Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride is not a nutrient

Source: Whole Foods | By Dr. Richard A. Passwater PhD
Posted on August 15th, 1990

The full-article, with graphics, is online at http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/passwater-1990.pdf

Fluoride is essential for healthy and strong teeth, therefore  fluoride is an essential nutrient – right? Wrong. wrong. wrong.

Fluoride is not needed for strong, healthy teeth, fluoride is not an es­sential nutrient – in fact, fluoride is not even a nutrient. It does not nourish — it poisons. It is not  in­volved in any biochemical reaction – it is involved in enzyme-poisoning reactions and bone and tooth de­formation. Absence of fluoride pro­duces no illness, disorder  or disease, while relatively small amounts (comparable to poisons such as arsenic) can produce fluorosis and death.(*)

If fluoride is not a nutrient, then is it a drug or food additive or plain old pollutant? If it is not a nutrient, then is fluoridation forced mass medication, illegal dumping of hazardous waste, or adulterated water? I won’t ask about the effect of this non-nutrient poison pollutant on the aquatic life in our rivers and bays that get millions of tons of fluoride dumped into them under the guise of fluoridation. But the aluminum and fertilizer folks would have to pay billions to safely dispose of this hazardous material if it couldn’t be sold to dump into our drinking water.

If fluoride isn’t a nutrient but a drug, where are the toxicological studies of the caliber required to submit to the FDA to introduce new drugs?

If fluoride is not a nutrient but an unapproved food additive, where are the toxicological studies required by the FDA to become generally recognized as safe (GRAS)?

If fluoride is not a nutrient but a poison pollutant, where are the toxicological studies required by the EPA to allow it to be sold?

Since the FDA and EPA have never been presented adequate toxicological studies, and since the FDA and EPA have never approved the fluoridation of water, then it must be banned unless fluoridation proponents cannot continue their pretext that fluoride is a nutrient. In light of the recent data showing no meaningful benefit of fluoridation and reduction of tooth decay and the evidence that fluoride causes cancer in laboratory animals, the misinformation that fluoride is a nutrient and that people are fluoride-deficient must be promoted at all cost if fluoridation is to be allowed to continue.

However, this is not happening. Scientists are no longer h0oclwinked into believing that fluoride is a nutrient. Look at how the RDA Subcommittee of the self-appointed Food and Nutrition Board has had to back off. In the Seventh Edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances it was claimed, “Fluoride is incorporated in the structure of teeth and is necessary for maximal resistance to dental caries (decay). For these reasons, it is considered to be an essential nutrient.”(l) Two references were cited as proof of fluoride increasing bone and tooth strength. Neither article contained scientific proof of this claim, and as the previous article in this series showed, the evidence shows that fluoride actually weakens bones and teeth by decreasing elasticity and increasing brittleness.

In 1980, the Ninth Edition of the RDA claimed, “Although the results of these studies have not confirmed independently and the method of growth stimulation remains unknown, fluorine can be considered an essential element for the growing organism on the basis of its beneficial effects on dental health.”(2)

(*) This is not to imply that fluoridation is a deadly direct poison to healthy persons, but the poisoning effect of fluoride on body enzymes is harmful, and physically impairs many who are sensitive to fluoride (allergic) or who have kidney disease or arthritis. A fluoride level of just two parts per million causes systemic fluorosis expressed visibly as mottling (dental fluorosis). An adult has died from a fluoride level of 50 ppm (Annapolis spill) and children have died from swallowing about a gram of fluoride gel in a dentist’s office. Fluoride is listed as having a lethal toxicity of 2.5 grams for adults, which compares to arsenic.

Fluoride at three parts per million and at levels occurring naturally has been found to depress growth in farm animals and humans, and studies indicate that even at one part per million gum damage may be occurring.

Continue to read the full article here.


1. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 7th Ed., Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences. Washington DC (1968).

2. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 9th Ed., Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences. Washington DC (1980).

3. Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th Ed., Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences. Washington DC (1989).

