The Dr. Dingle newsletter. Always worth reading. This one is about little known consequences of adding fluoride to drinking water. Peter Dingle is one of the leading scientists in Australia. Check out his website at the end of this article.
Newsletter – Welcome to my December/January Newsletter.
I was travelling a lot in December so I didn’t get to finish a December newsletter. Last week I was at a wellness conference at Berkeley University in California. It is the Health Wellness and Society International Conference where I presented a paper on Cholesterol deception and networked with as many liked minded people as possible. I am still over in the US but due back early next week so this is my international version. It has been a great tip but there in nowhere like home.
On the topic of cholesterol and statin drugs this literally came to me today
Just-in-case’ statin drug use is dangerous 19 January 2011
Many people who reach their mid-fifties will be on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, often as a ‘just-in-case’ measure. But the practice offers no benefits, and it could even be harmful, a new study suggests. People who don’t have heart problems shouldn’t be taking a statin drug, which can cause liver problems, kidney failure and muscle weakness, say researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration. As we age, cholesterol also becomes more important, and helps the brain function efficiently. Some cases of dementia in the elderly are caused by too low levels of cholesterol rather than ageing. Lead researcher Fiona Taylor says: “The decision to prescribe statins in this group (older people with no heart problems) should not be taken lightly.” Doctors routinely prescribe statins to most patients over the age of 55 or so; low-dose versions of the drugs are also available at pharmacies without a prescription. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011; 1: CD004816
The Cochrane collaboration is the most prestigious research collaboration in the world and even they are starting to say what I have been saying. While in the USA I also heard the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is also reviewing the use of statins. Yes!
As a result of a lot of requests I am also planning a lot more public seminars this year including some over in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane so stay tuned to the newsletter for the dates.
In this newsletter I decided to focus on Fluoride because it has been in the international press over some new US studies and the move to lower the amount of fluoride in US water.
Also we have a guest speaker coming over from the US to speak on fluoride in two weeks time on Saturday February 12 at the WA State Library from 11-12.00. The speaker is Prof Paul Connett of St Lawrence University, New York (and founder of the Fluoride Action Network in the US). I will send out more details of this in a week or so. In the mean time If you’re interested ring James on 0423 026548
The Federal US government a few weeks ago (8/1/2011) said that getting too much fluoride in the water causes fluorosis, spots on some kids’ teeth. As a result the US government plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies — the first such change in nearly 50 years. Around 40% of adolescents, kids ages 12 through 15, were reported to show signs of excess fluoride. In some extreme cases, teeth can even be pitted by the mineral. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing changing the recommended fluoride level to 0.7 milligrams per litre of water. The standard since 1962 has been a range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per litre, much the same as in Australia.
So what is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a ubiquitous chemical and is found in virtually all foods, but mostly in trace amounts. It is thought that diet contributes only about 0.2 to 1 mg fluoride/day, however, some particular foods do contain appreciable quantities of fluoride. Dried fish, particularly those such as sardines, which are eaten complete with bones, may contain up to 60-70 ppm fluoride.
Dental products are probably responsible for most fluoride exposure today (at least in the US and Australia), with toothpastes being the most familiar products These can contain sodium fluoride, sodium monofluorophophate (Na2PO3F) or stannous (tin) fluoride (SnF2) in concentrations up to 1,000 ppm. Children particularly, tend to swallow large amounts of toothpaste, with some estimates suggesting 35% of the toothpaste used, and it is quite possible for a child who brushes two or three times a day to receive at least 1 mg of fluoride solely from this source. Other medicinal or semi-medicinal substances containing fluoride include tooth powders, chewing gums, mouthwashes, vitamin and mineral supplements, dental floss, toothpicks, some medicines and fluoride drops or tablets (recommended for children in areas with non-fluoridated water). Topical applications of fluoride by dentists may possibly be a major fluoride source in the portion of the community that visits the dentist regularly.
Other sources of fluoride include teflon cooking pans, which have a polyvinyl chloride base, and air pollutants. Chronic effects are such that fluoride has caused more damage to livestock and, presumably, native animals, than any other atmospheric pollutant.
