EDTA in my multivitamins - good idea?

I went to a doctor who specializes in nutritional medicine last week, and he has given me a multivitamin with EDTA in it to chelate and remove any heavy metals that I may have poisoning my body (from the fluoride I drink and the mercury leaching from all my amalgam fillings). I am a little skeptical of his claims that I have heavy metal poisoning in the first place, and about the claims that I need EDTA in the second place.

Looking this up on the net, I’m not finding any good answers as to whether taking a multivitamin with EDTA every day is a good idea or not. They’re quite expensive ($40 for a month’s supply), so I would like to know if I actually need them or not.

Anybody have any feedback on this?

Disclaimer: IANA medical professional.

Before he treats you for heavy metal poisoning, doesn’t he have to prove that you have heavy metal poisoning in the first place?

The whole “we’re being poisoned by the fluoride in our drinking water/mercury in our fillings” standpoint is a widespread “alternative” viewpoint that has–AFAIK–no basis in medical or scientific fact. On that basis alone, I would be very suspicious of his attempts to “cure” your “heavy metal poisoning” by routinely prescribing a supplement.

Or you can read what Quackwatch has to say about EDTA and chelation therapy. Hint: It’s not positive.

EDTA is used for lead poisoning, under proper medical supervision, and it will bind other toxic metals. But those are legitimate uses where blood tests establish that a case of metal poisoning already exists, not least because the EDTA therapy itself can have severe side effects. The use of small amounts of EDTA as a vague “supplement”, where no diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning exists, is pushed by “alternative” health practitioners, doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, probably has no basis in scientific fact, and as cancer.org notes, doesn’t seem to work.


So we’re back to, “Ask him to prove that you’re suffering from heavy metal poisoning before you start dropping 40 bucks a month on the pills.” Just because he thinks that the mercury in your fillings and the fluoride in your drinking water is building up in your body isn’t reason enough, IMO, to prescribe the routine use of EDTA on a “preventive” basis. He ought to have lab tests to show you that you need chelation therapy. EDTA doesn’t sound like something you should be ingesting small quantities of every day. And you certainly IMO shouldn’t be paying over a dollar a day for something that probably isn’t going to help you.

What kind of doctor is he? What’s his degree in? I don’t think a legitimate, serious M.D. would be pushing EDTA as a routine supplement.

Also, Quackwatch notes that EDTA promotes the excretion of zinc, which sounds counterproductive if you’re pairing it with a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

Besides, Fluoride isn’t a heavy metal, and I don’t think it would be affected at all by EDTA. I don’t know if the oral vitamins could have much of an effect on heavy metals either, since I believe legitimate chelation therapy is done through an intravenous route.

Yeah, EDTA only chelates bivalent cations - that is, ions with a +2 charge. That’s a property of it’s shape, so it’s not going to change. Fluoride has a -1 charge, so it won’t do crap for that. Mercury CAN have a +2 charge, but it can have a variety of other charges, too.

You might need to take EDTA to chelate all the zinc, indium, molybdenum, selenium, rubidium, strontium and copper that you are ingesting in those stupid multivitamins.

Magnesium and Calcium, two metals which are VERY important for maintaining health, however are divalent, so sequestering and excreting them may not be a good thing.

Vitamins are nice supplements, but shouldn’t be relied on to do anything if you are in generally decent health with no real lack of a specific nutrient. They are a backup, a supplement - insurance.

There remains debate about what you get from them (absorption, etc), but I wouldn’t start depending on my multi-vitamin to remove any dangerous ANYTHING. If you need something dangerous removed, don’t rely on a 40 dollar/month vitamin.

Unless something has changed, EDTA and BAL are given IM or IV for lead and arsenic poisoning. I’ve had only 2 patients in 40 years who needed said therapy. (Both were being poisoned by a spouse)
If I remember right, EDTA doesn’t break down in the GI tract. Heavy metals don’t hang out in the GI tract, so how would taking something that doesn’t leave the GI tract help in any way?
You need a second opinion! ( I mean, besides us :smiley: )

He is a medical doctor, but is more interested in vitamins and supplements than drugs. After reading Quackwatch and doing some more digging, I don’t think I will be taking any EDTA. No proven efficacy combined with dubious research (and I think it was giving me an upset stomach, too) does not make me eager to take it.

::Heavy sigh:: I keep looking for a good healthcare practicioner, and keep coming up with people and therapies I don’t trust. Regular doctors push pills and have no time to listen to you, alternative doctors push vitamins and questionable supplements. Sheesh.

(It struck me as kind of funny that DuckDuckGoose posted a link to Quackwatch. :D)

Did you go see a nutritional specialist because you have some problem relating to your diet? Like, you’re unable or unwilling to eat a normal diet? Unless the answer is yes, I’d say the suggestion to take a multivitamin is as least as suspicious as the suggestion to take EDTA.