The interruption of these enzyme systems, in turn, may disturb
carbohydrate metabolism, bone formation and nerve-muscle
physiology. Indeed, every vital function in the body
depends on enzymes; because fluoride easily
reaches every organ, there many diverse
toxic symptoms can result.
… While much has been written about the effects of too much fluoride on teeth and bones, little is known about the effects of fluoride on the rest of the body. But new evidence has emerged demonstrating that it has devastating effects on just about every organ in the body, and may even be partly responsible for behavioral problems like hyperactivity and many puzzling illnesses like ME. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
The late fluoride critic George L Waldbott discovered that, besides teeth and bones, fluoride can damage soft tissue. According to his research, the small fluorine ion with a high-charge density can combine with other ions and penetrate every cell in the body. It interferes with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and the function of the parathyroid glands. It has a strong affinity to calcium, but will also readily combine with magnesium and manganese ions and so can interfere with many enzyme systems that require these minerals. The interruption of these enzyme systems, in turn, may disturb carbohydrate metabolism, bone formation and nerve-muscle physiology. Indeed, every vital function in the body depends on enzymes; because fluoride easily reaches every organ, many diverse toxic symptoms can result.
“Most diseases are results of disturbances of the enzyme systems,” says Professor Abderhalden. “Damage due to fluoride could be shown on 24 enzymes.” Enzyme systems react to fluoride in different ways; some are activated, others are inhibited. Lipase (essential for the digestion of fat) and phosphatases are very sensitive to fluoride. In patients with skeletal fluorosis, succinate dehydrogenase activity is inhibited. In chronic fluoride poisoning, this diminished enzyme activity accounts for muscular weakness and even muscle wasting. Human salivary acid phosphatase is diminished by half when exposed to 3.8 ppm of fluoride, while blood enzyme cholinesterase is inhibited by 61 per cent on exposure to 0.95 ppm fluoride-a level within recommended levels. So what does this do in the body? (Author, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Springer Verlag, 1970: 48-97).
Alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme involved in bone growth and liver function, may also be poorly affected by low-level fluoride intake. According to scientists from the Department of Chemistry of the University of California at San Diego, fluoride switches off an enzyme by attacking its weakest links-the delicately balanced network of hydrogen bonds surrounding the enzyme’s active sites (J Biol Chem, 1984; 259: 12984-88).
Their particular studies concerned the enzyme cytochrome C oxidase, an oxygen-carrying respiratory enzyme; deficiencies of this vital enzyme have been linked to cancer, severe diseases and even cot death.
It’s also been shown by research at Kings College in London that fluoride forms very strong hydrogen bonds with amides, which are formed when amino acids join together to form a protein (J Am Chem Soc, 1981; 103: 24-8). This can also cause chromosomal damage. If the protein is greatly distorted, the body’s immune system no longer recognizes it, treats it as a foreign protein and will try to destroy it, which in turn triggers allergic skin or gastrointestinal reactions (J Yiamouyiannis, Fluoride: The Aging Factor,. Delaware, Ohio: Health Action Press, 1993: 94-9). Stomach and bowel disorders are the main features of fluoride intolerance. Even small amounts of fluoride can form hydrofluoric acid in the stomach to produce gastric pains, nausea and vomiting. Young children are particularly at risk. Fluoride tablets can even cause gastric hemorrhages; in one instance, a 9-year-old boy sustained such damage that he required the removal of large parts of his stomach (Fluoride, 1977; 10: 149-51).
The most readily identifiable feature of soft-tissue fluorosis is extraordinary general fatigue, which is frequently linked to thyroid deficiency. The thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormone thyroxine, which controls the rate of metabolism in the body. But when fluorine is present, it displaces iodine, which will cause a thyroid gland to stop working properly (K Roholm: Fluor and Fluorverbindungen, in: Handbuch Experimenteller Pharmakologie, Ergaenzungswerk, Vol.7, Springer, 1938: 20).
The parathyroid gland, which regulates the distribution of calcium and phosphorus in the body, is extremely sensitive to excessive amounts of fluoride. Over fifty years ago, Indian clinicians found a close relationship between skeletal fluorosis and hyperparathyroidism (J Hyg 1942; 42: 500-4).
