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How Fluoridated Water Affects your Health

Updated on December 30, 2014

Is Fluoridated Drinking Water Good for You?

Fluoridated water is disease causing and disease preventing. It is important for healthy teeth. However, scientists have found that since fluoride is available in many other sources, it is not important to have fluoridated water. In addition to that, they have observed that high levels of its intake are harmful to the body.

You might find it interesting that most developed countries do not fluoridate their water. This is because they have found it to be more harmful than useful. This is also because of the multiple alternative sources where it exists that are not necessarily in water.

The United States has 70% of their public water supplies fluoridated. This means that more than half the population of the US consumes fluoridated water. Other countries such as India consume fluoridated water that occurs naturally. This is also the case in China and some parts of Africa. This review’s purpose is to show the extent of the impact of water fluoridation as a disease preventing and disease-causing agent.

Fluoridated Water vs Toothpaste

Fluoride exists in toothpastes. It helps to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. However, researchers have found fluoride to bea potentially toxic ingredient when ingested in large amounts. In the cases where people use it in toothpaste, it is not dangerous because they do not ingest it.

Fluoridated water has become a standard in many countries. However, several countries have banned the use of fluoride in water because of its harmful effects when ingested. Even though it is important for healthy teeth, putting it in water is a moot point because it works effectively enough when used in toothpaste alone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that the benefits of fluoride are majorly tropical and not systemic. They have found that it is not necessary to swallow fluoride in order to protect teeth. They have found that it is more essential to use fluoride on the teeth through toothpaste.

Should you swallow Fluorides?

There are various reasons why ingestion of fluoride is dangerous. One of them is because it weakens bones. This is especially the case with hipbones in a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis occurs when a child gets too much fluoride when their teeth are still in the developing stage.

A study done in China also found that children with fluorosis have lower IQ's than children without it. An American study using animals also came to the same conclusion. Researchers found that fluoride accumulates in specific parts of the brain therefore directly affecting their learning ability. Best believe that there has been a definitive relationship between the intake of fluoride in water and reduced IQ levels.

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Who can be Affected by Fluoridated Water

Regardless of a person’s age, the effects of excessive consumption of fluoridated water get to everyone. It also affects people of different health statuses and vulnerability levels. Since fluoride is not an essential nutrient, it is available from other sources other than water such as dental products, tea, deboned meat, residual pesticides, and food. Its use in water becomes non-essential.

Breast-feeding babies get very low amounts of fluoride from their mothers' milk. If the babies consume fluoridated water, they are likely to receive more than 300 times the fluoride that they are supposed to receive. This is very harmful at a young age because of their susceptibility to environmental toxins.

Did you know fluoride accumulates in the body? The kidneys try to excrete as much of it as possible, but it still accumulates. In children and infants, the kidneys take about 80% of the fluoride that ingested into their bones. In adults, the kidneys excrete 50-60% of the ingested fluoride. The remainder usually accumulated in the pineal gland and in bones. Other than its accumulation, there has been no regular measurement of the side effects of high levels of fluoride. It has an effect on hair, nails, blood, urine, and bones. It also affects individuals with kidney diseases but no national or international body has measured the extent of this.

Cons of Fluoridated Water

Excessive ingestion of fluoride also causes brain damage. It interferes with the brain functions by causing neurotoxicity. Experiments done on animals have shown that fluoridation alters mental behavior in a similar manner to neurotoxic agents. It can damage the brain and affect learning.

Fluoride also causes morphological changes to the brain and kidneys, which causes an increase in the aluminum uptake of the brain that leads to beta-amyloid deposits. These beta-amyloid deposits are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. A study using rats showed that sodium fluoride in water damaged the learning ability of rats. It damages cells that the body cannot regenerate easily. Rats have learning abilities that are closely related to those of humans. The study showed that fluoride exposure clearly causes brain damage.

Fluoridated water affects the pineal gland. This is because when people take fluoridated water in large amounts it accumulates in this gland. Some researchers have found that it reduces the production of melatoninand thismay lead to earlier puberty onsets. What does this mean? Take for example, girls who take fluoridated water reach menstruation about 5 months earlier than girls who did not.

Overconsumption of fluoridated water affects the thyroid. In Europe, some doctors prescribe fluoride for the reduction of hyperthyroidism. Fluoride helps to reduce the thyroid function of overactive thyroid patients. In healthy people, it also affects the thyroid lowering its performance. It may cause hypothyroidism, which has symptoms such as fatigue, depression, joint and muscle pains and weight gain. It also causes heart disease and increased cholesterol levels.

Is Adding Fluoride to Water good for you?

Scientists have had various debates on whether water fluoridation is important or otherwise. Promoters advertise its benefits whereas activists advertise its side effects. Some scientists argue that though fluoride is important to prevent tooth decay, it is not essential.

The true cause of tooth decay is not the lack of fluoride. Acids found in the mouth created from sugar metabolized by bacteria cause tooth decay. The acid usually attacks the enamel and sometimes the dentine. When this happens, tooth decay occurs. In societies that consume small amounts of sugar, dental carries are limited. In societies that consume vast amounts of sugar, there are typically many more cases of dental carries.

