Q&A: Avoiding Toxins & Detox

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Clean Water

**Q: What kind of water is “clean” and where do you get it? Would a water filter work well enough? Also, where would one get ionized water to assist in getting more alkaline? Thank you!

A: Although it can be challenging to find truly clean water (free of chemicals, metals, and bacteria) these days, I can recommend a few actions to help purify the water in your tap. Water filters like Brita, for example, are simple activated carbon filters that remove some metals (mercury, copper, and possibly lead) and basic contaminants (chlorine), so for convenience and price they are okay to use. There are 10-stage water filters that attach to your faucet that are better at removing contaminants including heavy metals, microorganisms (giardia), pesticides, PCB’s, etc. The 10-stage water filters last longer than the carbon filters.

Then there are the reverse osmosis water filters, which according to many sources are the best for water purification. In a nutshell, reverse osmosis water filters contain a semi-permeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass through, but not contaminants. Some health food stores sell reverse osmosis water from dispensing machines, and you can refill glass (or plastic) bottles. Home reverse osmosis water filters are considerably more expensive, however, compared to the simple carbon and 10 stage water filters mentioned above, and they remove important minerals from the water. If you decide to invest in a reverse osmosis water purification system, I recommend adding some minerals (liquid or powder).

For years I’ve used an ionized water filter called Akai from Japan, which allowed me to alkalize my drinking water. These kinds of units are the most expensive, and you can buy multiple brands online.

Knowing what I know now, I would invest in a reserve osmosis water purification system if cost is not an issue. To this day I have not found the perfect water purification system, so I continue to search for one.


*Q: I have heard many different opinions on IV chelation therapy. Could you please explain under what circumstances it would be a benefit?

Until the early 1980’s, I did not consider chelation therapy a suitable approach to coronary artery disease. This was due in part to my traditional training and because I had seen no double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in support of the effectiveness of chelation therapy.

I had a “change of heart” beginning in 1978. One of my patients, was going downhill with severe angina that worsened even on a high dosage of medication. I performed an angiogram, which showed that his major vessels were diseased and there were no strategic sites in the arteries to place a bypass. At that point, Joe asked me about chelation. I did my homework and after studying everything I could find on the process, I gave him the green light to try it.

Thirty years later, Joe was in his early 90’s – enjoying an active life, taking some medication and walking two to three miles a day. Joe underwent two intravenous chelation sessions of 30-60 treatments each over a 20-year period. It was very clear to me that this therapy had helped when I saw a computerized analysis of his angiographic films showing one of his major vessels had improved, while the two others showed no further progression of fat and cholesterol build-up (atherosclerosis).

I recommend chelation therapy if you are unhappy with your quality of life after combining conventional and complementary therapies to treat your coronary artery disease. I do not recommend chelation in place of bypass or angioplasty if you are a candidate for one of these procedures especially if you have any chest pain, angina or shortness of breath. You must then follow the conventional approach.

*Q:Are oral chelators effective in reducing coronary heart disease?

Oral chelators are little more than sophisticated multivitamin/mineral formulas with powerful antioxidants such as L-glutathione. Some of these formulas may include hawthorne berry, bioflavonoid and lipotropic factors such as methionine. Although oral chelators provide nutritional support for your cardiovascular system, the claim that they remove toxic components from the blood can be misleading.

Chelating agents such as EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) remove heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper and cadmium from the bloodstream by making them soluble. Because toxic metals can cause internal inflammation (triggered by free radical injury to blood vessels), it has been postulated that chelating agents, while removing heavy metals, also remove the calcium content of plaque from artery walls. However, because there is no EDTA in oral chelating complexes, authentic chelation is not possible. Future nutritional research may reveal that newer oral agents may offer some advantages similar to chelating agents. For example, research shows that lipoic acid may have a chelating effect on some heavy metals.

For now, if you want to experience chelation therapy, opt for the real thing – the procedure rather than an oral substitute. This painless therapy, except for the needle stick, in which an intravenous EDTA solution is intravenously administered over a few hours, is performed on an outpatient basis and requires multiple sessions. Recent investigations have suggested that 1 ½ hour treatments may be as effective as three-hour sessions. I strongly urge you to choose a doctor trained in this specialty who follows the protocols of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) 1-800-532-3688   1-800-532-3688, www.acam.org. For a listing of doctors, e-mail info@acam.org.

However, the most recent oral vitamin for reducing plaque is vitamin K2 which has demonstrated plaque regression in the animal model. Human research is presently in progress. I use 300 mcg of vitamin K2 – menaquinone – in my patients for at least three years and then do a non-invasive test to ascertain plaque reversal. You cannot take MK-7 if you are on Coumadin.

Do you have a question about toxins or detoxification that you’d like answered on our site? E-mail us at info@heartmdinstitute.com and we’ll do our best to post an answer on this page.

*Indicates that Q&A has been reprinted or adapted from Candid Advice About Your Heart, a Heart, Health & Nutrition supplement, with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC.

**Indicates that Q&A has been posted in response to emails or comments submitted to Heart MD Institute. © 2012, 2016 Heart MD Institute. All rights reserved.

Please note that Dr. Sinatra does not provide medical advice through HeartMD Institute; any and all information found on this site is intended solely as an informational tool, and it should never replace a visit to your physician, nor be considered medical advice upon which you rely when making health-related decisions.

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