New Hope for Diabetics with Heart Disease
The traditional medical establishment has considered chelation therapy as quackery for many years. Finally, in 2002, NIH (National Institutes of Health) agreed to the TACT trial (the trial to assess chelation therapy). The researchers thought when the trial started that this would finally put chelation therapy to rest as quackery. To be sure there was no mistake, the researchers designed the study to the highest standards in medicine, a double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled study. Many of the study centers were in academic settings.
Neither the doctors nor the patients knew who was getting chelation therapy. This was a fairly large study involving 1708 patients of which 632 were diabetic. This $30 million study was conducted at 134 sites. There were a total of 55,222 infusions given. These patients all had one previous heart attack, so they were a known risk.
However, shortly into the study, some patients mostly the placebo group, started to drop out, they had figured out they were in the placebo group. A total of 17 percent of the patients dropped out.
In 2012, the NIH released the results of the trial, and they were staggering, especially when it came to diabetics. Nothing in conventional medicine came even close to the results achieved in the TACT trial.
One of the ways we assess the therapy is with a number called NNT (number needed to treat). For example, with statin drug therapy, you have to treat 16 diabetics patients in order to prevent one heart attack. However, in chelation therapy, the number needed to treat was only 6.5, which is 246 percent better than statin drug therapy.
Epidemiologists have known for a long time that lead was associated with cardiovascular disease, but epidemiologists don’t treat heart disease; they don’t treat anything. Physicians in the alternative and integrative medicine community knew this information but not general physicians. In the study, they examined the amount of lead released in the urine after a chelation treatment. They did a baseline measurement, a measurement with the placebo, and then finally with the active agent, EDTA. They found a 3593 percent increase in lead excretion in these patients when they took EDTA chelation. They also found a 500 percent increase in the excretion of cadmium, another heavy metal.
How the Researchers Conducted the Study
The researchers compared chelation to the placebo group, and they compared high dose vitamins to the placebo group, and they compared the combination of chelation and high-dose vitamins. They did this for both nondiabetics and the subgroup of diabetic patients.
They looked at a single follow-up event, and they looked at the risk of multiple events. Here are the results starting with diabetic patients, who are at very high risk for cardiovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and stroke.
The results were staggering to say the least.
1. There was a 51 percent decrease in the number of subsequent events in the diabetic group. And more important, there was a 43 percent drop in all-cause mortality (deaths) in the diabetic group.
2. The risk of multiple events dropped 62 percent.
3. The curve comparing chelation-treated diabetics to patients who received no treatment but didn’t have diabetes were almost identical. What this means is that diabetic patients who had chelation therapy had the same identical risk to patients who were nondiabetic. Chelation eliminated the cardiovascular risk of diabetes. Given that heart disease is the primary cause of death in diabetics, this is tremendous news. Regulating blood sugar and hypertension have had minimal effect in reducing cardiovascular events.
1. Vitamin therapy alone had an 11 percent drop, but there were not enough patients in the group for statistical significance.
Chelation and Vitamin Therapy
1. There was a drop of 26 percent in events with chelation and vitamins, P 0.016, anything less than P 0.05 is statistically significant.
2. Reduction of multiple events 34 percent with P value of 0.002.
3. NNT (number needed to treat to 12) NNT with statins 16. The lower the number the better.
In 2012, 223,000 diabetics died, 68 percent of them had heart disease or 155,040 people. This study indicates that chelation therapy and high dose vitamins could have prevented 66,000 deaths.
If you have a had a heart attack, chelation therapy can reduce your risk of subsequent attacks substantially. If you’re a diabetic, your major risk of death is a cardiovascular event. Chelation therapy can cut that risk in half.
NIH has given an $840,000 grant for planning the TACT2 trial, which will focus more on the effect of chelation on heart disease prevention in diabetics. Stay tuned; we should have more news in another 10 years.
If you’re interested in receiving chelation therapy, call our office for a free consultation,