edta chelation therapy

What Is EDTA Chelation Therapy? How Does EDTA Work for Chelation?

EDTA Chelation Therapy is a medical management that involves using a chelating agent, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, to remove heavy metals and minerals from the body. This article provides insight into this therapy, its mechanisms, benefits, dosage, duration of action, and safety.


Key Takeaways

  • EDTA chelation therapy is mainly used to manage heavy metal poisoning.
  • This therapy works by binding to metals in the blood, which are then excreted through the kidneys.
  • EDTA can chelate certain metals, including lead, arsenic, mercury, iron, copper, and nickel.
  • Although this therapy has been shown to manage heavy metal poisoning, its benefits for other conditions, such as heart disease, are still being studied.
  • This therapy is generally safe but can have side effects, including kidney damage in severe cases.

What Is EDTA Chelation Therapy?

EDTA Chelation Therapy

Chelation is a chemical process in which a substance is used to bind molecules, such as metals or minerals, and hold them tightly to remove them from the body.

In medicine, chelation has been scientifically proven to help rid the body of excess or toxic metals. [1]

For example, a person with lead poisoning may receive chelation therapy to bind and remove lead before the excess lead causes harm to the body.

EDTA chelation therapy is a method used to remove heavy metals and minerals from the body. It involves intravenous injection of a chelating agent called EDTA.

This therapy is one of the standard methods for many types of metal poisoning.

How Does EDTA Chelation Work?

EDTA chelation therapy works by injecting EDTA into the bloodstream. EDTA then acts as a chelator, binding to metals in the blood.

After injection, EDTA circulates in the blood and binds to metals to form complexes filtered by the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Chelating agents are excreted fairly rapidly over a few hours or days. Typically, chelators mobilize the most available metals first, typically in the plasma, kidneys, liver, and then to a lesser extent the bones and central nervous system [1].

What Metals Does EDTA Chelate?

Toxic metals are ubiquitous in our environment, and it has been discovered that early exposure to lead can reduce IQ [1].

EDTA is particularly effective in removing heavy metals from the blood, such as lead, arsenic, mercury, iron, copper, and nickel.

These metals are often the cause of heavy metal poisoning. In particular, EDTA binds strongly to lead and cadmium, eliminating them through urine [2].

What are the Benefits of EDTA Chelation?

benefits of edta chelation

Treating Heavy Metal Poisoning

The main benefit of EDTA Chelation Therapy is its effectiveness in managing heavy metal poisoning. This is the standard management for many types of metal poisoning, including lead, arsenic, and mercury.

One study observed a 50% reduction in urinary Pb and improvement in systolic blood pressure in 33 cardiovascular patients after 20 intravenous injections.

In another study of 15 patients, EDTA was also shown to be an effective and non-toxic chelator for removing metals such as Pb, Cd, Ni, and Al.

Weekly administration of EDTA appears to be an adequate and non-toxic procedure for managing heavy metal poisoning, especially Pb and Cd [2].

Potential Benefits for Cardiovascular Health

A 1955 report showing that patients with ischemic heart disease had improvements in angina and other cardiovascular symptoms when undergoing EDTA chelation therapy for lead poisoning sparked concern.

Long-term and continuous focus on preventing and managing cardiovascular disease [1].

EDTA protects the heart through the following mechanisms: calcium excretion, leading to the dissolution of atherosclerotic plaques, reducing the total amount of iron stored in the body, dilating arteries due to calcium channel blocking effects, and improving the elasticity of artery walls. Vessels and increase nitric oxide production [3].

Results of a trial of the effectiveness of an EDTA-based chelation regimen in patients with diabetes and prior myocardial infarction (aged ≥50 years) demonstrated a significant reduction in cardiovascular events upon EDTA chelation [4].

Other Potential Benefits

In addition, studies also suggest that EDTA chelation therapy also has benefits for other diseases, such as:

A study published in the journal Biomedicines discussed the role of toxic metal burden in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Research shows that EDTA chelation therapy eliminates poisonous metal burden and improves patient symptoms [5].

Some reports suggest that EDTA Chelation Therapy can improve skin texture and tone, improve arthritis, and better vision and hearing.

How Much is EDTA Dosage for Chelation?

EDTA dosage for chelation

EDTA dosage for Chelation Therapy depends on the individual's condition and body weight. The recommended dose when using EDTA is 50 mg/kg of body to protect against potential side effects [6].

Typically, a patient receives approximately 1500 mg to 3000 mg of EDTA per session. The dosage may be higher for oral EDTA due to lower absorption.

How Long Does EDTA Chelation Work?

The duration of EDTA chelation management may vary. Based on heavy metal chelation studies, it typically takes a few weeks (6 to 8 weeks, according to studies) for heavy metal levels to decrease significantly [6].

In general, the effects of EDTA chelation can last for several months. This doesn't mean you'll need to continuously use EDTA for that entire period.

It indicates that the chelation process helps reduce metal levels for a significant amount of time.

Is EDTA Chelation Safe?

EDTA chelation therapy is generally considered safe when taken under medical supervision. However, it can have some side effects, including burning at the site of intravenous injection and, in severe cases, kidney damage and kidney failure [3].


EDTA chelation therapy is increasingly used thanks to its ability to detoxify metals and its benefits for cardiovascular health and other health benefits such as supporting Alzheimer's, Parkinson's,...

Chelating EDTA can be a useful health tool. However, it must be approached cautiously and adhere to the proper dosage to avoid side effects.


[1] Sears, Margaret E. “Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—a Review.” The Scientific World Journal, 18 Apr. 2013, www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2013/219840/.
[2] Born, Tammy, et al. “EDTA Chelation Reappraisal Following New Clinical Trials and Regular Use in Millions of Patients: Review of Preliminary Findings and Risk/Benefit Assessment.” Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, vol. 23, no. 1, 19 Oct. 2012, pp. 11–17, https://doi.org/10.3109/15376516.2012.730562.
[3] Seely, Dugald MR, et al. “EDTA Chelation Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review.” BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, vol. 5, no. 1, 1 Nov. 2005, https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2261-5-32.
[4] Escolar, Esteban, et al. “The Effect of an EDTA-Based Chelation Regimen on Patients with Diabetes Mellitus and Prior Myocardial Infarction in the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).” Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 15–24, https://doi.org/10.1161/circoutcomes.113.000663.
[5] Fulgenzi, Alessandro, et al. “EDTA Chelation Therapy in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases: An Update.” Biomedicines, vol. 8, no. 8, 3 Aug. 2020, p. 269, https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8080269. Accessed 16 Sept. 2020.
[6] Waters, Robert S, et al. “EDTA Chelation Effects on Urinary Losses of Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Magnesium, and Zinc.” Biological Trace Element Research, vol. 83, no. 3, 2001, pp. 207–221, https://doi.org/10.1385/bter:83:3:207. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.
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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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