By Scott J. Banks, Joe Kraynak, J. J. Virgin

Chelation is used in conventional medicine to remove from the body toxic heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, aluminum, nickel, and arsenic, that the body itself can’t otherwise excrete. Chelating agents, including EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) and DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid), bind chemically to the toxic metal molecules, so the newly formed compounds can be flushed from the system.

In addition to its use in treating heavy‐metal toxicity, chelation has shown some promise in treating cardiovascular illnesses and improving atherosclerosis. It may also be helpful in treating autism, ADHD, and a host of other conditions that may be related to heavy‐metal toxicity.

Chelation also removes beneficial nutrients from the body, including calcium, iron, and zinc, so proceed with caution (in many cases, chelation is administered with large doses of vitamins and minerals to replace those removed during chelation).

Before undergoing any heavy metal detoxification program, have your healthcare practitioner test for metal toxicity and confirm the presence of heavy metals in your body and then obtain treatment under the supervision of a trained functional medical doctor. Make sure your doctor also monitors your kidney function.

There are things that you can do every day to assist your body in detoxifying heavy metals gently without undergoing heavy duty chelation. Adopt a healthier diet and increase your intake of glutathione, magnesium, silymarin, calcium D‐glucarate, quercetin, watercress, and milk thistle to start. Also be aware of how you can be exposed to heavy metals (pesticides, pressure‐treated wood, paints, petroleum‐based products, and environmental lead for example), and avoid these altogether or take reasonable precautions.