Dr. Garry Gordon Discusses EDTA Oral Chelation Therapy

 “I haven’t had to send one patient to a heart surgeon for the past 10 years.”

— Dr. Garry F. Gordon, world-renown expert on chelation therapy, anti-aging, nutrition, mineral metabolism, and alternative and preventive therapies, has exhaustively researched the more than 7,000 books and articles on EDTA written in the past 50 years. Dr. Gordon developed the original protocol for safe and effective use of EDTA, has published numerous scientific papers on the topic and is co-author with Morton Walker, D.P.M. of the best-selling book The Chelation Answer.

Q: Should everyone be taking EDTA for the removal of heavy metals and environmental toxins?

A: Absolutely. Part of the price we must pay for progress is to recognize the degree of pollution that our progress has brought into our water, food and air. Every human being today would live longer, be more intelligent, have a higher level of health, and respond better to any medicine, drug or surgery, if they chose to follow an EDTA oral chelation program.

Children are especially at risk. When I owned a large trace element research lab we worked with the University of Maryland and the Center for Disease Control on a study to prove that the levels of lead in every child are causing serious damage to IQ and behavior. In other words, every child on earth today has some degree of lead poisoning and the lower the level of lead you can achieve, the higher the child’s IQ. That’s all published in good peer-reviewed studies.

A body today averages 1000 times more lead in bones than was present before the Industrial Age, while getting less and less of the essential minerals such as zinc in our excessively refined foods. It has become clear to me that maintaining optimal health requires that we routinely take chelating and detoxifying agents such as garlic and EDTA that will continuously pull the toxins like lead, mercury, and even pesticides, etc., out of the body. This way, we are not putting the essential nutrients like vitamin E, etc., into a polluted cesspool and expecting to get the full benefits of these miraculous nutrients.

We now have the unparalleled history of over 40 years of extensive and safe use of EDTA, with studies showing increasing life span in research models. In our toxic world, oral EDTA offers potential benefits as diverse as those seen with some of our most powerful essential nutrients. I believe it has become as essential today for optimal health as any essential nutrient.

Q: If EDTA is so good at removing heavy metals, does it also deplete the body of essential minerals and other important substances?

A: No, amazingly it doesn’t. In some instances, oral EDTA actually enhances the uptake of various trace minerals, while lowering the total body burden of lead. The World Health Organization and advisors to the National Academy of Science recommend that EDTA be added to the diet of children in poor countries to enhance mineral absorption, particularly of iron and zinc.

EDTA is never broken down in your body. It goes in and comes out as EDTA. So it’s hard for it to do a lot of mischief since the only thing it’s known to do is to have this compelling influence like an extremely good-looking, eligible young bachelor. All the attractive young ladies might sometime during the evening stop by to say hello. It’s the same way with EDTA; every one of the metals (in the periodic chart) would say hello. But EDTA has a very strong list of preferences, which are called stability constants. It will be very inconstant with calcium, to which it says hello; you’re there, goodbye. It says hello to magnesium; you’re there, goodbye. It goes up to zinc and says hey, you’re pretty interesting. Then it goes up to lead and says, I think you’re really interesting, we could spend the evening together. And when it gets up to mercury, it says can we spend the rest of our life together. So that’s kind of how it goes.

On the other hand, we know that EDTA is a nonspecific chelator, and if there is not an ample supply of minerals with a higher stability constant, then EDTA could potentially remove essential minerals. It would ultimately depend on the amount of heavy metals in the system, the pH of the system, etc. If there is not much lead or mercury in the system for instance, then EDTA could remove zinc, which is rapidly excreted in the urine.

Q: Do you still suggest taking replacement minerals when taking oral chelation?

A: Yes, definitely! I always recommend that you take the most advanced vitamin/mineral supplement, including zinc, which you can afford to protect your body from gettinhg depleted. Unfortunately, because of environmental toxicity and our stressful lifestyle, it’s almost impossible to rely on food for all the nutrition our bodies need to stay healthy and strong. We live on devitalized food from mineral deficient soils that are packaged in boxes, picked green and stored in refrigerated compartments. And research has shown that, due to a steady decline in the nutritional quality of our food, even an adequate diet might not enable us to maintain the vitamin and mineral balance required to avoid health problems. It’s vital that we enhance our diets with a wide spectrum of supplemental vitamins and minerals that can make up for nutritional deficiencies.

