A controversial alternative treatment has been tested in clinical trials and may be beneficial to those suffering with heart disease. According to the US National Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the chelation therapy was developed to remove heavy metals from the body and may be advantageous to those with heart problems.
While many believe the treatment is safe and effective, there are critics that believe further testing should be abandoned. The treatment is a long process and can cost around $5,000. The process involves infusing complex mixtures which are for the purpose of attracting the heavy metals in the body.
The study involved patients receiving 40 infusions or a placebo and researchers followed patients for over four and a half years. Results showed that those who had received the chelation therapy infusions did experience less cardiac episodes including strokes, heart attacks, and deaths than those receiving the placebo. Diabetic patients were found to have received the most benefit during the clinical trial.
Additional research will be necessary to explore other results. Currently, there are not sufficient health benefits for the alternative therapy for doctors to recommend the treatment. In fact some doctors involved in the study admit they will not recommend the treatment to others because the potential risks of the infusions outweigh the found benefits for those suffering from heart disease.
The clinical trial results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Los Angeles.