Dentists Haven’t Read the StudiesPreface: This post doesn’t discuss any conspiracy theories. It simply presents a scientific review of the studies by mainstream sources on fluoride.
Why do dentists push fluoride, even though an overwhelming number of scientific studies conclude that cavity levels are falling worldwide … even in countries which don’t fluoridate water?
And even though the scientific literature shows that – when fluoridation of water supplies is stopped – cavities do not increase (but may in some cases actually decrease)? See this, this, this, this, this and this.
And even though many prominent leaders of the pro-water fluoridation movement have recently admitted publicly that they were wrong? That includes:
What has also changed is how much toxicologists know about the harmful effects of fluoride compounds. Ingested in high doses, fluoride is indisputably toxic; it was once commonly used in rat poison. Hydrogen fluoride is regulated as a hazardous pollutant in emissions from chemical plants and has been linked to respiratory illness. Even in toothpaste, sodium fluoride is a health concern. In 1997 the Food and Drug Administration toughened the warning on every tube to read, “If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison-control center right away.”
Because of what they were taught in school:
I contacted [a] dentist friend of mine, Dr. Susan Rubin, to find out what she recommends.Like most dentists, she was taught in dental school that fluoride saves teeth, and it never occurred to her to question that (even after her patients started bringing it up) until her own daughter came down with thyroid problems. Oh yeah, fluoride can affect that, too. She did her own research and was alarmed at what she found. She tried to get her town to stop putting fluoride in her water, but they refused.
And because dentists have no idea that the type of fluoride added to water supplies is a dangerous, unapproved variety.
In other words, dentists are well-meaning … but uninformed.
In reality, a United States National Academy of Science report, a Harvard meta-review of 27 studies, and many other government and university studies show that fluoride lowers IQ and causes a variety of other serious health problems.
The Harvard School for Public Health reports:
For years health experts have been unable to agree on whether fluoride in the drinking water may be toxic to the developing human brain. Extremely high levels of fluoride are known to cause neurotoxicity in adults, and negative impacts on memory and learning have been reported in rodent studies, but little is known about the substance’s impact on children’s neurodevelopment. In a meta-analysis, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang for the first time combined 27 studies and found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Based on the findings, the authors say that this risk should not be ignored, and that more research on fluoride’s impact on the developing brain is warranted.
Environmental Health Perspectives is a publication of the United States National Institutes of Health’sNational Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Harvard’s announcement continues:
The researchers conducted a systematic review of studies…. Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH [and] Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, and their colleagues collated the epidemiological studies of children exposed to fluoride from drinking water. The China National Knowledge Infrastructure database also was included to locate studies published in Chinese journals. They then analyzed possible associations with IQ measures in more than 8,000 children of school age; all but one study suggested that high fluoride content in water may negatively affect cognitive development.
No wonder some pediatricians are starting to question fluoride:
Numerous other government reports have shown fluoride’s adverse impacts on intelligence:
[A] 2006 National Academy of Science [report ] reviews the scientific studies which have been performed on fluoride, and concludes:
The NAS report also notes that fluoride may actually impair intelligence, and that more testing should be done in this regard.
Indeed, studies from around the world continue to find that exposure to sodium fluoride – especially in the very young – lowers IQ. See this and this. The same is true for rats exposed to fluoride. See this and this. And see the studies listed here.
Dr. Vyvyan Howard – a PhD fetal pathologist, who is a professor of developmental toxico-pathology at the University of Liverpool and University of Ulster, president of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment and former president of the Royal Microscopical Society and the International Society for Stereology, and general editor of the Journal of Microscopy – said in a 2008 Canadian television interview (short, worthwhile video at the link) that studies done in several countries show that children’s IQ are likely to be lower in high natural water fluoride areas.
He said that these studies are plausible because fluoride is known to affect the thyroid hormone which affects intelligence and fluoride is also a known neurotoxicant. Such studies have not been conducted in countries that artificially fluoridate the water such as the US, UK and Canada, but should be, he said.
One scientist – Jennifer Luke – argued in a 2001 scientific article that fluoride accumulates in the brain (specifically, in the structure of the pineal gland) more than it accumulates in our bones. In other words, she implies that fluoride may accumulate more in the brain than in the teeth, doing more harm than good (here’s Luke’s 1997 PhD dissertation on the topic.)
The 2006 National Academy of Sciences report corroborates some of Luke’s allegations:
As with other calcifying tissues, the pineal gland can accumulate fluoride (Luke 1997, 2001). Fluoride has been shown to be present in the pineal glands of older people (14-875 mg of fluoride per kg of gland in persons aged 72-100 years), with the fluoride concentrations being positively related to the calcium concentrations in the pineal gland, but not to the bone fluoride, suggesting that pineal fluoride is not necessarily a function of cumulative fluoride exposure of the individual (Luke 1997, 2001). Fluoride has not been measured in the pineal glands of children or young adults, nor has there been any investigation of the relationship between pineal fluoride concentrations and either recent or cumulative fluoride intakes.