 

In conclusion, calcium disodium edetate is a multifunctional agent with various uses in medicine, food preservation, personal care products, and industry. While it has many benefits, its use must be carefully monitored due to potential side effects and drug interactions. It's essential to follow recommended dosages and precautions to avoid any adverse effects and ensure its safe use. So, it is necessary to consult a physician before using calcium disodium edetate. 


Calcium disodium EDTA has been an essential component in treating heavy metal poisoning for decades. With its chelating properties, it helps remove harmful heavy metals from the body and has proven to be a life-saving medication. However, as with any drug, using it cautiously and under medical supervision is essential to avoid potential side effects and drug interactions. It is also crucial to be aware of contraindications for its use and follow recommended dosages for safe and effective treatment. By understanding the uses, benefits, and precautions associated with calcium disodium edetate, we can make informed decisions regarding its use in various fields and ensure its continued safety and effectiveness. 


What Are the Consequences of Missing a Dose?

If a dose of calcium disodium edetate is missed, taking it as soon as remembered is important. However, if it's near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Never double dose to catch up, as it could lead to potential side effects.

What Are the Risks of Overdosing?

Overdosing on calcium disodium edetate can lead to severe side effects, such as kidney damage, low blood pressure, and potentially life-threatening zinc deficiency. Immediate medical attention is necessary if an overdose is suspected. Always adhere to the prescribed dosage to minimize risks.

What Precautions Should I Take After Receiving Edetate Calcium Disodium?

After receiving edetate calcium disodium, it's crucial to monitor for any side effects and stay hydrated to help your kidneys flush out the chelated metals. Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are also essential to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and adjust dosages if necessary.

How Can Other Medications Interact with Calcium Disodium?

Calcium disodium edetate can interact with medications like antibiotics, blood pressure medications, anticoagulants, and iron supplements, potentially decreasing their effectiveness or causing other adverse effects. It's always recommended to discuss any medication you are currently taking with your healthcare provider before starting on edetate calcium disodium.

Is Edetate calcium disodium EDTA?

Edetate calcium disodium is a form of EDTA; specifically, it is the calcium salt of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). This compound is used therapeutically for its chelating properties, which allow it to bind to heavy metals and other toxins for removal from the body.



[1] A comparison of sodium calcium edetate (edetate calcium disodium) and succimer (DMSA) in the treatment of inorganic lead poisoning. (2023). Clinical Toxicology.
[2] Fulgenzi, A., & Maria Elena Ferrero. (2019). EDTA Chelation Therapy for the Treatment of Neurotoxicity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(5), 1019–1019.
[3] A comparative study of edetate calcium disodium and dimercaptosuccinic acid in the treatment of lead poisoning in adults. (2018). Clinical Toxicology.
[4] Lamas, G. A., Goertz, C., Boineau, R., Mark, D. B., Rozema, T., Nahin, R. L., Lindblad, L., Lewis, E. F., Drisko, J., & Lee, K. L. (2013). Effect of Disodium EDTA Chelation Regimen on Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Previous Myocardial Infarction. JAMA, 309(12), 1241–1241.
[5] Europe PMC. (2016). Europe PMC.
[6] Saleh, S. A., El-Tawil, O. S., Mahmoud, M. B., Sahar, El-Saied, E. M., & Noshy, P. A. (2023). Do Nanoparticles of Calcium Disodium EDTA Minimize the Toxic Effects of Cadmium in Female Rats? Biological Trace Element Research.
[7] Williams, J. D., Matthews, G. A., & Judd, A. W. (1962). Oral Calcium Disodium Versenate in Treatment of Lead Poisoning. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 19(3), 211–215.
[8] Pediatric fatality secondary to EDTA chelation. (2023). Clinical Toxicology.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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