History of Chelation and EDTA
The Beginning of Chelation Chemistry
The father of modern biochemistry was the French-Swiss chemist, Alfred Werner; who in 1893 developed the theory of coordination compounds, today referred to as chelates. For this turning point in reclassifying inorganic chemical compounds, Werner received the Nobel Prize in 1913. He went on to create accounting for the process by which metals bind to organic molecules, which is the basis for chelation chemistry.
The first applications of Werner's monumental discovery were in the field of industrial production. Starting in the 1920's, many new materials such as paints were introduced, and in their manufacturing the elimination of heavy metal contamination was crucial. Citric acid was found to be helpful, but in the mid 1930's Germany was motivated to develop its own chelating material and not be dependent on importing citric acid. The synthetic substance they invented was EDTA (Ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetate). While the Germans created EDTA for their own purposes, they produced more than they could use and chose to sell it for industrial use in the global market.
When EDTA was first introduced on the market, medical applications were not yet being considered. However, with war approaching, military workers were looking for possible antidotes for the poison gases that posed an imminent threat. England’s experience with poison gasses during World War I prompted researchers at Oxford University to find a chelating substance that could diminish the effects of poison gas exposure.
After World War II, the new threat was atomic warfare. At the time, EDTA was starting to gain recognition for its effective cleansing of toxic materials from the body. As it was found to be more reliable than the British chelation materials that had been previously devised, the United States of America began producing and stockpiling large quantities of EDTA.
In 1947, Dr. Charles Geschickter at the Georgetown University Medical Center used EDTA for the first true medical application. A patient undergoing chemotherapy at the medical center had accumulated toxic nickel complexes in her system. In his efforts to try and save the patient, Dr. Geschickter chose to try EDTA to pull the toxic materials out of the patient’s system. While the application succeeded at its intended purpose, EDTA did not make a widespread entry into the medical field.
In the 1950's, EDTA was used to cleanse the systems of people who suffered lead poisoning from working in a battery plant. The U.S. Navy also used it on people who had acquired lead poisoning in repainting old ships. In both of these applications, there was noted success in removing the undesirable minerals from the body. Many of the people that used the EDTA cleansing also noticed positive changes in conditions of arteriosclerosis, chest pains, arthritis, memory loss, inability to concentrate, and a variety of other ailments.
The news of the positive results reached the staff at Wayne State University who chose to use EDTA on a group of patients that were believed to have incurable conditions. Results that exceeded expectations were achieved in nearly every patient that was given the EDTA. From the 1950's on, many doctors have utilized chelation therapy as a tool for removing harmful minerals from the body.
The positive results that had been achieved with the use of EDTA and Chelation with patients that had arteriosclerosis began appearing in medical journal articles in 1955. In 1973, the American Academy of Medical Preventics was formed to educate physicians about the use of EDTA chelation therapy in patients with cardiovascular disease. This organization was renamed the American Academy of the Advancement of Medicine in 1986. In 1983, the formation of the American Board of Chelation Therapy was formed to set parameters for the education and testing of physicians for competence in the administration of EDTA chelation.
Chelation and EDTA and FDA Approval
Chelation and EDTA are successful therapies for cleansing the body of toxic minerals. EDTA and Chelation has FDA approval for treating lead poisoning and heavy metal toxicity. However, Chelation and EDTA are not currently approved by the FDA as medical treatments for any other condition. A National Institute of Health (NIH) Trial is currently underway to study EDTA Chelation Therapy and its safety and effectiveness for individuals that have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease.