Fluoride – a saga (part one).

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Image: http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/fluoride-in-dentistry/

Ruin a night of food, wine, and fun with lively discussion about the placement of traffic lights and speeding cameras, about obesity and government responsibility or even about private vs public schooling (my favourite). These topics are offer far more productive discussion, I’m not saying that you’ll be singing kumbayah but at least some of your guests might walk away enlightened to the merits in your view (and you in their’s). The fluoride debate on the other hand will get you nowhere.

Better topics serve in the outcome of their debate and in our enjoyment. Each night we watch politicians stumble over a barrage of questions that they have no hope in answering; and really who wants that fun to stop? Current affair shows such as 7:30 and QandA are great, most of the time its like watching apes learning quantum mechanics through interpretive dance. The polly always tries his or her best to act with grace and poise but they usually slip up and say something idiotic (much to my pleasure). I’m sure there’s a handler of theirs just off-screen with a cracker waving it too and fro and trying to keep them on track.

Put bluntly this nutrient doesn’t do enough (yes it’s a nutrient now) and is easily removed from the body. That’s right, no need to detox* like some conspiracists believe. The mechanisms for its removal are well understood simple concepts for biologists (you may just have to take my word for it). Proving this point, scientists have measured the fluoride our body loses (faeces, urine, and sweat) and accounted for the amount stored in our bones then balanced this with our intake to show that there are no large harmful depositions anywhere in the body. Loss + Stored (bone) = Intake.

*Sidenote: There is never a good time to detox since our bodies are detoxing machines, they’ve got our back’s and don’t like us to help*. Our consciousness is like that skinny lanky kid from your childhood football or netball team, the one who can’t catch but tries really really hard. Better for the body to do its thing, while you do yours (*unless our kidney’s fail).

Anyway digs at politicians aside, people really need to start giving fluoride a break! Or at least the few causing all the fuss and capturing our attention with conspiracy theories with little or no scientific backing. Here’s a list of all the best sources I could find on the topic, notice how none of them say that fluoride can accumulate in our brains causing cancer or mind control.

The real danger really is the momentum that these lobbyists can produce with cheap social media, because not only are they raising awareness for their cause (which I find admirable), but they try to educate at the same time (using wacky pseudoscience). The result is high impact hyperbole describing Fluoride as an invented substance that we must detoxify ourselves of, lest we get brain cancer, kidney damage, damage to our very DNA, gastrointestinal damage, become mind controlled emotionless zombies, or god-forbid have greater protection from tooth decay (yeah its pretty magical).

While people with a basic knowledge of biology probably have a good laugh about how ridiculous the claims are, your average non-science person may be a little unsure, especially their evidence can be convincing at first glance.

TBC

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Bye for now.

Jack

Please remember that I’m a dietetics STUDENT, so none of my opinions should be trusted! PLEASE consult an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or your GP before applying anything discussed in this blog to your diet or exercise regime

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