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2013-11-27

Intravenous Chelation Benefits Diabetics

Well, this is likely the last post before Black Friday, so instead rehashing last year's rant, you can just read it again HERE.

Now, for the study, which is a slight deviation from the typical nutritional focus of this site. This was a new study that showed some amazing benefits for using intravenous chelation in a diabetic population. This was an analysis of the data from the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). In this study, the researchers didn't find much benefit to nondiabetic patients; however, when they narrowed their analysis to just those with diabetes, chelation therapy delivered some extraordinary, and surprising, benefits.

The study protocol was that patients were randomized to a regimen involving up to 40 separate three-hour infusions of a chelation-therapy solution (consisting of disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid [EDTA], ascorbic acid, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, B vitamins, procainamide, and a small amount of standard heparin). All patients in TACT were aged 50 or older and had had a prior heart attack.

The study's results found a highly significant 15% absolute decrease in risk of the primary composite end-point (all-cause death, reinfarction, stroke, revascularization, or hospitalization for angina) among diabetic patients in the chelation arm compared with patients treated with placebo infusions. When broken down to look at the secondary end points, the researchers found about a 40% reduction in recurrent heart attacks, and about a 50% reduction in mortality.

To reduce one instance of the primary end-point in the chelation group with diabetes, the number needed to treat was 6.5 patients over 5 years. Importantly, there was no reduction in events in the nondiabetic patients, which investigators say may explain why the primary study results were not quite robust enough to deflect ongoing controversy over the trial.

The researchers acknowledged that cardiologists have greeted the TACT results with skepticism but argues that the results were actually expected for diabetologists and epidemiologists. This is because over years of research, diabetic complications have demonstrated that accumulation of advanced-glycation end products (AGEs) involves metal-catalyzed oxygen chemistry for their formation. Logically then, chelation of metal ions may be particularly important in diabetic patients, explaining the magnitude of benefit seen in this group.

It's a very interesting take or explanation on why this worked in diabetic patients, and not nondiabetic patients. I think more research needs to be done, but definitely adds some much need scientific support for this therapy.

One other thing I'd like to see in future studies is a infusion cocktail with less ingredients. There were lots of things used in this trial, so it's difficult to ascertain what was actually happening biochemically and what was responsible for the results.

Source: The effect of an EDTA-based chelation regimen on patients with diabetes mellitus and prior myocardial infarction in Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)

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