All About Fluoride

Up until the 1950s, European doctors used fluoride to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for people suffering from overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). The daily dose of fluoride which people are now receiving in fluoridated communities (1.6 to 6.6 mg/day) actually exceeds the dose of fluoride found to depress the thyroid gland (2.3 to 4.5 mg/day). Hypothyroidism is currently one of the most common medical problems in the U.S. Synthroid, the drug doctors prescribe to treat hypothyroidism, was the fourth most prescribed drug in the U.S. in 2000. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased cholesterol levels and heart disease. From a recent University of York report, considered the “final word on fluoridation,” it was shown that symptoms described in the literature on fluoride’s adverse health effects are identical to those observed in thyroid dysfunction, and the condition known as dental fluorosis is a direct result of fluoride-induced iodine deficiency during the time of enamel formation. It showed an increase in thyroid cancers in the fluoridated areas when compared to non-fluoridated areas.

In China, where entire villages are being relocated due to fluoride contamination, fluoride is being openly acknowledged as the cause of thyroid cancer, Kaschin-Beck disease and iodine deficiency. It has been established since the 1930s that the thyroid hormones control tooth eruption. Fluoridation delays the eruption of teeth because of its hypothyroid effect. Dental fluorosis is a sign of thyroid dysfunction. Any anti-thyroid substance administered during the time of enamel formation will produce the effects seen in dental fluorosis. Fluorides actually cause cavities. There are countless papers–some of them found in the York Report–clearly state that the dental defects seen in fluorosis predispose to caries. Hyperthyroidism, caused after iodine was added to public water supplies in the early 1920s, led to the use of fluorides as anti-thyroid medication. Fluorides are the worst endocrine disruptor imaginable.

What was once known as fluoride-iodine antagonism can now be explained in detail by thousands of papers showing the fluoride power on G-protein activation. The biochemical activity of fluoride mimics TSH (thyroid-stimulating-hormone) on G-protein activation–molecular on/off switches by which all thyroid hormone activity is regulated.

Three-quarters of the world’s population is suffering from iodine deficiency in areas, which are identical to endemic fluorosis areas. Tooth decay is an epidemic in certain U.S. populations, whether or not they live in fluoridated cities. Eighty percent of decay occurs in 25% of the population, most of them poor and minorities. Well-meaning, but misguided dentists and hygienists are still pushing to get more of the U.S. fluoridated by the year 2010, primarily because they believe it will help poor children who suffer from needless dental pain every year that interferes with their eating, learning, and sleeping. One problem is that dentists want more money to actually treat poor children. Well-nourished children who practice good dental hygiene usually have the least decay.

Following is a list of a few fluoride compounds whose anti-thyroid effects are established, and which are included in many of today’s medications, as well as in pesticides:

Research reported on in a variety of medical journals has indicated that an excess of fluoride in drinking water is a risk factor for more rapid development of thyroid problems. Other research has also found that high iodine and high fluorine exert severe damage to thyroid function, and potentially affect IQ. Workers exposed to fluorine are also at increased risk of thyroid problems. Fluoride was once used as an anti-thyroid medicine, prescribed by doctors in hospitals and clinics. It was used to slow down an overactive thyroid. In addition, it was also effective in slowing down a normal or already-sluggish hypothyroid gland. For instance, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, Volume 18, 1958, page 1102, Drs. Galetti and Goyer explain the “Effect of Fluorine in Thyroidal Iodine Metabolism in Hyperthyroidism.”

Fluorine, being a halogen, and chemically related to iodine but very much more active, displaces iodine, so the uptake of iodine is compromised by the replacement of the iodine by fluorine. To condemn an entire population, already having marginal levels of iodine, to inevitable progressive failure of their thyroid system by fluoridating the water, borders on criminal lunacy. Out of the over 150 symptoms and associations of hypothyroidism, almost all are also symptoms of fluoride poisoning.

In concentrations as low as 1ppm, fluorides damage the thyroid system on 4 levels.

  1. The enzyme manufacture of thyroid hormones within the thyroid gland itself. The process by which iodine is attached to the amino acid tyrosine and converted to the two significant thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), is slowed.
  2. The stimulation of certain of the G proteins whose function is to govern uptake of substances into each of the cells of the body, from the toxic effect of fluoride, has the effect of switching off the uptake into the cell of the active thyroid hormone.
  3. The thyroid control mechanism is compromised. The thyroid stimulating hormone output from the pituitary gland is inhibited by fluoride, thus reducing thyroid output of thyroid hormones.
  4. Fluoride competes for the receptor sites on the thyroid gland which respond to the thyroid stimulating hormone; so that less of this hormone reaches the thyroid gland and so less thyroid hormone is manufactured.

These damaging effects, all of which occur with small concentrations of fluoride, have obvious and easily identifiable effects on thyroid status. The running down of thyroid hormone means a slow slide into hypothyroidism. Already the incidence of hypothyroidism is increasing as a result of other environmental toxins and pollution together with wide spread nutritional deficiencies.

The distortion of protein structure from fluoride causes the immune proteins to fail to recognize body proteins, and so instigate an attack on them, which is Autoimmune Disease. Autoimmune diseases constitute a body of disease processes troubling many thousands of people: R/A, SLE, Asthma, Systemic Sclerosis are examples. Thyroid antibodies will be produced which will cause thyroiditis resulting in the common hypothyroid disease, Hashimoto’s Disease and the hyperthyroidism of Graves’ Disease.

More interesting water articles: