Chelation was originally used for heavy metals poisoning, where the Disodium EDTA would bind up the heavy metal and allow it to be excreted. later, it was thought this might be applicable to "hardening of the arteries", wherein the calcium in the scar tissue of the arteries would be removed via Disodium EDTA. Additional evidence, as well as my personal observations on what it has done for me, suggests that it can help combat fatigue, depression, and similar generalized chronic health problems, though most doctors won't give it to you for that.
It was found that when when calcium and other catalytic poisings were removed from the mitochondria, which generate most of the power in the cells, the tissue of the blood vessels "woke up" with new energy and then participated in the creation of additional collateral circulation to bypass the blockage, etc. And for those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, as well as chronic fatigue, it is the mitochondria that seem near the core of our problems. Perking them up helps our organs, and thereby us, function much better.
As we age, calcium builds up in the mitochondria, the little power generators in each cell. The mitochondria use magnesium as a catalyst in the process. Calcium interferes with power generation, lowering the energy they can deliver to the cells they live in. (Although found in virtually all living cells, mitochondria have their own form of genes, and we inherit them only from our mothers -- sperm do not have mitochondria. Some consider mitochondria more as symbiotes than as mere organs of living cells.) With lower energy, the cells stop responding to some of the signals to get out there, divide, create new tissue to replace old tissue. It is said that the difference between young flesh and old flesh, is that young flesh has small cells which readily divide to replace any that may die. The cells in old flesh are too tired to divide, and simply grow larger to take up the space left by dead cells.
(Yes, there are also theories about DNA end-caps called teleomers, which serve to limit the number of times a cell may divide. Other research suggests that most healthy cells never reach that limit for other factors. Health requires the robust and harmonious functioning of many mechanisms. We still know very little about how those systems function, let alone why they slowly degrade with age. We don't even know what all those systems are; though we are identifying more of them, particularly when they go wrong.)
Disodium EDTA, when administered intravenously, permeates all our tissues and tends to latch on to these calcium atoms in the mitochondria and remove them from the tissue, unjamming some of the mitochondrial energy mechanisms. If the treatment has plenty of magnesium in it, as Dr. Cathcart's treatments do, then a magnesium atom will be preferentially left where the calcium was removed, further facilitating mitochondrial energization.
There may be other effects, though it is hard to separate the C from the chelation in my personal experience. One of these effects may be inner cleansing. I often seem to give off odors of any toxics that I have been exposed to in the interval between treatments, some organo-phosphate insecticide being one of the things I probably smelled at one time. It had been months since my exposure; but shortly after starting that treatment, there it was, comming out on my breath and hanging in the air about me. The mercury one ingests and inhales from silver-mercury amalgam fillings may be another target of the EDTA.
Chelation would also tend to remove the lead and cadmium which are found in our environment. Most of us are likely to have a fair amount the lead still circulating in our environment. Ice core sample from the Greenland ice cap suggest environmental lead levels began climbing substantially with civilizations beginning in ancient Greece and Rome. It wasn't just us, though we did contribute a lot with the leaded gasoline we use to use, as well as lead based paints. Chelation will also get at mercury that may have accumulated from various sources, including fumes from that broken thermometer you have never properly mopped up, and the mercury leaching from those "silver amalgam" fillings in your teeth.
In his piece at http://www/mall-net.com/cathcart/cfids.html , Dr. Cathcart says that one of the keys of chronic fatigue seems to be a problem with mitochondria. He has found that vitamin C helps these mitochondria work better.
For me, the double whammy of Dr. Cathcart's C and chelation IV therapy is very rejuvenating, far more so than just plain vitamin C. I find four to eight of these per year to be a good way to keep going despite the occasional problems of toxic exposure in this area. I've done more in the past, but there is the expense and time.
The down side is that I usually do not feel that well the next day, being a bit low on the blood pressure, though that tends to stabilize by noon or early afternoon. Small amounts of potassium ascorbate can help that.
Conventional chelation often includes novocain to dull the pain caused by disodium EDTA, whereas Dr. Cathcart balances the solution with enough magnesium so that novocain is not needed. Others add a lot of other minerals. Too many minerals, as used by some researchers to "disprove" chelation, will bind up the EDTA so that it will not get very much of the calcium out. One does, however, need to balance the solution with respect to salt (for osmotic pressure, sodium/potassium balance, etc.,) as well as ph, otherwise one can have potentially fatal results -- even sterile water, not ph or salinity adjusted, can kill blood cells.
NotesAlthough not much is said about it, it would make sense not to eat calcium rich foods a day before and after chelation. Yet I occasionally see someone eat a cottage cheese sandwich during chelation. I prefer to avoid eating during chelation altogether. I can feel food negate some of the effects. But... not everyone can hold off that long.
All I can say is that I like the results and keep going back! I had another treatment this past Monday, have more energy and feel younger inside, where it counts! (And I' told I don't look that bad, either.)