Recently I received a very nice looking brochure in the mail about heart disease. As an advocate of oral chelation I was intrigued, so I browsed through the brochure with interest. While turning the first couple of pages my confidence grew as I read about the history of EDTA and its beneficial effect on heart health. But when I got to the section about magnesium EDTA, I was horrified!
It's unheard of that educated medical doctors would recommend the ingestion of magnesium EDTA! In fact, Dr. Garry Gordon, father of modern chelation therapy says, "I can find no research on using magnesium EDTA for oral chelation."
Why am I so concerned? The term EDTA chelation is used quite loosely, and refers to the intravenous and/or oral use of EDTA chelates for binding heavy metals and excreting them from the body.
The most common forms of EDTA are calcium and sodium chelates, which are available in both USP (United States pharmacopoeia) and FCC (food chemical codex) forms. Magnesium EDTA, however, is not available in either of these standards. In fact, magnesium EDTA is manufactured commercially for use in plant fertilizers. Has magnesium EDTA been proven safe for human consumption? NO, it hasn't!
Even after 68 years of research into EDTA chemistry, the calcium disodium form continues to come out on top in regards to lowest toxicity, longest history of safe use in humans and other animals, and as the safest and most effective oral chelator.
One of the reasons I was especially concerned about this advertisement is that all of the positive studies using the calcium disodium form of EDTA are quoted; it even makes the correct assertion that EDTA has a low toxicity level when compared to aspirin. But then the ad switches gears by recommending magnesium EDTA and making negative statements about the proven EDTA compounds. Simply deceptive!
The brochure raises the question that since chelation removes excess blood calcium that contributes to artery-clogging plaque, why include calcium in a product designed to remove calcium? Well—other than the obvious issues relating to 38 years of safe and beneficial oral chelation—calcium disodium EDTA works on calcified deposits, not calcium directly.
This calcification is a conglomeration of calcium and heavy metals and is not soluble or metabolized due, in part, to its heavy metal content. As calcium disodium EDTA encounters these calcifications, it chelates the heavy metal portion of these deposits allowing the release of the calcium for use in normal metabolic functions.
Magnesium EDTA removes essential calcium from cells
On the other hand, weak chelates like magnesium have a high affinity for calcium, and this can remove too much calcium too quickly from cells and damage or kill them. This is a problem of stronger not necessarily being better. Weak chelates of EDTA have a stronger affinity for calcium than calcium disodium EDTA. But this makes those weak chelates more toxic by removing ESSENTIAL calcium from cells. And we certainly don't want to remove essential calcium from cells that need it to live.
Only EDTA in the form of calcium-sodium will not remove essential calcium — but will remove the unwanted calcifications that promote atherosclerosis.
I believe magnesium EDTA is being used as an advertising gimmick, as it has no place in a dietary supplement.
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