Fluoride has even been shown to affect the pituitary gland, which controls growth rate by regulating the production of thyroid hormones (Seances Soc Biol Fil, 1930; 103: 981-2). In animals, less than normal amounts of thyroid hormones are produced when animals are given water containing a fluoride content equivalent to that of artificial water fluoridation (Bull Schweiz Akad Med Wiss, 1954; 10: 211-20). Using scanning electron-microscope photographs, Professor AK Susheela of the Fluoride and Fluorosis Research Foundation of India and Senior Consultant to the Indian government, who has published over 100 scientific papers on the hazards of fluoride, proved that when exposed to fluoride, red blood cells are killed prematurely, lowering haemoglobin and causing anaemia.
She also showed that calcium levels diminish as fluoride levels in the body rise; the gastrointestinal tract mucosa is damaged, causing irritable bowel syndrome; and blood fluoride levels rise continuously with prolonged use of fluoridated toothpaste.
When people are bombarded with fluoride, in the form of fluoridated water, toothpaste and mouth rinses, muscles and elements of connective tissue, particularly collagen fiber and bone tissue, undergo degenerative changes.
At the 1998 US Conference of the International Society for Fluoride Research in Bellingham, Washington, Dr Jennifer Luke from the University of Surrey, UK, presented evidence on the effects of low and high doses of fluoride on the pineal gland in gerbils. In both gerbils and humans this gland helps control the aging process and the production of melatonin, which regulates the sleep/wake cycle. Gerbils exposed to a high level of fluoride experienced a significant decrease in the production of melatonin, and earlier genital maturation. While animal studies may not always be applicable to humans, Dr Luke theorized that mass fluoridation may be behind the general decline in the age of puberty in the West (Fluoride, 1998; 31: 4: 175).
In areas where water is fluoridated, evidence shows that dangerously high fluoride concentrations accumulate in many soft tissues and organs of the population, including the heart, kidney and bladder; the highest level ever recorded-8400 ppm-was found in the aortas of people living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where fluoride was first introduced in America.
The heart and blood vessels are affected by fluoride. Cardiac irregularities and low blood pressure have been noted in experimental poisoning using large doses (Publ Health Report, 1956;71:459-67). In 1950, five years after experimental introduction of fluoride into drinking water in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the number of deaths from heart disease nearly doubled (The Grand Rapid Herald, July 28, 1955). Death rates due to cancer, intracranial lesions, diabetes and arteriosclerosis were all markedly increased compared to death rates per 100,000 in the entire state.
In electrographic studies, Japanese researcher Taka Mori showed a direct link between damage to the heart and dental fluorosis in children who drank water with a fluoride content of 0.5-6.2 ppm. Fluoride also affects arteries, causing bruise-like skin lesions called “Chizzola maculae'”, showing inflammatory areas around capillary blood vessels. Because fluoride attracts calcium, it contributes to their hardening. Fluoride affects the brain and entire central nervous system. Neurological problems like headaches, vertigo, spasticity in extremities, visual disturbances and impaired mental acuity can all result. Tissue damage to anterior horn cells has been found (Fluoride,1975;8:61-85). Official annual statistics revealed that death rates among malnourished children in the Chilean town of Curico, fluoridated since 1953, were to 104 per cent higher than in comparable, non-fluoridated towns, and the general mortality was higher by 113 per cent, compared with the average for the country (Ziegelbecker R et al, Journal? 1995:47-48).
