Most of us are exposed to fluoride on a daily basis, whether it’s in our dental care products, prescription medications (it’s one of the basic ingredients in Prozac) or the water we drink, cook with, and bathe in. Fluoride is marketed as being the “key to preventing tooth decay”, but what we aren’t told is that fluoride has never been approved by the FDA and does NOT meet “requirements of safety and effectiveness.” But there’s more that we aren’t told, fluoride may also cause extensive damage to our bodies.
Fluoride is a neurotoxin! Neurotoxins are toxins that target the nervous system and disrupt the signaling that allows neurons to communicate effectively. Exposure to neurotoxins can result in a variety of forms of damage. In the case of fluoride, researchers are seeing impaired neurobehavioral development, brain damage, and reduced IQ levels. There have been many animal studies completed on the effects of fluoride; these studies have found that fluoride causes:
- A reduction in nicotinic receptors in the brain. Nicotinic receptors are a type of cholinergic receptor; cholinergic receptors are involved with organ function and vital processes like digestive and cardiovascular systems.
- A reduction in protein content in the brain
- Alterations in protein expression in the brain
- Damages to the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for encoding long-term memories and helping with spatial navigation
- Inhibition of cholinesterase activity. Cholinesterase is one of many important enzymes needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system
- Increased oxidative stress, resulting from a decrease in the three most important antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase)
In addition to the causing brain damage, fluoride has a detrimental effect on other systems in our body. Fluoride has been linked to:
- Endocrine disruption
- An increased risk of 23 types of cancer
- Hyperactivity, lethargy
- Genetic damage
- Reproductive damage
- Skin problems
- Thyroid disorders
- Premature puberty
- Skeletal fluorosis, resulting in brittle bones and joint pain
- Dental fluorosis, causing the teeth to become pitted, cracked, and brittle
- Glucose intolerance
- Damage to collagen tissue in the body
- Iodine displacement within the body
- Lower life expectancy
There are several ways we can protect ourselves from the harmful effects of fluoride.
- We can avoid dental care products that contain fluoride. Be a box-turner when you are looking for fluoride-free toothpaste, even though a toothpaste may be marketed as being “healthy”, there may be other ingredients that are questionable or may cause damage to the teeth and gums; such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), glycerin, sodium saccharin, sweeteners and hydrated silica. There are two toothpastes that I have found that don’t contain any questionable ingredients; Earthpaste and OraWellness Brushing Blend.
- Minimize exposure to fluoridated water; use a kitchen water filter that contains activated alumina, limit time spent in the bath or shower. If you’re really serious about it, you can have a whole-house fluoride filtration system installed, but those are typically quite expensive. The fluoride added to municipal water systems is a man-made form of fluoride; it’s a chemical by-product that is produced during the manufacturing of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate and nuclear weapons.
- Avoid fluoridated bottled water, soft drinks and commercial dairy products
- Eat a diet that is rich in selenium. People that are exposed to high levels of fluoride have normal levels of antioxidants when they also eating diets that are high in selenium. Animal studies have shown selenium can prevent organ damage (heart, liver, kidneys) and minimize the brain damage that accompanies excess fluoride. Foods that are highest in selenium include brazil nuts, shellfish (especially oysters and mussels), liver, fish, sunflower seeds, bran, caviar, bacon, pork chops, lobster, crab, and shrimp
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