Why Is Chelation Therapy Alternative or Non Standard?

Question by sharron: Why is chelation therapy alternative or non standard?
There seems to be a lot of evidence that it works and the science makes sense, apparently it has little or no side effects. Some Medical Doctors do offer it but it seems its always in an “alternative medicine” practice. Why do hospitals not offer this treatment? Why is it not taken seriously?

Best answer:

Answer by Tabby
Chelation therapy gets rid of excess metals in your body, which is great if you have excess metals (eg haemochromatosis). Most people don’t, so there is no logical reason why it would work. For heart disease, I can’t find any evidence that it works. The limited studies that have been done are generally so poorly run that the results are meaningless, and the rest show no benefit.

Then we have to take into account the risks vs benefits.
Risks: we don’t 100% know, because there hasn’t been enough research. One study on rats found it caused lasting brain damage. There have been deaths reported, and many more reports of kidney failure. Another risk is that the patients will use this instead of treatments that may actually help them.
The side effects include fever, headache, nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, convulsions, bone marrow depression (dropping blood cell counts), a drop in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, respiratory arrest, and hypocalcemia.
Benefits: …well you won’t have lead poisoning, but it won’t do much for your heart

Some doctors will do it because it will make them very rich.

It is not taken seriously because there is plenty of evidence that it can cause harm and virtually no evidence of benefit.


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