The Protection Conferred by Chelation Therapy in Post-MI Diabetics Might be Replicated by High-Dose Zinc Supplementation

A recent clinical trial funded by the NIH has concluded that, whereas i.v. chelation therapy is not beneficial for most patients who previously have suffered a heart attack, diabetics achieve a substantial reduction in mortality and risk for another heart attack when they receive this therapy. There is reason to suspect that chelation of copper may be responsible for this benefit, as copper catalyzes the production of toxic agents known as “advanced glycation endproducts” in diabetics. The copper chelating drug trientine shows interesting promise in studies with diabetic rodents, and in preliminary clinical trials in diabetics, but it is too expensive to be practical at present. High doses of zinc can impede dietary absorption of copper and decrease its effective availability in tissues, and hence may represent a more practical strategy for opposing the contribution of copper to the complications of diabetes.

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