EDTA Chelation and Metal Toxicity

Metal Toxicity

Certain metals (such as lead, cadmium and mercury) are detrimental to human health at any dose, and even essential metals (such as copper and iron) are toxic at high concentrations. Toxicity due to metals results in a wide range of physiological, biochemical and behavioural dysfunctions. Some of the mechanisms involved include the generation of oxidative stress, depletion of antioxidants, DNA damage and inhibition of important chemical pathways (Flora, Mittal, & Mehta, 2008).

The main indication for EDTA chelation is lead poisoning. Some studies claim that overt symptoms of lead poisoning are typically only observed at blood lead levels above 25 µg/dL in children and 40 µg/dL in adults (Gracia & Snodgrass, 2007).  However, neurological deficits have been seen in children with less than 10 µg/dL (Lanphear, et al., 2000). The American Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated that there may be no safe level of lead exposure (CDC, 2005).

EDTA Chelation

EDTA binds with varying affinity to both harmful and essential extracellular metals and facilitates their excretion from the body. For this reason it is important to take multivitamin/multimineral supplements while having chelation to replace the essential minerals. The vitamins may also help reduce heavy metal-induced oxidative stress, but additional vitamin C is typically administered with the EDTA for greater benefit.

EDTA chelation has been shown to improve kidney function in patients with elevated lead levels and progressive renal insufficiency (Lin, et al., 2001; Lin-Tan et al., 2007) or lead nephropathy (Wedeen, Malik, & Batuman, 1979).

Several epidemics of lead contamination in community food or water supplies (Kakosy, Hudak, & Naray, 1996; Panariti & Berxholi, 1998; Tantanasrikul, et al., 2002), and through occupational exposure (Pollock & Ibels, 1988) have been successfully managed with EDTA chelation.

EDTA chelation with antioxidant and multivitamin support may help relieve toxic metal body burden and metal-induced oxidative stress.

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The information provided here is only for general reference and cannot replace personalised professional medical advice from a doctor. You are welcome to discuss any points during your consultation with our doctors.