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Fluoride
4 Minutes

Fluoride in our water: how worried should we be?

There is a lot of debate around whether or not Fluoride should be added to the water supply. On the one hand, there is mounting tooth decay. On the other, there are concerns around hormone health/neurodevelopment in children associated with excess Fluoride. We take a look at some of the evidence and ways in which you can reduce your exposure.  

Why would anyone add Fluoride to the water supply?! 

Sadly there is a lack of emphasis on dental hygiene education. We also live in a society where sugar consumption is far too high. That = lots of tooth decay.

Fluoride on the other hand is one of the most celebrated ingredients for the prevention of tooth decay in the 20th Century. Largely as it can remineralise tooth enamel and strengthen teeth against cavities.

This is why it is topically applied via toothpaste. So far so good, but what’s the deal with adding it to drinking water? 

Putting a ‘band aid’ over the problem? 

As a result of the increase in tooth decay, some governments (most recently in the UK) have decided to add Fluoride into the water supply. The hope is that this will fight the rise (and cost) of tooth decay. Unfortunately there are question marks about the effectiveness (research shows it is effective when directly/topically applied in toothpaste) and debate around potential side effects.     

So, what’s the potential problem with Fluoride? 

Various reports have given rise to concern about the impact of Fluoride consumption and hormone health. This is particularly relating to the Thyroid and also to brain development. We know that the early years and specifically developing brains are much more susceptible to nutritional stress than adult brains. We also know that the Thyroid is highly sensitive to environmental toxins including Fluoride. 

Why the thyroid (and it’s health) is so crucial: 

Thyroid hormones have a profound impact on fertility and pregnancy. When the thyroid is not working as it should it can have far reaching consequences. This includes making it much harder to conceive and potentially increasing the probability of pregnancy complications.

It is also not always obvious when it isn’t functioning properly. Known as ‘subclinical’ Click here for much more

What some research suggests about Fluoride and Thyroid health: 

According to research in the prestigious journal ‘Nature’, elevated Fluoride from drinking water impacts T3, T4 and TSH (Thyroid hormones). It also seems to be an issue even at low levels:

‘Some studies reported a reduction in the T4 and T3 levels as well as an abnormal increase in TSH levels even at 1mg/L of fluoride in water’. 

Even small amounts can have an impact: 

Whilst some may suggest that the amount in water is too small to have an impact, according to this research, Fluoride appears to impact human thyroid hormones (especially TSH and T3) even in the standard concentration of less than 0.5mg/L. Of course the more water we drink, the more Fluoride we will get. Not ideal!  

Why we don’t want too much Fluoride during ttc or pregnancy:  

Subclinical Thyroid issues have been shown to impact our ability to get and to stay pregnant. Click here for more. However, during pregnancy it is crucial to ensure the Thyroid is well functioning. We know there can be complications related to brain development during pregnancy if the Thyroid is not functioning as it should. 

Small kids should also watch levels of Fluoride: 

Fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxicant. This means it is a substance that can directly impact a developing brain. Click here for more. This is one of the reasons why it is not recommended for young children to use toothpaste containing Fluoride until they can safely spit it out. 

In fact several ’systematic reviews and meta-analyses have suggested the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.’ 

So, how we can choose to reduce Fluoride in our drinking water? 

For those in the UK, Fluoridated water is fast becoming a reality. For other areas it is worth checking with your local authority to see if it is added to your water supply. In case it is a water filter is the best bet. 

Finding the right type of filter can be a minefield. So many different types and many can be very expensive. An easy, approachable way to start with is a jug water filter. We like Zero Water which removes over 95% Fluoride. 

The bottom line when it comes to Fluoride in drinking water:

The governments of course dismiss potential health issues with Fluoride in the water. However, for those who have hormonal health in their minds or have issues with their Thyroid this research is worth being aware of. Secondly, for those who have small children and who may be using formula (which obviously requires quite a bit of water) it is worth considering whether or not to remove it. 

Of course against this good dental hygiene is crucially important. When you don’t take care of the mouth it can lead to inflammation and associated problems. Click here for more.  

Being sensible with sugar intake, particularly fruit juices and smoothies (not generally as healthy as they pretend to be) and twice daily brushing is a basic minimum. 

 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

 

 

 

 

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