Anti-aging is not the only source of medical quackery. Consider the case of “chelation” drugs that are increasingly being used to “treat” autism.
There is no proof that this treatment works and string evidence that it harms people.
Products called chelators that are sold over the counter as treatments for autism, heart disease and other conditions are dangerous and illegal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in a crackdown announced Thursday.
The chemicals, which help remove metals from the body, are potent drugs that carry serious risks, including kidney damage, dehydration and even death, said FDA Medical Officer Dr. Charles Lee. “Chelation can be dangerous and can cause serious harm,” Lee said.
The FDA sent letters this week warning eight companies they are in violation of federal law by selling the products. The letters also served to caution parents and others who might be tempted to buy the chelators, which are touted on scores of Web sites and blogs as effective therapies for a wide range of chronic medical problems.
I happen to approve of and support of the use of “alternative” therapies that are safe and are proven to work.
Unsafe and unproven remedies create profit for sellers and harm for patients.