Safe Oral and IV Chelation – Heavy Metal Detoxification

Heavy metal chelation is so important to perform safely with a trained doctor.  We are certified for safe oral and IV chelation. Heavy metals are some of the strongest irreversible enzyme inhibitors – at the cell membrane or liver they can stop the activities of many protective enzyme systems.

EDTA, DMPS, and DMSA are free radical scavengers

Our Holistic Doctors serve all of Santa Barbara county with chelation treatments including Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Isla Vista, Hope Ranch, Summerland, and Montecito.  We also frequently welcome our patients from Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Los Angeles County, and beyond.

‘It is the removal of these environmental toxins that prevents the genes from having to act and cause disease’ Elmer Cranton MD

Very high affinity for mercury in its free state, but mercury bound up in tissues will not be chelated by EDTA. A di-thiol chelator such as DMPS or DMSA needs to be added.

Heavy Metal accumulation near lipid cell membranes speeds the rate of lipid peroxidation and pathological free radical oxidation accelerating the aging process – EDTA removes unbound, freely catalytic and abnormally situated metals from the body and has a much greater affinity for metallic free radical catalysts than it does for calcium – it takes out metals preferably from our body!

Most heavy metals accumulate on the outer layers of the cell membrane, on receptors or channel proteins or occasionally inside the cell in the cytosol.

Ionic ‘pull’ effect – as you detox the vascular and extracellular fluid (ECF) you pull toxic ions along their concentration gradient – away from the central nervous system (CNS).

  • Cardiovascular – coronary arteries work better, atherosclerosis
    • Peripheral venous disease, history of DVT, chronic peripheral venous insufficiency
    • Cardiac arrhythmias – PVCs and PACs reduced
    • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Pulmonary – chronic lung disease, COPD, pulmonary micro-emboli
  • Skeletal/Joint/Soft Tissue
    • Osteoarthritis, RA, ligaments, cartilage
  • Ophthalmic
    • Macular degeneration – EDTA can be more effective with dry than wet
      • Works well if following IV protocol is added to remineralization rotation
    • Cataracts
  • Pharmaceuticals
    • Dose lowering – Coumadin, insulin, arrhythmia medications, etc
  • Misc – preventive medicine, anti-aging

Dithiol chelating agent just like DMSA.


  • acute/chronic heavy metal intoxication.
  • urine provocation challenge testing
  • cardiac glycoside toxicity
  • CV disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Order of affinity – Mercury, then lead, silver, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, antimony

It is not stored by the tissues, chelates both intra and extra cellularly, 50% is excreted within first 6 hours, 90% after 24 hours. When given IV, kidneys excrete 90%.

Toxicity is dose dependent. No adverse effect on function of kidney, liver, CV, or respiratory system when dosed at 5mg/kg. Hypotension is most common side effect due to too high dose or too rapid administration.

The di thiol chelating agent used orally 20% gets into bloodstream, but the amount that goes through the GI helps to chelate the GI tract which can harbor toxic metals.

People who have bad GI sxs when taking DMSA either are experiencing die off or oral sulfate issue. Die off in the gut can happen especially with people with a lot of fungal issues.

Actual half-life is 20-60 minutes max.

But, when given with EDTA, people can dump for 4-5 days.

Suggests that all persons undergoing EDTA should be administered oral DMSA for minimum of one week after EDTA treatment.
Malic Acid

Malic acid and citric acid are excellent Aluminum chelators. They are more shepherd chelates – they keep the aluminum moving out.  Anything that helps phase 2 detox will help aluminum excretion.


  • History/full patient intake profile
  • Physical examination
  • Serum Lab Tests
  • U/A
  • Cardiovascular – EKG, baseline resting
  • Chest x ray if normally indicated (r/o tuberculosis)
  • Serum lab tests
  • Basic pre-chelation profile:
  • Electrolytes
  • RBC Mg&Zn
  • BUN, Creatinine, Protein, Glob
  • AST/ALT/ Total Bilirubin -> CMP 1x/wk for kidney dz, always 48 hrs after tx. Healthy person every 6 weeks (every 6-12txs)
  • Glucose
  • Lipid panel/VAP
  • CBC+ferritin
    • As indicated – Homocysteine, hsCRP
  • OTHER tests
    • Mineral panels
    • Amino acid profile
    • Fatty acid profile
    • Vitamin profiles
    • Endocrine profiles
    • Viral tests
      • Hep b/c
      • Lyme, EBC, CMV, etc..
      • Fibrinogen
      • Hb-a1c
      • Fe profile
      • Iodine
      • Vit D
      • Clotting studies
      • Thyroid profile
    • Urine Lab Tests
      • Heavy metal provocation challenge
      • UA
        • Urine dip, microscopic evaluation important
          • Presence of casts etc.
        • 24 hour pre-provocative (no edta) if doing standard 24 hour creatinine clearance
      • Cardiopulmonary testing
        • If you do not have a baseline or recent testing EKG from PCP then obtain one
        • Chest Xray
      • Other tests to consider:
        • Stress EKG
          • If atypical symptoms in men or menopausal women
          • Known CAD assessing prognosis (serial testing)
          • Assessing patient with exercise-induced dysrhythmia
        • Carotid Evaluation/Ultrasound (carotid bruit interpretation)
          • Carotid artery duplex ultrasonography
        • Echocardiogram
          • Every patient with CHF

Treatments per week

  • One to three weekly chelation treatments with mineral repletion IV – response to treatment will determine this
  • Many chelation physicians use 30 treatments total as a standard.
  • Chelation need does not end with respect to heavy metals, but method may change
  • Based on goal of treatment – heavy metals, CV health, other sxs

Other supportive measures

  • Oral mineral Rx’s
    • Zinc, Ca, Mg, K
  • Oral chelation Rx (DMSA)
  • Kidney, Liver, GI support – important because of urinary excretion of metals
    • Brain and heart – ALA, Mg, Taurine (can use in remineralization), carnitine, Coq10
    • Bone – Vit D3, iodine, cal-mag-zinc
    • Blood – monitor plasma electrolytes
  • Treatment of other co-morbid conditions


  • Every treatment day or weekly urinalysis – if protein/glucose then back off tx and ask pt of any changes
  • Chem screen/kidney functions – every 4-6 weeks, more if indicated
  • DTR assessment to assess electrolyte status
  • Liver function assessment
  • History since last treatment/over treatment course
    • Cramping, BM frequency/GI changes, sleep changes, vision changes, anxiety, energy, edema, angina…

Common symptoms during treatment

  • Dehydration is most common symptom – Drink electrolyte water!
  • We can give 250-500 cc normal saline after tx as well for hydration.
    • You can always go slower, the goal is a healthier body post-treatment.

‘All people over the age of 60 should have a routine course of Chelation therapy as part of a general revitalization program.’ Dr Frank Shallenberger MD