Fluoride has been used experimentally to treat osteoporosis, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved it for this purpose. The fact is that fluoride does increase bone mineral density.
But this “benefit” is misleading because as it increases density, it simultaneously makes them more brittle and prone to fracture. Fluoride actually interferes with bone remodeling, or the process in which the mineral portion of your bone is broken down and rebuilt.
By interfering, your bones become excessively mineralized and enlarged, “a disruption of the precise architecture needed to maintain resistance to fracture,” as the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) put it.
Fluoride Blamed for Increasing Bone Fractures in India
Fluoride is described as “one of the oldest drugs available for managing osteoporosis,” but the gains in bone mass are being offset by increases in fracture rates.1 Vivek Logani, chief of joint replacement surgery at Gurgaon’s Paras Hospital in India, said:2
“It is widely recognized that fluoride therapy for osteoporosis adds mass to bones but produces inferior bones. In short, the bio-mechanical competence of the skeleton may be compromised because the tensile (elasticity) strength of bone is sacrificed…
Numerous studies show that fluoride may cause not only increased skeletal fragility (more non-vertebral fractures such as hips) but also osteomalacia (deficiency of bone mineralization).”
For instance, research has shown that patients treated with fluoride at doses of greater than 20 milligrams/day had an increase in fracture rates, including spontaneous hip fracture.3 Even at levels found in drinking water (4 mg/L), fluoride has been found to reduce the density of cortical bone and increase bone fracture rates among populations with fluoridated drinking water.
The data actually spurred the US National Research Council to call on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce fluoride levels in drinking water, although they’ve yet to do so.4 Animal studies have also shown that as fluoride exposure increases, bone strength decreases.5 So don’t be fooled by its ability to increase bone mass…
Fluoride Kills Your Bones in a Way Similar to Bisphosphonate Drugs
As FAN said, “Remember, thicker bone does NOT equate to stronger bone,” and this is a lesson learned well from bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs (Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel). Like fluoride, these drugs poison your osteoclasts (cells that break down your bone), permanently killing them and interfering with your normal bone remodeling processes.
So, your bones will indeed get denser but at the same time they will become weaker and more prone to fracture. Bone is a dynamic structure that requires the removal of unhealthy bone and REPLACEMENT with new bone to stay strong.
Fosamax does NOT build any new bone… and neither does fluoride. It only kills the cells that break bone down, so your bone is not benefitting from its natural dynamic regenerative process.
Government Fails to Disclose Fluoride’s Disproportionate Harms to Black Community
Fluoride toxicity is exacerbated by conditions that occur much more frequently in low-income areas. This includes:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Infant formula consumption
- Kidney disease
Black and Mexican American children have significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis, and many low-income urban communities also have severe oral health crises, despite decades of water fluoridation. In the US, 40% of adolescents have dental fluorosis.
According to documents obtained by FAN, government health authorities knew more than 50 years ago that black Americans suffered greater harm from fluoridation, including being more susceptible to dental fluorosis than whites. Yet, they failed to disclose those harms to the black community or make changes to water fluoridation guidelines. FAN reported:6
“In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] (CDC) acknowledged for the first time that the black community has higher rates of dental fluorosis. It took a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, however, to learn the full extent of this disparity.
According to recently released FOIA documents, 58% of black children were diagnosed with dental fluorosis in CDC’s 1999-2004 national survey, versus 36% of white children.
‘The epidemic of fluorosis now seen in the black community,’ says [attorney Michael] Connett, ‘is the visible legacy of the government’s failure to act on what it knew.’”
Dental fluorosis is a condition that refers to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel that are caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming. In some areas, fluorosis rates are as high as 70-80 percent, with some children suffering from advanced forms.
It’s likely this is a sign that children are receiving large amounts of fluoride from multiple sources, including not only drinking water but also fluoride toothpaste, processed beverages/foods, fluoride pesticides, tea, non-stick pans, and some fluorinated drugs.
It’s important to realize that dental fluorosis is NOT “just cosmetic.” It can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, has been overexposed to fluoride as well. In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it’s also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones.
How to Create Truly Stronger Bones Via Your Diet
One of the important strategies for healthy bones is to eat the right kind of foods. A diet full of processed foods will produce biochemical and metabolic conditions in your body that will decrease your bone density, so avoiding processed foods is definitely the first step in the right direction. This goes far beyond calcium, which is the first nutrient many people think of concerning their bones.
Your bones are actually composed of many different minerals, and if you focus on calcium alone, you will likely weaken your bones and increase your risk of osteoporosis, as Dr. Robert Thompson explains in his book, The Calcium Lie.
Calcium, vitamins D and K2, and magnesium work synergistically together to promote strong, healthy bones, and your sodium to potassium ratio also plays an important role in maintaining your bone mass (larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium is optimal for your bone health and your overall health). Ideally, you’d get all or most of these nutrients, including vitamin B12, from your diet (with the exception of vitamin D). This includes:
- Plant-derived calcium: Raw milk from pasture-raised cows (who eat the plants), leafy green vegetables, the pith of citrus fruits, carob, and sesame seeds
- Magnesium: Raw organic cacao and supplemental magnesium threonate if need be; take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths
- Vitamin K2: Grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. eggs, butter, and dairy), certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria, and certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda
- Trace minerals: Himalayan Crystal Salt, which contains all 84 elements found in your body, or other natural, unprocessed salt (NOT regular table salt!)
- Vitamin D: Ideally from appropriate sun exposure (or a high-quality tanning bed), as it’s virtually impossible to get sufficient amounts from food. As a last resort, you could use a supplement, but if you do, you may also need to supplement with vitamin K2 and magnesium to maintain ideal ratios
Lower Your Risk of Fractures with Exercise
The other component you can’t ignore if you want strong, healthy bones is weight-bearing exercises like strength training. Bone building is a dynamic process, so you want to make sure you exert enough force on your bones to stimulate the osteoblasts to build new bone. As mentioned, bone is living tissue that requires regular physical activity in order to renew and rebuild itself, so it is important to make exercise a lifelong commitment. Peak bone mass is achieved in adulthood and then begins a slow decline, but exercise can help you to maintain healthy bone mass as you get older, and should be viewed as a bone-building partner to your healthy diet.
Weight-bearing exercise is actually one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, because as you put more tension on your muscles it puts more pressure on your bones, which then respond by continuously creating fresh, new bone. In addition, as you build more muscle, and make the muscle that you already have stronger, you also put more constant pressure on your bones. A good weight-bearing exercise to incorporate into your routine (depending on your current level of fitness, of course) is a walking lunge, as it helps build bone density in your hips, even without any additional weights.
In addition, Acceleration Training, a.k.a. Whole Body Vibrational Training (WBVT) using a Power Plate, has also been shown to be a safe, natural way to ward off osteoporosis, and it’s gentle enough even for the disabled and elderly. Research shows vibrational training may help to produce a significant increase in bone density in postmenopausal women,7 making it another valuable tool for bone health.
Take Action Against Fluoridated Drinking Water
Clearly, children and adults alike are being overexposed to fluoride, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why? At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you’re stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it’s very difficult to filter out of your water once it’s added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
Stay tuned, as the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the US and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.