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Are Invasive Heart Disease Treatments Always Necessary? Chelation Therapy Study Raises Important New

   By: Elisabeth Lawrence

Each year, heart disease and related conditions kill 700,000 Americans, but new studies are questioning old assumptions about the best methods for treating vascular disease.

According to Dr. Conrad Maulfair, director of the Maulfair Medical Center, ( in Topton, Pa., most Americans don't understand that heart disease develops long before the first symptoms appear. "While the symptoms of atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries, may appear suddenly as chest pain or a stroke, the disease may have begun 20, 30, or even 40 years earlier."

A 2005 study published in the journal Evidence Based Integrative Medicine highlights the fact that people with vascular disease who underwent non-invasive intravenous chelation therapy experienced fewer cardiac events in the subsequent three years than those treated with bypass surgery, angioplasty, or other conventional medical therapy.

In 1963, Congress began annual legislation calling for the President to proclaim February "American Heart Month," and the American Heart Association uses this as a call to action for Americans to get educated as to the causes and treatments that can stem this alarming mortality rate.

"Even those who understand that atherosclerosis develops slowly over long periods of time may have misconceptions about the factors that contribute to the disease and draw the wrong conclusions about its prognosis," says Dr. Maulfair,

"I doubt there is a person in the United States over 40 who doesn't believe, with certainty, that cholesterol is bad and that it causes blocked arteries. Most people regard high levels of cholesterol in the diet and in blood akin to a death sentence from atherosclerotic disease," he notes.

On the contrary, Dr. Maulfair says that only a certain type of cholesterol makes up a significant part of the plaque that blocks arteries. "Damaged LDL cholesterol is the main ingredient in plaque, not undamaged, normal cholesterol."

According to Dr. Maulfair, free radicals - reactive molecules that rob cells and tissues of electrons - damage LDL cholesterol, which is then more likely to adhere to the arterial wall. "Damage from free radicals left unchecked day after day, week after week, year after year results in the inability of cells and tissues to function normally, and can lead to the destruction, decreased function, and death of those cells."

This information has profound implications for the way atherosclerosis is perceived and treated. "When a diagnosis is made," explains Dr. Maulfair, "it is generally accepted by both the patient and the healthcare professional that the disease will be present for the rest of the patient's life." But this is not necessarily so, according to Dr. Maulfair and he adds, "when the underlying causes of the condition - in this case, free radical damage - are treated, the disease process can often be slowed or reversed. "

The most promising candidate for the eradication of free radicals is intravenous chelation therapy. Chelation works by binding to the toxic metals and excessive iron and copper in the body that cause free radical damage, allowing those toxins to be excreted through the urine. Likewise, chelation lowers the body's level of metastic calcium, which is a form of calcium that deposits itself in the walls of the arteries prior to the formation of arterial plaque.

Dr. Maulfair explains there are three components of a chelation therapy program. "First, intravenous chelation treatment removes the metastic calcium and the iron and copper that accelerate free radical damage. It also removes toxic metals, such as lead and cadmium. Second, specific mineral nutrients and antioxidants essential for healthy cell function are taken orally. Third, a comprehensive diet and exercise program supports the progress toward wellness."

Dr. Maulfair stresses education, and sums up: "It's important to understand that heart disease is not necessarily a chronic, degenerative disease with no hope for improvement, but that it can be treated and, in fact, reversed."

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