Water Fluoridation Linked To Diabetes | Health Blog

Date: 08/30/2016    Written by: Beth Levine

Fluoride and Diabetes

Water Fluoridation Linked To Diabetes | Health Blog

Throughout our childhoods, most of us grew up seeing advertising about the benefits of fluoride. We could only have strong, healthy teeth if we brushed several times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. But now that we’re adults, some of us are aware that supplementing with fluoride might do much more harm than good. And a big part of the problem lies in the “other” sources of fluoride beyond our toothpaste. In fact, new research suggests that, in addition to all the other problems associated with fluoride that we’ve talked about on this site, the fluoride in our water may be linked with a higher risk of diabetes.

The study, which was conducted at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, found that common forms of water fluoridation may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.1 These findings were based on an analysis of public data cross referencing the levels of fluoride in water in a region against local diabetes incidence. A series of mathematical models was designed to evaluate diabetes prevalence as measured against water with natural fluoridation and added fluoridation.

Glucotor v.2 from Baseline Nutritionals

After assessing water fluoridation and diabetes rates throughout 22 states, the researcher discovered that a one milligram increase in average county fluoride levels was indicative of a 0.17 percent rise in diabetes prevalence even after adjusting for age. Exposure levels to fluoride were based on the estimated per capita tap water consumption.

What’s more, since different treatment facilities add various types of fluoride to the water supply in their locale, the scientist compared what impact each type might have. He discovered that the kinds of fluoride added to the water that were most closely tied to greater numbers of diabetes cases are sodium fluoride and sodium fluorosilicate. Fluorosilicic acid was the only form according to this particular study that did not appear to be linked with an increase in diabetes in the area.

Sodium fluoride was the first kind of fluoride added to water supplies, but fluorosilicic acid is the most commonly used additive. And sodium fluorosilicate is the sodium salt version of fluorosilicic acid. But even if fluorosilicic acid was not associated with diabetes in the current study, all forms of fluoride have been linked to health problems. And most tellingly, the counties that did not add fluoride to their water supplies, relying instead on the naturally occurring fluoride levels, were found to have lower rates of diabetes.

Plus, water is not the only source of  “other” fluoride that we consume. Aside from the fluoride toothpaste that we use at least twice a day as we brush, we are also ingesting fluoride in beverages—from Coca Cola to various brands of bottled tea—that use fluoridated water, as well as processed foods and pharmaceutical products.

While the current research was not set up to prove cause and effect regarding fluoride and diabetes, it certainly provides evidence that we shouldn’t ignore. Nor is it the first investigation suggesting a link between fluoridated water and diabetes. A 2009 study at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, Mexico showed that fluoride exposure can impair our glucose tolerance.2

Even worse, fluoride has been noted as a contributing factor in a number of health issues, including cancer, arthritis, increased risk of bone fractures, kidney disease, thyroid disease, cardiovascular problems, and endocrine damage. And the United States is one of only a few countries in which widespread numbers of water supplies are supplemented with fluoride. Other than a few nations such as Ireland, Australia, and Chile, most governments seem ready to admit that this additive is harmful to our health.

But shy of moving to another country, it is possible to limit your intake of fluoride. Invest in a high quality water filter that contains filtering media specifically designed to significantly reduce the levels of fluoride in your water, as well as many other detrimental chemicals. Just don’t switch to bottled water—most brands contain fluoride, plus you’ll be on the receiving end of the toxins in the plastic that can leach into your water.

  • 1. Fluegge, Kyle. "Community water fluoridation predicts increase in age-adjusted incidence and prevalence of diabetes in 22 states from 2005 and 2010." Journal of Water and Health. 24 May 2016. Accessed 23 August 2016. http://jwh.iwaponline.com/content/early/2016/05/24/wh.2016.012.
  • 2. Garcia-Montalvo, EA; et al. "Fluoride exposure impairs glucose tolerance via decreased insulin expression and oxidative stress." Toxicology. 19 September 2009. Accessed 24 August 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540901.

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    Submitted by Steven Slott on
    August 31, 2016 - 12:12pm
    Burlington , North Carolina

    Ok, let's sort through this mess of an article.

    1. As the author, Ms. Levine, stated, fluorosilic acid is the substance most widely utilized to fluoridate water systems. However, what she dishonestly omitted was the fact that not only does FSA "not appear to be linked with an increase in diabetes in the area.", the study reported that FSA is associated with a decrease in diabetes incidence and prevalence.

