For 70 years, fluoride has been added to the U.S. public water supply as a cost-effective method to reduce tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were so impressed with the drastic decline in tooth decay cases that they included water fluoridation in the list of “ten great public health achievements of the 20th century”.
Unfortunately, a recent study may have exposed a potential link between type 2 diabetes and water fluoridation. The study was conducted by Kyle Fluegge and published in the Journal of Water and Health. Fluegge used mathematical models to try to find a connection between the nation’s current diabetes epidemic and drinking water.
The additives approved to fluoridate water are fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride. Fluegge found that sodium fluoride could be linked to the rise in diabetes cases, especially since it is a known preservative of blood glucose. On the other hand, fluorosilicic acid was found to have the opposite effect as it was linked to a decline in diabetes prevalence.
Of the 22 states studied, it was found that lower diabetes rates were common where water fluoridation did not occur. But before you run out to stock up on bottled water, it should be noted that Fluegee’s findings cannot be applied to individual cases.
Fluegee’s first mathematical model compared the concentration of added fluoride to the increased prevalence of diabetes cases. A consistent connection could not be found between the two variables. It was only after Fluegge compared the population’s per capita consumption of tap water that he obtained favorable results.
There were two shortfalls to Fluegge’s study; first, the per capita consumption of tap water was estimated, and secondly water is not the only potential fluoride source. Despite the shortcomings, the study should not be ignored since it does shed light on the very important fact that sodium fluoride has been shown to preserve blood glucose.
As a diabetic, you are prone to consuming a significant quantity of water in comparison to non-diabetics. According to the National Research Council, consistent fluoride exposure can increase the severity of diabetes in some individuals by causing high blood glucose levels or impaired glucose tolerance.
To find out if your drinking water is adversely affecting your health, you can go to the CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride database to see if your county’s water system is fluoridated.
Fluoridated water generally has a fluoride content of 0.7 milligrams per Liter (mg/L). This has been shown to be the ideal concentration at which tooth decay is prevented without causing any adverse health effects. Unfortunately, 0.07-0.4 mg/kg/day has been linked to glucose intolerance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, in some individuals.
Glucose intolerance occurs when the body is no longer able to remove glucose from the bloodstream. Human and animal studies have shown that after fluoride is ingested it stops the pancreatic cells from secreting insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar. Fluoride may also cause glucose intolerance by increasing insulin resistance.
Along with being linked to diabetes, water fluoridation may also have an impact on children’s IQ. For years there has been a great debate on whether fluoride has any effect on the human brain. In an attempt to answer this question researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang teamed up to analyze various studies.
After reviewing 27 studies it was determined that fluoride may have a negative impact on a child’s developing brain, but the severity of its effect would require further research. Despite the existence of over 23 human studies and 100 animal studies showing a link between fluoride consumption and brain damage, it is still added to 70% of the U.S. public water supply.
The research team discovered that children exposed to high fluoride concentrations had a 0.45 reduction in the “standardized mean difference” (SMD) in intelligence. In terms of IQ score, that is a decline by 7 IQ points.
It seems that the medical and dental communities are determined to only acknowledge the perceived benefits of water fluoridation while ignoring any evidence to the contrary.