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In Defense of Chelation Therapy

May 05, 1985

Your chelation therapy articles present a distorted view of chelation in spite of your reporter's excellent coverage of the "chelation controversy."

The analogies of "roto rooter," "swirling fatty plaques" and comparisons to bypass heart surgery are tools of media hype and leave the pro-chelators short on reality.

Dr. Frommer's "Laetrile of cardiology" remark betrays hype thinking in high places of the anti-chelator groups.

I would request that you look at this matter from a broader viewpoint. During the last century, the science of medicine has been rapidly evolving due in part from contributions by allied sciences like chemistry, engineering, mathematics, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology. . . . The progression of these vignettes of information into an orderly hypothesis requires scientific validation in clinical medicine. However, clinical medicine is frequently reticent to change its hard-won informational base in response to dissonant and disconcerting basic research or conflicting basic observations.

The majority of practicing physicians look upon the present "chelation controversy" as peripheral and of marginal consequence except for those infrequent classic deficiencies or toxicities that have filtered down to the clinical level of medical practice. May I suggest that we proceed in this matter with humility and the understanding that our "facts" are not etched in stone. As we proceed, accumulating data, let us find out why patients who are chelated feel better, why patients with coronary artery disease who have been chelated have a mortality rate similar to patients having a coronary bypass, and lastly why we cannot proceed in an orderly manner to get clinical data on a drug proved animal and human safe.

IVAN C. TIHOLIZ MD

Northridge

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