What is EDTA?

Q: I am a 47 years old male. I have been reading about a supplement called EDTA, also known as Oral Chelation Therapy. It is said to be so safe that the FDA has approved EDTA to be added to baby food too. Can you give me some more information on this? Is this oral therapy advisable or is it just another gimmick?

A:In the field of medicine, EDTA is approved for use as chelation therapy in acute very high blood calcium levels, mercury and lead poisoning. In the year 2000, the United States approved the use of calcium disodium EDTA or disodium EDTA to promote colour retention for all edible types of cooked, canned legumes. It is to be used in very minute quantities such as 365 parts per million. It has no therapeutic purpose.

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