Health: Chelation therapy

Jul 11th '24

  • What is Chelation Therapy?

This therapy claims to remove toxins and other wastes from the bloodstream using intravenous ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) infusions; it is sometimes known as EDTA therapy.


  • What claims are likely to be a problem?

Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has yet to see any convincing evidence for Chelation Therapy.  Marketers making efficacy claims for the therapy in their advertising will need to hold robust documentary in the form of clinical trials (Rule 12.1). This CAP Guidance explains the types and levels of evidence the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) & CAP would expect to see.


In 2012 the ASA investigated a complaint about an ad for a private medical clinic which claimed those suffering from illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome and autism could benefit from chelation therapy. Whilst the advertisers were able to present some evidence, the ASA considered it to be insufficient to support the claims (Breakspear Medical Group Ltd, 16 May 2012).


Similarly, in 2014 a marketer claimed Chelation Therapy could be used to treat a number of diseases and health conditions including cardiovascular disease, Macular degeneration, Arthritis, Hypertension, and Parkinson’s disease. The marketer provided clinical trial evidence but the ASA found that it was not sufficiently robust to support the claims (Dr P E Idahosa, 2 April 2014).


  • What about conditions for which medical supervision should be sort?

Evidence aside, offering diagnoses, advice or treatment on medical conditions for which medical supervision should be sort, could be seen to discourage essential medical treatment if that diagnosis, advice and treatment is not being carried out under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional.


This CAP Guidance explains the position in more detail and includes a non-exhaustive list of medical conditions that are likely to be caught by the Code rule.


See: Guidance on Health Therapies and Evidence QA (Sept 2011)


Source: CAP


Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the ASA. CAP’s AdviceOnline entries provide guidance on interpreting the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing.


About CAP

The CAP is the sister organisation of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and is responsible for writing the Advertising Codes.


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