Preliminary results from the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) were presented recently at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions. TACT is by far the largest trial ever performed on chelation therapy for heart disease. The National Institutes of Health spent $31.6 million dollars on the 10-year multicenter study. Many of us, supporters and skeptics alike, have been patiently awaiting results.
The trial determined that chelation therapy did, indeed, reduce the rate of death and cardiovascular events in people who had previously suffered a heart attack when compared to those people who received placebo treatment. “There may be a biological effect and that biological effect should be taken seriously,” and “pursued with additional research,” stated lead researcher Gervasio Lamas, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center at the AHA scientific meeting.
The preliminary results do not tell us the full story, yet the skeptics have taken to the topic with fervor. Many articles have already appeared in newspapers and online highlighting the faults of the study and trying to explain away the positive results. Can’t blame them—what would all those cardiologists do if they had to admit chelation therapy worked? I don’t think they ever will admit it.
Fully 1,708 people over age 50 were included in the study, which took place at 134 research sites across the United States and Canada. They received disodium EDTA chelation therapy once per week for 30 weeks, and then 10 more infusions every two to eight weeks. Although the researchers found a reduction in cardiovascular events and death, the patients did not report a difference in overall quality of life.
The results of this study, although less than ideal, still show a benefit that cannot be ignored. An improvement is an improvement. We’ll know more about the study’s results when the full report is published in a peer-reviewed journal. The manuscript has been submitted, so stay tuned to my blog—I’ll report on it when it’s published. I look forward to hearing the whole story.
I have heard from many doctors about the benefits of chelation therapy, both for heavy metal toxin removal and for treatment of heart disease, which involve two different chelation therapies. In fact, in my new book, Heart of Perfect Health, available through my new PBS show of the same name, I interview Dr. Ernest Cohn about chelation therapy. My PBS show is now airing. Check your local PBS listing for show times.
Despite the negative response to the chelation trial from mainstream medicine, I see this study as a positive step forward. More steps will be needed, but we’re moving in the right direction.