Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
23 May

Dear Mark: Is Fluoride Safe?

fluorineToday’s question addresses a contentious topic in the health arena: fluoride. It’s in (most of) the tap water we use, (most of) the toothpastes with which we brush, and even (all of) the teas we drink. It represents a bloody stage upon which skeptics and the natural health folks battle it out. Many in the Primal community would like to avoid it (as they would any government-endorsed hydroadditive) if possible; if it’s not possible, they at least want to know just how bad the stuff really is and whether its intake can be mitigated. Should we use fluoride-free toothpaste? Should we install household filters? Argh. So many questions and so few definitive answers… and here’s yet another. Ah, life!

Dear Mark,

What’s your take on fluoride? To drink fluoridated water, or to filter it? To use fluoride-free, natural toothpaste, or is it one of the benefits of living in a modern world?

I can’t seem to find any conclusive evidence on the web as to whether it is good or bad, and while I asked my dentist, I would love a second opinion. (his waiting room was full of posters advocating a “low meat, low fat diet”…)

Thanks,

Annika

I’m probably going to take flak for this one, but so be it. I’m not particularly concerned with fluoride in the water. While I’d definitely prefer it weren’t added to almost every municipal water supply in the country, I think we have far bigger fish to fry when it comes to health. Avoiding blatantly poisonous foods like grains, sugar, and industrial seed oils is the most important thing we can do, followed by getting adequate amounts of exercise, sleep, and sun while reducing or mitigating stress. Once you’ve got the chest freezer full of pastured animals, a good workout regimen dialed in, a source of pastured eggs you can rely on, the perfect sleeping position entrained, and you’re waking up without an alarm clock totally refreshed and energized, then you can think about installing an expensive reverse-osmosis filter for your entire house or importing Nepalese glacier water. Before that, I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at the evidence. I’m going to focus on a recent report on current EPA standards regarding fluoride by the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology. Before you assume that these groups, being governmental bodies, are automatically suspect, note that the EPA requested the report and, in response to the NRC’s findings, has recently recommended a reduction in the maximum allowed dose of fluoride to be present in drinking water. They also suggest an optimum dose to be added – 0.7 mg/L – down from the previous 0.7-1.2 mg/L range. Currently, the average fluoride content of fluoridated municipal water supplies is 0.8 mg/L.

There is strong evidence that fluoride does offer protection against dental caries, but “the more the better” is probably not true and most recent reviews of the evidence suggest that topical fluoride (as in toothpastes, gels, and foams) are more effective than systemic fluoride. The NRC report references several literature reviews that conclude “the major anticaries benefit of fluoride is topical and not systemic,” and a more recent study finds that evidence for topical fluoridation is far stronger than for municipal water fluoridation (PDF). In fact, fluoride is most effective in the “post-eruptive” period, or after teeth have begun to appear, rather than as a preventive measure. As for systemic fluoridation? 0.7 mg/L of drinking water seems to be the sweet spot where cavity protection peaks. In fact, some studies show that as fluoride concentration approaches 1.2 mg/L, cavity incidence increases (PDF), right in line with the NRC’s recommendations and just under the average dosage in most water supplies.

Fluoride appears to become really problematic to humans in two scenarios: when intake is extremely high; and/or when intake of other important micronutrients and minerals is low and inadequate. The primary health issues ascribed to fluoride consumption are bone health and thyroid dysfunction, for which there is ample evidence – but that doesn’t mean the amounts we typically get from fluoridated water are sufficient to provoke them. As per usual, the dose makes the poison.

Opponents of fluoridation claim that fluoride makes for brittle bones, low bone density, and higher fracture rates. Proponents claim the opposite. The truth appears to be someplace in between. One study looked at different populations in China with different levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in the water ranging from 0.25 mg/L to 7.97 mg/L. Fracture rates increased at both extremes, with the lowest rates coming in populations with water fluoridation at 1 mg/L and the highest rates coming at between 4 mg/L and 7.97 mg/L. So, ultra low levels weren’t protective, l0w-to-mid levels were, while mid-to-high levels were definitely not.

It seems that, unsurprisingly, how fluoride affects bone mineral density depends on factors beyond just the amount of fluoride you’re getting. Calcium matters, for one. Rats on a calcium-deficient diet displayed impaired bone density and strength when given fluoride at 10 ppm and 45 ppm, while it took fluoride at 45 ppm to induce bone density problems in rats with sufficient calcium. Note that it only took sufficient calcium rather than supranormal amounts of it to protect bone density. Vitamin D matters, too; researchers induced rickets in vitamin D deficient rats by giving mega doses of fluoride (between 30 mg/L and 100 mg/L, unheard of doses that you’d never encounter in real life). Giving vitamin D prevented rickets, even though intestinal absorption of fluoride was increased with vitamin D supplementation. And it looks like magnesium interacts with fluoride, too. Magnesium deficient rats have more fluoride in their bones and teeth, and a magnesium deficiency increases fluoride absorption rates.

Iodine status of the organism interacts with, and sometimes predicts, how fluoride will affect the organism. For example, rats with sufficient iodine intake are able to tolerate drinking water with a fluoride content of 10 mg/L without negatively affecting thyroid status. At 30 mg/L, those same rats display reduced thyroid function and increased thyroid weight. If rats are iodine deficient, however, 10 mg/L of fluoride is enough to severely hamper thyroid function. Iodine deficient cows are also more vulnerable to fluoride’s effects on the thyroid.

Since we can’t give megadoses of fluoride to iodine-deficient humans in RCTs, human studies are mostly epidemiological, and thus not conclusive. That doesn’t make them any less interesting, though. Workers in an aluminum processing plant showed signs of fluorosis and thyroid dysfunction; fluoride is a common byproduct of aluminum plants, so aluminum workers are exposed to an inordinate amount of fluoride on a daily basis. 65% of workers with more than ten years of service at the plant and 54% of workers with stage 2 fluorosis had hypothyroidism, while 76% of the workers diagnosed with chronic fluoride intoxication (indicated by liver damage) also had hypothyroidism. In other words, the greater their exposure to fluoride, the greater their chances of developing hypothyroidism. The average intake for workers was 10 mg of fluoride per day. For comparison’s sake, most fluoridated tap water contains around 1 mg/L fluoride, so you’d have to drink 10 liters of tap water just to approach the amounts these workers were taking in. Another study actually tried to use fluoride as a treatment for hyperthyroidism. Out of fifteen patients with clinical hyperthyroidism, six responded well to fluoride treatment, with basal metabolic rate lowering to normal levels and the symptoms of hyperthyroidism abating. Although fluoride treatment was considered statistically ineffective in the other nine patients (most of whom had Grave’s disease, an autoimmune hyperthyroid disorder that isn’t really linked to iodine intake), some displayed modest signs of improvement nonetheless.

Overall, iodine status seems to determine whether fluoride will negatively affect the thyroid. Excessive amounts of fluoride exert negative effects regardless of iodine status, but standard fluoridation should be pretty harmless to the thyroid as long you get enough iodine.

They also looked at data on fluoride and various cancers, cognitive deficits, reproductive dysfunctions, liver/kidney/immune systems, but found nothing conclusive. Acutely elevated intakes beyond what you’d get from 4 mg/L exposure was linked with liver and kidney damage, but no evidence that normal intakes are dangerous. They also note that folks with renal impairments tend to accumulate and absorb more fluoride than people without kidney problems (since excess fluoride usually passes through the kidneys en route to the toilet). I recommend reading the linked sections, as they go over all the evidence and explain why it might mean something or why it might not. I’m not totally convinced we have nothing to worry about. There’s a lot to wade through, including some interesting cancer epidemiology.

What about other sources of fluoride? Fluoride isn’t just in the water we drink. It’s also in the products that use tap water, like soda and beer. It’s in tea leaves, with black having the highest levels and white having the lowest. Although one woman even developed severe skeletal fluorosis from drinking two gallons of tea each day for thirty years, tea consumption has reams of epidemiological and clinical evidence for its benefits that can’t be thrown out simply because of the fluoride content. Moderation is key, and longer brewing times increase fluoride release. It’s also commonly found in toothpaste. A pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste has about 0.3 mg fluoride, while a larger, commercial-esque serving contains upwards of 2.25 mg. Don’t swallow your toothpaste (whether you use fluoride-free or not) and you’ll be okay.

Bottom line? Fluoride is a ubiquitous trace element that you can’t completely avoid, so to lose sleep over it is probably counterproductive. To wage campaigns against it and spend your days raging about it probably cause more stress and harm than they help. It’s in the food, in the soil, in tea leaves, in the water, and in any product that uses or includes municipal water. The best advice is first to avoid processed food, which you already do (right?). Next, eat lots of plants and animals to insure mineral repletion (while avoiding grains and legumes rich in mineral-binding phytic acid). Then, get daily sun or take a vitamin D supplement. Last, eating good Primal food means you’re avoiding the processed junk and sugary drinks that are high in fluoride. After that, I think you’re good. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably getting most of your hydration through real food, rather than gallon jugs of bottled water – so there’s another avenue of avoidance. To be on the safe side, check the local levels of fluoride (some naturally occurring water sources have levels far higher than the 0.7 mg/L-1.2 mg/L they add to water, so even non-fluoridated areas could be getting really high levels, which you do want to avoid) and respond accordingly. A reverse-osmosis filter, while expensive and somewhat wasteful, will remove fluoride.