Fluoridated Water and Tooth Decay

Promoters have argued that fluoridation of water prevents tooth decay by about 25% over an individual’s lifetime. They have found that not only is it effective in the prevention of tooth decay, it is also cost effective. It is cheap for communities especially those with a large number of people like more than 20,000. It would only cost about 50 cents per person to fluoridate water. For every $1 spent on water fluoridation,they save $38 in dental costs. They have also found that all other alternative ways of preventing tooth decay through fluoridation such as toothpaste, rinses, fluoride supplements, and applied fluoride treatments are more expensive than fluoridated water, accoriding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The counter argument of this is that when people take fluoride internally, it causes damage of the enamel. It leads to discoloration and mottling of the teeth. The result is that the teeth could rot from the inside out .

Why add Fluoride to the Water Supply? A Matter of Ethics

Fluoride is added to water for medical treatment purposes. It is the only chemical added for that purpose. The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) classifies it as a drug used to mitigate or prevent disease. Fluoride only prevents tooth decay; it does not improve the quality of water or its safety like other chemicals added to water. One of the key reasons why activists are against fluoridation of water is because it is unethical. This is the case because there must be informed consent from the consumer since fluoridated water is for medical purposes.

It is unethical because in most communities, the fluoridation of water occurs without their consent.Promoters cannot control the dosage of fluoride. This is because people drink different amounts of water. It is impossible to tell if an individual takes too much of it. Individuals who are likely to take more of it than others are athletes, diabetics, and manual laborers.

Dangers of Fluoridated Water

Researchers believe that dental fluorosis is only a mild indicator of greater systemic damage in the body. They believe that it is possible that there are other biochemical mechanisms underlying dental fluorosis. Promoters of fluoridated water however dismiss fluorosis as a mild side effect. (Of course they have-Why would they do anything else that would affect their profits?) They have found that excessive consumption of fluoride leads to damage of the teeth.

Other than dental fluorosis, another major effect is skeletal fluorosis. Promoters and marketers of water fluoridation believe that it has more positive than negative effects whereas researchers and activists have found that it has both discovered and undiscovered harmful effects to the bodies of humans. This has amplified the debate of whether water fluoridation should be encouraged or discouraged.

Is Fluoridated Water Good for you? The Judgment

Water fluoridation is both disease causing and disease preventing. But it’s not your typical double-edge sword. The only disease that it prevents is tooth decay and this is arguable. Some scientists believe that the internal intake of fluoride through water fluoridation is more harmful than helpful to teeth. The diseases that it causes include Alzheimer’s, dental and skeletal fluorosis, internal tooth decay, and brain damage. They have also found that it lowers IQ. It causes kidney diseases and can amplify already existent kidney complications. Even though many communities prefer to fluoridate their water because it is economical and easy, water fluoridation is more disease causing than disease preventing.

Many communities have therefore resorted to removing fluoride from their water and some countries have banned the fluoridation of water completely.

So… simple terms-it’s not good for you.


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    • VationSays profile image

      VationSays 2 years ago

      Hi Marie! Someone really had it in for the will be interesting to know if it's true....

      And about the pineal gland...there are talks about it being our "third eye"...enabling us to see into other dimensions and stuff..mostly superstitious's worth checking it out..

      Oh yeah...thanks :)

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I decided to take a look at this hub article because I'm planning a hub about the pineal gland. There are claims that fluoride calcifies the pineal gland, an organ relating to perception and vision. As you have stated, the fluoride tends to gather in the pineal.

      A strong point of your article is that the general public is being treated without their consent, contrary to medical ethics.

      Also of interest is the practice during WWII on Jewish prisoners in concentration camps. I don't remember where I read it, but the claim was that the Germans used fluoridation on the Jews to keep them manageable. With my limited knowledge of Jewish history, I have never heard stories of the Jewish people being rebel rousers. Usually they were the victims of various political and military movements. Was the fluoride part of a slow death plan? Something to research and think about, isn't it?

      Good topic.

    • VationSays profile image

      VationSays 3 years ago

      That's awesome BlissfulWriter!...

      and alright Steve Slott, i'll humor you..feel free to disapprove the 'author of this editorial' all up for a counter argument (as long as it's based actual facts and reason)

    • Steve Slott profile image

      Steve Slott 3 years ago

      This illiterate editorial is nothing but copy/paste nonsense from antifluoridationist websites. It would be far easier to find any correct statements in this mess than it would be to explain all the inaccuracies and blatant misinformation here. simple terms- the author of this editorial needs to go back to school, or go to school in the first place, whatever may be the case, develop some integrity, and learn to perform proper research prior to publishing such drivel.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 3 years ago

      I have looked into the matter and have written about it. Fluoridated or chlorinated water/toothpaste is not good. I use special radiological water filter to filter them out and I use non-fluoride toothpaste. The health of the teeth is dependent on the health of the body and not because of fluoride toothpaste. I got cavities back when my health was poor even when I was using fluoridated toothpaste. Now that I don't use fluoridated toothpaste and got my body into health, I don't get cavities (haven't had them for decades).

      If you look on the chemistry periodic table, fluorine, chlorine, and iodine are in the same column on the table. That means that their outer electronic shell are similar and hence have some similar chemical properties. Your thyroid gland requires the uptake of iodine in order to produce thyroid hormone. The ingestion of fluorine and chlorine blocks the uptake of iodine because they compete for the same iodine receptors.

      Fluoride impairs thyroid function. Google that and you will see. That may be one of the reason why low thyroid (hypothyroism) is so prevalant.