“Fluoride has a protective effect against caries, but this is a local effect. If you drink it, you are running the risk of all kinds of toxic actions.”
–Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Swedish Neuropharmacologist and Nobel Prize winner
In western Europe, approximately 3% drink artificially fluoridated water. In the United States, 75% drink artificially fluoridated water. If you have followed any statistics regarding the quality of our food and drink supply vs. most of Europe, you will see that Europeans are the ones to follow. While Europe has largely rejected fluoridating their water supply, the US has decided to attempt to fluoridate all of it with a national goal for 80% of Americans to have water with enough fluoride “to prevent tooth decay” by 2020. Take a look at the top states with the highest water fluoridation.
Top 10 States with the Highest Percentage of Fluoridation
- Kentucky 99.9%
- Minnesota 98.8%
- Illinois 98.5%
- Maryland 97.2%
- North Dakota 97.7%
- Georgia 96.3%
- Virgina 96%
- Indiana 94.8%
- South Carolina 93.8%
- South Dakota 93.6%
Where is all the Fluoride Coming From?
Naturally occurring fluoride is found as calcium fluoride, magnesium fluoride or sodium fluoride in small amounts as a result of the geological composition of soils and bedrock. What you are mainly finding in your water supply is called fluorosilicic acid. Fluorosilicic acid is the most commonly used additive for water fluoridation in the United States and it is a by-product of phosphate fertilizer. That’s right, the main type of fluoride being added to your water is a liquid by-product of fertilizer that needed somewhere to go, like your drinking water.
The CDC will argue that these fluoride additives are no different than naturally occurring fluoride, and add two studies that demonstrate that the same fluoride ion is present in naturally occurring fluoride or in fluoride drinking water additives and that no intermediates or other products were observed at pH levels as low as 3.5. The argument isn’t about the fluorosilicic acid vs. naturally occurring fluoride. It is fluoride ion ingestion itself.
People probably won’t take the time to read referenced CDC studies, so I thought I would. The first study used a whopping 10 adults for a 6-hour blood test in a single-blind, crossover study. That should be enough to make a conclusion about the long term health of an entire country right? The second study does not look at any population and challenges a previous study that did find fluorosilicate intermediates were present in appreciable concentrations in drinking water.
Here’s the thing. Fluoride ingestion has toxic effects on the body based on the dosage which will range person to person, and there are many studies verifying the damage. The safety and effectiveness of fluoridated water have not been demonstrated by randomized controlled trials.
Why the Fluoride Ion is a Problem
Magnesium Deficiency, DNA Damage, and Infertility
Let’s focus on the idea that the natural fluoride ion is no different than the fluoride ion in artificial fluoride, and that more information is needed about the intermediates. The issue to me is that it is the dosage of the fluoride ion ingestion is problematic, regardless of what it is attached to. The fluoride ion is an accumulated ion.
The fluoride ion interferes with the biological activity of the magnesium ion by reducing intestinal magnesium resorption. This fact alone illuminates the concern of a water supply low in magnesium and high in fluoride in a population that is up to 80% magnesium deficient. The enormous amount of literature showing the repercussions of magnesium deficiency highlights the importance of this point.
Hypothyroidism, Cancer and Low IQ
Have you been wondering why so many people have hypothyroidism in this country? Fluoride competes with iodine, having major implications for the thyroid gland. Fluoride easily displaces iodine in the body because it is much lighter and therefore more reactive.
Studies have found that fluoride interferes with the thyroid gland function, and when you increase the number of fluoride ions in the body, eventually the thyroid becomes deficient in iodine. Every week I see multiple people with a new diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Iodine is also important for the health of the breasts, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and testicles. It wouldn’t be a far leap to look at the carcinogenic role of fluoride in hormone-based cancers based on the displacement of iodine and DNA damage. In fact, Dr. Dean Burk, the head of the cytochemistry laboratory at the Cancer Institute until 1974 and co-discoverer of biotin stated that from his research that the link of fluoride to cancer “is one of the most conclusive scientific and biologic evidence that I have come across in my 50 years in the field cancer research.”
Fluoride can cause degenerative changes in the central nervous system, low IQ, impairment of brain function and abnormal development in children. The low IQ study showed drinking water with fluoride levels greater than 1.0 mg/L may adversely affect the development of children’s intelligence. After reviewing 27 of the human IQ studies, a team of Harvard scientists concluded that fluoride’s effect on the young brain should now be a “high research priority.”
