– Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
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Isolated mouse Leydig cells, the male reproductive cells that produce testosterone, when grown in the presence of fluoride at a level found in some drinking water, experienced a decline in the production of testosterone, according to a new report from Istanbul University.
Writing in a recent issue of Theriogenology [the study of animal reproductive systems], B.O. Yilmaz and Y. Aydin note, “Studies have revealed the effects of fluoride on increased follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, decreased estrogen, testosterone and thyroid hormone levels, unbalanced androgen/ estrogen ratio. These endocrine disrupting effects of fluoride and arsenic cause decreased reproductive capacity.”
“In this study, the concentration of [sodium arsenite] and [sodium fluoride] were chosen by considering arsenic and fluoride concentrations that humans are exposed to by drinking water,” wrote the authors. They used arsenic at 50 parts per billion (ppb) and fluoride at 2 parts per million (ppm). Fluoride is generally added to drinking water to a level of 0.7 parts per million.
The authors studied the levels of testosterone produced and the effect of the toxins on the genes and enzymes needed to produce the hormone, and reported, “This study is the first to be performed at very low arsenic and fluoride concentrations in mouse Leydig cells. Arsenic and fluoride have been shown to have synergistic effects on the steroidogenic pathway in mouse Leydig cells. Obtained data show that arsenic and fluoride at applied concentrations disrupt testosterone biosynthesis, suppress the expression of steroidogenic genes… and decrease the activities of enzymes… The increase in oxidative stress… and the insufficiency of the antioxidant system … against this increase have a great effect on the deterioration of mouse Leydig cell function by causing apoptosis [cell death].”
A study of nearly 400 solid and liquid ready-to-eat (RTE) baby foods in Australia has found that most contain high levels of fluoride.
The report, published October 28 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, states, “In general, we found the fluoride content in most of the collected samples from Australian markets to be high and may therefore carry a risk of dental fluorosis. We have attributed the wide fluoride content variations in ready-to-eat infant foods and drinks to the processing steps, different ingredients and their origins, including water.”
The authors do not make a clear statement of what constitutes a high level of fluoride in the food or what percentage of the samples exceed this level.
While they ignore evidence of fluoride’s neurotoxic effect on the developing brains of children, the researchers from several Australian universities and public health centers in Sydney advocate a strict vigilance in monitoring infant fluoride ingestion to prevent dental fluorosis.
“As infants in their tooth enamel formation years are highly susceptible to dental fluorosis, it is imperative to have systems in place to continuously monitor the fluoride concentration to effectively manage this preventable condition. There is evidence suggesting that the first 20 to 30 months of infanthood is a critical period for fluoride overexposure; therefore, it is imperative to closely monitor fluoride intake from as many available sources as possible,” they write.
While the authors don’t publish the names of the products they studied, they provide a supplement that shows fluoride levels in the Australian products were twice as high as comparable products in the UK and ten times as high as ones from Japan.
Remarkably, they seem not to have determined if the products were made with fluoridated water. Since Australia is so widely fluoridated it seems likely that most if not all were.
The difficulty of trying to promote, yet restrict, the ingestion of a toxin while making it all seem worthwhile is apparent in the convoluted language of their conclusion: “The mean fluoride content of the selected samples of infant RTE foods and liquid products appears to be lower than the upper limit for daily intake … for infants recommended by the Department of Health of Australia. However, these RTE foods substantially contribute to infant daily fluoride adequate intake.”
As the supply of sodium fluoride used in water fluoridation diminishes in cities across the USA, some public officials want their citizens to be fully informed in making their dental decisions.
“Customers concerned about the reduced amount of fluoride in Cheyenne’s water are encouraged to contact their doctor or dental service provider regarding recommended alternatives,” reads the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
“We are notifying our customers so they can make informed decisions about their dental health,” says Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities director Brad Brooks.
Over 250,000 residents of eight cities in Massachusetts no longer receive fluoridated water because of the chemical shortage.
Meredith Bailey, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society, “recommends conducting risk assessments for children in these areas,” according to a report on WBUR.
She says moderate to high-risk children should be given fluoride varnish twice a year by a dentist or physician.
When Dover, NH ran out of fluoride, local dentist Nina Casaverde was quoted by WMUR as saying, “Fluoridated toothpastes, fluoridated mouthwash are the best ways you can keep your teeth healthy and keep those smiles healthy.”
The concerns for professional care and personal hygiene represent a marked change in attitude from that governing water fluoridation, in which the cities and towns don’t insure that residents are informed that the water is fluoridated, that it can leach more lead from leaded pipes, that it causes dental fluorosis in the majority of children or that early life exposure can reduce the intelligence of children, nor are residents given the option to decline the drug in favor of personal responsibility.
A drug that is viewed as a possible therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders has demonstrated the ability to hinder the neurotoxic effect of fluoride in cell cultures.
Investigators at several research hospitals in China have found that the drug 2-BFI [2-(2-benzofu-ranyl)-2-imidazoline] can protect nerve cells in culture from fluoride by enhancing the junctions of the mitochondria with the cell’s endomembrane system and by hindering the activation of a particular inflammasome, a cellular component of the immune system.
Writing in Neurochemical Research October 1, the neurologists note, “Fluorosis can cause: (i) memory loss; (ii) behavioral manifestations of nervous-system damage (e.g., decreased IQ and cognitive dysfunction) in children.”
The authors had previously found that, “the mechanism of cognitive impairment induced by fluorosis was cell death and oxidative damage of neurons in the hippocampus. We also found that 2-BFI application could improve cognitive impairment by inhibiting neuron death and protecting mitochondrial function in Alzheimer Disease rats.”
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