Why Dr. Weil Is Dead Wrong About Fluoride
I have to admit, I found this to be truly shocking.
Here’s what happened. I have received emails from several Savers regarding Dr. Andrew Weil’s differing opinion on fluoride. While I respect him for being an advocate of natural health and commend him for doing a lot of good, I vehemently disagree with his stance on fluoride.
The dangers of fluoride ingestion are scientifically backed. It’s a fact, not hearsay, that fluoride harms your bones and your health.
So I am surprised that Dr. Weil continues to recommend using fluoride as a ‘healthy’ additive to water and toothpaste.
He has even gone so far as to say that “concerns about fluoride are overblown.”1
Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, we’re not sounding enough of an alarm.
Dr. Weil Refuses To Accept Evidence That Fluoride Is Harmful
In a 2002 Q&A, Dr. Weil addressed the issue of drinking fluoride. He claimed that the addition of fluoride to the public water supply prevents tooth decay. He even went so far as to blame bottled water for increasing the risk of cavities in children, and recommended using fluoride-containing toothpaste.
But the evidence clearly refutes these claims.
First of all, fluoride is toxic, period. It is the nature of the substance; drinking more may increase the toxic effects, but it doesn’t make it more or less toxic in nature.
Secondly, adding fluoride to municipal water systems does not actually prevent tooth decay. In fact, the opposite is true. (I’ll explain in more detail later.)
Thirdly, fluoride in toothpaste is just one more source of exposure to this harmful substance. Some swallowing of toothpaste is inevitable, and moreover, the mucous membranes of your mouth are capable of absorbing materials directly into the bloodstream.
Even the mainstream media has caught on to the dangers of fluoride, publicly calling into question the practice of adding fluoride to the public water supply.
In 2009, Dr. Weil was asked again about fluoride, and he declared that his views had not changed despite new evidence that fluoride was shown to cause cancer in dogs and bone cancer in children.
Fluoride Is So Dangerous That I Regularly Warn Savers Against It
I think it’s so important to get the word out about fluoride that I wrote The Missing Link, a report on the dangers of fluoride in drinking water. This detailed report is included free with the Save Our Bones Program, because I felt it was crucial to inform Savers of the detrimental effects of fluoride on bone health and overall health.
Evidence-Backed Science: Fluoride Is Detrimental To Bone Health
Here are some of the scientific facts that will help elucidate why Dr. Weil is wrong.
Fluoride weakens bone and increases fracture rates. As far back as 1975, studies show that the experimental use of fluoride to treat osteoporosis destroys bone integrity and strength. Vertebral, pelvic, and femoral fractures were the most commonly reported types in the studies, and many of the fractures were spontaneous (without any actual trauma to the bone).
“…fluoride treatment can increase the risk of hip fracture in osteoporotic women,”2 a 1989 study concluded.
And in 2002 (the same year Dr. Weil first announced his pro-fluoride stance), another study observed that “Vertebral fracture rates and peripheral bone density changes…demonstrate that NaF administration is capable of increasing vertebral fracture rates and of increasing peripheral (nonspinal) bone loss.”3
There have been countless studies on fluoride showing the same trend of weakened bones and increased fracture rates between 1975 and 2002.
Ready For This? Fluoride Is Not Even Good For Teeth!
It amazed me to learn that way back in 1957, Konstatin K. Paluev, an engineer of research and development, gave a presentation that exposed the falsehood of the the claim that fluoridated tap water reduces dental decay by 65%. Paluev declared this a “statistical illusion,”4 because it was based on very young children whose teeth had not even come in! The original investigators claimed non-existent teeth as cavity-free teeth.
And once the children who were observed in the original investigation actually got their teeth (the fluoride itself may have caused a delay in tooth eruption), the rate of cavities was the same as those in non-fluoridated areas.
Very devious, but unfortunately, the notion that fluoride in tap water prevents cavities is persistent among the majority.
Evidence against compulsory fluoride exposure goes back even further. In 1937 (yes, you read that right!) a study was published showing a connection between the incidence of dental cavities and low Vitamin D levels.5
Researchers observed that the incidence of cavities rose in the winter and fell in the summer, and…
…“The marked effect of vitamin D, however, together with observations on the effect of season and exposure to ultraviolet light lend much support to the thought that the calcium-phosphorus-vitamin D interrelationship plays a specific role in processes of tooth growth and preservation.”5
Considering that the FDA classifies fluoridated toothpaste as a drug, this is yet one more piece of evidence that nutrition, not drugs, are what leads to optimal dental, bone, and overall health.
