-Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD
Enamel-producing cells disrupted by as little as 0.2 parts per million fluoride
Exposure to a sodium fluoride solution of just 0.2 parts per million (ppm) has been found to disrupt the internal calcium-signaling functions of cells that produce enamel, according to a report from the New York University College of Dentistry.
Writing in Frontiers in Endocrinology August 11, the scientists reported that 0.2 ppm sodium fluoride had a negative effect on calcium-based cell signaling processes of the internal membrane system of a line of ameloblast cells grown in dishes.
“These data, we believe, provide a mechanism that can potentially address the biology of dental fluorosis or, at the very least, provide important information on the effects of fluoride in ameloblast Ca2+ physiology,” they conclude.
In addition to their structural roles in bone and teeth, calcium ions serve as messengers in cells that bind to proteins and regulate their function. These signal functions are highly sensitive to calcium ion concentrations.
The authors, who expressed uncritical support for water fluoridation, made no comment on the relevance of their finding for the regulation of fluoride in drinking water.
Biochemical basis of fluoride-induced psychosomatic problems proposed
Scientists in China have demonstrated that sodium fluoride exposure induces “anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in juvenile [Sprague-Dawley] rats, resulting in histological and ultrastructural abnormalities in the rat hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex.”
The researchers, from Zhengzhou University, who last year reported an association between increased urinary fluoride and an increase in psychosomatic problems in children, found that sodium fluoride increased the production of a particular enzyme in the hippocampus that has previously been associated with the onset of depression.
Their report, published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry October 20, suggests that high levels of fluoride will perturb cell signaling pathways associated with this enzyme, SIK2, leading to the death of nerve cells, and the development of psychosomatic problems.
Water utility review panel in Madison, WI split on continuing fluoridation
A Madison Water Utility review panel voted 2 to 1 with one abstention in support of continuing fluoridation in the Wisconsin capital at a meeting October 11, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Dr. Henry Anderson, a former state epidemiologist for occupational and environmental health opposed the recommendation, arguing there is not enough information on tooth decay or how much fluoride is in people’s systems,” reported the State Journal.
It is unclear why the panel took a vote as it was tasked with making a recommendation based on an expected report from the National Toxicology Program that has yet to be released.
Dispute in Iowa city reveals split in the professions over fluoridation
The City Council in Tama, Iowa has reversed its decision to repeal fluoridation, voting 3-2 on October 4 to continue the practice.
The vote came after the Council received testimony from dentists, public health officials and University of Iowa dental researcher and fluoridation advocate Prof. Steven Levy asking for the reversal. Levy testified that in 25 years of research on individuals from birth to age 25 he had found “no adverse health effects on developing bone structures in individuals who had fluoride in their body,” according to a report in the Tama Toledo News October 8.
The return of fluoridation was opposed by the City water superintendent Kent Campbell, who expressed concerns over health effects of exposure to fluoride, according to the report. The dispute highlights a frequent, but often unmentioned conflict between professional guilds over fluoridation, with dentistry and public health favoring the practice and water professionals opposing it.
Discussion apparently focused on fluoride’s effect on bones, as the press report makes no reference to the chemical’s effect on the brain.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Interview series captures stalwarts of critical fluoride research
A series of eleven broadcast-quality video taped interviews that Paul Connett, PhD conducted with attendees of the 1998 meeting of the International Society for Fluoride Research in Bellingham, WA, and recently donated to the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts Amherst library provides a rare opportunity to see some of the stalwarts of critical fluoride research.
Those interviewed by Connett include the Calgary health activist Elke Babiuk, Dr. Richard Foulkes, who first endorsed fluoridation and then worked to repeal it, Karl Jensen of the US Environmental Protection Agency, who spoke of his research on the effects of fluoride and aluminum on the brain, Jennifer Luke, who recounted her work on the effects of fluoride on the pineal gland, Phyllis Mullenix, who provided robust evidence of sodium fluoride’s neurotoxicity only to be suppressed by the National Institute of Dental Research, and Albert Burgstahler, the University of Kansas chemistry professor who as a researcher, writer, editor and activist was one of the most important figures in the history of water fluoridation. His interview in this series is excellent, and is likely to be the best record left of his speaking.
This is from just the first six tapes. The remaining tapes will be noted in a future issue. We expect to be able to digitize some of the material for posting on the university’s Credo site.
UPDATED: WHO deleted sodium fluoride from vitamins list, added it to new dental medicine list
In publishing its new 22nd Model List of Essential Medicines the World Health Organization has changed its classification of sodium fluoride, removing it from their vitamins and mineral list, and downgrading it into a new category of “dental preparations” that was not used in the 21st list published two years ago. Sodium fluoride is listed there for “topical formulations”, not water fluoridation.
The WHO publication is a list of medicines, and should not be confused with essential elements or nutrients.
“The core list presents a list of minimum medicine needs for a basic health-care system, listing the most efficacious, safe and cost–effective medicines for priority conditions,” reads an explanatory note.
The archives of The Fluoridation Review are at https://fluoridealert.org/a