“Fluoridation is likely to be depressing the iodine levels of Whakatane and Ohope people and causing illness” says Dr Mogan Poppe in the Whakatane Beacon last week.
Dr Poppe goes on to explain that halogens like chloride, bromide and fluoride have a higher affinity to the iodine receptor and that thus like other halogens fluoride is likely to lower iodine levels. He says this is particularly worrying since iodine is an essential nutrient and iodine deficiency is linked to many diseases such as thyroid disease, fibro-cystic bread disease, prostate problem, uterine fibroids and possibly breast cancer.
Dr Poppe is a practicing GP in Ohope and recently carried out iodine level testing of 101 randomly selected patients. He found a very worrying situation where only 9% of the people had adequate iodine levels.
“It was illogical that fluoride was added to drinking water because some people did not insist on their children brushing their teeth” says Dr Poppe.
In response Dr Neil De Wit, Medical Officer of Health from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, says that fluoride’s ability to increase thyroid-related diseases had been looked at and dismissed in 1957.
It appears Dr De Wit may have been referring to the fact that doctors in Germany, France and Argentina used to use fluoride at doses not much different than people are receiving today through fluoridated water, to lower thyroid in people with over-active thyroids. This treatment was successful but was discontinued in the late 1950s when safer drugs became available.
It also appears that Dr De Wit is not up to date with modern day research on the issue. In 2006, the US National Research Council published the most comprehensive review of fluorides in drinking water to date. They confirmed that very low levels of fluoride do interfere with thyroid function. In fact, NZ research also confirms that bottle fed babies will be exceeding he Upper Limit 30% of the time when water is fluoridated at 0.7ppm and 90% of the time when water is fluoridated at 1ppm. Most fluoridated water in New Zealand is fluoridated at 0.85ppm.
Dr Poppe says research into the link between fluoridation and iodine deficiency, and the incidences of diseases such as breast cancer, ADHD etc was urgently needed.