- New research shows that children’s intelligence may be negatively affected by their mother’s exposure to fluoride during pregnancy
- Fluoride intake is associated with many health issues, including neurological problems
- During pregnancy especially, it is important to use a good filtration system that removes fluoride added to your water supply
Study On The Dangers of Fluoride
Fluoride is one of those health topics about which many people feel somewhat confused. After all, we grew up hearing all about the importance of using toothpaste with fluoride to protect our teeth and prevent cavities. In fact, it was added to the water supply in many areas to promote better dental health. Certainly, people in the alternative health community have challenged the so-called benefits and claimed safety of fluoride for years. Some 20 years ago, in fact, Jon Barron spent significant time in the first edition of Lessons of the Miracle Doctors explaining these issues and has continued to speak out in multiple articles since then. But more recently, the scientific community has started to get onboard so we’ve begun to hear from them as well about the significant downside to fluoride use, such as links to neurological conditions, cancer, diabetes, and a range of other health problems. And now, the negatives to fluoride expand further, as new research suggests it could impact our children’s mental capabilities.
The study, which took place at York University in Toronto, Canada, found that when pregnant women are exposed to fluoride their children may be more likely to have a lower IQ.[fn]Green, Rivka; et al. “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada.” JAMA Pediatrics. 19 August 2019. Accessed 26 August 2019. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2748634.[/fn] These results are based on an investigation that included more than 500 women with babies across six cities in Canada. Roughly half the subjects were residing in locations such as Toronto that have fluoridated drinking water, and the other half were residing in places like Vancouver where no fluoride is added to the water supply.
There were two ways in which fluoride intake was analyzed. The researchers collected urine samples from the participants during pregnancy and tested fluoride levels. In addition, they questioned the volunteers about their water consumption and determined the fluoride intake from the quantity of fluoride added to that particular city’s water supply. Interestingly, both girls and boys had a slightly lower IQ when maternal fluoride intake and water fluoride concentration were higher, but only boys were similarly affected when fluoride levels were elevated in urine samples.
Fluoride’s Potential Impact on Intelligence
Despite the fact that the IQ difference among children who were exposed to fluoride and those who were not was only a few points, the findings are very disturbing. After all, the numbers are an average, and some children are more likely affected than others.
As was noted earlier, fluoride is associated with neurological problems, which are conditions that affect the brain and central nervous system. Therefore, it is not a huge leap to reach the conclusion that fluoride may contribute to damage within the brain, which would have an even greater impact on the developing brain of a fetus. What’s more, the current research is not the first to find evidence of problems connected to fluoride use in pregnancy. A 2017 study at the University of Toronto in Canada also showed that children exposed to fluoride before birth had lower scores on tests of cognitive function than their peers without fluoride exposure.[fn]Bashash, Morteza; et al. “Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6-12 Years of Age in Mexico.” Environmental Health Perspectives. 19 September 2017. Accessed 27 August 2019. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP655.[/fn]
Avoiding Fluoride and Its Potential Health Problems
Since fluoride offers no benefit whatsoever during pregnancy, it seems to be a no-brainer that women should strive to limit their exposure to fluoride after conception. But the rest of us might want to curb our intake as well to avoid the many other complications associated with fluoride. If your water does not contain added fluoride, you are pretty safe and may just need to switch your brand of toothpaste to one that’s fluoride free. Many companies make good alternatives, including Tom’s of Maine, Dr. Bronner’s, and Desert Essence.
On the other hand, if you live in a locale that adds fluoride to the water supply, you will want to invest in a good filtration system. (Check out Jon Barron’s water filter recommendation which removes fluoride.) Do some research before you buy, since not all water filters remove fluoride. Systems using reverse osmosis, distillation, activated alumina, or de-ionization are generally very effective.