Many clinicians share a concern that fluoride may play a role in the all too common symptoms of low thyroid function such as fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet, dry skin, irregular bowel function and brain fog. The concern stems from the fact that fluoride comes from the same family of elements as iodine. Iodine is the essential component to thyroid hormone. Is the fluoride upsetting the iodine balance in the body leading to widespread symptoms that we see today? Is fluoride abundance in our water (and basically all beverages) overriding what many see as iodine deficiency? This area has not been looked at sufficiently to know for sure. Apprehension with fluoride also comes from links of fluoride treatment to cancer [Source: Yiamouyiannis]. Fluoride treatments in male rats are associated with bone cancer. Concerns have also been raised for increased risks to the thyroid and liver.
Water fluoridation also poses some risk because the dosage is assumed to be the same for everyone. Infants and the elderly may be much more susceptible to changes in fluoride levels and should be watched closely [Source: Whitford]. Fluoride levels do not just include drinking water but also will also be affected by soft drinks, juices and soups. A potentially large source of fluoride is toothpaste. Fluoride is added to toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste should not be swallowed and therefore not used for toddlers or anyone cannot sufficiently spit all of the toothpaste out. There are cases of acute fluoride poisoning from water systems, including side effects up to death [Source: Gessner].
Unfortunately, the data concerning water fluoridation is considered by many to be subpar at best. There are really no recent double blind studies to know if additional fluoride is worthwhile or not. Even dentists and members of the American Dental Association are now discussing whether water fluoridation is actually helpful [Source: Coffel]. Interestingly, fluoride has been sourced from leftover waste from aluminum and phosphate industries. Fluoride when applied topically can be done and then removed (spit) from the body, posing much less risk to the system than fluoride that is ingested and absorbed throughout.
Any treatment that is added to water to treat the masses should be done with the utmost care. There really exists no medication or supplement that is tolerated by everyone. Aspirin, Tylenol and even a simple B12 vitamin may cause problems with some individuals. When a potential toxicant is added to the water, it will be hard, if not impossible, to track those who are sensitive to the material. If fluoride is helpful to the teeth, it should be applied directly to the teeth. Placing fluoride in the water makes it available to all of the tissues where it really is not wanted, in the rest of bones, the nervous system and the thyroid gland. At least there should be greater research and knowledge of what symptoms to look for with fluoride toxicity in those who are most sensitive. Adding nutrients or drugs to the water supply is a quick way to supply the masses. It also poses the potential to harm many who do not tolerate the given additive. In this case, the best scenario would be to supply fluoride in the safe, targeted manner that does not harm the rest of the body.