Natural means of heart disease prevention

A lesson in TACT

You may not know this, but there’s currently a randomized, double-blind trial underway to investigate the benefits of chelation therapy–that is, the removal of toxic heavy metals from the body–against coronary artery disease.

It’s called the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). And so far, results look promising… which, of course, has the “powers that be” very concerned.

After all, what would all those hospitals and doctors do if safe, natural means of heart disease prevention were actually proven effective?

For one thing, the number of coronary bypass procedures on the books would drop considerably. And, well… that’s not good for business, now is it?

So naturally, they’re looking for ways to diminish the importance of this simple and inexpensive treatment modality.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s look at the study details…

Researchers divided subjects into four different groups. One group received high-dose oral vitamin therapy–which featured a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and zinc–along with chelation therapy.

Another group received placebo “vitamins” and active chelation therapy. Yet another received active vitamin therapy and placebo chelation therapy. The final group received placebo vitamin therapy and placebo chelation therapy.

Results showed that, compared to placebo, vitamin therapy yielded an 11 percent reduction in risk of death, heart attack, stroke, coronary revascularization surgery, and angina hospitalization.

Researchers dismissed this number as statistically insignificant–a conclusion that’s hardly worth a headline. When did anyone claim that vitamins could do any of these things on their own, anyway?

Furthermore, what type of vitamins did this study use? In what doses? And where are our biggest allies against heart disease–coQ10 and fish oil–in this mix?

Without more details, this information only serves to distract us from TACT’s real newsworthy results.

As it turns out, active, combined chelation and vitamin therapy cut the same list of cardiovascular risks by a whopping 26 percent in comparison to placebo treatments. That’s a huge reduction–and there’s no drug on the market that can boast statistics like this.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for the celebration to start. Because it’s not happening anytime soon.

On the contrary, the researchers were all too quick to assert that these findings shouldn’t be interpreted as a triumph for alternative medicine. And that there’s no place for these natural strategies in mainstream cardiology yet.

Why? Because “more study is still needed.” Of course.

To which I ask: What more, exactly, do they need?

Heaven forbid, we offer patients something that is inexpensive, safe, and effective. We’re doctors after all… isn’t that our job???

These results indicate that chelation could potentially save us billions of dollars. In the current economic climate of this healthcare system, you’d think that would garner applause.

Instead, the so-called experts’ statements on the study are littered with terms like “surprising” and “unexpected” and “caution.”

If anything, their nervousness is palpable.

But here’s a little tidbit the researchers will never admit publicly: They launched this trial to prove that chelation doesn’t work. And now that they’ve proved that it does, they are beside themselves. In fact, there’s even talk about pulling funds, in the interest of not wasting public money.

I’ve got news for you. Every trial is a waste of money until proven otherwise. And as far as I’m concerned, this particular study has delivered the goods.

O’Riordan, Michael. “No win for vitamin therapy in the TACT chelation study.” 14 Mar 2013. Accessed at