Chelation Therapy was first used during the First World war by Great Britain. Due to arsenic-based poison gas which was indiscriminately used in the war, Chelation therapy had to be used on the soldiers to cure them off heavy metal poisoning. Armies used an organic dithio compound which combined with arsenic in the bloodstream. When the compound exits the body through the kidneys and liver, it caused nephrotoxicity and hypertension which led to the death of several soldiers during the First World war. Chelation therapy was introduced for treating soldiers and others who were affected by heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, barium, nickel and many other poisonous gases.
Why is it called ‘Chelation’ Therapy? ‘Chelate’ is a Greek word for “claw”. Chelation therapy was founded by G.T. Morgan, an analytical chemist in the year of 1920. The concept of chelation therapy was then developed by Alfred Werner who was known as the Father of Coordination Chemistry. Chelation Therapy brought Nobel Prize to Alfred Werner in 1913.
EDTA Chelation: Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic acid (EDTA) was first synthesized by Germany in the late 1930s. EDTA was used to treat people for heavy metal toxicity from poison gases in 1941. The research later established that EDTA acts as a highly effective antidote to heavy metal toxicity which caused heavy poisoning. Chelation therapy helps remove toxic metals by adding some other chemicals into the affected body, which is called chelating (bonding). Through chelating, the heavy toxic metals inside the body are flushed via excretory routes. The compounds that accomplish this are called as chelating agents. There are several chelating agents that are most used while there are several others that are used only to treat specific metal toxicity. The most common of all chelating agents is the EDTA – it is used even in people who have cardiovascular ailments and is considered the safest to be used on any individual.
Initial Chelating Agents: “Dimercaprol” which is most popularly known as “BAL” is the first chelating agent to be used for this therapy. During the World War II, there was developed BAL , an antidote for the war gas Lewisite. The Lewisite exposure has caused acute arsenical blisters and systemic arsenic poisoning. Dimercaprol was been used and it was known as BAL (British Anti-Lewisite).
The Iron Chelation therapy is used as an alternative to regular phlebotomy and to treat people with haemochromatosis (excess storage of iron) form 1970. This is also known for clinical autism treatment. This Chelation therapy has served several benefits – right from curing people from excessive metal deposits to even remove cholesterol from your bodies. Some of these chelating agents are effective in people who want to manage their body weight.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) has promoted chelation therapy as an alternative medicine. The Chelation therapy is a very safe and highly cost-effective one to restore blood flow in victims of atherosclerosis without any surgery requirement.