There are toxins, and then there are neurotoxins.
Neurotoxins are poisons that act specifically on nerve cells. Among other things, they can damage the brain.
Although we’ve known for some time that fluoride has neurotoxic effects, it still continues to be pushed by establishment dentists, public health officials and others who swear that any risk is slight and totally outweighed by the benefits. But this is debatable.
Earlier this year, new research showed a troubling connection between fluoridated water and IQ in children. Now comes another affirming that, in the words of its authors, “the prolonged ingestion of fluoride may cause significant damage to health and particularly to the nervous system.”
The study was published in the June issue of Neurologia. The full text is available in the original Spanish here. (Translations used in this post are from material provided by the Fluoride Action Network.)
Reviewing the literature on fluoride’s neurotoxic effects, the authors describe studies that show it changing the brain’s physical structure and biochemistry. This, in turn, affects children’s neurological and mental development, including cognitive processes, such as learning and memory.
“Fluoride is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which may cause biochemical and functional changes in the nervous system during pregnancy, since the fluoride accumulates in brain tissue before birth,” they write. Animal studies cited by the research team show fluoride’s ability to cause brain abnormalities such as those found in individuals with Alzheimer’s.
The authors advise plainly,
It is important to be aware of this serious problem and avoid the use of toothpaste and items that contain fluoride, particularly in children as they are more susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride.
Image by wellcome images, via Flickr