Where Else Will You Find Fluoride?
Fluoride is found in toothpaste, pesticides and a large percentage of prescription drugs.
Sodium aluminum fluoride is a pesticide used in chemical agriculture (especially wine grapes) that is especially sticky and likely to stay on your food. I recommend choosing organic wines only in the US or wines from Italy and Argentina explained here. Elena Walch is a good example of an excellent clean, reasonably priced Italian wine.
According to Suzy Cohen, author of Drug Muggers, medications that have fluoride include:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Citalopram (Celexa) and Escitalopram (Lexapro).
- Antifungal fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Steroids like dexamethasone (Decadron), fluticasone (Flonase) and flunisolide (Nasarel and Nasalide)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
Millions of people use some of these medications.
But Fluoride is Good for Your Teeth!
The reason we are told that fluoride is added to our water supply is to prevent cavities, but any benefit of fluoride for your teeth is not dependent on your ingestion of it. Even the CDC states that the benefits are from topical application, not ingestion. You could argue that the amount being ingested is doing the opposite for your teeth. Too much can cause dental fluorosis; mottled tooth enamel and tooth discoloration from the ingestion of excessive fluoride.
Bone fractures and skeletal fluorosis also can occur, a condition characterized by pain and tenderness of the major joints. When was the last time you heard of painful joints being diagnosed as skeletal fluorosis? In studies done by Dr. Michael Whyte, heavy tea drinkers developed skeletal fluorosis and had been misdiagnosed for years as suffering from arthritis and/or fibromyalgia.
Fluoridation is actually not required by the EPA, which is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from requiring the addition of any substance to drinking water for preventive health care purposes. Well, that’s interesting. Water fluoridation is locally and nationally promoted for this very reason. Maybe a more ethical approach would be to honor the Safe Drinking Water Act and take a potentially toxic halogen out of the drinking water and keep its use to dentistry.
Finally, if you have read Nutritional and Physical Degeneration by the dentist Weston Price, you will see that indigenous cultures around the world had perfect teeth due to their diet and most likely their microbiome, not from a higher intake of fluoride. You can see the dental downfall from pictures in each following generation that switches to westernized food.
What is the Upper Safety Limit of Fluoride?
According to the EPA, the fluoride guidelines are a maximum of 4.0 mg per liter (mg/L). From 1992, you can see a fluoridation chart that shows numerous cities throughout the US above 4.0mg/L and even above 6.0mg/L. Before 2015, the recommended range was from 0.7 – 1.2mg/L that has now been reduced further 0.7mg.L due to instances of high fluoride ingestion.
Staying below an upper limit of 0.08 mg/kg/day is the amount the EPA has claimed prevents against pitting of the tooth enamel and concluded that this value is valid for preventing fractures and skeletal effects in adults. The World Health Organization (WHO) guideline is that 1.5 mg/L of fluoride is the desirable upper limit in drinking water. Fluoride levels above 1.5 mg/L may lead to dental fluorosis while levels above 3–6 mg/L during the lifetime may lead to skeletal fluorosis.
The EPA also has a non-enforceable secondary standard for fluoride of 2.0 mg/L, which is recommended to protect children against the tooth discoloration and/or pitting that can be caused by excess fluoride exposures during the formative period prior to the eruption of the teeth. However, the water systems are not required to comply with secondary standards. The EPA also states that “data indicate that fluoride exposure levels among the population have increased in the last 40 to 50 years resulting in an increase in some effects on teeth. Based on the data presented in this report, it is likely that some children are exposed to too much fluoride.” They really tried to downplay that statement.
Do you see the problem? The safety range does not address the dose tolerance per individual. Babies, children and certain adults with higher sensitivities to fluoride ingestion like the 20 million people with some variation of thyroid disease will range considerably.
How Much Fluoride Are We Ingesting?
The amount of fluoride you will find naturally in whole foods are low, below .1mg/L. Higher amounts are found in processed foods, sports drinks, beers (this ranges based on the company’s water source), soda and tea. Black tea contains 3-4mg/L and commercial tea drinks contain 1-4mg/L. The quality and age (white tea is best) help negate the fluoride levels due to the antioxidants. Or choose unsmoked Yerba Mate, which has low levels of fluoride.
If you are drinking fluoridated water in the US, you may be ingesting anywhere from 0.7mg/L to 1.2mg/L or even close to 4.0mg/L. Find out how much your city has here.