Fluoride, hyperactivity and violence. - Several studies have shown that exposure to fluoride can cause behavioral changes (Int Clin Psychopharmacol, 1994;9:79-82; Neurotoxicol and Teratol, 1995;17:169-77; Fluoride, 1996;29:187-88) At a 1998 Conference on Fluoride, Professor Roger Masters reported a link between the blood lead levels of 280,000 children in Massachusetts and the use of silicofluorides for water fluoridation. Here and in Georgia, behaviors associated with lead toxicity, such as violent crime, are more frequent in communities using silicofluorides than in areas not using them. At the same conference Dr Phyllis Mullenix reported results of a study using two steroids to treat childhood leukemia, one of which had a fluorine atom in its structure. In the study, this steroid caused behavior patterns typical of hyperactivity. A follow-up study of children using this drug for two years showed a significant drop in average IQ scores, compared with children using the non-fluoride drug (Fluoride, Nov.1998;31;4:175). In one family in Glasgow, every member is severely affected by fluoride-the mother experienced an anaphylactic shock to Prozac, which contains fluorine, and all four children exhibited erratic/violent behavior and suffered from immune system damage on exposure to fluoride (in their drinking water?
Fluoride And ME A[l]though few researchers have looked at the role of fluoride in the development of ME, there are conspicuous similarities between key features of ME/CFS and those seen in the very early stages of chronic fluoride intoxication (Fluoride,1998; 31:13-20)
Dr John McLaren Howard of Biolab in London offers a few important clues why. He discovered that ME patients experience reduced movement of white blood cells when exposed to quite low levels of fluoride (Inter Action 14, Autumn, 1994:53-54). This effect on white blood cells might render patients less able to fight infections efficiently, or lead to an exacerbation of their health problems.
Fluoride also interferes with phagocytosis, as well as causing the release of superoxide free radicals in resting white blood cells. This means that fluoride slows down and weakens the very cells which serve as the body’s defense system; bacteria, viruses, chemicals and the body’s own damaged or cancerous cells are then allowed to wreak havoc. Minor infections take longer to throw off and cause more serious illness (John Yiamouyiannis, The Aging Factor, Health Action Press, 1993:p32). This is precisely what appears to be happening in many cases of ME.
We do not know how many children or teenagers had topical high concentration fluoride dental treatment before succumbing to infections which led to ME/CFS. My son had fluoride treatment to prevent tooth decay in the autumn of 1979, after which his health dramatically deteriorated, commencing with gastric problems, various minor infections, then glandular fever, followed by atypical measles, more infections and eventually resulting in ME in 1980. In the end the fluoride treatment didn’t work in preventing tooth decay-he’s needed 15 fillings over the past nine years.
The American pathologist Majid Ali explains that chronic fatigue results due to “accelerated oxidative molecular injury”. Only a well functioning enzyme system can protect us from such injury and maintain normal energy levels. In chronic fatigue there is a high frequency of membrane deformities, due to increased oxidative stress on the cell membranes, which is why sufferers lack energy. Interestingly, Ali also highlights gastrointestinal disturbances, such as IBS, as playing a significant part in chronic fatigue (The Canary and Chronic Fatigue, Life Span Press, 1994).
Many ME patients have an under active thyroid (InterAction 27, Sept.1998:27). Chronic fatigue and exhaustion due to hypothyroidism is a cardinal feature in the Chronic Fluoride Toxicity Syndrome.
Experienced researchers who have studied ME for decades maintain that as with polio, it is damage to anterior horn colles caused by a gut virus, which explains why polio victims are paralyzed or suffer from impaired motor function (The Clin and Scientific Basis of ME/CFS). But fluoride has also been shown to damage anterior horn cells. Gastrointestinal disturbances, often referred to as IBS, are also known to play a significant part in ME, as they are in the Chronic Fluoride Toxicity Syndrome.
Severe sleep disturbances, or reversal of sleep rhythm, are a common feature in ME/CFS (Clin). Deposits of large quantities of fluoride in the pineal gland of animals have caused similar problems (J Luke, Bellingham Conference, 1998).
At this point, no one knows to what extend these syndromes overlap, or fluoride or fluorine facilitates the development of ME by various biological agents. The indications are that fluoride may act as a “facilitating co-factor” and exacerbate existing problems in such patients. Or it could be, as Dr H C Moolenburgh suggests, that ME is one of the end stages of a general chemical poisoning, with fluoride one of the worse offenders (personal communication, 7.1.1999). Although many unanswered questions remain, one thing can be said with certainty. Fluoride not only is not beneficial, but may turn out to be one of the major factors in the serious health problems besetting modern man.