It may be that I’ve been sheltered from water fluoridation – Malibu only recently got fluoride added to the water supply – but I haven’t noticed any ill effects, and I drink both tap and tea. High levels are harmful, but they aren’t common. One estimate pegs average daily intake of fluoride for a teenager living in a fluoridated area at around 1.85 mg. For non-fluoridated teens, it’s 0.86 mg/day. For people living and eating Primally? I’d wager it’s even lower and safer than that. You gotta look at the big picture. Complete avoidance of fluoride in all forms is impossible (and unnatural – remember, fluoride occurs naturally in water), so just make sure you’re good in all other aspects of health and let the chips fall where they will.

Did I miss anything? Are normal physiological doses of fluoride as dangerous as some people say? Is it all worth stressing over? I’m totally open to being enlightened. Let’s get it going in the comments (and I know you guys got plenty of ‘em!).

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I was pretty annoyed when the state government suddenly decided to add Fluoride to our water supply a few years ago, seems we were doing fine without it up until then. Of course the population was not asked their opinion on the issue. And justification was – issues with dental health of the population. Apparently it’s too hard to encourage best dietary practices, so as usual we end up with a barely helpful band-aid fix.

    Dino Babe wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • I agree. This is something we at least should vote on. At any rate you can remove fluoride from your water by using reverse osmosis system. I did a video on this few month ago. http://clicky.me/3LxY

      Aram Hovsepian wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • My water bill says, “You voted for fluoridation in 1968″. No, I was too young to vote then. I love my RO filter because the water I drink tastes like mountain spring water. Well worth the $150. If you can change a faucet supply line and you have a drill, you can install an RO filter. Remember, there’s worse things in your tap than the fluorine that is still wise to avoid.

        Kenny wrote on May 25th, 2012
    • I agree! It is frustrating when the choice isn’t even given. If people want to consume fluoride, that should certainly be their choice, but avoiding it should be a choice also without having to install costly filters.

      We “take the risk” of filtering fluoride from our water and using our own natural remineralizing toothpaste (that I make) rather than a fluoride toothpaste. I’m also careful to make sure my family is getting enough Vitamin D and beneficial fats from their diet to help prevent decay.

      And this “Apparently it’s too hard to encourage best dietary practices, so as usual we end up with a barely helpful band-aid fix” is a great point, and unfortunately it seems to be the norm in science lately (statins, diabetes meds, etc)

      Katie wrote on May 24th, 2011
  2. But what about our precious bodily fluids? Fluoridation is a commie plot!

    shannon wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • I was just talking about the Dr. Strangelove claim that Russians are 70% vodka, explaining to one of my coworkers that he’s probably 70% RedBull. What a great movie.

      Sylvie wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Dr. Strange love was a great movie! I also remember very entertaining movies and other media events belittling… whole grains, gardening, small cars, yoga, voting independent, energy conservation, etc. Everything can be amusingly belittled, in media events or my those that are most comfortable believing what most others believe. Since I began switched to well water instead of fluoridated city water (several years ago) my wife and I have noticed how much easier calculus, physics, and supposedly difficult subjects are to comprehend. Although old, we are finding fluoridated acquaintances of our age range continuing to diminish in intellectual capacities. In reviewing pro- water fluoridation information and studies, I have often found shockingly poor scientific methodology oversights or apparent massaging of the data. Until the pro-fluoridation groups have well researched and scientifically optimally produced studies that are also not compromised by biases due to unethical funding sources, , my wife and I will be opposed to water fluoridation politically and otherwise.

      John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
      • Wise words- good for you. And yes, the jokes, shrugs and eyerolls get old…. literally.

        Val wrote on May 5th, 2013
  3. I never considered the harmful effects of fluoride until I figured out that my chronic cystic acne was caused by fluoride ingestion, a condition called fluoroderma.

    The level of fluoride added to most municipal water supplies is low enough not to cause a problem for most people. But fluoride accumulates in the body, so the more fluoride you’ve been exposed to over your lifetime, the greater your chance of having a negative reaction to it. I believe my fluoroderma was caused by the fluoride pills my dentists prescribed to me as a child (we had well water so I was missing the “positive” effects of fluoridated water).

    Other foods contain fluoride besides foods made with fluoridated water. For me, the worst offended is non-organic chicken. It is high in fluoride because of the fluoride-based pesticides on the feed they consume. As with humans, it accumulates in their bones, skin, and fat. I don’t have a reaction to non-organic chicken as long as I stick to white meat. Mechanically de-boned chicken products (e.g. ground chicken, chicken, chicken nuggets, etc.) are ridiculously high in fluoride. Chicken soup made from non-organic bones will cause my skin to break out for two weeks!

    Since I’ve been blogging about fluoroderma, I’ve heard from many other people who figured out they have the same condition. I suspect it is much more common than we think.

    Melissa wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • You’re confusing fluoride with fluorine. Some pesticides contain fluorine, but none of them contain fluoride. They are both forms of the element fluorine, but are chemically very different.

      This is the same difference as between chloride (an ion, found in table salt) and chlorine, an atom found in things like PVC.

      Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • There are a lot of different fluoride compounds out there. Of course, even the fluoride added to the water supply is not pure fluoride. Fluoride is one of the most reactive elements, so even though we call it fluoride, we are rarely talking about just “fluoride.”

        What I can say for certain is that my skin doesn’t know the difference.

        Melissa wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • No, fluoride is almost completely unreactive and it is not an element.

          You’re still confusing fluorINE with fluorIDE.

          Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorine
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride

          Since I grew up with the fluoride issue and it being added to our water supply, toothpastes, etc., I found the conversation between the comparison between fluorine and fluoride to be really fascinating. Like most people my age (I’m almost 67) we first embraced the addition of fluoride, but now as I read lots more about it, I’m not so sure — but that’s another forum.

          Anyway, based on the posts here discussing the differences between fluorIDE and fluorINE, I did some checking on wikipedia and came up with the above links. I guess you’ll have to come to your own conclusions.

          PrimalGrandma wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • uh, sulfuryl fluorIDE is a common pesticide fumigant. So is Aluminum sodium fluorIDE.
        Go to the EPA website, there are many uses for FluorIDE in pesticides.
        http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/sulfuryl-fluoride/

        Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • uh, sulfuryl fluorIDE is a common pesticide fumigant. So is Aluminum sodium fluorIDE.
        Go to the EPA website, there are many uses for FluorIDE in pesticides.

        Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • I also suffered severe and painful cystic acne around my mouth and chin. Mine was named “perioral dermatitis” caused by fluoride. I now use non-fluoride toothpaste, filters to remove fluoride from all water sources in the house, drink filtered water and refuse all fluoride dental treatments. No more cystic acne.

      Rklmaj wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • This is very interesting. Was it possible for you to try and isolate other variables that you may have though also contributed to acne you were having?

      Where you diagnosed with Fluoroderma? How were they able to test you for this?

      GymyGym wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  4. Does fluoride have any other role in the body except preventing caries? How does it prevent caries anyway? Is it built into the teeth like calcium?

    The Tooth Fairy wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • It replaces calcium in teeth.
      When your teeth demineralize, fluoride will fill into the empty spots. First signs are beige spots along the gum line on your teeth, those beige areas are usually spongy.
      These beige spots (semi hard but brittle like sand stone) are not to be confused with plague.

      Nobody wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • I seriously recommend you read “Cure Tooth decay” by Ramiel Nagel, and how your teeth remineralize naturally with the right foods, based on Weston A Price’s research, before you advise on about how flouride “replaces cavities”.

        Mike UK

        ps: I last visited a dentist in 1989 (compulsory army checkup)!

        Mike wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • And I am sure you have no cavities or any calculas that is causing heart disease, diabetes, or even bad breath! Ooh, you need to visit a dentist.

          anonymous wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • A good book. I’d recommend it also. I just wrote a post about how teeth can remineralize and the natural homemade toothpaste that I’ve use to do so. Fascinating stuff!

          Katie @ Wellness Mama wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • It takes the place of calcium in teeth WHEN YOUR TEETH ARE DEMINERALIZING AND YOU TAKE IN FLUORIDE.

          I have read Ramiel Nagel’s Cure Tooth Decay…and Weston A. Price…and I do take cod liver oil, high vitamin butter oil and i get A, D E K2.

          I seriously recommend you read Cure Tooth Decay AGAIN.

          Nobody wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Fluoride does take the place of calcium in teeth and bones…but not in the sense that it replaces it when you take in adequate calcium and all the rest that goes with building bone, as stated in W.A.P. Book and Ramiel Nagels Book.

          It is being deposited into teeth and bones, making them brittle. So if you lack bone building materials, fluoride is being deposited into teeth and bone.

          Fluoride does not “replace cavities” and I don’t think anyone suggested that it does so.

          Primal Palate wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • From a Dental Prospective –

          As a dental hygienist, I find it difficult to educate patients properly. I am primal in most all aspects of my life (of course I occasionally have a night of binge drinking at a wedding with a side of cake, or down a snickers bar after a long bike ride). I have read “Cure Tooth Decay” – it makes some valid points/arguments for a holistic approach to dentistry. And on the other hand, sometimes you just need a cavity filled or a good teeth cleaning. Unfortunately not everything can be reversed.

          I believe our tooth problems ARE caused by our diets. The problem: We are taught in dental school that the bacterial removal by brushing and flossing is the “fix”. We (dental professionals) often have unrealistic expectations for our patients, as we are only treating the symptoms (depending on what you believe). We are often times critical of the homecare, but never attempt to educate ourselves or the patient to address the cause – diet. Improving the diet will decrease the bacterial build up. I believe it, but it’s not that simple in the office. Our society (especially the dental society) is all about the quick fix to the symptom; whether the symptom is a cavity, gingivitis, or periodontal disease. Dental offices give a person the quick fix and I hate to say it but fluoride is a quick fix that works.

