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HomeOral HealthDoes prenatal publicity to fluoride decrease IQ? ⋆ Ask the Dentist

Does prenatal publicity to fluoride decrease IQ? ⋆ Ask the Dentist

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One of many controversial matters each father or mother has to deal with is fluoride consumption. And with new analysis citing extra questions than solutions, the connection between fluoride and IQ is all however indeniable.

A 2017 research revealed in Environmental Well being Views has linked publicity throughout being pregnant to lowered IQ in these youngsters later in life. (1)

This comes on the heels of dozens of different research that appear to counsel fluoride impacts the event of the mind and human intelligence.

On this article, we’ll evaluation what this research means for you and your child.


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New Findings on Prenatal Fluoride and IQ

A US government-funded research was launched on September 19, 2017 to look at the connection between a mom’s publicity to fluoride and the kid’s cognitive improvement.

Researchers discovered that low ranges of fluoride consumption throughout being pregnant are linked to considerably lowered IQ in these youngsters later of their life.

The research took different elements under consideration and made certain to ascertain controls, akin to socioeconomic standing, smoking, marital standing, age, and many others.

Researchers measured the quantity of fluoride current within the urine of the pregnant contributors. Ranges within the urine are a particularly correct indicator of whole fluoride consumption.

Years later, the researchers measured the intelligence of the kids born to those ladies by giving them an IQ take a look at. At age 4, after which once more between 6-12 years, IQ ranges had been considerably decrease in youngsters uncovered to greater ranges of fluoride in utero. (1)

That is the one high-quality research with controls that has examined prenatal fluoride and IQ, so the outcomes must be replicated to make certain.

Nevertheless, it’s true that fluoride passes by way of placenta to child’s blood. (2)

Subsequently, any fluoride a pregnant mom is ingesting would additionally attain the unborn youngster.

Within the research, which was carried out in Mexico, the extent of publicity might be near the extent we’re uncovered to in our fluoridated water.

Do these outcomes truly apply in the US?

The largest distinction between the communities in Mexico and the US water provide is that the fluoride in Mexico is of course occurring, not added.

At first look, you may assume that doesn’t matter. And perhaps it doesn’t.

However you must also know that calcium fluoride, which is of course occurring in groundwater (like in Mexico), isn’t what’s in your water.

Neither is sodium fluoride, in practically each one of many 75% of communities in the US with fluoridated water. That’s what it was once, however for the reason that Nineties, issues have modified—though pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride continues to be present in toothpaste.

Truly, the primary supply of fluoride in water is hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFS).

Earlier than it was put in your water, HFS was designated as a poisonous chemical produced when fertilizer is made. Firms had been fined for dumping it into public water provides.

Then, somebody in authorities had an concept: What if we pay corporations to place HFS within the water as an alternative?

I do know that sounds dramatic, but it surely’s fairly easy, sadly.

Not like calcium fluoride or sodium fluoride, HFS comprises arsenic and leeches lead from outdated piping. (34)

There are not any identified “secure” ranges of publicity to both arsenic or lead. (56)

Different Analysis on Fluoride and IQ

Lots of research exist that help the thought fluoride has a unfavorable affect on cognitive improvement.

Listed here are a couple of of the main ones:

Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Assessment and Meta-Evaluation

Researchers from the Harvard Faculty of Public Well being reviewed 27 research by way of the 12 months 2011 about fluoride and IQ. (7)

They discovered that the outcomes had been statistically important: ingestion of fluoridated water appears to correlate with decrease IQs in youngsters.

General, excessive fluoride publicity equated to an drop in common IQ by seven factors. This qualifies fluoride as a neurotoxin.

What’s lacking: Their evaluation was restricted to areas with greater ranges of naturally occurring fluoride that exceeds most fluoridated communities within the US. The “low stage” management areas of publicity had been truly nearer to ranges of fluoride within the US, which is why Snopes stated the research was misused by individuals claiming fluoride lowers IQ.

These research additionally didn’t management for as many elements as they most likely ought to have, which makes the outcomes considerably unclear.

The writers of the research stated that extra analysis ought to be performed that additionally assessments urine fluoride ranges over time and the variations between socioeconomic standing.

Why the outcomes matter: In the US, you’re uncovered to fluoride by way of way more than consuming water. Processed meals and produce handled with sure pesticides (each of that are consumed in decrease numbers in a lot of the communities within the research) comprise fluoride, too.

