Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the u-s and it claims almost 13,000 people in Wisconsin every year.
Medical researchers are trying to find ways to treat heart disease.
Currently, a national study is being conducted to see if one type of therapy might be a benefit.
Seeing the sign of Bircher Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Eau Claire, people might get the impression that they only treat people with back and other related problems; but, don't judge a book by its cover. It offers a kind of treatment that might potentially help heart disease patients called Chelation Therapy.
Laura Sembach, Bircher Clinic’s Chelation Supervisor says it may potentially help heart disease patients.
“It's also been mentioned that Chelation is effective in cardiac patients in removing plaque from the arteries.”
A man made amino acid injected through the IV is potentially how the treatment works.
“When the EDTA finds the heavy metals or the plaque it claws around it, pulls it into the blood stream and deposits it in the kidneys. You then disperse of it in your urine,” says Sembach.
Bircher is taking part in a nation wide study where almost 2,000 people across the nation are trying to find out if this therapy helps treat heart disease.
Gervasio Lamas, M.D., is the Principal Investigator of this study.
He says the study is to show if Chelation will help heart disease patients.
It's been FDA approved for the treatment of heavy metal poisoning like lead poisoning but not for heart disease.
Since there hasn't been a large enough study on the procedure, the American Heart Association says there is no benefit from this kind of treatment.
Bircher is the only wellness clinic in the Chippewa Valley to offer this treatment...and they say they're seeing some progress.
“I can say that people's cholesterol has reduced, their energy has improved greatly. Many of my cardiac patients have said they haven't felt this good in ten years,” says Sembach.
Bircher is looking for people 50 years or older who've had a heart attack to volunteer in the study.
Results are expected in 2009.