Some science behind the scenes

Chelation summary table

The following table is highly tentative.  Many claims are made about the properties of these agents, which on further examination are either wishful thinking or repeats of repeats of other papers which are simply speculation.  We have tried to be conservative in the allocation, but all help would be gratefully received in making this table more accurate and complete.

Please do not read this table as being an indicator that if you have some form of overload or poisoning via the substances across the top of the chart, you simply use one of the substances down the side.  The combinations of metals chelated are important.  In fact the less targeted the substance is the more dangerous it may be if some of those targets are normally needed by the body.

 

Lead

Ant-

imony

Merc

ury

Arse

nic

Iron

Gold

Zinc

Calc-

ium

Cop

per

Alu-

Min-

ium

Magn-

esium

Nick

el

Molyb-

deum

Carbon

 &

Smoke

Cad-

mium

Mang-

anese

Other

toxins

EDTA

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

Note 12

DMSA

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Note 14

DMPS

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Deferox.

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note 10

DTPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Note 16

BAL

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Anti-biotics

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

See note 13

Bran

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sulphur

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Malic acid

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Ferulic

acid

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X 11

Zinc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Sele-

nium

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curcu

min

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Iron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Carno-

sol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

Caffeic

acid

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamin C

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X 1

Vitamin B6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X2

Vitamin E

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note 15

Calcium

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthocy-anidins

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyanidin

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delph-

inidin

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrom-

ium

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atro-

pine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X3

Nico-

tinic acid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X4

Picro-

toxin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X5

Char-coal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X6

Quer-

cetin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloro-

Genic

acid

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X7

Limon-ene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X8

Copper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X9

 

 

 

 

Anthocy-anidins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyanidin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delph-

inidin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note 1 Paraquat

Note 2 Hydrazine and monosodium glutamate

Note 3 Organophosphates

Note 4 Pesticides

Note 5 Barbiturates

Note 6 Benzodiazepines

Note 7 Nitrous oxide, peroxide

Note 8 Ozone

Note 9  “molybdenum toxicity is associated with copper intake or depleted copper stores in the body, humans who have an inadequate intake of dietary copper or some dysfunction in their copper metabolism that makes them copper-deficient could be at greater risk of molybdenum toxicity”. PMID:  10362269

Note 10 – Apart from iron toxicity, deferoxamine has been used to treat aluminium toxicity (an excess of aluminium in the body) in some patients. In US, the drug is not FDA-approved for this use

Note 11 – Benzopyrene

Note 12 Although EDTA can be beneficial in cases of acute heavy metal poisoning. Use of disodium EDTA instead of calcium EDTA has resulted in fatalities due to hypocalcemia.  The main problem with EDTA is that it appears to chelate everything – good and bad!  Although it appears to be able to remove lead, mercury and cadmium, it can also remove chromium, iron, cobalt, selenium, zinc, tin, manganese, magnesium, potassium and thallium.  It can also remove a number of essential vitamins like the B complex vitamins and vitamin C.  It is thus totally indiscriminate in its actions.  This is why it is never used outside the clinical setting and only in cases where acute lead poisoning, and as a consequence brain damage may result.

It might be worth noting that EDTA is added to some food as a preservative or stabilizer to prevent catalytic oxidative decoloration, which is catalyzed by metal ions.  In soft drinks containing ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate, EDTA mitigates formation of benzene (a carcinogen)

Note 13 Antibiotic drugs of the tetracycline and quinolone families are chelators of Fe2+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions.  In general this has been detrimental to the person’s health, however, in cases of poisoning or imbalance it is clear these compounds have a use.

Note 14 - Sodium calcium edetate [EDTA] causes dose-related nephrotoxicity. Both agents deplete zinc and copper, the effect on zinc being significantly greater with sodium calcium edetate. A transient increase in hepatic transaminase activity has been reported with both antidotes but appears to be more common with DMSA and neither has been associated with clinically significant hepatic toxicity. Skin lesions during treatment with sodium calcium edetate are unusual and have been attributed to zinc deficiency. DMSA has occasionally been associated with a severe mucocutaneous reaction necessitating discontinuation of therapy.  PMID: 19852620

Note 15 The co-administration of vitamin E during chelation treatment with DMSA or MiADMSA could be recommended for achieving optimum effects of chelation therapy. PMID: 12732454

As can be seen from the table, one of the difficulties of all chelation therapy is that those compounds that remove harmful metals may also remove essential metals.  Aspergillus niger or A. niger, for example, is a fungus and one of the most common species of the genus Aspergillus.  It has been used to rescue contaminated soils.  A sample of the fungus Aspergillus niger was found growing from gold mining tailings; and was found to contain cyano metal complexes; such as gold, silver, copper, iron and zinc.  So it is a metal chelator, but it also chelates metals that are key to our health from the soil.

Aspergillus niger causes a disease called black mould on certain fruits and vegetables such as grapes, apricots, onions, and peanuts, and is a common contaminant of food. It is ubiquitous in soil and is commonly reported from indoor environments, where its black colonies can be confused with those of Stachybotrys (species of which have also been called "black mould").  One of the reasons we may become ill from food contaminated with the mould is because it is chelating essential minerals from us.

Note 16 In August, 2004 the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) determined zinc-DTPA and calcium-DTPA to be safe and effective for treatment of those who have breathed in or otherwise been contaminated internally by plutonium, americium, or curium. The recommended treatment is for an initial dose of calcium-DTPA, as this salt of DTPA has been shown to be more effective in the first 24 hours after internal contamination by plutonium, americium, or curium. After that time has elapsed both calcium-DTPA and zinc-DTPA are similarly effective in reducing internal contamination with plutonium, americium or curium, and zinc-DTPA is less likely to deplete the body's normal levels of zinc and other metals essential to health. Each drug can be administered by nebulizer for those who have breathed in contamination, and by intravenous injection for those contaminated by other routes.