Plus, this evaluation was carried out by Harvard scientists. The establishment the place analysis comes from is vital, as a result of it speaks to the standard of the science.

Affiliation of lifetime publicity to fluoride and cognitive features in Chinese language youngsters: a pilot research.

One other Harvard-based research was carried out in China and revealed in 2015, finding out what occurs to the brains of youngsters uncovered to fluoride. (8)

This pilot research discovered that youngsters with average to extreme fluorosis had extra points with cognition than youngsters with no fluorosis.

What’s lacking: Ranges of fluoride in Chinese language groundwater are sometimes greater than within the US.

This research solely examined 51 youngsters, which isn’t a big pattern measurement to make large conclusions.

Why the outcomes matter: When examined on culture-appropriate intelligence scales, youngsters with fluorosis bought decrease scores. Since there’s no technique to successfully decide how a lot fluoride a baby ingests (notably in a Western nation), the truth that scientists don’t know the dosage of fluoride that causes intelligence deficits is fairly regarding.

Impact of fluoridated water on intelligence in 10-12-year-old faculty youngsters

A 2016 research in India regarded on the similar sort of correlation between fluoride and IQ and got here up with related outcomes to different research. (9)

The extra fluoride the scholars had been uncovered to day-after-day, the decrease their IQ.

What’s lacking: As with many different research, the low ranges of fluoride had been correlated with what regular ranges exist already in most United States consuming water.

Why the outcomes matter: Like with the research in China, there isn’t a technique to successfully decide if youngsters within the US have the identical quantity of fluoride of their system as these within the research. Not less than on some stage, fluoride does affect IQ when ingested by way of water.

Group Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Potential Research in New Zealand

That is the one research on my checklist that discovered no relationship between fluoride and IQ ranges.

In New Zealand, over 1,000 individuals had been adopted between the ages of 7-38. The research authors investigated the hyperlink between fluoride and childhood IQ, discovering no important connection. (10)

What’s lacking: Within the subsequent problem of that journal, dentist Invoice Osmunson revealed a response to the New Zealand research. (11)

He discovered two main points—first, in New Zealand, youngsters in non-fluoridated communities are inspired to take fluoride dietary supplements. However the research didn’t examine whole fluoride exposures, simply who was uncovered to group fluoridation.

Osmunson calculates that precise publicity to fluoride was solely completely different by about two-tenths of a degree. That would presumably account for why no IQ distinction was discovered—fluoride publicity was primarily the identical between teams.

Then, the scientists didn’t management for 11 of the 15 variables they themselves criticized different research for not controlling.

These included issues like:

  • Different toxins within the non-fluoridated water, which embody very excessive ranges of lead and copper (Osmunson claims the lead alone may account for a 4-point distinction in IQ ranges)
  • Maternal (mom’s) IQ
  • Socioeconomic standing

Why the outcomes matter: There are points with this research, as with the others, however this research covers extra youngsters than nearly all of others on the subject.

If the variables above may very well be managed, the outcomes is perhaps completely different, but it surely’s additionally doable that the outcomes are nonetheless correct. We will’t know with out extra analysis.

Additional analysis—Fluoride & IQ: The 53 Research (Fluoride Motion Community)

Does fluoride truly work? Doesn’t my youngster want it?

However what concerning the best (however nonetheless pretty controversial) query: does fluoride work to stop cavities?

To reply this query, you must know what you’re truly asking. Do you need to know if topical fluoride works, or if ingested fluoride works?

Does topical fluoride stop cavities?

Sure, topical fluoride strengthens tooth enamel to stop cavities. Utilizing fluoride toothpastes and coverings can assist within the pure remineralization course of and assist to reverse or stop cavities.

The fluoride ion and the calcium ion are very related—they’re just one electron completely different. The enamel and dentin of your pure enamel are made up of many calcium ions.

A fluoride ion is definitely extra bioavailable than dietary calcium, so enamel and bones will uptake this fluoride to rebuild the tooth’s construction. That is good for decay as a result of the fluoride ion is extra proof against acid than the calcium ion.

Cavities happen when micro organism feed the acid in your mouth and trigger “acid assaults” that weaken and destroy your enamel and, ultimately, dentin. Most frequently, this occurs while you eat meals with numerous starchy carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, crackers, and the like.

Since fluoride may be very acid-resistant, it’s much less prone to break down when uncovered to acid.

Does ingested fluoride stop cavities?

The reply to this is dependent upon who you ask.

The American Dental Affiliation (ADA) thinks it does.

