Body & Health Show
Date: May 1-2, 2002
Stations: CH-TV network stations, Prime cable stations
This show was taped many months ago, and finally edited and broadcast on May 1-2, 2002 on CH TV network and Prime TV cable stations across Canada.
The commentator, Allison Adams, made several comments that stated that
there were numerous studies that claimed to prove that chelation therapy worked
for many diseases and conditions. I wonder if she nows what the word "claimed" really means.
Vincent DeMarco's office also used BTA, a bogus laboratory procedure
called Biological Terrain Assessment. There was no attempt to explain to
the viewers that this test is not approved, and is complete quackery.
Fred Hui, and Vincent DeMarco paraded a bunch of patients to present
their testimonials, which is totally unprofessional. One of the
patients, a man from Manitoulin Island had his name displayed with the
subtitle Chelation Therapist under it. He was a bloody patient, he was
not a chelation therapist. Sometimes I wonder who does the final edit on this show.
When the CPSO decided in 1997 to allow alternative therapy, they opened
the gates to people who would promise their clients anything. Chelation therapy is just one of those treatments.
Body & Health runs several times a day on CH network stations and Prime
cable stations across Canada. It is extremely important that the CPSO
review the tape, and that they examine the claims that were made by
these two licensed medical doctors.
The tests used, the procedures used, and the reasons given for the chelation therapy to the patient have to be regulated. If the CPSO doesn't do this, then someone has to appeal to a higher power.
Terry Polevoy, MD
SS: Samantha Shatsky - the CH regular host
AA: Allison Adams - this show's producer
VD: Vincent DeMarco, MD
FH: Fred Hui, MD
TP: Terry Polevoy, MD
AD: Armand Dicaire
BS: Beverly Slater
EC: Eve Campbell
SS: To put it simply, chelation therapy is how many people try to clean
their blood. Proponents say that it's effective in fighting several
different health problems, everything from heart disease to Alzheimers.
In fact some people believe that it may even be a valid alternative to
several more established medical procedures. Allison Adams reports that
there is a very strong opposing view.
AA: Most people cringe at the mere thought of getting a needle. But at
clinics across Toronto, hundred of people line up each week just to sit
at the end of an I.V. drip. One of them is Armand Detaire. He travels 6
hours each way from his home on Manitoulin Island.
AD: I couldn't walk 200 feet without spraying a lot of "nitro".
AA: Ten year ago Armand had triple bypass surgery. When his angina
returned doctors told him there was nothing they could do. That's when
Armand turned to this. It's called EDTA, a synthetic amino acid, diluted
and infused into the vein. The therapy is called chelation, and like
hundreds of thousands of people across North America, he tried it.
Armand says it's given him a new lease on life.
AD: I haven't had any angina since my fifth treatment. I'm able to walk
far and as often as I wish. I don't spray, I don't use the nitro
AA: Dr. Fred Hui has been practicing chelation therapy since 1999. He
says the EDTA seek out and binds the dangerous heavy metals like lead,
mercury, and calcium deposits that contribute to clogging of the
FH: So, you're making the artery become more flexible as opposed to a
steel pipe. So, if a person have a 90% blockage, and if it's a steel
pipe, you only have 10% room for the rest of the blood to go through.
But, if you have an elastic hose, a normal artery can expand to 200%.
AA: Chelation therapy was first used to treat shipyard and auto workers
who were exposed to high levels of lead in paint. Chelation wold allowed
patients to pass these toxins through their urine. But, in 1999 it was
legalized in Ontario as a treatment for everything from heart disease to
Alzheimers. Dr. Vince DeMarco says that there are two theories that
explains why chelation works.
VD: Heavy metals poison three different ways. For instance mercury lead
or arsenic, they, they first of all increase free radical production.
Free radicals are these unstable chemicals that cause damage to every
part of the cell, and are responsible for the degenerative, all the
degenerative diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, arthritis,
dementia. The second way they harm, is that every chemical reaction in
requires enzymes, and every enzyme requires a metal as part of that
enzyme as a co-factor. Heavy metals displace the right metal, such as
zinc, magnesium or selenium, in the case of mercury, and therefore it
inhibits those enzymes.
AA: But despite profound testimonials and a fair share of positive
tests, medical watchdog groups remain vigilant, saying that there's no
proof chelation therapy works, its safety is dubious, and its science based on unsound theory.
The controversy has led to somewhat of a war between
doctors who practice chelation and physicians of conventional medicine.
TP: The Federal Trade Commission in the United States has banned a
certain association from promoting and promising people that chelation
therapy would help cure them of their heart disease or their circulation
(problems). The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and
several other Provinces have said it's part of "alternative medicine",
that the patient or the client must have been given a disclaimer.
FH: We have learned and been trained to believe that anything that's
proven by conventional scientific medical protocol is true, and anything
else that's outside is not true:
AA: In Dr. DeMarco's practice patients are put through state-of-the-art
tests before treatment is started. The Biological Terrain Assessment, or
BTA, test the blood, urine and saliva for stress, kidney function and
digestive capacity. While a "cardio vision test" provides information
about blood pressure, health and arterial thickness, an indicator of
BS: I was showing signs of high blood pressure, and there was a question
of some blockage in the arteries, and um , I had done some previous
treatments, and I just wanted to continue with this chelation to see if
that would clear it for me.
AA: The procedure isn't cheap. It cost between $120 and a $150 per dose.
So, the recommended 20-40 sessions can set you back thousands of dollars,
and it's not covered by OHIP. But, supporters say it can save the
government money, and it's considerable less invasive than having your
chest split open.
VD: When compared to bypass surgery it's really cheap. An average bypass
is about $50,000 and our treatments would cost about for a total of 70,
AA: Sixty year old Eve Campbell had double bypass surgery nine years ago.
But, she's continued to have frequent angina attacks, and stress tests
showed her heart was working only half as well as it should. Now, four
years after starting chelation therapy, she brags her husband can't keep
up with her. And she's also noticed an unexpected and pleasant side
EC: I had a lazy eye, I could never read with it for 55 years, and not
even the first big letters they show you when you go for your eye test.
I couldn't read them with this eye, and after two chelations I could read
perfectly with it.
FH: The proof is in the pudding. If a patient comes to me and they have
two bypass have failed and they can not walk up a flight of stairs, or
have to go from the parking lot to my office by stopping three times. If
they can start to play basketball afterwards, what's the proof?
SS: Hmmmm.... Allison Adams joins us from Toronto. Allison have there been any substantial studies that prove the efficacy and safety of chelation therapy?
AA: There have been a lot of studies which claim to prove the effectiveness of chelation therapy. At the same time there are others, including one out of Calgary, just last year, which say that there is no evidence that prove that chelation therapy helps relieve heart disease. However, the debate could be put to rest once and for all when the results of a $30 million study out of Miami, a double-blind, placebo controlled trial are released. The study involves about 5,000 people and it will look at the effectiveness of chelation therapy in the treatment of heart disease.
SS: Is there anyone who should not undergo chelation therapy?
AA: Yes. Anyone with kidney disease should not even consider chelation therapy. Because all the toxins have to pass through the kidney before they are excreted. The doctors must perform a test to make sure the kidney function is at least 30% before therapy starts.
SS: In your story it sounded like some doctors who practice chelation are also recommending it as an alternative to heart surgery. Is that true?
AA: It is, the doctors we spoke to believe that chelation therapy is a viable option to bypass surgery. However, they recommend that their patients keep their appointments for surgery while going through chelation therapy. Surprisingly, by the time their date for surgery arrives, the patients don't need it anymore.
SS: Thanks Allison, that was Allison Adams in Toronto.