5 Surprising Benefits Of Chelation Therapy

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Chelation therapy is an alternative form of medicine that is not widely approved in some parts of the world. Although there is still some debate about the efficacy of this therapy, anecdotal evidence points to many benefits of using chelation therapy, including reducing the risk of heart diseases, alleviating pain, and even preventing autism.

What is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation therapy is used to eliminate heavy metal toxins from the body, such as arsenic, mercury, copper, iron, plutonium, and lead, among others. While this practice has been used since the 1930s, its medical efficacy is still being debated and the use of chelation therapy and the sale of chelation agents are not allowed in certain countries, including the United States. That being said, the anecdotal evidence for this therapy, along with the seriousness of heavy metal toxicity, means that this therapy is still practiced in certain parts of the world. [1]

How Chelation Therapy Works?

By introducing chelating agents to a person’s system, these powerful compounds bind to heavy metals before they can bind to other agents within the body. Heavy metal toxicity can be debilitating and even deadly, and this therapy is believed to be a simple and effective fix. Once the heavy metals bind to the chelating agents, they can be excreted safely from the body. However, it is important to note that the compounds used for this therapy can have some negative side effects, even when applied properly. Careful medical supervision is required for chelation therapy to ensure safety.

One of the most common compounds used as a chelating agent is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), although there are half a dozen other compounds used for this therapy. EDTA is particularly important because it is one of the few compounds approved for lead removal by the FDA of the United States. [2]

A doctor holding a syringe

Chelation therapy is an alternative treatment that claims to clear toxic metals from the body. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Chelation Therapy

Let us look at the potential benefits of this controversial alternative treatment.

Promoting Heart Health

The accumulation of heavy metals in the coronary system can lead to a wide range of problems, including a higher risk of coronary heart disease. The presence of heavy metals in the heart can increase free radical activity, which increases your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Treating Heavy Metal Toxicity

Having these dangerous heavy metals in any part of the body can have negative side effects. Therefore, when these heavy metals are removed from the body, it has an antioxidant effect, lowering your risk for chronic diseases. [3]

Reducing Pain & Swelling

The retention of heavy metals in the body can also cause water retention, information, and other irritating problems. If you suffer from swelling or edema, it may be a symptom of high levels of heavy metals in your body.

Improving Cognitive Functions

According to a report published in the Acta Pharmaceutica Journal, compounds like mercury, arsenic, and lead can give rise to several negative neurodegenerative effects on the body. Therefore, using chelation therapy to remove these compounds may prevent the onset of learning disorders and other cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. [4]


One major cause of autism that has been identified is the presence of heavy metals in the body. With careful guidance from medical professionals, this type of therapy can be safely administered to protect the mental capacities of your child. [5]

Side Effects

As mentioned before, the side effects of this therapy can be quite severe, which is why it is prohibited in certain countries. These side effects include the following:

  • Intense burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Need to urinate

In more serious cases, you may also experience the following:

  • Damage to your kidneys
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood calcium
  • Poor nutrient uptake
  • Allergic reactions

When this therapy is administered incorrectly, the side effects can be even more serious, such as neurodegenerative disease and even death. [6]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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