Chelation is used to remove undesirable minerals or compounds from the body.
Kelos is greek for claw and that's literally what a chelating compound does.
Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid (EDTA) is the most famous chelator. EDTA it is the only non-orthomolecular compound Linus Pauling mentions in his book on orthomolecular medicine. He considered it worthy of special attention because it can be used to remove calcified (Calcium) arterial plaque without the risks of a bypass operation:
EDTA is known as a hexadentate chelator because it has 6 (hex) bonds. The mineral at the centre of the bond is a metal. EDTA has a varying affinity with metals which can be used to advantage:
EDTA is usually used in it's disodium (Na2EDTA) form.
Calcium (CaNa2EDTA) is most commonly used in the body. Magnesium (MgNa2EDTA) is less commonly used:
The minerals with the lower affinity (Ca/Mg) are replaced with minerals that have a higher affinity (like the heavy metals).
EDTA was originally made famous for it's ability to remove heavy metals from the body (especially lead). This is made possible because it has a preference for these heavier metals over the lighter ones.
A large number of medical clinics around the world use chelation to clean arteries. Chelation has a zero mortality when used correctly N.B. Heart bypass operations have at least a 1 % mortality rate.
Thermography is probably the simplest way to establish a benefit with this treatment ie. your extremities will feel warmer (indicating improved circulation). EDTA chelation treatment has the added benefit of improving circulation to small blood vessels.
Cardiac Calcium Scoring is relatively new but it correlates with heart disease risk much better than other measurements. This documentary explains the technique well:
Zeolites are microporous aluminosilicate minerals which have cages that trap heavy metals. These cages are exactly the right size for only certain minerals so they do not remove other desirable minerals. They also trap toxins between layers. Clinoptilalite is the most common zeolite being used and only very small amounts are usually required if the product is one that has been processed.
Vitamins can be effective chelators: VitC is particularly effective in removing Copper (it is a known copper antagonist).
Minerals are often effective chelators. Selenium is good at removing heavy metals such as mercury from the body.