– Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
Reduced Kidney Function Leads To Fluoride Accumulation In Blood; Authors Warn Of Effects For Those With Chronic Kidney Disease
An analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2013 and 2016 has found that teenagers who suffer reduced kidney function accumulate more fluoride in their blood.
“Water fluoridation results in higher plasma fluoride levels in those with lower renal function. How routine water fluoridation may affect the many millions of Americans with Chronic Kidney Disease, who are particularly susceptible to heavy metal and mineral accumulation, needs to be further investigated,” write the authors from Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health June 7 in Environmental Health (Danziger, et al, 2022).
Reflecting on the implications of their results, the scientists write, “Our findings suggest that renal function influences the degree to which plasma fluoride levels increase in relation to levels of drinking water fluoridation found widely in the United States. While the observed associations were modest, with a 0.11 micromole per liter difference in plasma fluoride concentrations between the highest and lowest quartile of renal function, the healthy and young nature of the study sample may underestimate levels of fluoride accumulation among the many millions of Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Furthermore, given that ingested fluoride is rapidly distributed throughout the body, circulating plasma levels may underestimate levels of fluoride tissue deposition that, in turn, are relevant to toxicity. Accordingly, our observed trend toward effect modification, with higher plasma fluoride levels observed per 1 mg/L water fluoride exposure in those with lower renal function, might suggest even greater unrecognized hazards for individuals with CKD.
“Given that there are more than 20 million Americans living with CKD, among whom the hazard of fluoridation would be highest in those with severe disease, further research is needed to assure water safety for all,” they conclude.
Silkworm larvae reared on mulberry leaves impregnated with a sodium fluoride solution suffered damage to their intestinal cells and alteration of their gut microbiota, according to a new report from several Chinese universities in Science of the Total Environment (Li, et al, 2022).
The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a model organism used widely around the world. Its complete genome has been sequenced.
“Silkworm is an excellent interspecies model organism in the environmental pollution assessment and health and safety investigation particularly in the evaluation of the toxicity and toxicological mechanisms of multiple toxic substances,” note the authors.
They found the fluoride reduced insect body weight and survival, and impaired the structural integrity of the intestine.
The authors were particularly concerned over fluoride’s effect on the microbiota gut blood barrier (MGBB), noting the chemical caused a perturbation of the normal microbial community that is thought to be involved in protecting the animal from toxins.
“Notably, our previous work, which focused on the relationship among fluoride, intestinal microbiota, and silkworms with different fluoride resistance, showed that the structure of intestinal microbiota is associated with the fluoride resistance capability of the silkworm, indicating that the specific intestinal microorganisms in the micro-ecosystem probably enhances fluoride metabolism,” they concluded.
“MGBB is a complex multi-layer system that determines the absorption of nutrients, bacterial metabolites, and many other substances. The impairment of integrity and permeability of MGBB is accompanied by the development of multiple systemic diseases, such as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases,” note the authors.
Concerned that fluoride exposure hinders bone healing, and wanting to understand this adverse effect in addition to the direct toxic effect of fluoride in skeletal fluorosis, researchers from Chongqing Medical University have found in a study of rats that the toxin perturbs the normal complement of macrophage cells in bones.
“Long-term and excess fluoride consumption induces disturbed homeostasis of the bone and a series of chronic systemic diseases,” note the authors in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (Du, et al, 2022).
“By constructing a bone fracture model [in rats], we found that high fluoride intake influences bone fracture by attenuating endochondral ossification and angiogenesis,” they said, referring to the production of bone and blood vessels.
They specifically found that a particular group of anti-inflammatory macrophages decrease in number with the high fluoride concentration, altering their ratio, or polarization, with proinflammatory macrophages.
They conclude, “Although this study does not directly address the cause-and-effect relationship between fluoride-induced macrophage polarization and the impairment of fracture repair, it still provides an important reference for the clinical treatment of bone fracture patients with a history of high fluoride intake or skeletal fluorosis.”
“In the broad sense of the term, dental fluorosis is no longer seen merely as an aesthetic defect. It is increasingly being emphasized that fluorosis is not an isolated symptom but instead accompanied by systemic disorders. While the effect of a fluoride supply above the norm is visible on the teeth and may appear to be a cosmetic problem only, it can lead to long latent but ultimately severe health conditions. Children with clinically diagnosed dental fluorosis also suffer from such conditions as delayed somatic development, decreased metabolic activity in bone tissue, and magnesium deficiency. Adults with dental fluorosis are more frequently diagnosed with osteoporosis of the long bones, degenerative changes in the spine, kidney stones, thyroid disorders, and hematological changes”.
