Today let’s get a little controversial and talk about water.
Are you aware that your water is medicated?
Although there are many water treatment processes, fluoride is unusual in that it doesn’t treat the water itself, but rather the person consuming it. The Food & Drug Administration accepts that fluoride is a drug, not a nutrient, when used to prevent disease. By definition, therefore, fluoridating water is a form of medication.
When fluoride was added to drinking water in Australia from as early as 1953, it was done so under the premise that it would have a positive impact on the incidence of dental caries. There is still no evidence that the rate of dental caries has decreased as a result, thought there is correlation which is frequently touted as being evidence, despite correlation not being causation. Interestingly, dental fluorosis (discolouration of teeth) is regarded by the Centre for Disease Control to be caused by the addition of fluoride to drinking water.
The data that does support fluoride for dental health, is based on a topical application to the teeth, and it would seem to me that the water we drink doesn’t stay around to play a topical role in the mouth for very long.
In the past few years the use of fluoride in water has come under close scrutiny. The National Health and Medical Research Council revealed a 2012 study linking high levels of fluoride in drinking water to low IQ among some Chinese children. In England, studies show a link between the prevalence of hypothyroidism and fluoride in water.
While the link between fluoridation and thyroid health has been disputed and widely discussed, evidence points to an imbalance between expected levels of hypothyroidism and those in areas with higher levels of fluoridation in water supply*. The thyroid link makes a huge amount of sense, as fluorine is structurally very similar to iodine (both being halogens on the table of elements), which the body uses intensively in the making of thyroid hormone. With levels of fluorine in the body way beyond what we could ever get in nature, and a lack of iodine – very common in Australia – the body can get a little confused between the two.
Most developed nations, as well as 97% of European countries, have rejected the practice of water fluoridation because, in their view, the public water supply is not an appropriate place to be adding drugs, particularly when fluoride is readily available for individual use in the form of toothpaste.
Far beyond wanting to make this a political piece, or come across as crazy, what I really want to do, is provoke you to weigh the probabilities: Are levels of fluoride in the body (that are far beyond what was ever possible for the entire evolution of our species) more likely to cause harm, or be good for us?
If you believe, like I do, that excessive fluoride is more than likely not great for us, with a very limited up-side, then apply the detoxification principle, and put less of it in your body.
Filtering your water is a good idea, for many more reasons than discussed in this piece. To read our recommendations on water filters, click here.