Fluoride: A Harmful Neurotoxin
The presence of fluoride in the water supply has been a growing topic of controversy for the past few years. Once Fluoride was heralded by the United States CDC as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century.
Now the artificial addition of fluoride to the drinking water supply is now coming firmly under the microscope. The controversy was heightened when the world’s most respected medical journal recently classified fluoride officially as a dangerous neurotoxin.
The article which was published in The Lancet in 2014 put fluoride in the same category as other harmful chemicals including lead, mercury and arsenic and went on to note certain developmental problems that fluoride could cause including attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. (1)
Why is Fluoride added to the Water Supply?
The trace mineral fluoride is considered to be healthy for the teeth in small doses and is commonly used as an ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Although it is naturally occurring in low levels, it was added to the water supply in an attempt to prevent tooth decays and cavities.
How successful these attempts have been is open to question. Most countries do not fluoridate their water and there is more fluoridated water drunk in the U.S.A alone than the rest of the globe combined.
Adding fluoride to the water is banned in numerous European countries including Germany, Belgium, Austria and Norway as well as many Asian countries like Japan and China.
Some studies have demonstrated that people in countries that use fluoride do not have healthier teeth than those in other parts of the world. While the reduction in tooth decay in the USA is often attributed to fluoride in the drinking water, a similar decline has occurred throughout the developed world the vast majority of whom have never added fluoride to the drinking water.
Reasons to Avoid Fluoride
1. Fluoride as a Developmental Neurotoxin
As we have already mentioned, The Lancet recently stated that fluoride should be classified a developmental neurotoxin along with other dangerous chemicals like arsenic, lead and mercury. So what exactly is a developmental neurotoxin?
A neurotoxin is defined as a substance which is either destructive or toxic to the brain’s tissues, nervous system and spinal cord. A neurotoxin which affects the brain during the early and more susceptible stages including the period prior to birth and early childhood is classed as a developmental neurotoxin.
Developmental neurotoxins have been linked to a range of developmental problems including dyslexia, ADHD, disruptive behavior, lowered IQ and more.
The authors of The Lancet study stated that developmental neurotoxicity had reached a pandemic stage and believe that fluoride is one of the main risk factors.
2. Fluoride Reduces IQ
According to research, there is an inextricable link between fluoride and brain development resulting in lower IQ levels in those in areas where fluoride is used.
A joint analysis conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Shenyang’s China Medical University analyzed 27 studies done on the developmental damage caused by fluoride. This meta-analysis which was published in 2012 found that there was a definite correlation between cognitive development and the use of fluoride in water.
Children living in areas with high fluoride use exhibited much lower scores on IQ tests than children in lower fluoride areas. (2)
Up to now there have been over 50 studies linking the use of fluoride in water to lower IQ scores in both adults and children.
3. Fluoride can affect the Thyroid
There is plenty of evidence that when fluoride gets added to your drinking water it can have an adverse effect on the thyroid. According to a British study published in 2015, drinking fluoridated water can almost double the risk of hypothyroidism. (3)
The reason for this is that fluoride diminishes the amount of iodine available to the thyroid which lowers its production of thyroid hormones.
Reduced thyroid function is associated with a range of negative cognitive effects including memory loss, brain fog, depression and anxiety.
4. Fluoride may Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease
There may also be a link between fluoride and Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy evidence has revealed that Alzheimer’s patients have higher levels of aluminum, which is another neurotoxin, in the brain.
Further research published in 2013 demonstrated that there may be a link between high aluminum levels and fluoride.
The brain’s blood barrier normally prevents toxic metals from entering the brain however when fluoride enters the body it combines to produce aluminum fluoride which can breach the blood brain barrier more readily. While more research is necessary, researcher believe that this process is a contributing factor to the disease. (4)
5. Fluoride impairs the Pineal Gland
Your pineal gland is a tiny gland with a big function when it comes to brain protection and mood. It is responsible for producing melatonin which is essential for healthy sleep patterns but also has antioxidant properties which protect the brain from disease.
The brain’s pineal gland is prone to calcification caused by an accumulation of deposits including fluoride.
Calcification of the gland affects its ability to produce sufficient melatonin which can lead to a number of emotional issues including insomnia and depression but may also contribute to serious degenerative brain conditions like dementia.
6. Fluoride might cause Nervous System Degeneration
After fluoride crosses through the barrier into the brain, it can result in degeneration to certain parts of the brain namely the cerebellum, hippocampus and neocortex. This can have a devastating effect on many of our brain’s functions as these areas of the brain are responsible for regulating emotions and memory, sensory perception, balance and co-ordination.
7. Fluoride might be Linked to ADHD
The rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased dramatically during the 1990s which was around the same period that more fluoride was added to the water in the U.S. Of course, there are many possible causes of this increase and diagnostic rates may also play a significant role in the figures.
However, there is some evidence from research that there is a link between this increased level of fluoridation and the rise in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD. (5) The study which was published in 2015 found that ADHD was more prevalent in children living in areas with higher levels of fluoride. The researchers concluded that the link warranted further study in the future. (5)
What can you do about it?
The amount of fluoride in water varies considerably from state to state but if you live in the United States the chances are that your tap water contains fluoride. Apart from its effects on the brain, it is also linked with a number of physical conditions. There are certainly plenty of reasons why it has been banned across so many European and Asian countries.
So what can you do to avoid consuming too much fluoride?
The main sources of fluoride are drinking water and toothpaste.
Toothpaste is easy…. you can simply choose a brand with no fluoride. Drinking water is another matter altogether. First of all find out whether or not your local water supply is fluoridated. In the US almost all public water is fluoridated.
You could try installing a quality filter to will help you to eliminate or reduce your exposure to fluoride in your tap water.
You could also try writing to the appropriate officials to express your concern….. you may just be able to make a difference.