Tap water generally but particularly that from the eastern seaboard of Australia is always best avoided. Most people struggle to drink enough water generally let alone water that is fluoride free. And drinking enough water daily – even if it is tap water – should always be the priority. In saying all of that, it is still good to know how fluoridated drinking water can affect your health (excessive fluoride intake has been linked by science to many chronic health issues). Some facts about tap water in Australia Fluoride was added to Australian tap water in the early 1960s, a move instigated after science had demonstrated the benefits of calcium fluoride (the naturally occurring form of fluoride) to dental health.
The fluoride added to tap water in this country however is a far cry from the calcium fluoride needed to protect our teeth. Not so convinced? Here are some quick facts about Australian tap water you might not have heard about:
- Australia has one of the most fluoridated water supplies in the world, with 80% of the population drinking fluoridated water daily. While 25 countries around the world have water fluoridation programs, eleven of these countries have less than 20% of their population consuming fluoridated water.
- According to data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no difference in tooth decay between western nations that fluoridate their water and those that do not.
- Australian tap water does NOT contain the calcium fluoride shown by science to strengthen and protect teeth. Instead, Sodium-silicofluoride or hydroflurosilicic acid is added to your tap water. These unrefined forms of fluoride are in fact toxic waste byproducts collected in the exhaust chimneys of fertiliser factories. According to the safety sheet of Incitec Pivot (a global producer of fertilisers and explosives based in Geelong Victoria), hydroflurosilicic acid is in fact a schedule 7 poison that is highly toxic to the body and can cause death at low exposures.
Fluoride and your hormonal health
Fluoride affects your hormones by inhibiting their function and the function of the glands that produce them. Compounds like fluoride that inhibit the hormone system of your body are known as “endocrine disruptors”.
Fluoride inhibits the thyroid gland
Fluoride can inhibit the function of the thyroid gland, especially in the presence of a pre-established iodine deficiency. It does so by mimicking thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), disrupting the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active form T3, by damaging your DNA and the cells of the thyroid gland itself. Together these symptoms suppress the thyroid gland, potentially causing hypothyroidism in some individuals.
Fluoride lodges itself in the pineal gland
In the 1990s, British scientists discovered fluoride to accumulate at higher levels in the calcified part of the pineal gland more than anywhere else in the body. The small amount of research shows that once the fluoride has crossed the blood brain barrier, it calcifies in the pineal gland, inhibiting the synthesis and secretion of the melatonin needed for healthy sleep and efficient thyroid function. (Interestingly, sodium fluoride also carries aluminium across the blood brain barrier where it may be responsible for lower IQs and Alzeimers disease.
Fluoride may impact the pancreas
Preliminary scientific studies have shown fluoride may potentially raise blood sugar levels, causing repeated spikes in insulin thus reducing cellular responsiveness to it. This may potentially cause Insulin resistance and potential Type II Diabetes.
Fluoride may decrease IQ
If a pregnant woman exposes her unborn baby to fluoride, there is a significant decline in IQ later in life. This was concluded by researchers in this study (one of the biggest ever on the effects of low intakes of fluoride). ⠀
7 Easy ways to reduce and/or avoid fluoride
Some easy steps can be followed to reduce your intake of fluoride generally.
- Filter your water. The only water filters that take 100% of the fluoride out are reverse osmosis filters, available for home delivery from PSI water filters or the Sydney Water Shop. Gravity filters from the latter are efficient, portable and affordable. NB: Refillable jug filters (such as Brita) for the most part do not remove the fluoride from water. Nor do most commercial filters offices have attached the kitchen sinks.
- Consider a shower filter to remove fluoride from your shower water. This is important when you consider the skin is the largest organ of the body. Your hair and skin will feel softer too.
- Drink natural spring water. Not only does it contain very low levels of naturally occurring fluoride, it is rich in essential minerals.
- Consider a change in toothpaste. There are many fluoride free toothpastes on the market that will keep your teeth healthy, strong and clean.
- Always use filtered water when washing fresh produce and with your cooking.
- Particularly avoid using fluoridated water during pregnancy and when making up infant baby formulas .
- Eat more fresh food and less packaged food. Pre-made food and veges are generally made with fluoridated water.
- When buying tea, opt for organic options when possible. Tea plants readily accumulate fluoride from soil.
It is also possible to detoxify accumulated fluoride from the body along with other harmful heavy metals. If you are interested in finding out more on detoxifying from these metals please contact Alex for a consultation.