-Izabela Struzycka and others. Assessing fluorosis incidence in areas with low fluoride content in the drinking water, fluorotic enamel architecture, and composition alterations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, June 10, 2022.
A study of emissions from the incinerator at the Manchester, NH water treatment plant has found that large amounts of toxic fluoride is being released into the air from the burning of sewage sludge, leading the plant’s operator to blame water fluoridation.
“The plant’s chief engineer and operator, Fred McNeill, believes fluoridation of Manchester drinking water, which has been going on since the early 2000s, is responsible for the unexplained releases of fluoride,” reported the Manchester Union Leader June 25.
“The incinerator destroyed 51% of the mass of PFAS chemicals contained in the sludge that it incinerated, according to research findings.
“But in the biggest quandary, the amount of fluoride released into the air — about 16 kilograms a day — is 44,000 times the amount that scientists could explain,” reported the newspaper.
Former state representative Mindi Messmer of New Hampshire Science and Public Health said, “It’s clear to me, if you’re having greater output than input, something is wrong.” She was in agreement with the suggestion that the EPA appears hesitant to regulate fluoride as a pollutant due to public health agencies “hailing its benefit to dental health.”
A Grim Portrait Of Dental Care In The UK:
More Than 2,000 Dentists Leave National Health Service In England
In a commentary in the London Review of Books June 22 Arianne Shavisi paints a grim portrait of access to dental care in England, comparing the plight of much of the population to that chronicled by George Orwell in the 1940s.
“Merely being seen by a dentist now costs £23.80 in England,” she writes,” and more complex work can set you back £282.80, which is a week’s earnings on minimum wage. That’s if you’re lucky enough to get on an NHS list; private fees are much higher. Only a third of UK adults are now NHS patients. More than two thousand dentists left the NHS last year, and large areas of the country are now ‘dental deserts’ where people wait years for treatment.
The problem is the same as it was in 1948: the budget for NHS dentistry is inadequate to meet the population’s needs. Real terms government funding has fallen by more than £650 million since 2010, leaving patient contributions to rise by 40 per cent to cover the shortfall. Dentists have criticised government contracts that carve up and remunerate their work in ways that disincentivise more time-consuming, complicated care.
“Dentistry is supposed to be free for children, but more than half cannot access NHS care. Many poorer children never have the luxury of check-ups, and instead see a dentist only when the problem has become distractingly painful or unsightly. Those growing up in the most deprived households are five times more likely to need extractions than those from the wealthiest. The problem isn’t a minor one: tooth decay is the leading cause of hospitalisation in children aged between five and nine.
“In the absence of dentists and disposable income, many are resorting to DIY fixes. For less than ten pounds, you can buy an emergency kit from a supermarket or high street pharmacy which includes the cleaning agents, tools and cement to put in a ‘temporary’ filling that can last for months if you chew carefully, while the tooth may continue to rot underneath. There has also been a rise in those who, deciding ‘teeth is just a misery’, perform their own extractions.”
While she unquestioningly endorses water fluoridation, she notes that proper nutrition is more important, and makes clear that lack of access to dental care is a major problem that is becoming worse.
An investigation of the fluoride content of the powdered green tea called matcha has found high levels of fluoride in the product and in the beverages produced from it.
Researchers at the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin have found that the dry product contains over 118 milligrams of fluoride per kilogram, and that the brewed beverage made from matcha contains 3.36 to 4.03 mg/L of fluoride. They also noted that the fluoride content was dependent on both the leaf harvest time and brewing temperature (Jakubczyk, et al, 2022).
According to the authors matcha green tea powder is growing in popularity.
“It is grown mainly in Japan and, increasingly, also in China and Korea. It is appreciated for its distinctive flavour and aroma, as well as its numerous health-promoting benefits. This tea variety is particularly rich in antioxidants, thanks to its unique, historic cultivation method. The tea bushes are covered with bamboo mats which provide shade. Shading from excessive direct sunlight enables the plant to produce bioactive compounds, including chlorophyll and l theanine. As an additional advantage, this cultivation method is responsible for the unique sensory properties of matcha tea, such as the vibrant colour, aroma and umami taste, which is related to the lower content of catechins and the high content of caffeine, theanine and chlorophyll in the product. The traditional method of growing tea in full sun produces a higher catechin content, imparting a bitter taste to infusions, which often puts consumers off,” write the authors.
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