          I frequently get quizzed/lectured about fluoride by patients. It’s annoying, and I do not argue simply just to save my sanity and my time. I use topical fluoride sparingly – for severe demineralization and/or sensitivity. It would be great if EVERYONE would be primal and tooth decay or gum disease didn’t exist, but that’s not the reality. Dentistry including fluoride treatments is incredibly beneficial to a lot of people and probably was to you at one point in time.

          This being said, I find it difficult to believe that you do not have some periodontal disease and/or cavities that started prior to your primal lifestyle. In “Cure Tooth Decay”, you’ll notice labels for temporary fillings – meaning it wasn’t all done by just diet. There was dental work involved. In dentistry, pain is often the last sign. And by the time you feel pain, your diagnosis and “fix” will be over a thousand dollars. Anyhow, I urge you to go to the dentist. Not everything is irreversible – prevention is the key. Prevention by diet AND dental care.

          none wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Anonymous, I’ll bet money that those ailments are correlational with poor oral health, not caused by them. Iow, they have the same root cause – nutrient-poor diet.

          For me, fixing my diet got rid of cavities, stopped bad breath, and dramatically improved my cholesterol profile. Dentists are for fixing the problems caused by poor diet.

          mamagrok wrote on May 26th, 2011
    • It effectively prevents the function of the pineal gland, the source of our consciousness and intelligence. ”Fluoride concentrates in the pineal gland and significantly reduces melatonin production. Analysis of the pineal glands extracted from human cadavers indicate a huge concentration of fluoride in the calcified deposits.” Harvard scientists reviewed 27 studies showing that exposure is directly associated with reduced IQ and said it was a “high research priority”. The dosed population think it’s good because the Newspaper says their pimp daddy does it to save you dentist bills. In Europe, fluoride was once prescribed as a drug to reduce thyroid activity, it is now banned.

      Einstein’s nephew, Dr. E.H. Bronner 1952:
      “The tragic success they have already attained in their long siege to destroy the moral fiber of American life is now one of their most potent footholds towards their own ultimate victory over us.
      Fluoridation of our community water systems can well become their most subtle weapon for our sure physical and mental deterioration.
      As a research chemist of established standing, I built within the past 22 years, 3 American chemical plants and licensed 6 of my 53 patents. Based on my years of practical experience in the health-food and chemical field, let me warn: fluoridation of drinking water is criminal insanity, sure national suicide. Don’t do it.
      Even in small quantities, sodium fluoride is a deadly poison to which no effective antidote has been found. Every exterminator knows that it is the most efficient rat-killer.”

      Eliza wrote on September 26th, 2013
      • Thank you so much for this comment. I have had this topic on my radar for years, it still frustrates me that we are so far behind with proper education when it comes to this issue.

        Can only educate those around you and search for local groups who go to your local legislators to make real change such as Portland Oregon. Great job!

        Evan Brand wrote on September 26th, 2013
  5. I’m more concerned about the residual estrogen in our water supply. Still, not a fan of the fluoride either.

    Trelow wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  6. And how did Grok survive without fluoride added to his water supply?

    The Tooth Fairy wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Fluoride is a trace mineral and is present in lots of plants.
      It is also in trace amounts in animal tissue.

      Nobody wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • yeah, arsenic is a trace element found everywhere, but it doesn’t mean we should be mining it, concentrating itm and putting it into our drinking water.

        Daniel wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • Selenium is a trace element too. Like fluoride, selenium is useful in small amounts, but toxic in large amounts.

          As Mark said, the dose makes the poison.

          Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • yes, but you can’t control your dose of Fluoride based on how it is being administered. Formula fed Infants receive WAY more fluoride than they should have. This mass-medication with no control to the individual dose is the problem. I should be able to determine how much Fluoride I want to ingest.

          Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
  7. I think Mark is right when he says in the overall scheme of eating, exercising and living correctly fluoride is a minor issue.

    (Ironically it’s often the people who haven’t addressed these aspects are the ones who are more concerned. Eg: a vegetarian who was concerned about estrogens in plastics, but was unaware of the phytoesterogens in soy.)

    I find it interesting that pro-fluoride websites only really talk about cavities, as if that’s the only effect, or the only thing that’s important.

    The reason that it’s added is because it’s an industrial waste product from aluminium processing. Businesses want a easy way to dispose of it and maybe make some money in the process. What’s concerning is that this idea of using unhealthy waste products is allowed and happens elsewhere: HFCS, feeding cows old chocolate and lollies, the ammonia treated ‘pink slime’ that Jamie Oliver did a piece on and more.

    Steven wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • a minor issue for some, but not for the vulnerable people who need to avoid fluoride altogether. infants?

      Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • Just 2 days ago, the pediatrician asked me to give my 8 mo fluoridated water! I remember reading about fluoridated water being a scam on the WAPF site a couple of years ago, so I made a mental note to remember to read that article before heeding the pediatrician’s advice. This post couldn’t have come at a better time.

        maba wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Many many quality potins there.

          Kerryn wrote on June 23rd, 2011
  8. Well, you didn’t specifically address the issue with regards to children. We work a bit harder to limit our fluoride intake because of our children. Nearly every child in our neighborhood has significant fluorisis on the front teeth. My boys have none. With things like this, I always error on the side of extra caution when it comes to my children.

    Katy wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • I did too then we changed dentists and he recommended a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste. I reluctantly used it on them and the cavities stopped happening but once again, with kids, it feels such a difficult call.

      Alison Golden wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • cavities happen because of sugar and carbohydrates sticking to the teeth. Fluoride helps correct this problem, but the source is the carbs and sugars. The problem isn’t fluoride toothpaste, it’s the water. Systemic exposure through water is nonsense.

        Daniel wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • Fluoride in the water is only beneficial systemically when your teeth are developing. Therefore only beneficial to children. Toxic amounts cause fluorosis ONLY when the teeth are developing.
          I agree with you, it is nonsense and comparable to dosing the water with baby asprin to help with HBP. Preventing problems that we know are going to occur, but not looking into changing the cause.

          none wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • No, cavities are caused from the inside out. Sugar takes the place of the fat soluble vitamins that are crucial for use of the minerals in our diet, but there are other foods that can do it. Without any sugar or grains at all, my toddler’s teeth all but disappeared because my milk wasn’t nutrient-dense because *I* wasn’t eating a nutrient-dense diet. Correcting my diet stopped his decay literally that very day.

          I agree with your comments on fluoride, btw.

          mamagrok wrote on May 26th, 2011
        • The toothpaste is also a problem because everyday you clean your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, so some fluoride is absorbed in your mouth, it goes to your blood stream and to all your body including bones and brain. You only need to eliminate mechanically the oral bacteria causing decay (and their food, carbohydrates), so a toothpaste without fluoride can do it.

          miguel wrote on November 19th, 2011
      • Make sure they’re getting enough fat and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals in their diets. People don’t get cavities from lack of fluoride toothpaste. I haven’t used one in years and I have a grand total of two fillings in my mouth. When I do get cavities they are slow to set in. I haven’t been following my own dietary advice or I would never have gotten any. (I forget to eat for too much of the day and, at least in my case, that’s not a good thing–by the time I’m hungry I rush to eat, and you can guess how that goes.)

        Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • oh and just as a point of reference I am 37. Full disclosure: I’ve lost one tooth to decay, have had both my upper wisdom teeth pulled and they were starting to decay at the time, and then now have the two fillings. I’m not sure how I got a good enough start that I am not worse off than that; my face is a wreck and I had to have two sets of orthodontic braces growing up. My palate is still narrow and my face is crooked, bad development all around. I remember eating liver before age ten or so, and that might have something to do with my relatively good luck. God knows that after I left home I didn’t take good care of myself at all. Had a soda habit for years and the whole nine yards. Not good about remembering to brush my teeth either.

        Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Cavities can also be related to dietary stuff. Have you tried a toothpaste that would remineralize without the fluoride? Also, check your toothpaste for glycerine, which actually blocks the teeth from absorbing minerals.

        Katie wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • If no one has ever seen this before, some one with more patience for academia might find this paper interesting. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9118877)

      The native Tibetan diet involves consuming copious amounts of ‘brick tea’, mixed with high-fat yak butter. (It doesn’t taste great, but it’s hot and filling). Everyone drinks this stuff.

      I’m not completely clear on the findings of the study and I am too lazy to look for and wade through the full text, but I thought I would add the info to the discussion.

      Liz wrote on May 24th, 2011
  9. Brian Seitz wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  10. Yes, I think you missed something. The naturaly occuring fluoride isn’t the same as the industrial waste product from aluminium processing, I mean fluoride they add to our water. As I understand it, it’s like apples and oranges. That’s why people are upset.

    Teresa Magnan wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • As American Cancer Society notes:

      “Water fluoridation in the United States began in 1945, after scientists noted that people living in areas with higher water fluoride levels had fewer cavities.”

      Herein lies the deception…the scientists noted that the areas were their were higher water fluoride levels, were areas in which the water had higher levels of Calcium Fluorophosphate…a naturally occurring substance in certain geographic locations, that is indeed beneficial for human consumption.

      But the fluoride being put into the water supplies of most major metropolis areas in the country? That’s Sodium Fluoride…which is essentially a waste product from industrial aluminum production.

      Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Very good point, Dave. Unofrtunately, like the Dental Hygienist who left the comment at the beginning of this thread mentioned, it is very hard to break that notion when dental professionals are being taught something very different in dental schools.
        In my line of work, I often call dental offices and help them with hygiene product recommendation, and it’s upsetting to me how many of them prefer band-aid fixes versus getting to the root cause of the problem and using a holistic approach. On one hand, it’s provoding me with a job security at the moment, but on another, I personally don’t use paste with flouride and my teeth are great, and it makes my teetch cringe when dental hygienists say they use products with flouride to fix pretty much any problem.
        Just today I called one office where a dental hygienists said she thinks the reason a lot of theit patients have cavities is because they live in a rural area where the water supply doesn’t have flouride in it. It has nothing to do that the area where she works is known to have many people practically being “addicted” to Mt. Dew. I don’t think they even know what tap water tastes like.

        chocolatechip69 wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • “Calcium Fluorophosphate…a naturally occurring substance” … Dave, that was a great point to make concerning the differences between how people are benefited by one compound of fluoride and possibly not another. It reminds me of how nuclear energy proponents write endlessly how safe it is and then one person makes one mistake in a “foolproof system” and it turns into a Chernobyl or Fukushima” meltdown/explosion. With governmental and regulatory leadership as corrupt and incompetent as it currently is, to reduce risk, we need to just stop water fluoridation, instead of TRY to switch to actual beneficial fluoride compounds.

        John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
        • I’m pretty sure those Paleolithic-era people who only lost maybe two or three teeth in their entire lifetimes (which was most of them) did not simply get lucky and find a Colgate mine. We overstate the necessity of fluoride to health–it’s called a trace mineral for a reason, and I’m not even convinced it’s a trace mineral.

          We eat far, far less mineral in our diets than we used to do, and we are severely neglecting our animal-fat and fat-soluble vitamin intakes as well, with dire consequences for skeletal development and dental health. Until we get that dialed in as a society, fluoride is quite beside the point.

          I keep going back to Weston Price on this one. He was a rare gem–a dentist who tried to find out how the teeth actually work, rather than just sell another fluoride potion that’s just as likely to make your teeth brittle as keep them from rotting.

          Dana wrote on November 19th, 2011
    • Teresa makes a key point here, the fluoride being dumped into the water supply is an industrial waste product that literally burns wholes through cement (http://www.wqad.com/news/rock-island-hazmat-water-treatment-plant-03242011,0,4540527.story). Fluoride has been linked to reduced IQ (see American population for direct evidence), congregates heavily in the pineal gland, causes bone issues, hypothyroidism, and more. Here’s some good articles on the subject. You have to go outside beyond government studies to get any solid info.

      http://www.naturalnews.com/fluoride.html

      Ryan wrote on May 24th, 2011
  11. I’d be more worried about Chlorine in tap water than Fluoride.

    Also, tomatoes are naturally high in fluoride.

    Primal Palate wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Chlorine is easily removed, fluoride is not. Most people, especially the ones who are most vulnerable to fluoride toxicty cannot afford to remove it. Even those who can afford to remove it, can only remove it from their drinking water, not their cooking and bath water.

      Daniel wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Unless you install a whole-house reverse osmosis filter, which is hideously expensive and restricts the flow of water, making every household activity utilizing water more onerous and time-consuming.

        Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • You’d be better off harvesting rainwater.

          chipin wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Chlorine is bad in water, but fluoride is worse. Stomach produces HCl every day and that does not kill us but if someone drinks some fluoride, the Fluoride ion combines with Hydrogen (from HCl) forming Hydrofluoric Acid, which could kill even Rasputin, the monk. Fluoride ions are more reactive than Chloride.

      miguel wrote on November 19th, 2011
      • I do harvest rainwater off the roof. 50 foot by 40 foot roof on a 1 inch rain yields about 300,000 cubic inches or 2000 square feet 1 inch thick or 167 cubic feet of water (Double check my math..?). It’s crazy efficient. I run it through down spouts through cheap wire screens and then through sand on cloth and into large containers or onto the garden or lawn. Do you realize how much water this is in a year!!! of this rainwater, what we drink we put through a regular pitcher filter and the well water is always there too as our backup.

        John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
        • From what I could gather on the web, it seems that well water varies a lot from state to state and county to county.
          I am in Oklahoma and the groundwater in Norman is claimed to contain natural arsenic, chromium 6, and barium – probably not in the top tier of water quality.
          EWG has surveys that show which cities have contaminated water, but not which locations have the best water. I understand if people do not want to state their location on the web. Is the well water in your state relatively toxin free?

          David Martin wrote on December 6th, 2012
  12. My Dad grew up in Germany and lived there his entire life.
    The country does not allow (since after Hitler’s WWII experiment with fluoride on the puplic) Fluoridation of the puplic water supply.

    My Dad has all 32 teeth with no gum disease and is 67 years old. He uses a german toothpaste (when he was a child they used regular soap) without Fluoride and never had a Cleaning done in his life.
    Germany doesn’t do Cleanings.
    I’ve also never met a german person with bad teeth…maybe crooked but never rotten.
    All my classmates during Highschool had normal, white teeth.

    Resi wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Germany now does cleanings, and my German dentist is on me to switch to a flouridated toothpaste for my toddler. (plain soap!? blech!) Those white flecks on her teeth? Oh, they’re nothing to worry about.
      But you’re quite right that Germans do not tolerate population-level interventions, including flouride.

      Lauren wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • Good to hear they do cleanings now in Germany…a check-up 2x a year sure would’ve been nice for me growing up.

        My parents never took me to a dentist, only when I busted my front teeth and ‘needed’ a crown did they ‘recommend’ I’d have 4 fillings done on my molars to prevent tooth decay in the future.

        I really want to slap my mother for this one and kill the dentist. I just found out about the whole amalgam vapor, too…been carrying those fillings around for 20+ years….those bastiches.

        Resi wrote on May 24th, 2011
  13. While I agree that we need to hit upon diet/exercise/sun/sleep ect I think fluoride is something to avoid and is a concern.

    The fluoride added to tap water is by product of toxic waste.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLWk3cBnHOg

    Personally, I don’t install filters or get water shipped in from Nepal but I do visit a local spring every month and collect my own clean water.

    If we are concerned about getting clean food than I believe we should be concerned about getting clean water.

    For local springs in your area check out:
    http://www.findaspring.com

    Matt wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  14. The following letter was received by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Milwaukee Wisconsin, on 2 October 1954, from Mr. Charles Perkins, a chemist: “I have your letter of September 29 asking for further documentation regarding a statement made in my book, The Truth About Water Fluoridation, to the effect that the idea of water fluoridation was brought to England from Russia by the Russian Communist Kreminoff. “In the 1930′s, Hitler and the German Nazi’s envisioned a world to be dominated and controlled by a Nazi philosophy of pan-Germanism. The German chemists worked out a very ingenious and far-reaching plan of mass-control which was submitted to and adopted by the German General Staff. This plan was to control the population in any given area through mass medication of drinking water supplies. By this method they could control the population in whole areas, reduce population by water medication that would produce sterility in women, and so on. In this scheme of mass-control, sodium fluoride occupied a prominent place.

    “Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluoride will in time reduce an individual’s power to resist domination, by slowly poisoning and narcotizing a certain area of the brain, thus making him submissive to the will of those who wish to govern him.”

    Resi wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  15. Mark, I appreciate your attention to this subject, but I found your article horribly shortsighted and narrowly focused.

    The fact is water fluoridation is a radical public health experiment. There have been no long term studies to determine the safety and efficacy of medicating people with fluoride through drinking water. All of the science is incomplete and many studies show some serious concerns. Until, these concerns are fully addressed, there should be a moratorium on this practice.

    We are being medicated with no control over the individual dose. Many populations, including infants, children, diabetics, folks with kidney and thyroid problems need to completely avoid fluoridated water, which is practically impossible. You kinda take a bourgeois position with this, saying that if we address other parts of our health we shouldn’t need to worry about fluoride. C’mon man, that’s ridiculous. A formula fed infant(yes, many mom’s physically cannot lactate) is receiving 250x the amount of fluoride than what a nursing baby receives. That is a straight-up crime.

    The fact is we are all getting overdosed with fluoride and the problem is getting worse because of it’s bioaccumulation and persistence in the environment. We are mining it, concentrating it, and adding it to our environment at unprecedented and unnatural levels. It’s doesn’t go away. It stays with us in our bodies, soil, and water. The CDC just recently announced that 40% of all adolescents show signs of fluorosis, which is fluoride toxicity. 40%!! thats an epidemic.

    Why are we ingesting this stuff? The way it works is we drink it, it floods our body systemically, gets into our saliva and then touches our teeth. All this, and there is a perfectly fine way of getting a controlled dose of fluoride to your teeth, by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, no systemic exposure.

    Cavities don’t happen because of lack of fluoride, they happen because of sugar and carbohydrates sticking to your teeth.

    Daniel wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Yeah. Maybe 5 percent of moms can’t physically lactate. Most of the time, problems with breastfeeding stem from inadequate support and instruction, or from the fact that it’s easier to nurse than to pump, but so many mothers have to go back to work.

      And there’s a special place in hell for whoever invented fluoridated “nursery water” for babies. OMFG.

      Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Hah, you’re telling me! I got my pediatrician trying to get my wife and I to start giving our baby fluoride supplementation. Like hell I will.

        Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • THANK YOU. I am so tired of people bandying this “many women can’t lactate” stuff around – it plants a seed of doubt in many women’s minds which, in the absence of a pro-BF culture, grows into another formula-fed infant. A cultural deficiency masquerading as a physical inability.

        If as many women physically couldn’t lactate as think they can’t, we’d have died out long ago. For that small minority who can’t, modern medicine has a second-rate alternative that keeps babies alive if wet nurses are unavailable.

        If you think municipal water supply has been one giant science experiment, look up the history and evolution of infant formula!

        Lauren wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • As one who actually was unable to lactate (doc, la leche nazis all agreed!) please watch how you attack us! By the way, our tween son is very very healthy, gifted (all-around, not subject-specific), active and generally eats very well. I didn’t WANT to bottle-feed, we simply had no choice because he wasn’t thriving properly and I was thoroughly checked out by those who wanted to help me with the natural approach – not discouraging it. As a then stay-at-home mom, I had plenty of breastfeeding support and fully intended to do it til he was a toddler. Be kind to those of us who mourn(ed) that opportunity but also please note that he doesn’t appear to have suffered either.

          Tracy wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Tracy I’m sorry I can’t seem to reply to your comment directly – perhaps a limit on stacking.
          My comment was about the casual comments that people sometimes make which gather into what is often called common ‘knowledge’. It takes a lot of support and determination – as you had – to overcome the whispers of that ‘knowledge’ when faced with the challenges of early parenting.
          Your situation is (was) exactly what I was referring to re medical necessity. There is a portion of the human population that this affects, and you eliminated other explanations before determining that you are in fact in that 2-5% segment. Infant formula is a medical intervention but it’s being marketed as a lifestyle choice without sufficient disclosure of the risks that can entail (which you are obviously aware of); *that’s* what I’m attacking.
          It’s great that your child is thriving! We all worry about that, no matter what container our babies’ food comes in.

          Lauren wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Hugs Lauren. I come from a culture where BFing is the norm, I educated myself on BFing before my baby was born and heck, I started producing colostrum in the 8th month of my pregnancy. Despite my producing colostrum and my baby having no problem latching, there was so much pressure in the hospital for me to give my baby formula. I put my foot down and refused. But how many women out there would say no when the physicians/nurses insist their babies be given formula? Makes me soooo mad. “Low Supply” is a western syndrome.

          maba wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • But I do agree that formula is necessary for a small %age of the population who can’t lactate. If we had human milk banks, then formula wouldn’t be as prevalent as it is now. “Milk, Money, Madness” is a great book on how the formula culture became so prevalent in the west.

          maba wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • I’m afriad to look that one up…=P

          Been researching everything else, conspiracy behind 911, Blue Gold, Cancer Cure and Scam, Pet Foods, Grains, MSG, and the list goes on…never thought about infant formula.

          I’m a formula baby from the 70′s, never gotten mothers milk in my life.
          Maybe that’s why I crave my Raw Goat Milk so much now…making up for lost times.
          Ironically though, even though I was a formula baby I produce the enzyme lactase.

          Resi wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • my wife couldn’t lactate and she’s a stay-at-home mom. Regardless the reason, the fluoride is the problem, not the formula.

        Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • Dana, I mentioned this above, my pediatrician asked me to give my 8 mo fluoridated water. Good thing I didn’t listen to her.

        maba wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Well said!!

      Torgeir wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Very nicely put, Daniel.
      I would go one step farther though in regards to brushing teeth with flouride paste. You do still ingest quite a bit of it when you use paste regardless of good you are about rinsing the paste out.

      chocolatechip69 wrote on May 24th, 2011
  16. All the same arguments for adding fluoride to our drinking water could be used to justify adding statins to our drinking water – and they’d be just as valid.

    Just something to think about.

    Since topical fluoride is far more effective than ingested fluoride, there are known toxic and deleterious effects from fluoride ingestion, and topical fluoride is trivially available in all toothpastes, I see no reason to add it to drinking water, and every reason to oppose it whenever possible.

    JS

    J. Stanton wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • And you don’t even need topical fluoride. The whole fluoride thing’s a racket. Even if they really did find people with better dental health in areas of the world with more fluoride in the soil, you can get as much benefit from simply eating right for your body’s nutritional needs.

      Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Some people can really benefit from topical fluoride.

        none wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Very good point- “All the same arguments for adding fluoride to our drinking water could be used to justify adding statins to our drinking water – and they’d be just as valid.”

      I worry that its not unreasonable to think this might happen one day! I’d say that especially with a primal diet, there is more reason to oppose fluoride, as teeth will naturally be healthier and have less risk for cavities anyway.

      Katie wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • They arguments also apply to adding chlorine to tap water.

        Chlorinated water prevents most water-borne diseases, but comes with health risks of its own. These risks are minor (like the minor risks from floridation) but these risks are imposed on the community since they are far outweighed by the benefits.

        (The main risk from chlorine are disinfection by-products, produced by the reaction of the chlorine with organics)

        Tim wrote on May 24th, 2011
  17. There is a world of difference between sodium fluoride (NaF) added to water and naturally-occuring calcium fluoride (CaF).

    Murray Rothbard did a nice (thoroughly-cited) write-up on this, ‘Fluoridation Revisited’. In a nutshell, Alcoa ran a cynical PR campaign to convince Americans to dump a known industrial pollutant (NaF) in their water.

    Peter St. Onge wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Totally.

      Consider that prior to mass fluoridation of municipal water, Alcoa and other aluminum manufacturers used to have to PAY to dispose of their NaF by-product…because it was known as a toxic, industrial pollutant.

      Now, they SELL their toxic byproduct to municipalities under the guise of “public health.”

      Kinda like Big Ag supporting the food pyramid to get the public to eat “heart healthy whole grains.”

      Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • There is no difference whatsoever once you dissolve them in water. Calcium fluoride will separate into calcium ions and fluoride ions, while sodium fluoride instead separates into sodium and fluoride ions.

      Since sodium and calcium ions are present in quite large amounts all natural water, adding a bit more of one or the other is not going to change anything.

      I must say it is quite depressing how few facts are behind this anti-fluoride rhetoric, and how little chemistry the “natural bodily fluids” people seem to understand.

      Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • The concern is that the alleged benefits of fluoridation are actually coming from the calcium. In the case of NaF, there are no benefits to outweigh the toxic F.

        You certainly know chemistry. Did you read the Rothbard piece? It’s short and a fun read, and he is a well-respected economist.

        Peter St. Onge wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • That’s an interesting idea, but most of the calcium in water comes from calcium carbonate (limestone). The paper

          How Much Calcium Is in Your Drinking Water? HSS J. 2006 September; 2(2): 130–135.

          gives an average of 50 mg/L calcium in US tap water, so adding 1 mg/L of calcium (as CaF) will change this level by 2%. This might be significant in low calcium tap water, but that seems to be quite rare.

          Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Your point on limestone is exactly how Alcoa played the scam. Their mission was to associate something, anything, positive with F. So they looked for natural sources of CaF2, generally from nearby limestone, documented carie benefits, then used the transitive property to impute the benefit from the Ca to the F, thence to NaF.

        Peter St. Onge wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • I don’t understand, limestone doesn’t contain fluoride. Most natural fluoride comes from fluorapatite.

          Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • Sorry, sloppy on my part – neither geology nor chemistry are my forte. My understanding is fluorapatite is a Ca-F blend (inter alia). So, rewriting,

          ‘Their mission was to associate something, anything, positive with F. So they looked for natural sources of fluoride, documented carie benefits, then used the transitive property to impute the benefit from the Ca to the F, thence to NaF.’

          Peter St. Onge wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Isn’t calcium carbonate chalk?

          Resi wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • To Tim on your comments, “it is quite depressing how few facts’ and ‘how little chemistry the “natural bodily fluids people seem to understand.”…Notice that people that say things like this usually don’t have verifiable facts and their knowledge of chemistry is usually inadequate to make such condescending and authoritative statements?

        John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
    • Sodium fluoride when dissolved in water doesn’t exist as sodium fluoride, it’s ionized into sodium and fluoride ions. Which then mingle with other things in solution (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, etc). In fact, some of the fluoride in NaF is actually in hydrofluoric acid form (a minute amount though).

      This difference between CaF2 and NaF is rather silly and indicative of ignorance of the science involved.

      Matt wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Yes, this is a topic that usually brings out ignorance and anti-government rhetoric from the health freedom/anti-vaccination crowd.

        But on the other hand, that fact that Mark rightly dismissed this foolishness is another sign of the overall quality of this blog.

        Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Yeah, right.

        So we’re supposed to believe that there is no difference between a naturally occurring trace mineral in a local water supply versus dumping the byproduct of industrial aluminum production into the water supply?

        Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • No so much in the chemicals, but a big difference in the emotive words you’ve selected.

          I make decisions on facts, not fancy rhetoric.

          Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • Emotive Rhetoric and not facts?

          Let’s see who’s used “emotive rhetoric” here:

          “I must say it is quite depressing how few facts are behind this anti-fluoride rhetoric…”

          “Yes, this is a topic that usually brings out ignorance and anti-government rhetoric from the health freedom/anti-vaccination crowd.”

          Yet you call my statement that the fluoride used in public water works is largely the by product of aluminum production…”emotive rhetoric.”

          I guess “anti-government rhetoric” means the community of people here should just ignore all of Mark’s advice and go back to the government approved, USDA Pyramid based diet so as to gain the approval of duplicitous, hypocritical assholes such as yourself?

          Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • Tim, your comments are foolish. Even if fluoride was safe, there are many other toxins in the chemical wastes, they are not pure fluoride. And yes, there is a difference between naturally occurring stuff and man-made. I have read about a group in the Seychelles (I think) with 20x more mercury in their bodies because of all the seafood they eat, but they don’t have the same problems that are seen in the west where people have such high mercury levels. The reason? They’re getting mercury from volcanoes and not from some industrial waste. Get a brain.

          Ian wrote on August 9th, 2011
      • The difference is whether, once the Ca is stripped out, there is any benefit to F. If the benefit comes from the Ca, then NaF has no upside to compensate for the F.

        Peter St. Onge wrote on May 23rd, 2011
        • So, regardless if it’s natural fluoride or the industrial waste, what’s important is the amount, no?

          We tolerate both in only trace amounts, right?

          Resi wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Fluoride reacts with the calcium in our teeth to form a fluorinated hydroxyapatite (a calcium phosphate mineral). It doesn’t need calcium in solution to function. That’s why topical fluoride works so well, you let the fluoride react with your teeth and you end up with harder teeth more resistant to acid wear.

          Matt wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Peter, thank you for pointing that out. Very good point.

      chocolatechip69 wrote on May 24th, 2011
  18. If we accept fluoride in our drinking water, no matter how much or how little the government allows, we have to accept the risk that something will go wrong at the water company and they might discharge more than a safe level by accident. And accidents do occur. And furthermore I resent being made to ingest a substance if I did not consent to doing so. I don’t have a choice whether or not to drink water; if I don’t drink at least some on a daily basis, I will ruin my health and eventually die. And I am not flush with cash to go out and stock up on the bottled stuff–that is just a ridiculous expenditure.

    Someone said they were more worried about chlorine in the water than fluoride. I’m not worried about chlorine in water. Why? Because an activated charcoal filter will remove chlorine and, unlike with boiling, won’t leave behind any byproducts. But no cheap filter will remove fluoride. I would have to install a reverse osmosis filter for my entire household. That just isn’t in the cards.

    The traditional groups Dr. Weston Price studied weren’t all using Crest toothpaste to brush after every meal. They weren’t drinking fluoridated water. They were eating healthy foods and getting plenty of fat, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals, which all work synergistically to improve and maintain bone and dental health. This was not just Dr. Price saying this. I’ve found studies through Google, actual research abstracts, linking fat intake with improved mineral absorption. I also know that menatetrenone (vitamin K2, analog mk-4) is essential for the production of osteocalcin, which is the material that strengthens tooth dentin. You could wear the enamel off your teeth and still not get cavities if your dentin is strong enough. The enamel is merely a line of defense, nothing more.

    (Osteocalcin, by the way, is metabolically active and directs your adipose tissue to release a chemical called adiponectin, which in turn increases insulin sensitivity throughout the body. Now you know at least one reason tooth decay and diabetes are so closely related.)

    The solution to tooth decay is to encourage people to eat in ways that build up their overall physical health. We are failing at that as a society. And like it or not it IS one of society’s roles to encourage proper eating habits. The trouble is that we’ve replaced peer and family pressure with the Cult of the Expert and government edict. Experts and bureaucrats don’t know you and don’t care about you. All they see is what their lobbyists tell them and what cuts their paychecks.

    Putting drugs in the food supply is not going to make this problem go away.

    Dana wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • I foresee many dental offices going out of business and companies like Crest and Colgate would be pretty upset if all of a sudden the public educated themselves on how to eliminate dental problems by changing their diet.
      I guess I can say the same about conventional medical field and pharmaceutical companies.

      chocolatechip69 wrote on May 24th, 2011
  19. Hi Mark, I think you are really taking the wrong perspective to this- essentially treating fluoride as innocent until proven guilty. The only sane way of dealing with health issues is the opposite- the precautionary approach. Things unnatural to human evolution should be proven safe.

    In the case of fluoride, every piece of evidence indicates that it is a toxin inside the human body. Sure, a healthy person can deal with moderate levels of toxins. But why are we going out of our way and being taxed to put toxins our water? There are toxins that are hard to remove from our environment. We need to go after low-hanging fruit like water fluoridation- removing the toxin means an immediate savings in money.

    Those who still feel the need for fluoride can buy fluoridated toothpaste.

    Greg wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • I assume that since you say “every piece of evidence” you must have read Yeung’s 2008 paper. What did you think of his main points?

      Tim wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Yeung’s paper is typical of pro-fluoride evidence. It is sponsored by the other fluoride oddball: Australia, and reaches all the same conclusions of American papers.

        So unfortunately it has to be viewed with some suspicion. Europe actually takes the precautionary approach to health and doesn’t fluoridate their water- their analysis would be much more credible.

        In any case, this paper is consistent with the hypothesis I stated: fluoride is a toxin that would be reasonable to apply to *teeth* with toothpaste, but makes little sense to swallow.

        If they want the poor to have fluoride they should work with manufacturers to make toothpaste fluoridated and spend their money making it cheaper/easier to attain for the poor. Of course that money would be even better spent on giving them access to primal foods, but that is another debate.

        Greg wrote on June 6th, 2011
  20. You can’t spell Fluoride without F L O U R

    rob wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  21. Fluoride makes you not care what the government is doing. This article is proof.

    Chris wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  22. Another great post! I have wondered about fluoride… When I was a child my parents distilled all our drinking water. To this day I have constant teeth problems (cavities) even though twice a day I floss, brush and mouthwash. Dentists have told me that the distillation resulted in the removal of fluoride and other minerals that we “need.” (We also used fluoride-free toothpaste when I was growing up). Whatever the truth, today I do use fluoride toothpaste, although I give my son who is two fluoride-free yet because he swallows it. And, I’m more concerned about water from plastic bottles than I am about water from a city tap.

    Dawn wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Distilling water removes ALL minerals so your body pulled from your bones and teeth. Your teeth are bad because there were no minerals not just fluoride.

      Jennifer wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • Distilled water wouldn’t be a problem if you eat a mineral rich diet.

        You want all those trace minerals? Use natural sea salt in your cooking and as your table salt.

        Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • Dawn, I’m sorry to say this, but the reason you had problems with your teeth was most likely not the absence of flouride. It is true, however, that water distilling removes all minerals, and if that’s what you drank growing up, your bones might have very well been lacking in essential minerals needed. That in it’s own could have resulted in cavities.

      chocolatechip69 wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • I come from the opposite side of this argument. I had fluoridated water as a child and it ruined my teeth. I now have fluorosis which makes my teeth mottled and have soft pock spots on them. I’ve spent years battling my natural proclivity to cavities due to this, and my dentists even said that this was the cause whilst proscribing more fluoride in my diet.

      I moved away from fluoridated water and now used a baking soda/xylatol toothpaste and have noticed a huge improvement in my teeth. I still have to fight tooth and nail to prevent cavities, but it’s less likely to occur now. I’m the only one of my siblings that has these problems and it was because they were all born after we left the city with fluoridated water.

      SarahH wrote on April 3rd, 2012
      • I was the same. With fluoride in my water and toothpaste from the time we left our farm my teeth were quite literally falling apart. After switching to xylitol toothpaste and RO filtered water there is no magical reversal of the damage that was done, but it isn’t progressing past the teeth which were already severely damaged. Of course diet may be an issue there as well. Everything fresh from our own fields and animals, no pesticides or GMOs, lots of healthy fat… replaced by the typical American diet. I wonder how much fault lies with each, but I’m definitely not willing to go back to either for a test run.

        Morghan wrote on June 24th, 2012
  23. I’m pretty sure that fluoride has zero dental benefits once ingested so I’m not keen on it being added to drinking water. It’s a great topical treatment to aid remineralization, however.

    Sure, it would be great if our mothers were so well nourished while we were developing our teeth in utero and if we grew up eating WAP style diets so that we wouldn’t need fluoride in the first place.

    But you can only do so much if the SAD was a part of your life growing up and you reach adulthood with wrecked teeth. Then, (topical) fluoride is your friend. It takes a lot of time, experimentation and patience to stabilize dental disease through diet and once teeth are already compromised by fillings and such diet alone may not be enough to maintain teeth and restorations.

    misterworms wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  24. In an effort to consume the highest quality water at the lowest possible cost we recently purchased a Berkey water filter with supplemental fluoride filters. Compared to the amount of bottled water we were buying our break even point will be one year. Filter replacement cycle is three years. Better water at one third the cost.

    skeedaddy wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  25. I dont know specifically about Berkey filters but I know my own fluoride filter is only rated for 4000 litres and the first one failed after 4 months, or about 1000 litres.

    I have a fluoride filter because my dog is fluoride sensitive. [Apparently] fluoride does something to digestive enzymes and his pancreas struggled to keep up. He’s fine now but we know the filter needs changing when he does that praying pose common in pancreatitis. We have a lot less vet bills now which more than covers the cost of the filters.

    Inga wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  26. Water makes up over two-thirds of the human body. To focus so much on food while neglecting water quality is foolish in my opinion.

    Water is involved in numerous physiological functions, and to proceed without proper caution will only set oneself up for disaster.

    I’ve noticed that not too many people in the Paleo community address water quality. When a substance that comprises so much of the human body is overlooked, true health will never be attained.

    To avoid government forced pharmaceutical dumping, the best option is to opt for natural spring water from wild springs. There are plenty of natural springs across the world, and with a little bit of research, they can be located and will provide the best water available.

    Spring water … from deep, underground aquifers…filtered by mother nature = true hydration.

    And besides, all this talk about neolithic foods … isn’t tap water neolithic?

