Tags: Diabetes | Heart Disease | chelation | heart | diabetes | statin

Chelation Therapy: As good as Statins, Aspirin for Your Heart?

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By    |   Friday, 13 Oct 2017 12:13 PM

Cholesterol-lowering statins and aspirin therapy have been primary ways for combating heart disease for decades. But a Miami cardiologist is spearheading new research that could prove chelation therapy — an alternative-medicine technique —could be as effective in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas — chief cardiologist with the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach — has spent nearly 20 years studying the potential benefits of chelation therapy. His preliminary findings suggest it could be a game changer in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.

The National Institutes of Health recently authorized a $37 million grant for Lamas to conduct a follow-up study to determine whether chelation is as beneficial as conventional therapies — or more so — in preventing heart attacks in diabetics.

The five-year study — the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2) — is currently enrolling 1,200 patients for the project, and will ultimately involve researchers at more than 100 other leading medical institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

One-half of the participants will undergo chelation therapy, which removes lead, cadmium, and other toxins from the body, which may contribute to heart disease, just as artery-clogging cholesterol can boost heart attack risk. The other half will receive an identical placebo, so the effect of chelation, if any, can be measured. Patients will also receive high-doses of oral vitamins and minerals or an oral placebo

“I am very hopeful that we will be able to develop a new way of treating heart disease by removing some of the toxic substances that we take into our bodies inevitably during our lifetime,” Lamas tells Newsmax Health.

“We live in an industrialized society, we can’t go back to living in caves and on farms. So we need to recognize [environmental toxins] as a risk factor for heart disease and treat [them] in the same way that we treat cholesterol.”

For the new study, Lamas’ research team is looking for individuals with diabetes who have suffered a heart attack to determine if chelation can prevent the odds of another heart attack. (For more information or to enroll, visit the www.tact2.org Website or call 305-674-2260.)

“We have 200 patients enrolled, and it’s still going to take a while to get the study done,” Lamas notes.

“We think the bad actors are lead and cadmium, but we’re also looking at other toxins. We’re hoping we show we can stop heart attacks and deaths and so we’re looking for individuals who will give us their time and commitment to help us on this.”

Lamas acknowledges that he was initially skeptical about chelation’s benefits, dismissing his heart patients’ suggestions that it might help them, believing the alternative-medicine technique was fringe-medicine quackery.

In fact, his first study of chelation— begun in 2002 — was designed to confirm his skepticism. But instead, the findings of his own research shocked him: In fact, chelation proved to be enormously beneficial to heart patients — rivaling statin and aspirin therapy.

That NIH-sponsored study involved more than 1,700 heart attack survivors at 134 North American research sites, including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.

Over a seven-year period, participants were randomly assigned to receive 40 injections of a chelation solution (known as “infusions”) or an inactive placebo. Patients also received an oral vitamin and mineral regimen, or an oral placebo.

When the trial ended in 2012, the results showed those who received chelation plus vitamin supplements had a 26 percent lower risk of heart complications (such a second heart attack, stroke, or bypass surgery), compared with those given placebos.

In diabetic patients, the findings were even more dramatic, with the combo therapy tied to a 49 percent lower risk of heart complications. Chelation was also found to cut the risk of death among diabetics by half over the course of the study.

“There is nothing like this for diabetes care,” says Lamas, whose findings were published in the American Heart Journal. “There just isn't.”


In follow-up meetings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Lamas pressed for a follow-up study of chelation therapy and was able to secure the $37 million grant.

The new study, funded by the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, will examine the use of intravenous chelation treatments and oral vitamins in diabetic patients with a prior heart attack.

If the findings prove the therapy is successful, chelation could become a front-line therapy for heart disease, says Lamas, who expects results by 2021.

Chelation has long been approved by the FDA to rid the body of lead by using a synthetic amino acid (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid), which binds to toxic metals and minerals in the bloodstream, allowing a patient to excrete them.

Alternative practitioners have used chelation for nearly 60 years. Some believe heavy metal contamination causes or contributes to heart disease and that chelation rids the body of deposits that can lead to atherosclerosis, which causes coronary arteries to narrow, leading to heart attacks.

Most conventional cardiologists have dismissed the therapy — just as Lamas once did.

But the new TACT2 study could change all that by providing a definitive answer on chelation and the role environmental contaminants play in the development of heart disease.

“There hasn’t been a new mechanism [in treating heart disease] for a long time,” Lamas notes. “And that’s what’s gotten me so excited about this and why I’ve spent 20 years studying chelation.”

For more information: To learn more about the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2) or enroll in the study, visit the www.tact2.org Website or call 305-674-2260. Researchers are seeking individuals with diabetes who have suffered a heart attack to determine if chelation can prevent the odds of a second heart attack.

© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

   
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Researchers are recruiting participants for a new national study spearheaded by a Miami cardiologist that aims to determine whether chelation therapy is as effective as cholesterol-lowering statins and aspirin in combating heart disease.
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2017-13-13
Friday, 13 Oct 2017 12:13 PM
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