Q: How does oral chelation compare to intravenous chelation therapy?

A: They basically do somewhat different things and even though a recent article in the JAMA says IV is useless, there is no question about the benefits of intravenous chelation therapy in the minds of treated patients. I helped train many chelation physicians and I wrote the original protocol for IV chelation, under which over one million patients have been safely treated. Without question IV EDTA is useful, but we all live a busy life and I can’t go to the doctor and have an IV every day. It’s too inconvenient to see your doctor for three hours in his office, drive an hour to get to his office, day after day, lose a day of income and pay him $125 or whatever it costs, which is a significant amount of money. Oral chelation is an effective, convenient and affordable way to help people deal with the excessive body burden of heavy metals, that I am finding I can prove we are all excessively burdened with today.

Take our mercury loads, for example. In a report published in Linear Practice of Alternative Medicine (Fall, 2001, issue 2: 181-187), Poul Molher, MSc. calculated that it’s typical to have approximately 40 million atoms of mercury per every cell of the body after getting amalgam fillings for several years. When you know the facts on total toxic metals that we all carry around in us today, you realize that, whatever hope we have of really making a dent with 30 or 40 IV or even 100 chelations over a lifetime, it is still simply a case of too little help being given too late.

It seems clear to me that we should all be on some oral chelation daily, no matter how many IV chelations you can get, or we should not eat fish, or breath, or drink the water. Thus, let’s use every way possible to pull these toxins out, hopefully everyday, before they become too firmly entrenched. Oral chelation makes IV chelation FAR more effective. We have data that proves no one should ever again receive IV EDTA chelation without receiving oral at the same time—because our data shows that they are getting only a fraction of the benefit unless they also get oral EDTA at the same time.

Q: What is nitric oxide and how does it connect to EDTA chelation therapy?

A: EDTA has been shown to optimize nitric oxide production. This fact alone makes chelation therapy a benefit for virtually everyone. Nitric oxide (NO) protects the heart, stimulates the brain, kills bacteria, helps prevent blood clots that are the cause of most heart attacks and strokes, enhances oxygen delivery to tissues, and helps regulate blood pressure and blood flow to different organs. It is present in most living creatures and made by many different types of cells.

It was a sensation when it was discovered that this simple, common air pollutant,—which is formed when nitrogen burns, for instance in automobile exhaust fumes—could exert so many important and life saving functions in our body.

Further research confirmed that nitric oxide is a signaling molecule of key importance for the cardiovascular system and it was also found to exert a series of other functions. When nitric oxide is produced by the endothelium, the innermost cell layer of the arteries, it rapidly spreads through the cell membranes to the underlying muscle cells. Their contraction is turned off by nitric oxide, resulting in a dilatation of the arteries. In this way, nitric oxide controls blood pressure and the distribution of the blood. It also helps prevent the formation of blood clots, but we are all so hypercoagulable (prone to clot formation) today, and aspirin is so weak and toxic, that I have all of my friends further protected with oral EDTA and garlic, which usually allows them to stop the aspirin and often the coumadin.

Q: If nitric oxide is so important to cardiovascular health, why not take a daily dose of nitric oxide instead of EDTA?

A: The problem is that nitric oxide is so powerful that when we give it as a drug, there’s a chance that, just like when we used to give you nitroglycerine to put under your tongue to dilate your arteries and stop your heart pain, you might get an explosive headache. So it’s not innocuous to give you substances to get a nitroglycerine or nitric oxide-like effect. It turns out that it’s wonderful if I can figure out a way to optimize your body’s ability to make just its own ideal dose of nitric oxide, (which I believe my oral chelation helps you do, by detoxifying the cells that make NO).Because your body is not a fool and will not make too much, so I don’t even have to worry about over dosing you with EDTA induced NO.

Chelation doctors now have a way to enable the body to make its own nitric oxide, thanks to manufacturers of oral chelation products, eliminating the need for expensive drugs. Duke University sees the future of NO and has applied for over 50 patents in the last 18 months, relating to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, infection, cancer and the immune system. My patients do not have to wait for the expensive, but useful, drugs those patents will eventually lead to.