Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Should I Be Avoiding Fluoride? A New Study Warns Pregnant Women to Stay Away

Is pregnancy exposure to fluoride a cause of early childhood ADHD?   According to a new study, it might be.  

This particular study has the participation of some very well known Universities and research entities including  experts from the University of Toronto, York University, the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, University of Michigan, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Harvard University. The team  specifically found:

1. "that children with elevated prenatal exposure to fluoride were more likely to show symptoms of ADHD " . Specifically "inattentive behaviors and cognitive problems, but not with hyperactivity.

The same team recently found in a previous study that higher levels of urine fluoride during pregnancy are associated with lower scores on tests of IQ and cognition in the school-age children.  

Wait- I thought Fluoride was safe and prevented cavities?!

Well, its a fierce debate.  Yes it does prevent cavities ... but is there a cost?

For over 60 years the water in the US has had fluoride added to it in order to prevent tooth decay.   Just about every single dentist you meet will tell you that fluoride is an important ally in the fight against cavities and encourage even the youngest children to use fluoride toothpaste and use a fluoride treatment in their bi annual dental check ups.

But, the reality is that for years now there has been a fierce debate over the safety of water fluoridation —  Extremely high levels of fluoride are known to cause neurotoxicity in adults, and negative impacts on memory and learning have been reported in rodent studies, but little is known about the substance’s impact on children’s neurodevelopment

A 2012 meta analysis of existing studies by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)  concluded that there is a "strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. " and went as far as to declare "“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,”

How Am I Exposed to Fluoride?

The main sources of fluoride are:

1.  drinking water
2.  toothpaste
3.  dentist's office

How Can I Decrease my Fluoride Exposure (especially if pregnant or with young children)?

1.  Buy the Right Water Filter:   I can't stress enough how important it is to get your water tested and find a water filtration system that best meets your needs.... not just due to fluoride in water but, this is yet another reason to invest in one! Water fluoridation represents 30% to 70% of a typical individual’s total exposure.   I wrote a details guide on how to choose a water Filtration System  and I specifically mention the one I purchased for my family too.

2.  Switch to a fluoride free toothpaste.  Especially if you are pregnant, especially with children.

Fluoride is not the only thing you should be avoiding in your toothpaste.  Avoid:  PEG-12 , artificial colors, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and SLES, Triclosan and Propylene glycol, Sodium benzoate.  I have my favorites in my Amazon Shop (click on the SHOP tab at the top of the page!) 

3  Have an honest conversation at your dentist's office.   I usually say no to the dental fluoride treatments and x rays in me and my kids bi yearly visits, however if you have a child that is prone to cavities have an honest conversation.  Truth is that if you are good about avoiding fluoride in water at home and in toothpaste I think the dentist's office is not such a huge source.   And if x-rays are warranted then they are important (maybe opt for every two/three years unless there is a special need or after age 5 etc) 

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