    Given that Levine stated "most tellingly, the counties that did not add fluoride to their water supplies, relying instead on the naturally occurring fluoride levels, were found to have lower rates of diabetes." with the last 8 words being emboldened by her......clearly her omission of the finding that FSA is associated with lower diabetes rates, was intentional and completely dishonest.

    2. The other fact about this diabetes "study" is that its author differentiated between "natural fluoride" and that added through fluoridation. In actuality, fluoride is a negatively charged atom of the element fluorine. There is no difference between one such atom of fluorine, and another, regardless the source compound from which it is released.

    As water flows over rocks it picks up these fluorine atoms (fluoride ions) which have been leached from calcium fluoride and fluorosilicates in those rocks. These fluoride ions are to what is commonly referred as being "naturally occurring" fluoride.

    When FSA, or other fluorosilicates are introduced into water they immediately and completely hydrolyze (dissociate) into fluoride ions, identical to that "naturally occurring" fluoride, and trace contaminants in barely detectable amounts well below the EPA mandated maximum allowable levels of safety. After this point the fluuorosilicates no longer exist in that water. They do not reach the tap. They are not ingested.

    Thus, the complete fallacy of this "study" is the fact that its author implies an effect attributable to a substance which is not ingested. Therefore, there is nothing credible about any of his findings.

    Considering that these fatal flaws in the study will not deter antifluoridationists from still proclaiming it, as does Levine, as "evidence" of a link between fluoridated water and diabetes.......then when doing so, they must admit that most fluoridated water supplies are protective against diabetes by virtue of the fact that they are fluoridated with FSA which the "study" demonstrated to be associated with a reduced incidence of diabetes.

    So, Ms. Levine.....which is it going to be? Acceptance that the study you put forth as "evidence" of an association with diabetes, is not worth the paper on which it printed, or acceptance of the fact that if you accord credence to the study, you are admitting that fluoridated water is actually protective against diabetes?

    3. The third item about Levine's article are the unsubstantiated claims she makes about a laundry list of purported adverse health effects which she claims have been "noted". 'Noted" where, on antifluoridationist websites and blogs? It certainly has not been "noted" in valid peer-reviewed science. There is no such science that demonstrates any adverse effects of optimally fluoridated water. If Ms. Levine cares to argue the point then I challenge her to produce valid peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any adverse effects of optimally fluoridated water, properly cited to original sources, unfiltered through antifluoridationist websites. Her inevitable inability to do so will be taken as an admission that she can substantiate none of her irresponsible claims.

    Now, the question is whether this site will have the integrity to publish my comment, or will it, as do most antifluoridationist sites, exercise censorship in lieu of providing facts and evidence?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Information Director
    American Fluoridation Society

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 4, 2016 - 3:39am

    Nothing was “dishonestly omitted.” It appears you missed a key line in Beth’s article. “Fluorosilicic acid was the only form according to this particular study that did not appear to be linked with an increase in diabetes in the area.” Or where she says, “But even if fluorosilicic acid was not associated with diabetes in the current study,..” Your first objection, then, is not based on what was actually written in Beth’s blog, but what you imagined was there.

    As for your second concern, to claim that there is no difference between naturally occurring fluoride and the fluoride added to water is a bit disingenuous to say the least. While it is true that one atom of fluorine is the same as another is true, it’s never delivered into the body as pure fluorine. Naturally occurring fluoride is found in the form of calcium fluoride (CaF2). Compare this to sodium fluoride (NaF), sodium fluorosilicate (Na2[SiF6]), and fluorosilicic acid ((H3O)2SiF6), the three forms chemically added to water. And those are all very different chemically. 

    And the statement that all forms of fluoride hydrolyze  in water is simply not true. If it were true, then you would never find naturally occurring calcium fluoride in water—only fluoride ions. Res ipsa loquitur.

    And in answer to your third point, it’s probably worth pointing out that the study that Beth was reporting on was itself a peer reviewed study. And there are a number of peer reviewed studies that call into question the safety of adding fluoride to water—even from some unexpected sources such as the ADA. For example:

    The bottom line, though, is that nothing we present is likely to dissuade you from your endorsement of fluoride in drinking water. Going forward, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

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