Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn UK scientists.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in women was at least 30% more likely in areas with fluoride levels in excess of 0.3 mg/l, confirms new research just published in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain and depression, among other things. The NZ Ministry of Heatlh recommends fluoride chemicals be added to water at 0.7mg/L to 1mg/L.
According to the researchers “In many areas of the world, hypothyroidism is a major health concern and in addition to other factors such as iodine deficiency fluoride exposure should be considered as a contributing factor. The findings of the study raise particular concerns about the validity of community fluoridation as a safe public health measure”.
“People have always been concerned about fluoridation’s ability to lower thyroid activity since it was known that doctors in Argentina, France and Germany used fluoride to lower thyroid function in people with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Finally we have solid research confirming these fears”, says Dr Paul Connett, an international expert on fluoridation who is touring New Zealand at present.
“This clears up two mysteries. Many people who report being sensitive to fluoride have the same symptoms as those with hypothyroidism. Secondly, this offers an additional explanation as to why fluoride lowers IQ in children”, adds Dr Bill Hirzy, former senior scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency, who is touring with Dr Connett.
Hypothyroidism is a huge problem in New Zealand with thousands of women being diagnosed every year. Iodine deficiency is also prevalent. Hypothyrodism during pregnancy can lower the child’s IQ by 7 points, according to 1999 research published by the US National Institute for Child Health and Human Development . The same 7 point IQ drop was shown by a Harvard University meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies in 2012,.
“This research invalidates the conclusions of the recent New Zealand Fluoridation Report that claimed fluoridation is safe”. says Mary Byrne, National Co-ordinator of health advocacy group Fluoride-Free NZ.
“The 23 New Zealand councils (out of a total of 67) that are still fluoridating need to stop immediately. There is no justification for continuing to add fluoridation chemicals to their community’s water supply when they cannot guarantee safety and now we have evidence of harm at this level. The claimed reason for fluoridation to reduce dental decay is now out-dated since promoters admit the primary benefit is from contact to the outside of the tooth, not from swallowing. So there is not even a benefit /risk to weigh up since fluoridation is all about risk. And even if it weren’t, thyroid function is far more important to a person’s overall health than a dental filling”, says Ms Byrne.
Effective, education based programs for reducing dental decay as used in Scotland and Wales, along with similar programs in NZ, provide safe, effective oral health improvements without the unacceptable health risks of water fluoridation now confirmed by solid research. The Childsmile program in Scotland has more than halved the cost of treating dental disease by reducing the number of hospital admissions required.
The UK thyroid research was based on complete data provided by 7935 (out of 8020) UK general practices. The researchers also carried out a secondary analysis, comparing two built up areas, one of which (West Midlands) was supplied with fluoridated drinking water, and the other of which (Greater Manchester) was not. They found general practices in West Midlands were twice as likely to report high hypothyroid prevalence.