The long-term chronic exposure to fluoride has natural health experts – as well as a growing group of conventionally-trained healthcare providers – very worried. (keep reading to understand why)
Scientists issue major warning about fluoride in our drinking water
The Fluoride Action Network reports that a union of scientists at the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, officially declared water fluoridation an “unreasonable risk” – 16 years ago.
The “safe” level for fluoride in drinking water is currently 4 ppm, or parts per million. The prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies, which launched its own fluoride review, wants that amount to be reduced, as a growing body of evidence shows that fluoride causes or contributes to a host of serious illnesses and conditions.
Yet fluoride advocates continue to declare that the chemical is safe. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) insists that anyone over 8 years old – regardless of health status – can safely ingest 10 milligrams of fluoride every day for life, without suffering the bone damage, joint pain and osteoarthritis that constitutes skeletal fluorosis.
But, the IOM appears to be talking out of both sides of its mouth. Fluoride Action Network notes that 10 mg is the same amount that the agency has acknowledged can cause clinical symptoms of fluorosis – in as little as one to two decades of exposure.
Fluoride linked to cognitive problems and lowered IQ
Is fluoridated water contributing to a national, collective “brain drain?” Many researchers and natural health advocates say “yes.” Over 300 studies have found that fluoride is a neurotoxin, while 50 different human studies have linked moderately high fluoride exposure with reduced intelligence.
Particularly disturbing is a Harvard Medical School study in which a team of researchers found a link between elevated fluoride levels and decreased IQ in children. Other studies have suggested threats to fetal brain development. Extensive animal studies, which demonstrate brain damage and cognitive and memory impairments from fluoride exposure, echo these findings.
Fluorine impairs thyroid function
The National Research Council reports that there is substantial evidence that fluoride can affect thyroid function in some individuals.
In fact, up until the 1960’s doctors were prescribing fluoride as a medication for hyperthyroidism – due to the chemical’s ability to reduce thyroid gland activity and decrease levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much fluoride (2 to 5 mg a day – well within what people in fluoridated communities ingest) to accomplish this.
And, for some, the result is hypothyroidism – with classic symptoms of fatigue, “brain fog,” muscle and joint pain, depression and weight gain.
Is it any wonder there are rising rates of subclinical hypothyroidism in the United States?
Warning: Diabetics are at increased risk from exposure to fluoride
Bad news for people with diabetes: diabetics – who tend to drink more water than the general population – are considered a “sensitive subpopulation” when it comes to excessive fluoride intake. Fluoride has been shown to increase blood sugar levels, inhibit production of insulin and worsen glucose intolerance.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that diabetics have a reduced capacity when it comes to clearing fluoride from their bodies – causing a real “double whammy” of fluoride harm.
Fluoride consumption increases your heart disease risk
As the aorta accumulates more fluoride than any other soft tissue in the body, the heart is particularly vulnerable to fluoride. Fluoride can cause oxidative stress and trigger the inflammatory response, while causing atherosclerosis and damage to heart muscle itself.
Scientists have found a link between increased fluoride in ground water and high blood pressure – which increases risk of stroke and heart attack. And, even mild levels of fluoride toxicity can cause impaired elasticity in the aorta.
Fluoride can also weaken your bones
Contrary to past medical belief, fluoride doesn’t “strengthen the bones.” In fact, attempts to use high-dose fluoride to treat osteoporosis resulted in more bone fractures, not less! (These disastrous results caused the FDA to reject the chemical as a medical treatment).
According to Fluoride Action Network, some studies have shown that communities with a (supposedly “safe”) 4 mg per liter of fluoride in their drinking water have increased fracture rates and poorer cortical bone densities. Animal studies, which have shown reductions in bone strength from fluoride exposure, corroborate this.
Fluoride damages cell DNA and contributes to cancer
The National Toxicology Program classifies fluoride as a mutagen, meaning that it causes genetic damage – a probable contributor to cancer. A groundbreaking Harvard study showed that boys exposed to fluoridated water in mid-childhood had a significantly greater risk of developing osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, during adolescence.
Some scientists believe that because fluoride stimulates the proliferation of bone-forming cells, it raises the risk that some will turn malignant. Associations have also been found between fluoride exposure and bladder and lung cancers.
High fluorine causes crippling skeletal fluorosis
It is well-documented that prolonged, excessive exposure to fluoride causes skeletal fluorosis, the most visually dramatic indicator of fluoride toxicity. In extreme cases, skeletal fluorosis causes crippling bone distortions, such as kyphosis, or “hunchback.”
But, because the condition mimics other bone and joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and spondylosis, mild forms – which cause pain and stiffness in the joints – are often misdiagnosed. According to Fluoride Action Network, fluoride dosages as low as 6 mg per day can cause early stages of the disease.
Fluoride causes GI problems – that are often misdiagnosed
Thousands of reports to Poison Control Centers every year attest to incidents of excessive ingestion of fluoride toothpaste by children – with gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. However, doctors often miss signs of mild fluoride toxicity, chalking it up to “colic” or “gastroenteritis.”
Ingesting as little as 3 mg of fluoride has been shown in clinical trials to damage the gastric mucosa – or stomach lining – of adult volunteers, while consuming as little as 6 mg has been shown in clinical trials to cause vomiting within 30 minutes.
No room for doubt: Fluoride causes endocrine disruption
In addition to being a neurotoxin and a mutagen, fluoride has the dubious distinction of also being an endocrine disruptor – creating a toxic trifecta. The National Research Council of the National Academies reports that fluoride – which unquestionably affects normal endocrine function and response – can directly inhibit secretion of hormones such as insulin, T3, T4 and melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
Kidney disease patients are uniquely susceptible to fluoride toxicity
Because the kidneys help to flush fluoride from the system, people with kidney disease are particularly vulnerable to fluoride toxicity, with their bones and tissues accumulating fluoride at higher levels. Studies show that dialysis patients have a higher risk of both skeletal fluorosis and of osteomalacia, a disease that softens and weakens bones.
Does fluoride toxicity masquerade as arthritis?
The relationship between fluoride and arthritis is troubling. Low-grade fluoride poisoning, with its joint pain and stiffness, can mimic arthritis – and thereby be misdiagnosed. Deepening the relationship is the fact that research shows that fluoride can be a direct cause of osteoarthritis – whether skeletal fluorosis is present or not.
Fluoride contributes to male infertility
Over 60 animal studies have shown that fluoride negatively affects the male reproductive system, causing decreases in testosterone level, reduced sperm quantity and motility and increased oxidative stress. In addition, a population study showed that communities in the United States with more than 3 ppm of fluoride in the drinking water – incidentally, a measurement considered “safe” by the EPA – had lower “total fertility rates” than populations with lower fluoride levels.
So, at this point, you might be asking yourself, ‘how can I reduce my fluoride levels?’
If you live in an area with fluoridated drinking water, the first step is to get educated about the topic. You can learn more by studying the information here from FluorideAlert.org.
Experts also advise avoiding all bottled drinks that use water as an ingredient. That’s because most commercially-available beverages can not be trusted to have the best water in their products. In addition, we suggest you look into getting a good-quality juicer – to make your own fruit and vegetable drinks from scratch.
It’s a delicious (safe) way to get hydrated and improve your health – at the same time.
Editor’s note: I, personally, use a reverse osmosis unit at home to remove all impurities and, then, remineralize my water with Celtic sea salt. In addition, I drink the best tasting (and tested) spring water on the market. Here’s a link to try it yourself. (By the way, I receive NO financial incentive to mention this brand to you)
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