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3 Most Efficient Ways To Detox Fluoride From Your Body
It is hard to think of a public health practice that has caused as much speculation and controversy over the years as fluoridation. The adding of fluoride to municipal water in the United States has been the subject of conspiracy theories and political debates alike for decades. It has provided some health benefits, but may have also opened people who drink fluoridated water up to some health risks they may not be aware of. In this article, we’ll explore what fluoridation is, what the potential risks are, and how you can do a fluoride detox on your own.
Fluoride is an ionic compound of the element fluorine, which occurs naturally in many different types of rocks. Fluoridation is the practice of adding fluoride to municipal water. It is done for health reasons that will be more fully elaborated below.
This practice of fluoridation began in 1961 in the United States. The levels deemed safe at that time were between 0.7 and 1.7 mg of fluoride per liter of water. You’ve probably noticed, however, that fluoride is in a lot of mouth care products such as toothpaste. In 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services lowered the safe amount down to simply 0.7 mg per liter, since fluoride has become more accessible via other products.
The argument for fluoridation is that it makes the public’s teeth stronger and healthier. Fluoride binds to the enamel when it comes in contact with the teeth. Tooth enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, a compound formed by the combination of hydrogen, calcium, oxygen, and phosphorus. Fluoride exposure is believed to help the hydroxyapatite layer maintain its strength and protect against tooth decay, although there is not complete scientific consensus on how exactly this works.
The general idea behind fluoridation is to help the protect the public from tooth decay by adding a beneficial compound to the water supply, so people will drink it and take it in without a great deal of effort. About two-thirds of municipal water in the Unites States is fluoridated, and according to the Center for Disease Control, the levels of tooth decay in the United States have dropped significantly since fluoridation was introduced in the early 1960s. However, it is worth noting that many other countries do not fluoridate their water, and levels of tooth decay have gone down in those countries as well, according to the World Health Organization.
While fluoridation may have resulted in stronger teeth, there is no denying the fact that fluoride, in high amounts, is indeed a toxic chemical. It is for this reason that even after so many decades, so many remain opposed to it in the Unites States, and that many other developed countries have not adopted the practice. There are some studies suggesting that fluoride can act as an endocrine disruptor and a neurotoxin and has increased the rates of behavior disorders, lower IQs in children, dyslexia, and other neurological conditions. The National Institute of Health conducted a meta-analysis of the studies regarding fluoride exposure and neurobehavioral development in children, and they found that children in areas with higher levels of fluoride in the water typically had lower IQs than children in areas with a lower fluoride concentration.
There is also the philosophical argument against fluoridation, that it is inherently unethical since it constitutes a form of mass medication of the public without their consent. And since people’s use of water varies depending on their activities or occupation, individuals cannot necessarily control the “dose” to which they are exposed.
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Fluoride Detox Methods
The good news is that if you want to lower the amount of fluoride in your system, you can do so by making some adjustments to your diet.
One simple step you can take is to increase your consumption of calcium and magnesium. Minerals interact with one another, and it so happens that calcium and magnesium, both beneficial minerals in their own right, have the ability to help reduce the levels of fluoride in your body. Calcium draws fluoride away from the bones, and magnesium prevents your body’s cells from absorbing as much of it as they normally might. These two minerals are most beneficial when consumed together. Good sources of calcium and magnesium include dairy products, nuts, fish, avocados, and leafy green vegetables.
Another element that can help you reduce your fluoride levels is iodine, which plays a very important role in thyroid function. Your body cannot synthesize iodine on its own, so you must get it from an external source. Iodine helps by improving your body’s ability to rid itself of fluoride through excretion. One study found that taking only one dose of iodine increased the execration of fluoride by 78 percent. Good sources of iodine are yogurt, fish, potatoes, navy beans, and cranberries. Talk to your doctor before using iodine supplementation, as thyroid health is nothing to be trifled with.
Finally, you may want to consider eating a tamarind with lunch. This unique African food is something like a cross between a bean and fruit and has a flavor that is both sweet and tart. Also found in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisine, tamarind has the ability to help reduce the amount of fluoride absorbed in your body. A study in India found that teenagers who ate 10 grams of tamarind daily experienced a significant increase in their body’s excretion of fluoride through urination after 18 days. The tamarind was literally flushing it out of them.
READ ALSO: 8 True Facts About Fluoride Infographic
If you’re interested in doing a fluoride detox, try these methods out and see how they work for you. When using supplements for this detox, especially fluoride, be sure do your research and ask your doctor or nutritionist for the right dose (again, especially with iodine).