I can vividly remember as a child going to the dentist and having to make that all important decision: “Strawberry or grape?” Once decided, the dentist would promptly place the flavored fluoride gel in my mouth to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is also added to our toothpaste, mouthwash and drinking water supply for the same reason, but is it actually safe?
The American Dental Association is just now realizing the harmful effects of fluoride and has recently recommended that parents of infants younger than a year old “should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride” when mixing baby formula.
A study by the Mayo Clinic in the 1980’s found that when used as a treatment, fluoride increased bone mineral density but also increased the number of lower extremity fractures, causing concern regarding the relationship between fluoride and osteoporosis. Dr. Cosman, the clinical director of the National Osteoporosis Foundation believes that “…the bone quality formed under the influence of fluoride is not normal. It gets incorporated in the crystal and changes the crystal’s structure and stimulates production of a different kind of bone,” …”Fluoride may impair the mineralization of bone. Bone quality may be abnormal even though bone mass goes up.”
In the 1990’s the research of Dr. Jennifer Luke from the University of Surrey in England found the pineal gland, which rests between the two hemispheres of the brain, is the primary target of fluoride accumulation within the body ( up to 21,000 ppm). This gland is responsible for the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty and helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. In her study, Luke found that animals treated with fluoride had lower levels of circulating melatonin and had an early onset of puberty.
Dr. John Yiamouyiannis Ph.D, first became aware of the health damaging effects of fluoride while working as editor of Chemical Abstracts Service, the world’s largest chemical information center. He reports:
“Fluoride is used as an insecticide and a roach killer. Even at the level they use to fluoridate your public water supply, usually at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water (1 ppm) by weight, it causes severe problems. As little as one-tenth of an ounce of fluoride will cause death. It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. No one will die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, but it is the long term chronic effects of drinking fluoridated water that affects health. Dental fluorosis is one of the earlier signs of fluoride poisoning, appearing in mild cases as a chalky area on the tooth, and in more advanced cases, teeth become yellow brown or black and the tips break off. Fluoride in the drinking water leads to fluoride levels in tissues and organs which damage enzymes. This results in a wide range of chronic diseases. Fluoride weakens the immune system and may cause allergic type reactions including dermatitis, eczema and hives. It causes birth defects and genetic damage. Fluoride is likely to aggravate kidney disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism. The amount consumed in drinking water has been shown to lower thyroid activity in humans. It also causes the breakdown of collagen which results in wrinkling of the skin and the weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscles.”
It’s important to understand that good diet, not fluoride is necessary for healthy teeth. This includes minimizing your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates. If you’d like to purify your drinking water of fluoride, it can be done through the use of industrial quality reverse osmosis, which brings the total dissolved solids down to less that one part per million. Distillation filters also remove fluoride. Brita, Pur, and most other filters as well as boiling water DO NOT remove fluoride.
Non-fluoridated toothpaste can be found at natural health food stores, however be sure to read labels carefully.
For information, watch the following informative video: