Chelation therapy for heart disease
The long overdue coverage you gave chelation therapy as an alternative to surgery for coronary artery disease (Vol 4 No 2) is only to be welcomed, but your attempts to play fair stretched the case for caution beyond just limits.
Chelation is not only now an accepted NHS procedure; it is acknowledged safe by the Department of Health as well as the British Heart Foundation.
There are no serious concerns about the safety of chelation's afffects on kidneys or any other organs. Chelation administered according to the protocol long laid down by the official monitoring body, the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is actually positively beneficial to kidneys since it removes lead which causes kidney damage (New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 327, 1992).
Moreover, although you criticized the lack of a long term follow up study by one particular clinic, Napier University in Edinburgh embarked last October on a retrospective follow up study going back five years. Richard Thomas, Consultant director, the Arterial Health Foundation (PO Box 8, Atherton, Manchester M29 9FY).
In our zeal to attack "unproven" and "dangerous" drugs and surgery, it is vital that we not apply a double standard and uncritically embrace promising but equally unproven alternatives. The fact that a study is being carried out does not mean anything significant, nor does a single study showing that chelation removes lead prove it safe or long lasting.
We think chelation therapy sounds like a good alternative to orthodox heart treatment. But as with all forms of medicine, our attitude is and must be simply: prove it.