Edta / Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid

EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is an amino acid compound, a powerful chelating agent – meaning it attaches to plaque build up and heavy metals and removes them naturally from the body. EDTA is recognized by the body and easily assimilated.

Chelation – (Greek) To bind, or to claw

EDTA is one of the most powerful metal chelators known. However, EDTA has become a commonly known name. There are actually many forms and chemical formulas for the same basic product called EDTA. All are formulated to remove metals, but for different purposes. Industrial Grade EDTA is used in batteries and for other practical purposes. Food Grade EDTA is used to protect us to some degree from harmful metals that find their way into the foods we eat. The sodium and calcium salts of EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) are common sequestrants in many kinds of foods and beverages.

And Pharmaceutical Grade EDTA is used in the best chelation products for its primary function, that of removing unwanted metals (in particular Calcium, Mercury, Lead, Cadmium & Arsenic) from the body’s organs and cardiovascular system.


EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). The EDTA molecule can bind to metal ions by forming six bonds to it – two from nitrogen atoms in amino groups and four from oxygen atoms in carboxyl groups.

When divalent metals (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, calcium etc.) are chelated by EDTA, the original electromagnetic attraction is lost, and the fatty debris is dissolved by circulating blood and metabolized. The metal EDTA molecule, now inactive and non toxic, is carried by the blood until it passes through the kidneys. It then is removed from the body via the urine.

The solid sticky plaque goes into solution and is harmlessly removed. By this unique mechanism, dangerous solids are converted to a liquid, then transported away to be eliminated. This is a natural, normal phenomenon of body chemistry.


Plaque is formed when non bi-carbonate calcium and cholesterol combine. Plaque builds up on arteries and can create blockages and hardening, causing a host of health concerns such as arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, infarction, stenosis, PAD, CAD, congestive heart failure, angina, and so on.

Chelation therapy works by reversing hardening of the arteries due to calcification. Calcium is a major contributor to the atherosclerotic process.

Calcium has two positive charges which are called valences. Hence, calcium is divalent. Calcium is strongly attracted electromagnetically by the open ended, molecular structure of EDTA that is circulating in the blood during the chelation treatment. This results in the calcium ion being incorporated into the EDTA molecular structure, forming a closed ring. When this process takes place, the metal is said to be chelated and EDTA is termed the chelating agent.


EDTA is used in the food products we eat every day, including some baby foods, and is approved by the FDA and USDA for this use. It is recommended by the American Heart Association for removing toxic metals from the body, and even children undergo this treatment. More than 1 million Americans and over 3 million patients in other countries use Chelation Treatments for heavy metal detox and plaque removal each year. Chelation Therapy has been used successfully for over 60 years.

It should be noted that there are many formulas for EDTA. Some are used for Industrial purposes, others are Food Grade or Pharmaceutical grade for consumption.

It is also very important to consider the method of administering EDTA. It is taken orally (liquid, capsule, sublingually), by suppository, and through IV. There are varying degrees of safety and effectiveness for each. Please see Treatment Options for Blocked Arteries and Treatment Options for Metal Toxicity for more information. The following information will focus primarily on EDTA Oral Chelation.


Various benefits and uses of EDTA (including those in the foods we eat)

Research studies on EDTA

Excerpts from Chelation Can Cure by Dr. E.W. McDonagh. Explanations as to the workings of EDTA and a brief history, Discussion of stroke, cardiovascular disease, hardening and narrowing of the arteries, effects on the brain, Relationship to Calcium

Chelation Therapy and High Blood Pressure “increase the effectiveness in the treatment of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, gangrene, retinitis, macular degeneration, kidney disease, and many other difficult medical conditions”

The $35 Billion Boondoggle – reviewed by Irene Alleger – Discusses the high cost of unnecessary surgery.


EDTA, also known as disodium EDTA, EDTA disodium or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, is a widely used chemical compound found in personal care, skin care, processed foods, cosmetic preparations and cleaning products. EDTA has extensive medical, engineering, agricultural and industrial applications as well. With its wide range of uses and ubiquitous presence in our daily lives, it is important to know about the purpose of EDTA as well as related dangers, since EDTA may contribute to the formation of carcinogens.

EDTA in Cosmetics, Personal Care and Skin Care

In cosmetics, personal care and skin care products, EDTA is a primary chelating agent (binds free metal ions), preservative, stabilizer and purifying agent that keeps formulas free of metallic ions and residue found in tap water. It helps reduce the hardness (mineral content) in tap water so that other active ingredients in a formula, such as a shampoo or bath gel, can work more effectively. EDTA also helps the topical penetration of active ingredients in skin care to increase serum levels of beneficial chemicals

EDTA in Food and Beverages

EDTA is commonly used in food and beverages as a preservative and stabilizer and protects food products from discoloration and oxidation. Be aware that EDTA reacts negatively with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and sodium bicarbonate in sodas and soft drinks, with higher propensity to form benzene, a carcinogen. Do not drink soft drinks that contain EDTA.

Medical Applications of EDTA

EDTA is used to treat mercury and other heavy metal poisoning by means of chelation therapy. Similarly, it removes excess iron and calcium from the body. In blood-related medical applications, EDTA optimizes repeated blood transfusions and is an effective anticoagulant, preventing blood samples from solidifying and cell samples from clumping. This is important especially in clinical blood tests and cell analysis. EDTA is also used as a preservative in eye drops, a de-calcifying and preparative agent in oral surgery and dentistry, and anti-plaque agent in arteries.

EDTA Dangers

There is no drastic danger related to the general applications of EDTA in commercial personal care products. However, EDTA is so proliferate in industrial use, medical use, in commercial products and general waste that it is becoming a major environmental pollutant. EDTA shows toxicity when ingested orally in excess amounts, especially in the presence of Vitamin C and sodium bicarbonate (common in soft drinks). Avoid soft drinks that contain EDTA when Vitamin C and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) are also listed amongst the ingredients. Cosmetic and topical use of formulas containing EDTA does not create toxicity levels that cause direct harm to human bodies, though many pro-natural, pro-organic groups warn strongly against toxic dangers of EDTA.