Today’s Fluoride article in the Telegraph

A few people have written to me to get my opinion on today’s article slamming people’s concern for fluoride in the drinking water here in Australia…

Here’s the article if you want to read it

My thoughts

1) I don’t get my nutritional or health news from Tele articles and generally just don’t read mainstream media health articles that conclude, sweep, discredit or claim anything or anyone (or anyone else’s for that reason… Always read two sides to the story before choosing something that sits right with you as a critical thinking and analytical human being. Always ensure you include reseasrch studies that you’ve found to be independently carried out as a part of your decision making as well as a healthy dose of your own common sense and your trusted health professionals.)

2) So I read it to comment… Fluoride is ‘natural’ and found in tea leaves etc… Yes it is. When nature packages stuff together it works. Fluoride in tap water is not natural. It is added and it is not the same type of fluoride found naturally in foods – It’s the same dose for everyone and I deeply question this. Especially as babies and adults are ‘dosed’ the same way.

3) When they say “Unfluoridated water will cause rotting teeth and ill health in children”. My thoughts (and these are my thoughts. I urge you to think for yourself of course) are that these people are blaming unfluoridated water for what the modern diet is doing to our children – especially studies that site indigenous communities, sadly well known for being undernourished and over exposed to soft drinks and processed foods. Fix the diet and you fix and prevent the tooth decay issue. Australia has the added issue of low mineral soils, so you might want to see a naturopath or nutritionist to discuss your child’s mineral needs for healthy growth including teeth and bones…

4) Accusing people of sensationalising the dangers of fluoride in the water… This article didn’t seem to short of sensationalising itself. For all the digs and jabs and lack of hyperlinked papers referencing evidence, it again doesn’t really deserve much attention.

5) “Dental decay levels associated with heart disease”… Of course it is… Sugar is linked too – linked strongly and directly to both. Again, we’re fearmongering with the bandaid solution instead of simply driving education around sugar, imposing stronger pressures on junk advertising, availability and sugar levels… Plus, if we brought the sugar down, we wouldn’t just have less tooth decay, but a whole bunch less diseases too… Think of the public health cost savings to be had!

6) “The most recent National Health and Medical Research Council statement says fluoride is proven to reduce caries (cavities) in kids’ teeth, with absolutely no evidence it causes any adverse health effects.” They don’t specify whether they’re talking about topical fluoridation having been tested for adverse health / decay prevention / healing OR fluoride in the water… There’s a big difference there. I’ll be researching this to have a deeper understanding of this latest research…

Here’s a little except from my course from the amazing Tabitha McIntosh, AWAKEN YOUR HEALTH, who is strongly evidence based in her practice.

“Nothing in health is one size fits all. And one of the major issues is, that once we put fluoride into the water, we can’t control the dose: the margin for safety is diminished. The level of flouride put into tap water in Australia (1ppm) is 100 times higher than normally found in mother’s milk (0.01ppm). For example consider a four month old baby – in early stage neurodevelopment, with a porous blood brain barrier – receiving towards one litre of formula milk made up on boiled tap water, where proportional to body weight, fluoride intake is dangerously high. This scenario is not uncommon, and perhaps is a reason that fluoride is mentioned as a developmental neurotoxicant in Landrigan’s 2014 paper. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity,published in the Lancet Neurology. Vol13 March2014, accesses 2 Mac 2014.”

Here’s a piece with lists of countries that do and don’t fluoridate water, along with graphs, studies and data if you want to look at broader research and data that exists on the topic.

If you trust your dentist and believe topical fluoride within a routine check might be of value to you, then that’s absolutely your choice. Personally I love using a natural toothpaste and a whole foods diet low in added sugars to enjoy great tooth and gum health as does my child as does my husband. (My husband and I had terrible gums / teeth when we drank fluoridated tap water and ate more sugar and starches in our day to days…)  Drinking fluoridated water is also your personal choice. I filter it out with this one, but I recommend you think for yourself before doing so – and you may well disagree too and that’s AOK with me.

Bottom line? Think for yourself. Dr Ron Ehrlich​ is my wonderful holistic dentist who discusses this topic very calmly, very often and has even openly held an all day public seminar at Sydney University earlier this year, presenting Dr’s on both sides of the fence on the issue in the interest of opening up the discussion. It’s an important discussion to be having when whole populations are being mass medicated with the same dose for all. When countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy and more don’t fluoridate, it says to me that the evidence isn’t compelling enough to do so, given the evidence that exists to not do so. These are not countries who take public health decisions lightly.  It should be, and continue to be hotly debated if indeed there is any doubt at all.

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  1. i use the Gentoo water filter it claims to take out 98 percent of flouride it can be bought online or at some health food stores in Australia, I have two going all day and only use that water for drinking and cooking.

  2. Hi Alexx. Fluoride is a tiny atom (anion) and it is very difficult to filter out. To date, only reverse osmosis, distilllation and activated alum have been proven to work satisfactorily. The only gravity filter which I’ve found to work is Berkey, provided the correct filters are fitted. Until I have analysed the product water of other filters which claim to remove fluoride, I will remain sceptical. It’s expensive to analyse for fluoride but if you want me to assess a sample of your filtered water, please let me know.

    Regarding the low mineral content of Australian drinking water, is it low throughout Oz? What is the average t.d.s?

    This is my understanding of the biochemistry: if there is very little calcium in fluoridated Australian tap water, then the fluoride in your tap water, will, when the water “has drained away” out of the stomach, combine with the available calcium in the stomach and then, if there are still un-bonded fluoride atoms, the fluoride will progress to bond with in-situ calcium in bones, teeth and organs. Thus fluoride denies the body essential calcium (ditto magnesium and potassium). This is an indirect cause of ill-health, so fluoridation should stop since it is causing your health service to over-spend as well as ruining the health of those who have to drink the stuff. . Alexx: have you any comments about this theory?

  3. Hi Alexx – I’m very interested in this topic as I had a conversation with my children’s dentist only a few weeks ago on this very subject! We attended their usual 6 monthly check up and all is good with their teeth. As a passing comment he asked me what toothpaste and toothbrushes they use. We are in the UK and I like the Green People range for kids as its fluoride and SLS free. He has a good poker face but looked mildly horrified and said “as your dentist, you have to understand that I don’t think that’s a good choice for your children’s teeth and I recommend you change.” I asked why, and he said that fluoride was important for their teeth to grow healthily and protect them from cavities. I said that I understood his point of view, but I have never used a fluoride teeth myself (my grandfather campaigned here in the UK against fluoride being added to tap water here) – I use the Tom’s or Kingfisher brands – and I’m lucky that that, combined with good diet management, and probably decent teeth genetics, has meant that I have no fillings or weak enamel and I plan on following that “rule” with my 2. We went back and forth a bit on this topic but eventually he realised I was not going to buckle and we left it there. His parting comment as we left was “So I presume you’re not going to be bringing the children in to have their teeth painted (that may be the wrong word he used but along those lines) with fluoride when they’re 10 then?” I politely declined! I think we respected each other’s choices, which is more than you get from some professionals like GPs etc if you’re opinion differs to the “norm”, but I’m glad I had the conversation with him and I hope that with good diet management and sensible teeth hygiene that my kids have healthy mouths and bodies!

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