A new study out of the U.K. proposes that fluoride may be causing thyroid issues, which links to weight gain, depression, fatigue, and more – with scientists warning authorities to refrain from adding the chemical to drinking water for the sake of public health.
The research, led by Professor Stephen Peckham of the Centre for Health Service Studies, concluded that up to 15,000 people are needlessly suffering from thyroid problems due to water fluoridation.
“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health,” Peckham said.
Fluoride is not only found naturally in soil, certain food, and several minerals like fluorapatite and fluorite – it’s also synthesized in laboratories and frequently added to drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthwash to fight tooth decay.
However, the mineral has adverse effects on the thyroid gland because it affects the body’s ability to produce iodine, which is needed for a healthy thyroid – a gland that regulates the body’s metabolic rate and does host of other bodily functions.
Peckham and his team of scientists from the University of Kent used data collected from 7935 (out of a total of 8020) general practices. And compared two built up regions – one supplied with fluoridated drinking water, and the other which was not. Then, taking into account influential factors like gender and age, it was discovered that there’s a link between the rates of the condition and the levels of fluoride in the drinking water.
Higher rates of under-active thyroid were found in areas with water fluoridation levels of 0.3 mg/l and greater.
The findings, which were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, mirror those of previous research, with the scientists concluding that “Consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop [those] reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions.”
Despite the health issues that are far worse than the possibility of tooth decay, governments continue to allow mass fluoridation. Why? Is the ‘supposed’ health of a person’s teeth really so important that their overall health should be jeopardized?
In 2006, a 500-page review of fluoride toxicity was published by renowned toxicologist Dr. John Doull and his committee at the National Academy of Science. The report indicates that fluoride is an “endocrine disruptor” and can affect many things in the body – including the bones, the brain, the thyroid gland, the pineal gland, and blood sugar levels. Further investigation was then called upon by the NAS to see if there is a connection between exposure to fluoride and chronic health problems like thyroid disease, dementia, diabetes, bones disease, and low intelligence.
For a little insight, in terms of critical toxicity, fluoride is actually more toxic than lead, but slightly less deadly than arsenic. And according to data from the World Health Organization, there is no apparent difference in tooth decay between countries that choose mass fluoridation and those who do not.
Furthermore, a 2012 meta-analysis from Harvard, which was conducted on 27 epidemiological studies, concluded that children who grew up exposed to “high levels” of fluoride had significantly lower IQ. There have also been studies that have linked fluoridation to certain types of cancers.
With its lack of significant benefits, mandatory fluoridation is banned in many countries across the world, and research continues to point to its detrimental effect. Still, the chemical continues to be added to public water supplies, and as a result the health of the people is not in their hands, but their governments.[Image: Cate Gillon/Getty Images]