Cardiovascular Disease and EDTA Chelation

Practitioner Guidance

  • The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)
  • Cardiovascular Disease With Diabetes
  • Chelation vs Statins – Compare the NNTs

The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)

A major clinical trial by the US National Institutes of Health showed EDTA chelation patients had a reduction in cardiovascular events. 1

We can offer detailed analysis and discussion about this crucial research. As an example, see below for numbers needed to treat compared with statins.

Cardiovascular Disease With Diabetes

An associated sub-study of the TACT clinical trial has found significant benefits of EDTA chelation for diabetic patients with prior myocardial infarctions. 2

The paper by Lamas et al concludes:

“Post–myocardial infarction patients with diabetes mellitus aged ≥50 demonstrated a marked reduction in cardiovascular events with EDTA chelation. These findings support efforts to replicate these findings and define the mechanisms of benefit. However, they do not constitute sufficient evidence to indicate the routine use of chelation therapy for all post–myocardial infarction patients with diabetes mellitus.”

A companion article “‘Extraordinary” Chelation Effects in Diabetes Propel TACT into Spotlight Again’ by Shelley Wood in Medscape, 19 November 2013 (requires registration) adds:

“Lamas acknowledged that cardiologists have greeted the TACT results with skepticism and/or derision but argues that the results are actually intuitive for diabetologists and epidemiologists, who over years of researching diabetes complications have demonstrated that accumulation of advanced-glycation end products involved metal-catalyzed oxygen chemistry for their formation. As such, chelation of metal ions may be that much more important in diabetes patients, explaining the magnitude of benefit in this group. Indeed, note Lamas and colleagues in their paper, some common diabetes medications actually have chelating properties.”

Chelation vs Statins for Treating Cardiovascular Disease

The 2013 TACT trial showed that EDTA chelation can reduce cardiovascular events in patients with established cardiovascular disease, especially with concurrent diabetes.

Only six patients with diabetes had to be treated with EDTA to prevent one adverse outcome – less than half the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) with statins.

Relative risk reduction of major coronary event

Treatment All patients post-MI Patients post-MI with diabetes
 EDTA Chelation  18%  41%
 EDTA + OMVM *  26%  51%
 Statin/genfibrozil 3  22% **  21%

* OMVM = oral multivitamins and multiminerals.
** Based on non-diabetic patient = 23%. No data for all patients.

NNT to prevent a cardiovascular event in secondary prevention population

Treatment All patients Patients with diabetes
EDTA Chelation 18 6.5
EDTA + OMVM * 12 5.5
Statin 3 16 15

* OMVM = oral multivitamins and multiminerals.


1) Lamas GA, et al. (2013). Effect of Disodium EDTA Chelation Regimen on Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Previous Myocardial Infarction: the TACT Randomized Trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association 309, 1241-1250.

2) Escolar E, Lamas GA, Mark DB, et al. (2014). The effect of an EDTA-based chelation regimen on patients with diabetes mellitus and prior myocardial infarction in the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 7:15–24.

3) Costa, J., Borges, M., et al. (2006). Efficacy of lipid lowering drug treatment for diabetic and non-diabetic patients: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 332, 1115-1124.

The information provided here is only for general reference and cannot replace personalised professional medical advice from a doctor.

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Vitamin C

EDTA Chelation