Chelation: IV or Oral?

By Dr. Bonnie Wick

There has been a lot of advertising lately for oral chelation therapy as opposed to IV therapy. It can be confusing for people, not knowing whether or not there is a difference. First of all, yes, there is a difference. There can be several differences, depending on the supplement in the oral chelation. To be specific, we are talking about chelation therapy for cardiovascular problems mainly. There is some detox with this, but the heavy metals chelated out are limited. Chelation for other heavy metals should be done with different compounds, depending on the dominating heavy metal. Chelation therapy for cardiovascular issues is done IV with disodium EDTA (“ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid”). As most of you are aware, the disodium EDTA is attracted to calcium, including the calcium deposits on the walls of the blood vessels. When the EDTA molecule attaches to the calcium molecule, it takes it out of your system through your kidneys, which is why we take blood and urine samples to make sure your kidneys are strong. It has actually been shown to improve kidney function, but that’s another subject. (IV calcium disodium EDTA is a faster IV because it does not pull calcium out of the system, therefore you won’t get massive muscle cramping by going fast). Your first series with IV chelation is about 20 – 30 treatments depending on the severity of your problems and your body’s response to therapy as well as your diet and lifestyle. In each treatment you receive 2-3gm of disodium EDTA, plus magnesium, vitamin C, and sometimes B vitamins. With IV therapy you get 100% absorption as it is going directly into the circulatory system. However, many people do not want to have these IV’s and are more than happy to pay money to take more pills.

Oral chelation usually contains about 400 mg calcium disodium EDTA plus vitamins and minerals and often some decent circulatory herbs. It has been shown that oral EDTA is only 3-5% absorbed. Some manufacturers are claiming UP TO 80% absorption as a MAXIMUM DEPENDING ON YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH. The key is – no one knows exactly how well they are absorbing anything these days. Very little supplements are absorbed with all the binders used as well as what digestive issues people have and acid blocking drugs. 80% absorption is extremely optimistic, since EDTA’s been measured at 3-5 % oral absorption.

Another issue with the supplement, is that they use CALCIUM disodium EDTA. When calcium is already attached to the EDTA molecule, it will no longer pull calcium out of the system, therefore doing nothing for the plaques on the walls of the arteries. It may, however, help pull out a few heavy metals, but not as much as oral DMSA. The good thing about some of the supplements is that they have some really good herbs and substances which do help heart health. But you will not get the same effects as IV disodium EDTA chelation therapy. You will need to take many, many pills every day for quite a while in order to get the same benefits as 20-30 IV treatments. However, you may never reach the same effectiveness if your digestive system is not functioning 100%.

So, you ask, are all oral chelation supplements bad? Not necessarily. As previously mentioned, some have other ingredients which are good. Hawthorne berry, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, and other herbs are good, nutritive herbs which can help the circulatory system. So any effects people have felt can be from these supplements and other nutritionally chelating agents. But they will not get the same effects as they can get from IV chelation, and no company can honestly say that you can. The money you spend on their product will eventually equal, if not surpass, what you pay yearly on IV chelation, and the results will not be equivalent at all.

Of course, we can supply you with oral supplements which can help support your chelation treatments and possibly help you sustain better between treatments, but they will not replace them. As always, we will do our best to keep our prices at a level where more can afford it. We encourage you to keep your circulatory system clean and open with a series of 8-20 chelation treatments a year (depending on your situation, of course). We also encourage and recommend total nutritional/lifestyle support, so keep eating all those wonderful fruits and vegetables and exercising 3-6x/week! Needless to say, no smoking and cut your intake of refined carbs to a rare treat! Relax and enjoy life! Laugh, love, and live!