Portlanders are currently weighing in on whether we should add synthetic fluoride to our water system.
To me the answer is an obvious no.
The simple reasons?
- I’m not for mass medication.
- Fluoride and iodine are both halogens, and fluoride can take iodine’s place in our body’s detoxification enzyme sites and our thyroid when we’re low on iodine – like most of us are. (How many people do you know with a thyroid condition these days?)
- Fluoride is incredibly difficult to filter out of the water for those of us who don’t want to consume it. Chlorine and its counterparts are fairly simple and inexpensive to remove. Fluoride requires expensive and resource intensive methods like distillation or reverse osmosis. Neither of those can remove 100% either – the best case is 85%. So it’s not just a matter of those of us who don’t want it filtering it back out.
- Fluoride is not the solution to tooth decay.
As long-time followers know, I studied the nutrition of traditional human groups. Which basically looks at healthy people and finds out what they were doing to be that way. There were still quite a lot of them to study 100 years ago.
One of the biggest researches in my field was actually a dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price.
Dr. Price was a very successful dentist in the early 20’s century who was concerned about increasing amounts of tooth decay and crooked teeth. He was interested in studying people who didn’t suffer with these things, and heard there were groups of people in remote areas that rarely got cavities and never needed braces.
This interest took him on journeys around the world. He visited 14 different countries, studying groups in the Swiss Alps, islands off the coast of Scotland, Africa, South America, Australia, Natives in Canada & Alaska, and Pacific Islanders. He also collected samples of their foods and analyzed them for their nutrient content. Dr. Price published his findings in the book Nutrition & Physical Degeneration in 1939.
He found that when the “displacing foods of modern commerce” came to these peoples, their health quickly deteriorated. He saw evidence of dental decay in people who had spent a couple of years in a big city, which was halted when they returned to their traditional diet. This was also illustrated in later children, born after refined foods were introduced into the parents’ diet. He realized it wasn’t just the person eating the food – the parents of children with crooked teeth were eating the devitalized diet prior to conception and during pregnancy and nursing. This is an often-overlooked factor in tooth decay. Our teeth are formed in utero.
What are the “displacing foods of modern commerce” he’s referring to? Refined sugar, white flour, canned food, pasteurized or low-fat dairy, and refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Things that most children are eating every single day of their lives, and some of which the federal government promotes as “healthy” and require in our public school cafeterias.
Dr. Price took this research a step further when he came back to the U.S.
He worked with numerous children with dental caries. He brought them to his clinic for one highly nutritious meal a day. It included 4 ounces of fresh tomato or orange juice mixed with a teaspoon full of natural cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil (made from Spring butter when the cows are eating grass with more nutrition in it). Then they had a pint of vegetable and meat stew, cooked fresh fruit with little to no sweetener added, a roll made from freshly ground whole wheat, spread liberally with high-vitamin butter, and two glasses of fresh raw milk. This controlled the dental caries in 90% of the cases. That means they were halted or reversed and these kids didn’t get any fluoride treatments and didn’t even need fillings!
This was while they continued to eat their typical meals of pancakes with syrup, white bread with jam, or doughnuts fried in vegetable oil at home.
So, instead of expecting something like fluoride to be a band-aid covering America’s appalling eating habits, and being willfully blind to the long-term consequences, let’s focus on what our ancestors did to avoid cavities for 100,000 generations instead.