Monday, March 7, 2011

Fluoride, Silent Killer - Or is it?

Controversial and inconclusive! That's my take on the article. AND that's my conclusion.

This article by Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D seem to be spreading like virus via e-mail; at least that's what I get in a form of a chain email.

While I don't totally disagree with what's written, I don't subscribe to it and that's the reason I put it up here. While some of his contention is supported by references, some are very questionable as he uses a lot of "may", "likely", "has shown to (without further reference)". Not very assuring from a person so knowledgeable.

To quote some of his verdicts:
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF FLUORIDE Fluoride is used as an insecticide and a roach killer. Even at the level they use to fluoridate your public water supply, usually at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water (1 ppm) by weight, it causes severe problems. As little as one-tenth of an ounce of fluoride will cause death. It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. No one will die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, but it is the long term chronic effects of drinking fluoridated water that affects health. Dental fluorosis is one of the earlier signs of fluoride poisoning, appearing in mild cases as a chalky area on the tooth, and in more advanced cases, teeth become yellow brown or black and the tips break off. Fluoride in the drinking water leads to fluoride levels in tissues and organs which damage enzymes. This results in a wide range of chronic diseases. Fluoride weakens the immune system and may cause allergic type reactions including dermatitis, eczema and hives. It causes birth defects and genetic damage. Fluoride is likely to aggravate kidney disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism. The amount consumed in drinking water has been shown to lower thyroid activity in humans. It also causes the breakdown of collagen which results in wrinkling of the skin and the weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscles.

If you happened to have received the same email, I can tell you this issue is very much debatable. Some studies suggest that fluoride is necessary at a controlled/low dosage to prevent tooth decay, and some suggest cautious usage.

Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D suggest that it is solely due to the need to dump this by-product of the aluminium industry and the phosphate fertilizer that people start to justify fluoride use.

Others have mixed opinions:

1) MSN Health says A Little Fluoride Goes a Long Way" in support of its uses.
2) thinks that "Children Should use Fluoridated Toothpaste"
3) There are some warnings and recommendations for children using fluoridated toothpaste. A good read here.

Finally, you may want to know if the toothpastes you use contain fluoride. Mostly yes! The two brands I have used in the past are both fluoridated. Read about Darlie and Colgate and find out for yourself.

Be in the know and decide for yourself. A chat with your dentist friend would be a good idea.

BTW, is there any dentist around, reading this?

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