In mainstream medicine, certain intravenous agents are used to bind to toxins and metals, thereby helping the body excrete them. These agents are known as chelating agents and the process is known as chelation. It is primarily used to remove heavy metals such as lead and iron from the body. However, the use of chelation therapy extends beyond that and it has been employed informally for many reasons, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular events.
Recently, a research called TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy) looked at the advantages of using chelation therapy in patients who had previously had a heart attack. One group was given chelation therapy while one was provided with only placebos.
Initially, the study (which was published in JAMA in 2013) showed a moderate decrease in all patients treated with EDTA (the chelating agent). However, further analysis of the data showed that diabetic patients (who consisted of one third of the total) showed a significant reduction in risk of cardiovascular events. Compared to this, non-diabetic patients showed no similar reduction in risk.
Events that were looked at included overall heart disease events, heart disease, nonfatal stroke, nonfatal heart attacks, recurrent heart attacks, and death from any cause. The risk reduction was between 40-50% for all these events.
Scientists consider this an interesting development that definitely calls for further research. If the results are confirmed by other studies that look specifically at the effects of chelation therapy in diabetics, then dramatic changes may take place in the treatment of diabetic heart patients.