A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that water fluoridation may increase the risk for hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid. It was one of the largest studies to examine the link between water fluoridation and hypothyroidism, drawing upon data gathered from several general medical practices throughout England.
The study discovered that communities with fluoridated water were 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism than communities without fluoridated water. Hypothyroidism is a disorder which occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression and even memory loss.(1)
Fluoride is added to approximately 10 percent of England’s drinking water. By contrast, fluoride is added to two-thirds of America’s tap water supposedly to prevent cavities. However, there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that fluoride does more harm than good. In addition, there is little evidence to suggest that communities with fluoridated water have fewer cavities than communities without fluoridated water.(2)
Fluoridated vs. non-fluoridated communities
The researchers compared the English city of Birmingham, which adds fluoride to its drinking water, to the city of Manchester, which doesn’t add fluoride to its drinking water. The researchers found that doctors’ offices in Birmingham were twice as likely to encounter hypothyroidism than doctors’ offices in Manchester.
“It raises a red flag,” said Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an environmental health researcher and physician at Harvard University, “that possible interference with thyroid function needs serious consideration when regulating fluoride levels in drinking water.”(1)
The results of the study should not be taken with a grain of salt, nor with a drop of fluoride. It the the was largest population study ever conducted to examine the adverse effects of elevated fluoride exposure, according to Grandjean. The data was collected from 99 percent of England’s 8,020 general medical practices. The researchers found that 3.2 percent of the population had hypothyroidism, which was 14 percent higher than in 2008.
“The study is an important one because it is large enough to detect differences of potential significance to the health of the population,” Trevor Sheldon, a medical researcher and dean of the Hull York Medical School, told sources.(1)
One size fits all
Research has shown that fluoride in water accounts for the majority of an individual’s exposure to the substance. Consequently, fluoridated communities are exposed to the substance significantly more than non-fluoridated communities.
“It’s unlikely that other sources of fluoride exposure—from tea, swallowed toothpaste, a few types of foods—would be distributed amongst the population of England in a way that would bias the results in one direction or another,” said Chris Neurath, a senior scientist with the Fluoride Action Network.(1)
The results of this study shouldn’t be too surprising given that fluoride was actually used to treat hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, in the 1950s. If fluoride can be used to treat hyperthyroidism, then it stands to reason that consuming too much fluoride can cause hypothyroidism.
The thyroid produces hormones that are essential to a child’s metabolism, growth and brain function. As reported by alternative media outlets, some studies have even shown that fluoride decreases the I.Q. of children who are exposed to excessive amounts of it.(1)
As the case against fluoride continues to grows, its benefits continue to diminish. For your thyroid’s sake, don’t swallow the fluoride myth.