    Nutritionizt wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  27. As a chemist who did elemental Fluorine research and as a practicing dentist of 32 years, the comments and misinformation being given here is just plain scary. Water fluoridation has been THE most cost effective method for reducing decay, which is one of the most prevalent “diseases” in our population! YES(!!) ….if you brush and floss and minimize the carbs that feed the bugs that produce the acids that dissolve holes in your teeth, fluoride is of little benefit to you! But it is enormously helpful for the vast majority of the population ….at very little cost! Continuing research HAS shown that with all the sources of fluoride available now, what was once the optimal dosage in the water was too much and caused mild “fluorosis” (harmless white spots)….so the recommended optimal levels have been reduced to reduce this cosmetic problem! It takes an ENORMOUS amount of fluoride to cause severe Fluorosis in teeth and skeletons.

    I completely agree with Mark’s moderate approach …..if fluoride is a concern to you, there are certainly ways to reduce your exposures….. but please have some consideration for those who are unable/willing to help themselves! In an ideal world with good diets and hygiene this wouldn’t be an issue ….but trust me ….it aint happenin in the real world!

    Don Davis wrote on May 23rd, 2011
    • As a chemist who did elemental Fluorine research and as a practicing dentist of 32 years, the comments and misinformation being given here is just plain scary.

      Scary? I’ve yet to see a few of you like minded folks rebut the basic assertion: that the fluoride used to fluoridate the water supplies is industrial byproduct.

      The studies used to show the supposed benefits of fluoridated water were based on epidemiological studies on populations for whom their water supply contained naturally occurring calcium fluoride…but the fluoride being used is the byproduct of phosphate fertilizer and aluminum manufacturing.

      People like you expect us to just accept that there is no difference?

      Water fluoridation has been THE most cost effective method for reducing decay

      Cost effective for who? Aluminum and phosphate manufacturers looking to sell their byproducts.

      Ah nevermind. I’m glad you stated your credentials as a dentist and chemist. I’ll just forget my pesky little points here and just blithely go along with the most cost effective means of preventing tooth decay.

      Dave from Hawaii wrote on May 23rd, 2011
      • you are totally ignoring studies that have been done in nearly EVERY country in the world ….this topic has been studied to death! A YES there are lots of studies done where the fluoride was added in the manner in which you describe ……same result!

        the ORIGINAL studies were done in an aluminum mining area BECAUSE of a scare that the severe fluorosis (BROWN DISCOLORATIONof the teeth) seen commonly in that area was being caused by aluminum. Turns out it was the natural fluorides in the water from those very same salts.And those kids rarely got decay! By optimizing the dosage of a naturally occurring ion in the water it was determined that you could preserve the “no decay” benefit and lose the fluorosis problem! No different than optimizing the sodium ions (salt)_ in your diet …..or the iodide ions in your diet. Not enough (or too much!) of either of these “chemicals” and you get serious consequences ….nothing wrong with OPTIMIZING the dosage!

        Tell me that EVERY DAY you are not working to OPTIMIZE the chemicals that you put into your body ……..protiens and amino acids ……sucrose and glucose……lectins ….yes they are all chemicals!! That is why you are on this site!!

        Don Davis wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • 40% of US adolescents have fluorosis. you call this optimized?

          Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Your work experience is of little relevance. Chemists and dentists are not toxicologists. Dentists aren’t even taught to diagnose fluorosis. When they see it, they treat it as a “cosmetic issue”, when in fact fluorosis, is a systemic overexposure to fluoride. The same effects to your teeth occur to your bones. It is laughable that dentists, as a public servants, write fluorosis off.

      Your focus is oral health, yet you support the delivery of a medicine to the entire body without any regard for it’s effects to the rest of the skeletal system. It’s absurd and a horrible abuse of the profession.

      ” but please have some consideration for those who are unable/willing to help themselves! ”

      you have got to be kidding. More like unable or unwilling to filter it out of their water. Theses are the same people who are at higher risk for over-toxicity. 40% of adolescents have fluorosis. what gives?

      Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • You have fluorosis because your MD prescribed fluoride tablets, because your parents asked them to. Why not just have your water tested for fluoride before adding more to your system, & maybe brush your teeth.

        anonymous wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • “but trust me” why should I? Just because you were a chemist who did fluorine research, and were a dentist?? Some of the most illogical people I’ve ever met were dentists. Dentists are the reason for mercury in fillings. Chemists are the creators of white sugar. My current dentist (Who is a great guy!) tells me privately that most dentists are arrogant, materialist, and self-serving. …and the chemistry teachers most of us had in college that couldn’t teach, or the chemists I used to work with that kept arguing that there is no advantage to organic foods, or the nazi chemists that designed gas chambers ovens for the camps. Because one has a degree doesn’t mean they are ethically superior or haven’t chosen to defend the most profitable and popular topic. That takes no courage at all. Great courage IS required to ask questions that go against the consensus.

      John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
    • The real issue here is the cost of avoiding fluoride vs the cost of sing it voluntarily. $1 for a tube of Colgate is a lot easier to handle, especially considering that homeless and low income service centers are always overflowing with toothpaste, than several hundred dollars for a filter and then replacing the membranes as needed depending on how much water you consume.

      All drugs, no matter how beneficial they may or may not be, should only be taken voluntarily rather than forced on those too poor to afford avoiding them in the most basic requirement of life.

      Morghan wrote on June 24th, 2012
  28. Hi Mark

    I love that you include so much detailed information in your posts. I always wondered about fluoride. But I don’t think I am going to add it to my stress over list. Since I got to worry more about eating the right nutrition, getting enough sleep and exercise into my daily regimen. I do filter my water and I have a TDS device to measure it, I also buy fluoride free toothpaste, I am not really going out of my way since it’s freely available at stores.

    Tatianna wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  29. I am not convinced the amount of fluoride in drinking water is 100% safe for someone with hypothyroidism, but at the same time, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I just filter my water when I am home, and get on with my life. I dont bother with special toothpastes or anything.

    Mia wrote on May 24th, 2011
  30. I can understand the point you make, that for us healthy Primal eaters, the fluoride content is not a major health concern. However, I also feel it fully justified to object to the fluoridation of water on principle.

    Its level of toxicity is obviously dose dependent as well as dependent on the relative health of the individual ingesting it. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have thyroid problems and such who would be harmed by even a small dosage. And there are people with messed up electrolyte balances or other concerns that mean they have to drink a lot to stay hydrated. And of course small children are most likely going to be negatively effected at a smaller dose, due to their size.

    The issue with fluoridation of water is that you have no control over it, virtually no way to avoid it if you are sensitive to its effects. While you may be benefiting the dental health of some individuals, you may be harming the health of others who are susceptible to the harmful effects of fluoride. And whereas those who would benefit from fluoride can take fluoride on their own, use fluoride-toothpastes, or simply eat a proper diet, those who would be harmed can do nothing to prevent their fluoride exposure, save install a filter, which many probably can’t do due to the excessive cost.

    So even if the fluoride levels added to water make it safe for most, if it’s not 100% safe for all, I would argue against it, as those who could benefit from it have many more and much better options of improving their dental health. Dental hygiene is a matter of personal responsibility, not something to be imposed upon everyone without their consent, with potentially harmful side effects if the dose is high enough.

    Hannah wrote on May 24th, 2011
  31. I am fortunate to have grown up without being subjected to fluoridated drinking water, and now live in Vancouver, one of the last remaining big cities where municipal drinking water is not fluoridated.

    I had very limited access to sweets as a child, was taught proper oral hygiene (including flossing) from a young age, and have always visited the dentist at least once – if not twice – per year.

    At 31, I am still 100% cavity-free, and have had no major dental or orthodontic work other than having my wisdom teeth extracted.

    I do use fluoridated toothpaste, but I decline the fluoride treatments my dentist offers.

    I suspect that diet and oral hygiene have a far greater impact on prevention of dental caries than fluoridating municipal drinking water.

    Carli wrote on May 24th, 2011
  32. Just one missed point:

    Fluoride is accumulative! Now recalulate your answers because this becomes a vital issue especially for those with kidney impairment, diabetics and those with immune system malfunctions.

    This “fluoride” is also classified as a poison, the bags say “do not ingest” and there is no regulation on the quality – it remains an industrial waste and an envirnmental pollutant – humans play an important role in the environment – or hadn’t you noticed?

    Cheers from Australia where we are fighting this government madness.

    Colin Bishop wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Yeah ….and we are swimming in a sea of Nitrogen (gasp!) ….and argon (oh no!) and Carbon dioxide (oh my!) and when I drink water I’m ingesting Hydrogen (eek!) …….chemicals, chemicals everywhere!

      Don Davis wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • isn’t it so cool to be sarcastic! Don, don’t be ridiculous.

        Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • That’s exactly how I rate him.

          I’m neither a dentist nor a doctor but I do have a qualification in Biochemic Medicine.

          I’ve studied fluoridation for about eight years and I still question why the dental fraternity consistently say “it is natural and it comes from rocks and is an ingredient in toothpaste” – why is it necessary to lie when it is natural and safe?

          Yes it does come from rocks but when it is subjected to extraction by powerful acids it changes its chemical “formula”.

          Why is fluoride extracted and why does it become a waste product? Why don’t they release it into the atmosphere?

          They remove the fluoride because natural fluoride is found in minscule amounts and with other minerals – fluoride if left in fertiliser would kill the plants – it is not natural to “top up natural minerals” with an S6 poison to an “un-natural level”.

          Super Phosphate fertiliser “destroys” natural minerals in the ground, in crops, in animals that eat the crops and humans that eat the crops or the meat – as someone further up said – my mother distilled our water – yes removed all of the minerals and thus depriving you of healthy teeth and bones – this canot be fixed through consumption of fluoridated water!

