The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolic system and plays an extremely important role in human health. Because all cells require thyroid hormone for proper functioning, thyroid disruption can have a wide range of effects on virtually every system of the body. Chemicals that interfere with thyroid function must be treated with great caution. There is substantial evidence that fluoride exposure can impact thyroid function in some individuals.
A study led by Stephen Peckham of the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, compared 2012 national data on levels of fluoride in drinking water to trends for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) as diagnosed by family physicians across England.
They found that in locales where tap water fluoride levels exceeded 0.3 milligrams per liter, the risk for having an underactive thyroid rose by 30% percent. Public records indicate Denver tap water levels are close to .7mg/L and Boulder is at .9mg/L. In the USA, current concentrations vary between 0.7 and 1.3 milligrams per liter.
Peckhams’s team also found that hypothyroidism rates were nearly double in urbanized regions that had fluoridated tap water, compared with regions that did not.
“We found that higher levels of fluoride in drinking water provide a useful contribution for predicting prevalence of hypothyroidism. We found that practices located in the West Midlands (a wholly fluoridated area) are nearly twice as likely to report high hypothyroidism prevalence in comparison to Greater Manchester (non-fluoridated area).” (Peckham 2015).
Supporting the fluoride/hypothyroidism connection are a number of studies from China, India, and Russia that have found alterations in thyroid hormones, including reduced T3 and increased TSH, in populations exposed to elevated levels of fluoride in the workplace or in the water.
“Fluoride is a toxic drug linked with an array of potentially serious health problems. Most recently, research linking fluoridated water consumption to thyroid dysfunction received attention in both British and American media. Evidence also suggests it may contribute to or exacerbate behavioral problems such as ADHD”.
“Surely, protecting people from thyroid dysfunction—which can also raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, neurological harm to fetuses and infants, and other health problems—is of greater concern than protecting people from dental caries, which can be very effectively addressed in other, far safer ways”.
Fluoride Was Once Prescribed as an Anti-Thyroid Drug
When people think of fluoride being prescribed for medicinal purposes, they generally think of fluoride supplementation to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride, however, has also been prescribed as a drug to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland. Up through the 1950s, doctors in Europe and South America prescribed fluoride to reduce thyroid function in patients with over-active thyroids (hyperthyroidism). (Merck Index 1968). According to clinical research, the amount of fluoride in our water supply is capable of suppressing thyroid function. Is this new to you? Well, it might not be but there are well over 20 million Americans that might want to know this information. If the FDA classifies fluoride as a drug, and it is the only drug that is allowed into our water system, shouldn’t you be aware of the potential risks before you put that glass to your lips? Certainly those that suffer from thyroid disease should be aware that fluoride can block the activity of Iodine and create subclinical or overt hypothyroidism! So, now that you know the risks, what can you do?
Is Water Filtration Effective at Removing Fluoride?
There are three options when considering the removal of fluoride and other impurities in water. My first recommendation is reverse osmosis, RO. RO has a extremely small filter system that will only allow the H20 molecule to pass through, not much else. Some people find adding minerals back in can help the quality of drinking water. Please keep in mind, unless it’s a whole house system you are still getting halogens like fluoride and chloride through the shower. Second is a deionizer. This system uses a matrix of materials to grab onto charged ions and then puts it through a buffer to clear impurities out. I don’t recommend it as anything organic without a charge (micro-organisms) will not be filtered. Lastly, activated alumina is another method. This basically uses an activated aluminum to bind to other minerals like fluoride for removal. It appears to work but I personally don’t trust aluminum methods as their is a host of problems associated with long term aluminum exposure. How about the Brita or Pur filter? Nope. They do not remove fluoride nor micro organisms efficiently and you will still be exposed to this element. My personal recommendation is to buy a RO filter system and relish that one more toxin has been removed from your daily repertoire. Your thyroid will thank you!
Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP
Recent Thyroid Testimonials
If you’re looking for a caring pair of doctors, this is the place to go! After dealing with thyroid issues for over a year, I found Dr. Autoimmune. I feel so much better and have learned so much about thyroid issues. They always take the time to educate and answer any questions. I highly recommend them! Dr. Karen & Ian have spent tremendous amounts of time learning the triggers of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and look forward to helping you regain your vitality!
I have recommend Dr. Autoimmunes & Dr. Ian to quite a few people. Dr. Ian really knows his stuff medically (diet, physiology, endocrine and neurological systems & how they interact with health, etc). He’s also an excellent chiropractor. The science is important to me, and I have learned a lot because Dr. Ian takes the time to talk. He individualizes care for each client, discusses and follows up with lab work thoroughly, and provides targeted supplements that work. Most importantly, Dr. Ian and the staff really care about each client and take time to encourage and empower the whole person. Dr. Autoimmune doesn’t take insurance, but they customize care so that it’s as affordable as possible, and the recommended care plans can make a BIG difference in a short period of time. Dr. Ian’s goal is wholeness, not maintenance of sickness, so he will strive to get you back on your feet and out the door in a reasonable time frame. Dr. Autoimmune is worth the investment.