Fluoride is often added to water supplies and is a common ingredient in toothpaste; however, despite seeming to be safe, there are negative effects of fluoride. Believe it or not, fluoride is actually considered a toxic substance, and it is more toxic than lead. This may surprise you considering that fluoride is added to water. Yet, it is indeed detrimental to your health, and there are serious concerns about chronic toxicity. The National Research Council has determined that the upper limit of 4 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water set by the EPA is actually unsafe. Because there are negative effects of fluoride, consuming just small amounts can have serious health consequences.
1. Low Thyroid
The thyroid is a very important organ in the human body. It regulates metabolic function and is critical for the proper functioning of many organ systems. When your thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone, you can begin to experience many unpleasant symptoms. Fluoride is known to decrease thyroid hormones and was actually used through the 1950s as a medication for overactive thyroid. Unless you have an overactive thyroid, fluoride exposure can have very negative effects by causing hypothyroidism. Just 2 to 5 milligrams a day of fluoride can suppress thyroid hormones, and that is within the range of 1.6 to 6.6 milligrams that people get when they consume fluoridated water. Clearly, there are negative effects of fluoride, and, unfortunately, low thyroid is not the only health consequence.
It has been established that some arthritis patients have fluoride toxicity, and the fluoride in their body contributes to the joint pain they experience. Fluoride is particularly implicated in causing osteoarthritis. As little as 6 milligrams a day of fluoride can result in joint pain. Thankfully, researchers have found that removing fluoride can relieve some or all arthritis symptoms in several weeks to several months. However, people who do have joint pain from fluoride toxicity have to be careful about consuming any product with fluoride, not just water. This means that toothpaste with fluoride and even black tea should be eliminated.
3. Bone Fractures
Doctors used to believe that fluoride benefited bones, because it can increase bone density. However, it is no longer thought that fluoride is good for bones. Researchers have discovered that fluoride decreases bone strength and leads to bone fractures. Epidemiological studies have determined that consuming just 4 milligrams of fluoridated water a day can increase fracture rates. Newer studies have also found that fluoride can actually decrease bone density. A Chinese study even found that the risk of hip fracture doubles at fluoride levels of just 1 and 2.2 parts per million! Fluoride is obviously extremely bad for bone health, and it would be much better if water were not fluoridated.
4. Endocrine System
Fluoride has been identified as an endocrine disruptor, which means it can negatively impact your endocrine system. Fluoride affects the endocrine system by inhibiting hormone secretion. Of the many hormones fluoride can affect, insulin and melatonin are just two. Fluoride increases levels of glucose in your blood, which can overwhelm the insulin in your body and eventually led to diabetes. Fluoride doesn’t just affect your blood sugar, it also affects your sleep. The pineal gland is a tiny gland found in your brain that produces melatonin. Some of the highest concentrations of fluoride are found in the pineal gland. As a result of high fluoride levels, melatonin production decreases. This can cause you to have trouble sleeping, which can have poor health consequences over time. People need sleep to function properly, and it is unfortunate that fluoride can result in sleep problems.
Over 100 studies have found that fluoride has negative consequences on brain health! These studies have discovered that fluoride impairs memory, impairs visual-spatial organization, and has even resulted in brain damage. These are just a few of the negative effects fluoride has on the brain. It can also cause developmental problems in children, and it has even been associated with dementia. Additionally, a Harvard team of researchers determined that fluoride is associated with lower IQ levels.
6. Gastrointestinal Problems
One of the many problems fluoride causes is gastrointestinal upset. Fluoride ingestion can result in nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. This is why small children who swallow toothpaste with fluoride can develop stomach pain. Aside from causing stomach pain, fluoride can also result in damage to the gastrointestinal system. Consuming 3 milligrams of fluoride a day can damage the gastric mucosa, which is a membrane layer that lines and protects the stomach. This is not something that you want to damage.
7. Cardiovascular Disease
Just like it accumulates in the pineal gland, fluoride can also accumulate in the cardiovascular system. This accumulation of fluoride can lead to high blood pressure, which puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Fluoride accumulation can also cause atherosclerosis by accumulating in the aorta, and it can lead to hardening of the arteries. Additionally, fluoride affects the electrical activity of the heart, resulting in irregular heart rhythms and heart rates. These are all very negative consequences that fluoride has on the heart.
Because fluoride is found in many water supplies it can be difficult to eliminate; however, it is not impossible. To protect your health and limit or eliminate your fluoride consumption, you can buy fluoride free toothpaste. You can also look into buying water that is fluoride free or get a filter that removes fluoride from your water. Are you concerned about the negative effects fluoride has on health?