Like the US in Australia Fluoride levels in water are generally from about 0.5 to 1.5 ppm, with, it is claimed, that the greatest benefits against dental caries occurring around 1 ppm. Most Australian drinking water has been fluoridated since 1968 under the “Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act” of 1966. Although you might remember the debate in Queensland about Brisbane water a few years ago.
It should be noted that addition of fluoride to public water supplies results in fluoride pollution of the environment. It is estimated that a public water supply authority must supply about 250 L/day/person. Since only around one to two litres are drunk, the rest of the fluoridated water must end up in the environment, mainly in the sewerage system where it is not removed, or in the soil (particularly if gardens are watered with the fluoridated water).
The NHMRC does not consider the daily intake of fluorides of 1 ppm from the water supply to be excessive when other factors such as food, dental products (toothpastes, etc.) and beverages are considered. It seems now that this may be wrong based on the latest US studies. However, there is considerable controversy over the safety of these levels among other prominent scientific groups around the world. It has been suggested by some scientists that the amount of fluoride received in the water supply plus fluorides ingested from foods is more than our bodies can tolerate. Side effects such as RSI, cancers, occurrence of Downs syndrome, fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, hypersensitivity and oesteosclerosis have been attributed to daily over exposure of fluoride.
The first conclusive evidence of chronic fluoride poisoning is dental fluorosis. This only affects teeth that were forming or calcifying during a period of high fluoride consumption, even if this period was of only seasonal or monthly duration (developing teeth can also be affected if the animal has a high fluoride body burden from previous excessive exposure). Teeth developed before exposure of the animal to fluoride will not be damaged. Teeth with dental fluorosis are permanently damaged and will not be repaired if fluoride consumption ceases (except for some cases of animals which have perpetually growing teeth – such as rodents).
In the least severe cases of dental fluorosis the teeth are mottled with patches of white. This chalky, dead white colour is easily distinguishable from the normal pearly translucence of unaffected teeth. As the severity of poisoning increases the mottling spreads from a few spots to entire teeth and in severe cases all the teeth may have this chalky appearance. After the eruption of the tooth a dark substance (possibly containing magnesium) can be deposited on the affected areas, turning them from white to yellow, brown or black. This staining is usually most pronounced on the incisors and canines, the areas exposed to light, although sunlight is not thought to be involved.
Fluoride can also cause degenerative changes in the tooth structure, a fact known since 1925. The teeth may vary in size, shape and position and, combined with the colouring, the resulting mouth can appear quite hideous and almost unrecognisable as mouths.
Another form of fluorosis is skeletonal fluorosis; the effect of fluoride on the bones. This form of fluorosis can be caused at any time of the animals’ life, not just during bone formation. Fluoride affects the bone in a similar way to that of the teeth. An abnormal and irregular precipitation of the mineral (principally calcium) salts occurs; in coarse granules rather than in smooth, fine particles, and the organic matrix binding the bone is also abnormal and irregular.
All bones can be affected by fluoride induced growth, but a few bones are particularly at risk. The vertebral column often develops major deposits, resulting in stiffness of the back, the affected animals often standing with a hunched posture. The skull and mandibles also seem common sites of bone growth. The pelvis and long leg bones are also frequently affected.
In addition to the stiffness caused by bones being bound together by deposits, many of the tendons and cartilages calcify. The spinal discs become bone-like, harder and less elastic as calcification continues. Ligaments, tendons and muscle attachments become calcified and less supple. Consequently, skeletonal fluorosis severely limits the mobility of an affected animal.
It is not positively known what levels of fluoride are needed to induce skeletonal fluorosis, but it appears to be at levels similar to, or only slightly higher than, the levels required for dental fluorosis. The higher the dose of fluoride the more abnormal the bone structures become, so only very mild cases (whitening of the more susceptible bones and slight thickening) can be expected in normal ranges of fluoride exposure.
Unlike dental fluorosis, skeletonal fluorosis may be reversible. There is some evidence that if high fluoride intake is stopped, excretion continues at nearly the same level until excess fluoride is removed from the skeleton, and the bones return to their former shape. This process is very slow, however, often taking a decade to remove half of the stored fluoride.
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