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What is a "Chelating Substance?"
The word "chelation" comes from the root word, "chele" which is Greek for the claw of a lobster or crab. So, "chelation" refers to a "grabbing" action as when a lobster grabs something with its claw.
Chelation is a process where some substance grabs another -- the more technical term would be that some substance "binds" to another substance. This "binding" involves the actions of atoms and gets rather complex, at least in terms of chemistry. But, in concept is is easy to understand.
There is a full description of the "chelating process" as used in the most well-known application -- the preparation of minerals for easy use by the body -- this refers to "chelated minerals," and is described here. This page does NOT describe how "chelation" applies to "chelated minerals." That explanation is at the link.
This page describes the OTHER use of the word "chelation" where the chelation takes place inside the body, rather than in some laboratory.
The action of the "chelating substance" is still very similar to the action described for "chelated minerals."
But, when it comes to chelation inside the body, and when the substances to be chelated are toxic metals instead of useful minerals, we finally arrive at a fairly limited number of chelating substances that are useful. One of these is called "EDTA," which stands for Ethylene Diamine Tetra-acetic Acid -- EDTA.
Since EDTA is an "artificial" amino acid, not much of it would be absorbed when taken through the mouth. "Oral EDTA" is absorbed about 5% to 10% into the blood stream when taken through the mouth. It is absorbed, of course, 100% when injected directly into the blood stream, as is done with "intravenous chelation therapy." For many years it was "common knowledge" (even though false) that "oral EDTA" was not a useful chelating substance. The exposure of this lie has taken many years, and the effort of many dedicated people, particularly including Dr. Gary F. Gordon. The author here, Karl Loren, has also done a great deal to dispel the lies about oral EDTA.
There are many pages on this web site that describe how EDTA can, indeed, be very effective taken orally, even though very little of it gets absorbed into the blood stream. It does its work within the stomach and intestine. That is explained in much greater detail -- click here.
So, EDTA is a chelating substance.
There are many weak chelators, including Vitamin C.
But, for most purposes there are only two other significant chelating substances:
N Acetyl Cysteine
There are literally many hundreds of technical pages on these two natural amino acids. Because they are "natural," they are very readily absorbed into the body when taken orally.
So, the final conclusion here is that there are basically three powerful chelating substances:
N Acetyl Cysteine
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