Is Fluoride Really Bad for You?


To the chagrin of some dentists, evidence continues to mount that sodium fluoride isn’t something to smile about. In fact, it could actually be one of the biggest health risks of our time.  In recent years, organizations like the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) have attempted to broaden awareness about the toxicity of fluoride and provide comprehensive and up-to-date information about its effects. And it’s not FAN that thinks so. Sources such as Natural News, Prevention Magazine and even the Wall Street Journal have all questioned the merits of the fluoridation of drinking water. So is Fluoride really bad for you and why is it being added to our water?

The story begins as many stories do when well-meaning folks try to mimic something in nature and it goes astray. Way back when, people recognized the positive effects of calcium fluoride in drinking water and wanted to replicate it. Thus, Grand Rapids, MI, began adding sodium fluoride — a less expensive version of calcium fluoride — to its water supply in 1945. The key difference being that calcium fluoride is naturally occurring and sodium fluoride is not. Not to mention that sodium fluoride is a synthetic waste product of the nuclear industry and often contaminated with lead, aluminum and cadmium.

For decades after sodium fluoride was first introduced, it became synonymous with bright, vibrant smiles. That was until reports started to surface that stated otherwise. For instance, a National Research Council (NRC) panel of dentists, toxicologist and epidemiologists determined that fluoride levels in drinking water are too high and might actually damage teeth (isn’t that ironic). Disturbing reports out of India revealed that children have been crippled and even blinded after fluoride was added to their drinking water.

Fluoride has also been cited for causing depression, creating liver and kidney damage, weakening the immune system and even promoting cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. However, even as more detrimental evidence comes to light, many are still convinced of the benefits of sodium fluoride, which is slowing any widespread call for removal.

What can I do to protect myself from sodium fluoride?

Thankfully, if you are concerned about excessive fluoride exposure there are many strategies you can take to lessen your risk. Beyond opting for a fluoride-free toothpaste, you can find other easy tools to avoid it and/or help alleviate its potential ill effects. Iodine and lecithin and careful cleansing of the liver have been touted for helping the body extract fluorides. AquaLiv, a revolutionary water filtration system is one of the only water filtrating systems available today that safely removes fluoride without stripping water of its nutrients.

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4 Responses to Is Fluoride Really Bad for You?

  1. Linda Bonvie says:

    Great post Chelsea! Another thing to remember is to not let your dentist talk you into a fluoride treatment. And thanks for the tip on the water filtration system. In New Jersey we’re lucky that most places don’t add fluoride to the water, but a friend recently asked about what they can do about it (they live in NY), and now I know what to tell them!

    • Chelsea Vurciaga says:

      Thanks Linda! I have had one of the AquaLiv systems for years and I really love it! It removes impurities without stripping the water of nutrients!

  2. Making Sense of Fluoride says:

    Hi Chelsea, I suggest you avoid activist groups and stick with respectable health organisations. You have plenty of things incorrect in this post.

    “The key difference being that calcium fluoride is naturally occurring and sodium fluoride is not.”

    Once added into water there is no difference once out of the tap. It ends up a fluoride ion.

    “For instance, a National Research Council (NRC) panel…”

    The 2006 NRC Committee was charged with evaluating the adequacy of the US EPA primary (4 ppm) and secondary (2 ppm) MCLs for fluoride to protect the public against adverse effects, it did not look at the benefits. The EPA’s guidelines are not recommendations about adding fluoride to drinking water to protect the public from dental caries. Guidelines for that purpose (0.7 – 1.2ppm) were established by the U.S. Public Health Service. It reported:“this report does not evaluate nor make judgments about the benefits, safety, or efficacy of artificial water fluoridation. That practice is reviewed only in terms of being a source of exposure to fluoride”.
    After the Committee looked at all relevant fluoride literature, it recommended that the EPA primary MCL for fluoride be lowered from 4.0 ppm. The stated reasons for this recommendation were the risk of severe dental fluorosis and bone fracture with chronic ingestion of water with a fluoride content of 4.0 ppm or greater. No other reasons. Had this Committee had any other concerns with fluoride at this level, it would have stated so and recommended accordingly. Additionally, this Committee made no recommendation to lower the EPA secondary MCL for fluoride, 2.0 ppm which water fluoridation at 0.7ppm is 1/3 of this value.
    In March of 2013, Dr. John Doull, the internationally respected toxicologist who chaired the NRC committee, made the following statement:“I do not believe there is any valid, scientific reason for fearing adverse health conditions from the consumption of water fluoridated at the optimal level.”
    Final recommendation of this Committee showed nothing that doubt on the safety of fluoride at the recommended optimal level. It also has no bearing on water fluoridation so using the NRC report to as a reason to stop fluoridation would be misguided.

    “Disturbing reports out of India revealed that children have been crippled and even blinded after fluoride was added to their drinking water.”
    At very high levels of naturally occurring fluoride. The dose makes the poison.

    “Fluoride has also been cited for causing depression, creating liver and kidney damage, weakening the immune system and even promoting cancer and Alzheimer’s disease”

    There has been many major systematic reviews, all supporting the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation. Public Health England has just released their water fluoridation review– “Water fluoridation Health monitoring report for England 2014” and it concluded:
    “This monitoring report provides evidence of lower dental caries rates in children living in fluoridated compared to non-fluoridated areas. Similarly, infant dental admission rates were substantially lower. There was no evidence of higher rates of the non-dental health indicators studied in fluoridated areas compared to non-fluoridated areas. Although the lower rates of kidney stones and bladder cancer found in fluoridated areas are of interest, the population-based, observational design of this report does not allow conclusions to be drawn regarding any causative or protective role of fluoride; similarly, the absence of any associations does not provide definitive evidence for a lack of a relationship.”

    Similarly, a review – “Health effects of water fluoridation: A review of the scientific evidence” -written on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Office of the NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor concluded:
    “Councils with established CWF schemes in New Zealand can be confident that their continuation does not pose risks to public health, and promotes improved oral health in their communities, reducing health inequalities and saving on lifetime dental care costs for their citizens. Councils where CWF is not currently undertaken can confidently consider this as an appropriate public health measure, particularly those where the prevalence and severity of dental caries is high. A forthcoming study from the Ministry of Health is expected to provide further advice on how large a community needs to be before CWF is cost-effective (current indications point to all communities of 1000+ people). It is recommended that a review such as this one is repeated or updated every 10 years – or earlier if a large well-designed study is published that appears likely to have shifted the balance of health benefit vs health risk.”

    I hope that helps with the science.


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