If your water supply is fluoridated, you use fluoridated toothpaste, eat foods or drink wine with fluoridated pesticides, drink tea and you take one or more of the mentioned prescription drugs, do you think fluoride intake could become excessive? Add in the biochemical and genetic differences of each person and current health state, and that upper limit of fluoride tolerance drops down dramatically.
How to Reduce Your Fluoride Intake
If you are interested in taking out the fluoride in your drinking water, a reverse osmosis is the only filtration system that removes fluoride with the exception of Berkey. Forget Brita or any other portable filter; those only remove chloride and other contaminants. A reverse osmosis system for your house or apartment or Berkey with fluoride filters is the only solution I am aware of. Or purchase reverse osmosis water at your local grocery store by filling up 3-gallon or 5-gallon glass or BPA-free plastic bottles for about 25-50 cents per gallon.
Here are three systems that I have researched:
This is very convenient because it just attaches to your faucet on the counter, and you can easily move it anywhere. You can even take it with you when you travel. Make sure that it fits your faucet, because it won’t work with spray faucets.
This uses a 4 stage system:
1st Stage: Premium Quick-Connect 5 micron sediment filter -removes dust, particles, and rust. Protects and extends the life of the membrane and system US Made.
2nd Stage: Premium Quick-Connect coconut shell activated carbon filter -gets rid of unpleasant chlorine, odors, cloudiness, & colors. This also removes VOCs and other common chemicals from the water.
3rd Stage: Select FILMTEC (Dow Chemical) High Rejection TFC reverse osmosis membrane. Removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids (TDS) and contaminants such as arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium, radium, bacteria, viruses and much more.
4th Stage: Premium Quick-Connect coconut shell activated carbon filter -removes any possible residual tastes.
This is a free standing gravity-fed water filter. Since I have a spray faucet in my kitchen and I can’t alter the plumbing below due to being in an apartment, this was my best option. It removes up to 95% of fluoride and 99.9% of the following: viruses, chlorine, lead, THM’s, VOC’s, lindane, atrazine, benzene, TCE, pre-oxidized arsenic III and V, MTBE and other heavy metal ions.
After speaking with the company, I found out that they can’t ship directly to California or Iowa. But if you purchase it through Amazon you can get it shipped. If you want the warranty on it, make sure to purchase it through the Berkey seller on Amazon and call them afterward with your order number. The lifetime warranty covers the stainless steel housing, washers, wing nuts, the spigot if it leaks, the black filters the first 6 months then discounted up to 2 years, the fluoride filters for six months that should also be changed every 8-12 months depending on how much you use and the contamination of your water.
Since I have had issues with leaking plastic spigots with my past water systems, I opted to also get the stainless steel spigot.
This is the system I recommend for under the sink. This is a full conversion that also adds calcium to the water, creating a delicious taste and more alkaline pH. It goes through a 6 stage system of filtering:
1st stage: high-capacity polypropylene sediment filter -removes dust, particles, and rust. Protects and extends the life of the membrane and system
2rd & 3rd Stage: Carbon Block – gets rid of unpleasant chlorine, tastes, odors, cloudiness and colors. It also removes VOCs and other common chemicals from the water
4th Stage: High Rejection TFC RO membrane. Removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids (TDS) and contaminants such as arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium, radium, bacteria, viruses and much more
5th Stage: Coconut Shell Carbon – TCR filter removes any possible residual taste from the tank
6th Stage: Calcite Acidic Water Neutralizer 10″ – adds calcium carbonate to increase water alkalinity
It contains mineral clay, sea salt, and pure plant essences. According to the website “it encourages remineralization of tooth enamel by neutralizing acids and bacteria, supplying calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for strengthening teeth, and maintaining a naturally alkaline pH. Completely free of fluoride, carrageenan, triclosan, artificial sweeteners.”
Uncle Harry’s is the one I use. Very happy with it and the results. Estrella is also excellent and tastes more like regular toothpaste.
5. How to Protect Against Toxicity
Oxidative stress is believed to be a key mechanism by which fluoride damages cells in the body. Nutrient deficiencies in calcium, vitamin C, iodine, magnesium and vitamin D increase fluoride toxicity. Tamarind has been found to increase fluoride excretion and selenium appears to help detoxify. One study found that “the antioxidative nature of selenium coupled with its reversal effect on metabolic enzymes in the brain of mice treated with fluoride suggests its use as antidote agent against fluorosis.”