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Chelation

Chelation therapy is a medical procedure that involves the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body.
Chelation therapy has a long history of use in clinical toxicology, and remains in use for some very specific medical treatments, although it is administered under very careful medical supervision due to various inherent risks.

Chelation therapy must be administered with care as it has a number of possible side effects. Although oral chelating agents are available, for severe heavy metal poisoning chelation may be administered intravenously, which gets the chelating agents directly into the bloodstream. Rapid infusion of chelating agents may damage the kidneys when they flush the heavy metals out of the blood. Metals liberated from the tissues may also enter the brain.

Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is used for the treatment of acute lead poisoning in children. Other chelating agents, such as 2,3-dimercaptopropanesulfonic acid (DMPS) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA), are used in conventional and alternative medicine. Some common chelating agents are ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), 2,3-dimercaptopropanesulfonic acid (DMPS). These agents bind to heavy metals in the body and prevent them from binding to other areas such as DNA, where they may form adducts. The chelated heavy metals are then excreted from the body. The chelating process also removes vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, therefore these must be supplemented during chelation.

Standard chelating agents are typically in the form of capsules or tablets, but a safer alternative is to use pegylated liquid chelating agents, which have a better safety record and effective outcomes.