Fluoride Linked to Premature Births, Low-Birth Weight, Anemia
The fluoride in your drinking water and various commodities may contribute to premature births, lower birth weights, and anemia in pregnant women, according to a study published in Current Science. This report is the first evaluation of fluoride as an additional risk factor for low-birth-weight infants and anemia in pregnancy.
The additional of fluoride has been legislated into most water supplies in the United States, reportedly to help prevent tooth decay, but this has been the subject of debate for many years. According to the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, the practice of fluoridating tap water is not supported by valid science.
While tooth decay is increasing among children in the United States, it has declined in the United Kingdom by 11 to 15 percent, according to recent surveys. Only 10 percent of water is fluoridated in the United Kingdom, and children’s toothpaste is low-fluoride. Fluoride toothpaste in the United States contains twice the dosage. In countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Holland, tooth decay rates have declined by 72 to 92 percent over the past two decades, and their water is not fluoridated.
Fluoride, Birth, and Pregnancy
According to fluoride expert AK Susheela and colleagues in a recent study, anemia during pregnancy, which can result in both infant and maternal mortality, is a persistent problem in many countries. The study evaluated anemic pregnant women whose urine contained 1 mg/L fluoride or higher.
The women were separated into two groups: the experimental group avoided fluoride in water, food, and all other sources and consumed a nutritious diet as determined by the study’s authors. The control group received no instructions. Women in both groups took supplements of iron and folic acid.
Study results showed that women in the group that avoided fluoride also had considerably fewer cases of anemia, premature births, and infants with low-birth-weight than women in the control group.
While this study was conducted in India, similar findings have been seen in the United States. In a presentation made at the 2009 American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, researchers from the State University of New York reported that more premature births were observed in communities that had fluoridated water than in those with no-fluoridated water.
The Current Science study also reports that fluoride consumption has been shown to reduce red blood cell counts, inhibit the production of vitamin B12 and the absorption of nutrients necessary for hemoglobin synthesis, and to reduce folic acid activity.
The contribution of fluoride consumption to preterm birth and low-birth weight births as well as anemia in pregnant women has been observed by various scientists, including those in the recent study in Current Science. Not all experts agree that fluoride poses a health hazard, and thus the implications of its use continues to be the topic of debate and controversy.
NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation Inc.