The Grapevine

Fluoride In Drinking Water: Boon Or Bane?

The medical community and consumers have been sharing conflicting opinions on the health effects of fluoride. Some people question its use in drinking water, while others promote the mineral’s health benefits. 

Fluoride naturally occurs in soil, water and food. But the industry has been using the mineral’s synthetic form in water and dental products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

Fluoride can also be used in pesticides, fertilizer, some drugs and aluminum. The health benefits of fluoride were first reported earlier in the 20th century when researchers discovered high levels of natural fluoride in drinking water helped reduce dental cavities in some communities. 

The findings introduced the use of the mineral to the public and industry. However, experts noted body could only take naturally occurring substance and synthetic fluoride may cause harm. 

Potential Side Effects Of Fluoride 

Affects Brain Development

Previous studies found that fluoride can be a neurotoxin. A 2012 review of 26 studies showed a link between high levels of fluoride in the body and reduced IQ.

Another paper in 2014 claimed that fluoride as a neurotoxin could affect the development of babies. The same findings were issued three years later by a different team, which suggested exposure in utero could lead to poor cognitive performance later in life, according to WellnessMama.com

Bone Problems

Despite being reported to be effective to protect the teeth, researchers found that fluoride plays a role in bone health issues. 

Intake of just 6 mg of fluoride a day has been linked to symptoms of skeletal fluorosis. It is a serious bone disease that can lead to hardening and thickening of the bones. 

Thyroid Issues

One study suggested that fluoride can harm the thyroid function. Researchers said the mineral could trigger thyroid inflammation and autoimmune thyroid disease. 

Fluoride And Other Conditions

Aside from bone health and the brain, high exposure to fluoride has also been associated with increased risk of having cancer and infertility in men. 

How To Fight Fluoride Effects

There are vitamins and minerals that could help prevent the negative effects of fluoride. Following a nutrient-dense diet and having normal levels of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium can protect bones, particularly the teeth. 

Water Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Pixabay

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