Chelation Therapy

Naturopathic Doctors use Chelation Therapy to bind heavy metals that have accumulated over a long period of time and remove them from the body via the kidneys in order to reduce the burden of metal toxicity within the body. Common symptoms of heavy metal accumulation include but are not limited to: brain fog, fatigue, tremors, headaches, mood instability, digestive concerns and more. Our Naturopathic Doctors at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary have experience applying Chelation Therapy to benefit individuals with heavy metal accumulation due to environmental exposure.

Below are a few chelating agents that our clinic Naturopathic Doctors administer, depending upon the specific metal toxicity being targeted. These chelating agents bind the toxic metals and then direct them towards the kidneys, where they are eliminated in the urine.

Chelating Agents

Ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA): Lead, Cadmium and Aluminum

2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS): Mercury (free and bound)

Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA): Mercury and Lead (free). Note that DMSA is administered orally.

Our Calgary Naturopaths follow a protocol where intravenous glutathione is administered after Chelation Therapy in order to facilitate the elimination of toxins from the body.

Below is an overview of a few metals that are commonly chelated:


Lead can be dangerous because it initially binds to red blood cells, which deliver it to other tissues, and then it accumulates in the bone. In pregnancy, women mobilize calcium from their bones, which also means that lead can also be mobilized from their bones. DMSA is more effective at reducing kidney levels of lead and EDTA is more effective at mobilizing bone levels of lead. Research on Children’s Health has determined that childhood lead exposure can lead to ADHD in children and is accelerated with maternal exposure to Mercury. For patients exposed to low levels of lead, studies have determined that the following may occur: imbalance, hearing loss, depression, panic, Parkinsonism, gout, ADHD and a slower walking speed. High lead exposure may have the above symptoms plus abdominal pain, mood swings and slower cognition. 


Naturopathic Doctors at our Calgary clinic routinely apply Chelation Therapy to reduce excessive levels of mercury—a common toxic element.  Over the last 20 years, Mercury levels in the Pacific Ocean have risen approximately by 30%. Therefore, certain fish have higher exposures to mercury. Recently, it has been recommended that children should avoid eating tuna because of the high mercury levels. Recent research has also determined mercury in high-fructose corn syrup. Mercury likes to hide in the kidney, liver, gastrointestinal tract, brain, jaw and retina. Because of its ability to settle in the brain, many academic publications have reported that mercury can be the disruption in treating Autism in children. Acute mercury poisoning presents as respiratory distress. 


Naturopaths investigating a patient’s toxic metal burden often find higher than acceptable levels of cadmium.  Cadmium is widely used in plating, batteries, pigment production and as a plastic stabilizer. Tobacco smoke is the most common source of cadmium exposure. Research has shown that people with iron deficiency are more likely to have higher absorption rates of cadmium. Shrimp and seafood are also high in cadmium. This metal is extremely important because it is a carcinogen – it can cause cancer.

Chelation Therapy have shown benefit through improvements in mood, digestion, energy, motor ability, improved cognitive ability and more.

Adverse reactions of chelation therapy may involve: Fatigue, Digestive concerns and/or Itchy or warm sensation around the infusion site (EDTA or DMPS).

Our Naturopathic Doctors perform the necessary blood work and additional tests required to ensure that Chelation is safely and effectively administered. Prior to beginning Chelation Therapy, naturopathic patients are guided to have their current heavy metal burden tested through a provocation test. After receiving results from this test, a patient’s Naturopathic Doctor will recommend the chelating agents and treatment schedule specific to the patient’s needs.

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