So does the Facilities for Illness Management & Prevention (CDC).

Oh, and don’t overlook about The American Academy of Pediatrics.

However the Cochrane Library, one of the trusted organizations for scientific opinions, isn’t so certain, based on their 2015 systematic evaluation. (12)

They clarify that, whereas some research counsel that it reduces childhood cavities, nearly all of these research can’t actually be taken at face worth.

The issue is that since fluoridation was launched, many different societal modifications could also be contributing to individuals getting much less cavities, like:

  • Ease of entry to fluoride toothpastes (which comprise anyplace from 1000 to 7000 instances the quantity of fluoride than present in water)
  • Entry to high quality dental care
  • Public well being initiatives to coach individuals on the significance of dental well being and cavities prevention

Plus, it takes two minutes of brushing with fluoride toothpaste to reap the advantages of topical fluoride.

The seconds faucet water touches your enamel is minimal, at finest, and the fluoride in that water is there in tiny quantities in comparison with toothpaste. Logic, then, tells me that fluoridated water might be contributing little or no to any lower in dental caries.

Nevertheless, an excessive amount of ingested fluoride can truly weaken the construction of enamel from the within.

Up to now, I’ve suggest the usage of fluoride in sure cases when used the right method.

We’re uncovered to numerous fluoride in our surroundings—it’s naturally current to some extent in water, different drinks, toddler formulation, and even the meals we eat. What could have been a well-intentioned concept is leading to far an excessive amount of fluoride publicity and even fluorosis.

I additionally discover the data compiled right here by the Fluoride Motion Community to be very fascinating.

In line with one of the best accessible information, cavity prevalence has gone down at related charges in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.


Nevertheless, these outcomes are contested in a 2018 evaluation that claims non-fluoridated communities don’t have any method aside from fluoride to manage cavities. (13)

A current take a look at the state of cavities in Juneau, Alaska did discover that youngsters had about another cavity earlier than their 18th birthday when fluoride was faraway from the water. (14)

One cavity doesn’t sound like loads, however in the event you’ve ever needed to endure a filling or root canal with a scared youngster, it’s an enormous deal.

I don’t imagine these outcomes are enough to finish the talk, although. There are nonetheless quite a lot of anti-cavity efforts mother and father and kids could make that don’t contain a poisonous chemical.

Right here’s what all of it comes right down to for me: I’d reasonably my youngster develop another cavity, if that really is the statistical threat, than expose them to a chemical related to issues like IQ deficits and even bone most cancers.

What’s the Large Cope with Fluoridated Water? Is fluoride unhealthy for you?

I cowl numerous the doable risks of fluoride in my article on fluoride information, however listed below are the fundamentals about fluoride risks for expectant moms:

Ingested fluoride crosses the placenta to your fetus.

Whereas your child’s rising s/he’s nourished by what you eat and drink. Sadly, fluoride is ready to go by way of your placenta and throughout the blood-brain barrier of your creating youngster. (2)

For those who select to not (or can’t) breastfeed, your child will get extra fluoride publicity whereas very younger.

I’m an enormous proponent of breastfeeding, but it surely’s not all the time an choice for brand spanking new mothers.

System, typically made with fluoridated water, comprises about 1.5-2 instances the quantity of fluoride present in breastmilk.

It’s principally inconceivable to take away each fluoride publicity in your youngster’s life–and I’m not suggesting you strive.

Nevertheless it’s a good suggestion to make different efforts to scale back fluoride in your life, notably in the event you feed with formulation.

Ingesting fluoride may cause dental fluorosis.

About 12% of youngsters who drink fluoridated water find yourself with fluorosis, and plenty of of those persons are caught with mottled brown enamel as adults, too. (12)

Whereas that is the one hazard of fluoride admitted by main governmental organizations, fluorosis is regarded as beauty, not practical. Nevertheless, fluorosis reveals fluoride publicity, so it’s an indication of an underlying drawback.

I’m pregnant or attempting to get pregnant—what ought to I do?

Listed here are a couple of methods you may restrict fluoride publicity to your rising baby.

1. Change toothpastes

For those who or your associate are pregnant and also you’d like to scale back your child’s publicity to fluoride, begin with a unique toothpaste.

My favourite non-fluoride toothpaste for reversing cavities is Boka’s Ela Mint Toothpaste.

It’s made with nano-hydroxyapatite (NHa) particles that remineralize your enamel as successfully (or extra) than fluoride. (1516)

Boka Ela Mint Toothpaste

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Don’t have cavities? Attempt Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Toothpaste for an all-natural, fluoride-free expertise.

Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Toothpaste

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You can too strive making a DIY toothpaste like this one:

kids' toothpaste

2. Get a water filter that eliminates fluoride

Most typical pitcher and spigot filters don’t filter out fluoride with different particles. For one, filtering fluoride typically requires the usage of silver, which I don’t suggest.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of nice choices you may need to strive.

Most suitable choice: Reverse osmosis filter or water distiller

Reverse osmosis filtration (RO) eliminates nearly all of fluoride particles in your water. If cash isn’t an object and also you’d prefer to do away with fluoride in your home altogether, a reverse osmosis filter in your water system is the way in which to go.

Simply bear in mind {that a} full-house filter like this may occasionally use fairly a bit extra water with a purpose to produce toxin-free water. It additionally removes helpful minerals out of your water that your enamel (and bones) have to operate the correct method.

How a lot does an entire home reverse osmosis system price? Relying on the place you reside, it may very well be upwards of $12,000-18,000 to put in.

Not trying to take out a brand new mortgage to ditch the fluoride? That’s okay—you may strive a countertop distiller or reverse osmosis filter, or an under-sink filter for the kitchen sink.

The largest distinction between these two is {that a} distiller filters out every part, whereas an RO filter leaves about 20-30% of the minerals within the water.

Distillers additionally take longer to supply the ultimate, cleanest product. Every of them will doubtlessly enhance your electrical invoice a bit with a purpose to produce fluoride-filtered mannequin.

Each of those choices price between $150-500. Right here’s a countertop mannequin and under-sink one I like:

H2o Labs Water Distiller

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APEC Consuming Water Filter System

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Least costly choice: ZeroWater Filter Pitcher

There’s just one filter pitcher I’ve seen that eliminates fluoride, and it’s from ZeroWater. Their 5-step filtration course of eliminates over 99% of the dissolved solids in faucet water, together with fluoride.

Though I’m itemizing it as a funds choice, it’s additionally the best alternative to exchange fluoridated consuming water—it requires no set up or counter area.

Zero Water Pitcher with Water High quality Meter

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3. Make straightforward dietary swaps

Being an anticipating mom generally is a problem—one motive being that it appears there’s a ton you may and might’t eat!

Nevertheless, the modifications you may make that assist your physique detox fluoride are pretty hassle-free.

Eat alkaline: Usually, you excrete about 50% of the fluoride you ingest. Consuming a food plan with a lot of alkaline meals (learn: colourful, leafy, non-starchy veggies) bumps that up, so that you don’t cling onto as a lot fluoride.

Attempt tamarind teaIt’s possible you’ll have to order it on-line, however this fashionable Indian tea may be capable of get some fluoride out of your system. (17)

Vadham Tangy Tamarind Iced Tea

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Drink bottled water as an alternative of faucet water: The final rule is that every one bottled water is freed from fluoride—if not, the label has to inform you it comprises fluoride. Whereas there are different points that accompany bottled water, that is one straightforward swap to make.

Go natural: Lots of pesticides used on non-organic meals are made with excessive fluoride content material. Attempt getting natural produce as a lot as doable.

Ditch the processed meals: Boxed, processed meals often comprise much more fluoride than you may anticipate. Attempt a extra complete meals food plan in the event you can.

Last Ideas on Fluoride and IQ

A rising physique of analysis tells us that fluoride publicity could affect childhood IQ.

The most recent main research on the subject was carried out in Mexico. Scientists discovered that prenatal ingestion of fluoride instantly correlated to a drop in IQ for the kids all through the primary 13 years of life.

Plus, there’s numerous conflicted proof about whether or not or not you (or your baby) really want fluoride in any respect.

I personally raised my daughters fluoride-free as a lot as doable—and never a single one bought a cavity!

For those who’re pregnant or attempting to get pregnant, there are some methods it’s possible you’ll need to cut back your fluoride publicity and detox the fluoride in your system:

  1. Change toothpastes
  2. Get a water filter that eliminates fluoride
  3. Make straightforward dietary swaps
  1. Eat alkaline
  2. Attempt tamarind tea
  3. Drink bottled water as an alternative of faucet water
  4. Go natural
  5. Ditch the processed meals

As a brand new father or mother, it may be overwhelming to kind by way of what’s secure and what isn’t. In relation to fluoride, it may be a fairly straightforward repair—and one which provides you with some peace of thoughts to your little bundle of pleasure!



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