4. Fluorides: Biological Effects of Atmospheric Pollutants, Committee on Biological Effects of Atmospheric Pollutants, Division of Medical Sciences, National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences. Washington DC (1971).

5. Trace Elements in Human and Animal Nutrition (2nd Ed.). Underwood, E.J. Academic Press NY (l962).

6. Preparation of an experimental low-fluoride diet from single-cell organisms for rats and mice. Khalawan, S.A., Elliot, J.C. and Fearnhead, R.W.  Br. J. Nutr. 44:371-9 (1980).

7. Effect of low-fluoride diets fed to mice for six generations. Weber, C.W. and Reid, B.L. Trace Element Metabolism in Animals, University Park Press (Baltimore), pp 707-9 (1974).

8. Minimal Fluoride Diet and Effect on Rats. Doberenz. A.H., et al. Federal Proceedings 22:554 (1963).

9. The non-essentiality of fluorine in nutrition. Mauer, Richard and Day, Harry, Journal of Nutrition 62:561-573 (1957).

10. Effects of low-fluoride feeding through successive generations of rats [no abstract available]. Suzuki, T., Jap. J. Dental Health, 19:51-70 (1969).

11. Influence of the fluorine ion on the growth in vitro of human cells [no abstract available]. Le Coulfre-Mulder, et al., Acta Phys. Pharm. Neerlandica 15:1-19 (1969).

12. Experimental Study of Fluoride Toxicity. Tamura, S., et al., J. Dental Res. 49-672 (1970).

13. Effect of Various Concentrations of Fluorine and Manganese in the Drinking Water on the Tooth Enamel and Weight of Rats. Byalik, R.I.,  Nauch. Tr. Omsk. Med. Inst. 69:35-7 (1967).

14. The Hygienic Significance of Low Concentrations of Fluoride Entering the Organism by Various Routes of Administration. Sandilova, M.S. and Petina, A.A., Gigiena i Sanitariya 35:14-7 (1970).

15. Toxicological Characteristics of Fluorine During Its Simultaneous Entrane into an Organism Along with Drinking Water and Inhaled Air. Petina, A.A. and El’nichnykh, L.N. Flyuroz Ego Profil. Mater. Simp. 157-63 (1967).

16. Selenium As Food and Medicine, Passwater, Richard A., Keats Publ., New Canaan, CT (1980).

17. PQQ – A New Nutrient? Passwater, Richard A., Whole Foods (1989).

18. Fluorine Requirement For Growth in the Rat. Schwarz, Klaus and Milne, David. Bioinorganic Chemistry 1331-8 (1972).

19. Are Nickel, Vanadium, Silicon, Fluorine and Tin Essential for Man? Nielson, F.H. and Sandstead, A.A., Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 27-515-520 (1974).

20. Fluorosis Versus Cavities. Mick, Robert J.H., Dental Items of Interest 1-4 (Sept., 1953).

21. The Kisumu Story. Mick, Robert J.H., American Acad. Appl. Nutr. Monthly Newsletter  J. 4:14-5 (Feb., 1951).

22. Personal Findings and Ramblings on This Thing Called Fluoridation. Mick, Robert J.H., Dental Items of Interest 1-2 (Dec., 1953).

23. Effect of Sodium Fluoride Administration on Body Changes in Old Rats. Ramseyer, Wm. F., Smith, C.A.H. and McCay C.M., J. Gerontology (Jan. 1957).

24. Federal Register p. 20717 (Aug. 2, 1973) and Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Title 21, paragraph 125.1 (1974).

25. Federal Register p. 23248 (MY 28, 1975).

26. Federal Register p. 46175 (October 19, 1976) and CFR 105.3(c) (April 1, 1977).

Dr. Passwater is Director of Research for Solgar Nutritional Research, the research arm of Solgar Co. Inc. He has authored several books on nutrition including Supernutrition, Supernutrition for Healthy Hearts, Cancer and its Nutritional Therapies, Selenium as Food & Medicine, and with Dr. Elmer Cranston, Trace Elements, Hair Analayis and Nutrition.