Last But Not Least, Fluoride Is Extremely Harmful To Your Overall Health
When I wrote the Save Our Bones Program, I recognized the importance of a whole-body, whole-person approach. A healthy body is vital for building strong bones, and fluoride undermines some very important body systems.
- Kidney health is greatly damaged by fluoride. “…fluoride should be given at a lower dosage, if at all, to patients with even mild renal failure,”6 concludes a 1983 study. Savers know that healthy kidneys are critical for maintaining and building bone, because they are major detoxification organs.
- Research has shown that fluoride causes gastrointestinal problems ranging from nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain to internal hemorrhage.7,8
- Decreased mental capacity and diminished IQ in children have been traced to fluoride ingestion, according to a well-known Harvard meta-analysis involving 27 studies. What I find most disturbing about this is that the amount of fluoride in the studies was equivalent to what average tap water-drinkers ingest on a regular basis.
For example, in seven of the studies, the amount of fluoride ingested was between 2.1mg per liter and 4mg per liter (this is what 1.4 Americans drink every day in their tap water).
The Harvard researchers noted a study showing reduced IQ in children who drank water with a mere .88mg per liter, the “optimal” fluoride level added to the tap water of more than 200 million Americans.
- Slow thyroid (hypothyroidism) has been linked to fluoride ingestion, and like the reduced IQ studies, research has shown reduced thyroid activity at relatively low levels – 2 milligrams of fluoride a day.9 But drinking fluoridated tap water can mean you’re ingesting more than 6 milligrams a day.
I mentioned above that the FDA actually classifies fluoride toothpaste as a medication. Isn’t it appalling that drinking tap water means you’re ingesting medication without your consent!
Avoiding Tap Water Is Crucial
Regardless of what Dr. Weil and others may say about fluoridated tap water, I firmly maintain that it’s a bad idea. Distilled water with a few drop of lemon juice is the purest, most bone-healthy form of water that you can drink.
If you want to avoid hauling heavy containers home from the store, I encourage you to consider the Waterwise 8800. It’s a countertop distiller that I use in my own home, and I am absolutely delighted with the results.
And if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to learn more about the Save Our Bones Program which goes way beyond just fluoride and tap water. It will become your ultimate resource and step-by-step ‘how-to’ guide on how to rebuild your bones naturally and scientifically. It is my unwavering conviction that arming yourself with scientifically-backed knowledge is vitally important to your bone health. That’s one of my major motivations here with Save Our Bones.
One Final Thought On Fluoride
When I recently visited southern Colorado for a few days, it was hummingbird season. So I decided to put out a feeder with some nectar to attract these beautiful birds. When I read the label on the nectar bottle, I realized that it made a curious claim.
See it for yourself – here’s the picture of the bottle I got. Look at the text below the white arrow:
So at least we can rest assured that the hummingbirds won’t be consuming fluoride!
2 Hedlund LR, Gallagher JC. “Increased incidence of hip fracture in osteoporotic women treated with sodium fluoride.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 1989. 2:223-5.
3 Gutteridge DH, et al. “A randomized trial of sodium fluoride (60 mg) +/- estrogen in postmenopausal osteoporotic vertebral fractures: increased vertebral fractures and peripheral bone loss with sodium fluoride; concurrent estrogen prevents peripheral loss, but not vertebral fractures.” Osteoporosis International 2002. 13:158-70.
4 Konstatin K. Paluev, Research and Development Engineer, “Fluoridation Benefits–Statistical Illusion,” testimony before the New York City Board of Estimate, Mar. 6, 1957.
5 McBeath, E.C. and Zucker, T.F. “The Role Of Vitamin D In The Control Of Dental Caries In Children.” School of Dental and Oral Surgery and Department of Pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. December 1937.
6 Gerster JC, et al. “Bilateral fractures of femoral neck in patients with moderate renal failure receiving fluoride for spinal osteoporosis.” British Medical Journal. 1983. (Clin Res Ed). 287(6394):723-5.
7 Riggs BL, et al. “Effect of Fluoride treatment on the Fracture Rates in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis.” 1990. New England Journal of Medicine 322:802-809.
8 Hodsman AB, Drost DJ. (1989). “The response of vertebral bone mineral density during the treatment of osteoporosis with sodium fluoride.” 1989. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 69:932-8.
9 National Research Council. (2006). “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.” National Academies Press, Washington D.C. p 197.