Fluoride – a saga (part two)

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Image: http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/fluoridation-the-violation-of-rights-argument/

Its unfortunate that simple fluoride has become controversial. Its a mute topic, never has any confirmed-evidence of fluoridated water causing harm emerged. In fact all the ‘evidence’ has in been in the form of internet memes. Meme: a pairing of pictures and words in which one party must humorously or shockingly complement the other. But I’m sure these are not that sort, these would be highly respectable works of scientific rigour which have stood the tests of time and countless challenges, no? Ah they must have just run out of time for all that, maybe they’re just desperate.

A good example of this is the commonly circulated meme of the ‘toxic if ingested’ label of a highly concentrated bottle of fluoride solution, the caption tries to recruit readers to campaign against their local fluoridation authority. The problem here is that too much of any nutrient will kill us, and that the bottle has many times over the limit for fluoride intake compared with our water supplies. Another silly piece of pseudo-evidence is a ‘land-mark’ Harvard meta-analysis article , often cited as proof that fluoridation affects the brain and lowers the IQ of children. I feel sorry for these authors whose hard work has been taken completely out of context.

The blatant disregard for science by lobbyists is unsurprising when the groups have shown how low they are willing to go, making death threats to the NSW health minister and the NSW chief medical officer while heckling them as they arrived to give evidence at a local council enquiry. These acts and the materials produced show a true ignorance of scientific rigour and a lack of respect for the transparency of the scientific and medical communities. The main anti-fluoride theories are listed below, along with the reasons for their inaccuracies.

The Free Will Arguement

Theorists blame parents uneducated or uncaring of their child’s dental hygiene for ‘mass medication’ of ‘toxic’ fluoride. This obviously appeals to a certain type of person who has a particular dislike of a welfare state. This theory has been tested countless times in US courts but never been won.

The Mind Control Arguement

Now comes the most absurd, that our very minds can be altered using fluoride, that water fluoridation is a form of government control with its roots in Nazi Germany. It’s said that IG Farben, producer of dyes and industrial chemicals fundamental to Nazi Germany’s success was also involved in polluting enemy countries water supply with fluoride to cause “slight damage to a specific part of the brain” making drinkers docile. There is of course no evidence for this, in fact history would have shown masses of people in countries surrounding Germany becoming zombified. Looking at other available evidence (science, physiology and anatomy) we see that there is no biological credibility to this theory as the pineal gland has nothing to do with behaviour.

The Invention Arguement.

That water fluoridation was invented by chemical companies to get rid of waste product (fluorides), but also raise money. This theory usually involves the chemical companies concocting fake science to show its effect on tooth decay so that they can flog it off to local governments. Yes, most fluoride comes from industry as it provides a cheap, sustainable and dependable supply, but there is nothing more to this theory.

A popular and persevering theory is that of Christopher Bryson author of “The Fluoride Deception” which is grounded in the above ‘invention’ theory. Bryson also questions the mechanism for action in preventing tooth decay, not directly but deeper within the body where he believes there is damage being done. The book uses logical, intelligent, and convincing arguments. For instance; do you know how much fluoride you’re exposed to, does your dentist? The answer is generally no, but I’ll hazard a guess and say it doesn’t much matter due to the ease fluoride’s removal from the body and its safety. The book draws you in with command of the descriptive language and hyperbole, once captive the arguments presented don’t seem half bad but only until you close the book and leave the author’s world.

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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