October 27, 2009
malleable, resistant to corrosion: No wonder lead has been such a
popular metal throughout human history.
Ancient Romans found a
multitude of uses for it, from lining water pipes and drinking
vessels to sweetening wine. What they didn't realize were the
detrimental health effects of this metal. It is now believed that
lead poisoning was responsible for the bizarre behavior, mental
incompetence, gout, stillbirths, and sterility that afflicted the
Roman aristocracy - and quite possibly contributed to the decline of
the Roman Empire.
Fast forward to 1921, when General Motors engineer Thomas Midgley,
Jr., came up with another use for lead. As a gasoline
additive, it reduced engine knock and improved performance. Of
course, it was known to be toxic. Thomas Midgley himself was plagued
with a "mysterious illness" while experimenting with it and, in
1924, 15 refinery workers died and 300 more became severely
psychotic as a result of working with leaded gasoline.
But that didn't matter. Thanks to corporate greed and government
complicity, lead's well-documented adverse effects were ignored, and
for more than 60 years this potent toxin spewed into our
environment. Leaded gas was finally phased out in 1986, and air
levels of lead dropped dramatically.
But even today, 20 years
later, 7 million tons of lead remains in our soil, water, air - and
Bones Bear the
Burden of Lead
More than 90 percent of your body's total burden of lead exists in
And for those of us who grew up in the days when lead
was also in paint, pipes, water tanks, cans, and a plethora of other
consumer products, that's a lot of lead. In fact, we harbor a
whopping 650 times more of this heavy metal in our bones than people
did 100 years ago.
Lead is a neurotoxin that causes mental retardation and
developmental delays in children and a multitude of cognitive
problems in people of all ages. It also damages the endothelial
cells lining the arteries and curbs production of nitric oxide,
impairing circulation, raising blood pressure, and increasing risk
of cardiovascular disease, kidney dysfunction, cancer, and premature
If lead would stay put in the bones, it might not be such a problem-
but it doesn't. Along with other minerals, lead is released into the
bloodstream and transported to tissues throughout the body.
Generally, this release
is slow, gradual, and unnoticed. But there are times when it picks
up speed. During pregnancy, when extra calcium is needed for fetal
bone development, blood lead levels rise, increasing risk of
hypertension for women with high levels, and often causing low birth
weight and physical and mental developmental delays for their
Lead is also mobilized during mid-life and old age. Women are
especially vulnerable after menopause, when bone loss increases. It
is estimated that blood lead levels go up 30 percent during the five
years after menopause!
Men also lose bone mass
as they age, and the resultant increase in blood lead levels
negatively affects them as well.
As you can see, we all need to take steps to get the lead out, and
the fastest way to do this is to undergo a course of intravenous
(IV) EDTA chelation.
EDTA is a synthetic amino acid that
forms a tight chemical bond with lead and other minerals and carries
them out of the body in the urine.
EDTA chelation has been the
number one FDA-approved therapy for lead poisoning since 1948.
After World War II,
sailors suffering with lead toxicity acquired while painting
battleships and docks with lead-based paint were treated with EDTA
chelation, and their results were remarkable. Not only did these men
have the expected restoration of memory, energy, vision, and
hearing, but those who also had heart disease experienced unexpected
improvements in angina and circulation.
That's how the broad benefits of chelation were serendipitously
discovered. Astute physicians took heed and began using chelation
for patients with cardiovascular disease and circulatory problems
and, for a decade or so, its popularity mushroomed. Then the
politics and economics of modern medicine intervened.
To make a long story short, this relatively inexpensive,
office-based therapy had no chance against the Goliaths of
cardiology (surgery and drugs). Chelation became embroiled in
controversy, where it remains to this day.
But a few thousand
physicians refused to give up on it. I've been using EDTA chelation
in my clinic for about 20 years, and I've seen it eliminate angina,
improve exercise tolerance, lower blood pressure, increase
circulation, and save limbs on the verge of amputation.
The following story,
from subscriber William Tessier from Cotuit, MA, is a perfect
Saved My Life"
"Fourteen years ago,
my doctor told me I needed angioplasty, and if I didn't have it,
I wouldn't live more than two years.
Something told me that I
should not do it, so I lived with angina and blocked arteries,
along with asthma, for the next 12 years. I was overweight,
could not walk any distance without getting out of breath, and
regularly experienced uncomfortable chest pain. I was taking 11
different drugs for all of my health problems."
"Through those years I had to care for a very sick wife who
passed away over five years ago. I met a friend three years ago
whom I had not seen for quite some time. She told me about
vitamins, nutrition, and chelation therapy, which she learned
about from your newsletter."
"After undergoing chelation treatment, exercising, and eating a
low-fat diet, I am a new person. People cannot get over the
change in me; some don't recognize me at all. I lost 80 pounds,
my asthma is now a thing of the past, and my arteries are fine.
I can walk greater distances and spend nearly an hour a day on a
treadmill and other exercise machines. I am also rid of all
those killer drugs."
"By the way, before I started chelation, I brought the
information to my doctor, who had put me on all those drugs. He
said, "You will be wasting your money." He is now retired from
his practice because of heart-related problems. Chelation saved
my life. I am 78 years old and the friend that I met up with is
now my lovely wife.
I thank God that she
receives Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing newsletter."
I am often asked if oral chelation is the same as IV
Yes and no. All chelating agents bind to
minerals and move them out of the body. However, no one can convince
me that oral chelators have the same effect as IV chelation.
This doesn't mean I don't recommend oral chelation. Although giant
strides have been made in eliminating lead, it lingers in our
environment. Even if you scrupulously avoid all known sources of
exposure, you still have to contend with the lead that's stored in,
and being released from, your bones. And lead is only one of many
environmental toxins out there. Therefore, I support any and all
efforts to chip away at the body's toxic burden.
What is the best oral chelator?
Vitamin C is
surprisingly good. Researchers from the University of California,
San Francisco looked at blood levels of lead and ascorbic acid and
found that children and adults with the highest levels of ascorbic
acid were 89 and 65 percent, respectively, less likely to have
elevated blood lead levels.
Other chelators are as close as your kitchen. Phytic acid (also
called inositol hexaphosphate or IP6), which is found in the hulls
of fiber-rich nuts, seeds, and grains, removes toxins from the
intestinal tract. Garlic and cilantro are also natural chelators. In
addition to eating more of these healthful foods, look for them in
concentrated supplement form.
I've also been researching PectaSol Chelation Complex. It contains
modified citrus pectin, a type of fiber derived from citrus pulp,
along with natural chelators in seaweed called alginates, and has
been shown to effectively remove a wide range of heavy metals.
supplements include N-acetyl-cysteine, zeolite, and, of course, EDTA.
Although I most
often recommend IV chelation for patients with heart disease
or circulation problems, I believe it provides benefits for
most everyone over age 50.
is administered in a doctor's office via a 90-minute to
three-hour IV infusion once or twice a week for a total of
25 to 30 treatments. To find a doctor in your area who
administers this treatment, visit acam.org. For more
information on receiving chelation therapy at Whitaker
Wellness, call (800) 488-1500.
Look for oral
chelation products in your health food store and take as
directed. PectaSol Chelation Complex can be ordered by
calling (800) 308-5518.