          Colin Bishop wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Hi,

      I thought I would throw in my experience with the subject of fluoridation here because I truly have a unique perspective on it.

      I grew up in Newburgh NY, the 2nd town to ever get fluoridation. It was part of an experiment on fluoridation back in the 1940′s. The town of Newburgh got fluoridation, and the town of Kingston did not.

      Of a greater note, my pediatric physician that I went to as a child was none other than Dr. Russell Scobie, the pioneer of fluoridation. The test was one of his many projects over his life to promote flouridation. Often he would comment on it. (The water plant in my hometown is named after him).

      My connection to this doesn’t end here though. It was noted in the town records of Middletown (right up the street from Newburgh) that the Mayor conducted her own experiment. Former Middletown Mayor Gertrude Mokotoff supported fluoride in theory. She had even done her own little fluoride experiment. Her first two kids never took fluoride. When she had twins in 1955, she gave them fluoride supplements. The result? Her older children had lots of cavities. Her younger children had none. (from the records of the town).

      It doesn’t stop there either. I met her son Charles (Chucky) Mokotoff when I was 8 years old at summer camp. I think the problem is that people don’t want it foisted upon them. They want a voice. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the voice is the voice of reason. Think about what they put in water for sanitation. Do you think that you could drink water from a public water supply if there weren’t chlorine in it? Would you like to try? I was in Egypt last December. I saw the difference. Trust me- you don’t want the untreated water. You don’t want to me exposed to it.

      Primaldog wrote on May 25th, 2011
      • Primaldog, people have survived millions of years drinking untreated water. Force greedy industry to stop polluting, using chemical pesticides, drugs, etc. Then we won’t have as much disease. Fluoride can not prevent cavities if you eat soda and pastries. Don’t kid yourself that it was the only variable in Mokotoff’s family. Maybe her older children got formula and the younger ones got breast milk. Maybe the older ones were exposed to pollution more before environmental laws changed. Any number of variables can explain. My own experience is different. I brushed mainly with water and seldom flossed for ~18 years with no cavities. I started drinking lots of soft drinks and eating french fries, suddenly nine cavities in rapid succession. I stopped eating soda and eating other garbage and haven’t had cavities in 7-8 years, despite brushing mostly with water. I also avoid the tap water as much as I can and get my water from foods. Don’t think that your theory of fluoride is the only possibility.

        Ian wrote on August 9th, 2011
      • My sister-in law’s daughter had perfect teeth. Her son had terrible teeth. Same everything else. This proves that we should put estrogen in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.

        John Wernz wrote on November 19th, 2011
        • This is the most uneducated thing ive ever heard…Im a dentist and hormones have no effect on your teeth. Everyones calcium efficiency is different related or not…it about how you take care of your self.

          Kaleb wrote on November 19th, 2011
  33. How about adding motor oil to the water supply as a cure for baldness?

    Mike wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • That’s almost as silly as saying drink sunscreen to protect from sunburn.

      Colin Bishop wrote on May 24th, 2011
  34. “To wage campaigns against it and spend your days raging about it probably cause more stress and harm than they help. It’s in the food, in the soil, in tea leaves, in the water, and in any product that uses or includes municipal water.”

    It’s in tea leaves, but we’re not dosed with tea; we choose to drink tea, if we do at all.

    Flouride is a non-essential additive to municipal water. Chlorine is added to disinfect, keep water safe to drink, and can be easily filtered out. Flouride, on the other hand, is providing nothing that good dental care wouldn’t cover. The sole purported reason is to control tooth decay. Tooth care is not and should not be a government-controlled function.

    Along the same lines you could make an argument for involuntary dosing of vitamin D in public water sources for “the good of the people,” but that still wouldn’t make it right.

    Louie wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Actually – there is one company that “regulates” your imported fluoride that is advocating just that but with the minerals magnesium and calcium – and if you know anything about “interactions” you will understand why this is not a good idea!

      Colin Bishop wrote on May 24th, 2011
  35. My toothpaste and deodorant is equal parts coconut oil and baking soda with a hint of mint extract!

    Primal Toad wrote on May 24th, 2011
  36. I’m somewhat surprised to see Mark take this stance. Sure doesn’t seem very Primal to me, either.

    I’m fairly certain I have an allergy to fluoride. I used to vomit when getting the mandatory pink/brown toothpaste “treatments” on “Dental Health Day” in school. I was the only kid that reacted like that IIRC.

    I’ve used fluroide-free toothpastes for years now. No problems yet. But I get choked up and puke-y if I use fluoride toothpaste while visiting others. I’m to the point where I’m going to just use water or baking soda in a pinch if I must.

    Mike wrote on May 24th, 2011
  37. Although I don’t advocate consuming fluoride, I appreciate Mark’s stance. Many here may not agree with it, but hey, Mark’s a person like everyone else with unique beliefs, thoughts, and opinions. To place other issues above fluoride, as he stated, seems acceptable. Can you blame a man for being honest?

    If we agreed with everything Mark said, well then, we become sheep! Fluoride or no fluoride, these kinds of posts should make everyone do some more research to formulate their own thoughts on the issue.

    Nutritionizt wrote on May 24th, 2011
  38. This is why I keep coming back to Mark’s blog day in and day out. His articles are well thought out. He has done tons of research. Most of all though, the lifestyle he advocates is both healthy (and backed up with more research) and PRACTICAL. Mark isn’t creating a cult of a few extremely dedicated followers (well maybe a few). Mark is taking real human nutrition to real human beings. I have been both following this diet, and advocating it for my clients for several weeks now and seen both great results and adherence. This article is a perfect example of health concern hierarchy. Flouride is a minor concern when compared with excessive weight game and excessive slothfulness and mark puts that right at the top. However, it is still a potential concern, and he makes the article meaningful. I know I am just singing praises here, so i apologize for my rant. Flouride to me is not really a concern, as mark said, you would have to be drinking tons of water and tea, and swallowing toothpaste, to see any effect. For those of us who eat primal, we get less exposure than most, so I am not too worried about it.

    Jaybird wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • Furthermore, for those who’s comments reflect anecdotal evidence against Fluoride, remember as a blogger, your credibility is everything. Mark has to base his posts and opinions off of sound scientific evidence or he will lose his credibility in the scientific arena. If that happens the common man will lose a strong advocate for real nutrition. The government powers that be can just write us off as a “fad diet.”

      Jaybird wrote on May 24th, 2011
    • it may not be an issue for you or mark, but the problem is that it’s being delivered to everyone without their consent and without control to individual dose.

      “you would have to be drinking tons of water and tea, and swallowing toothpaste, to see any effect.”

      That is completely false. 40% of current adolescents in the US have fluorosis.(CDC)
      Fluoride bio-accumulates and is persistent in the environment. The longer we introduce fluoride into our environment the more we will see it’s toxic effects. It’s just going to get worse…

      Daniel wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • so what do we do about it then? because i’m not going to stop drinking tap water. i ain’t rich.

        shz wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • shz, you can get spring water for less than a dollar a gallon most places. You can also get water by eating food. There are people who suggest relying on foods like milk, eggs, fruits, and pure juices for water. The person who said you can’t live without water is wrong. People have lived without any drinking water and the body adapts to conserve water. People in the past didn’t guzzle water like people today have been brainwashed by big media and the government to do.

          Ian wrote on August 9th, 2011
      • I agree. It is being delivered without our consent, however, it’s not beyond our control completely. While I do believe mass fluoridation must be stopped, we can bypass most of the effects by simply refusing to drink tap water. Don’t you find it a little strange to rely on the government for our water source? That’s surely not Primal.

        I said it before, but high quality spring water, harvested personally from wild springs, might just be the way to go. Of course, with all the dumping, fracking, and polluting that’s going on, our springs have the potential to become damaged.

        Just like we feel better knowing exactly where our food comes from, it’s important to know exactly where our water comes from.

        Nutritionizt wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • About 15% of adolescents have enamel fluoridosis (fluoride staining of enamel) even in areas where there is no fluoridation and water has low levels of fluoride. The highest levels of fluoridosis are in naturally fluoridated areas (38%), followed by areas fluoridated to the optimal level (26%).

        See

        “Prevalence and trends in enamel fluorosis in the United States from the 1930s to the 1980s.” J Am Dent Assoc, Vol 133, No 2, 157-165.

        Tim wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • nm looked it up under google, ouch, some people can’t even stand up

          Katzenberg wrote on May 24th, 2011
      • how do i know if i have fluorosis?
        is that something i can feel, or see? sorry new to this

        Katzenberg wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • Enamel flurosis (which is what the figures above refer to) is when your teeth have tiny specks of white in the enamel.

          This isn’t serious and is usually unnoticeable unless you look for it.

          Tim wrote on May 24th, 2011
        • I noticed it for years before I knew what it was. It started when I moved from well to city water.

          mamagrok wrote on May 26th, 2011
  39. I use one of these filters http://www.crystalquest.com/Fluoridefilters.htm

    Really hope it works because it is super affordale.

    Katie wrote on May 24th, 2011
  40. Many countries in Europe that used to fluoridate their water have stopped because it has been seen that the fluoridated water doesn’t actually help. Fluoride only “works” when it is applied directly to the teeth. Otherwise the fluoride tends to build up in the bones and cause many problems later on in life. Also, there have been studies on remote tribes that had no form of dental hygiene yet had none of the problems we in the industrialized world have. However, once western food was introduced into these tribes, dental decay became rampant. Coincidence?

    Shane wrote on May 24th, 2011

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