How Fluoride Kills Human Cells
Date: 5/12/04 5:34:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time
How Fluoride Kills Human Cells
Researchers uncovering mechanisms behind fluoride's toxicity
Fluoride, the "Golden Child" of dental professionals around the world,
seems to have a "dark side" that few outside a very specialized field of
the scientific community are aware of. As disturbing as it may be,
fluoride apparently has the ability to cause DNA damage and even "cell
death" in human cells.
In a new study, researchers from the National Institute for Environmental
Studies in Japan note that
"Even though fluoride toxicity is increasingly being considered to be
important, very little information is available on the mechanism of
action of fluoride."
You might think that most everything would be known about a chemical that
is being added to our water and prescribed for our children, but
regrettably this is not the case.
Researchers decided to investigate the mechanism by which fluoride's is
able to kill cells by observing how it affects human leukemia cells.
Cancerous cells are often used in research on toxicity because they are
more active than normal cells.
They found that the fluoride induced a form of cell death known as
"apoptosis" in a dose-dependent and time dependent manner.
Now, if fluoride killing cancerous cells were the "end of the story",
this would be a great breakthrough in cancer treatment and would likely
save many lives. Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple.
Lead researcher Dr. C.D. Anuradha, in comments to the Optimal Wellness
Center, explains that "fluoride in general is harmful to any type of
cell. We have seen that fluoride causes cell death in other non-cancerous
cells but however the mode of death has been found to be different."
Instead of causing apoptosis, in normal cells fluoride seems to kill
cells through a different mechanism, known as "necrosis".
Cell Death - Murder or Suicide?
Apoptosis, also known as "programmed cell death" in a process governed by
genes in which the cell dies from within upon activation by some
stimulating factor. It is a useful phenomenon, which occurs often as part
of the normal functioning of the human body, as it gets rid of unwanted
cells. The term apoptosis is derived from the Greek word that signifies
"the dropping of leaves from the trees." The falling leaves are no longer
needed, just as is the case with the unwanted cells, so they are gotten
rid of, and recycled back into the earth.
Necrosis, on the other hand, is an externally influenced death, which
occurs through some type of local injury (as loss of blood supply,
corrosion, burning, or the local lesion of a disease).
A useful analogy between apoptosis and necrosis might be to compare
suicide (apoptosis) to murder (necrosis).
Is it Dangerous at Much Lower Doses?
Now many readers may ask the intelligent question of - How does this
affect me? Are the much lower concentrations found in fluoridated water
and toothpaste a danger to my family and me?
The answer unfortunately is that nobody knows for sure. However, Dr.
Anuradha states that, although the concentrations are quite low "&still
we expect some amount of damage even at lower concentrations, since at
higher concentrations the results are quite clear that the difference is
enormous and significant."
She notes that the issue of therapeutic fluoridation is the subject of
much debate. Could this be the reason that Japan does not fluoridate ANY
of its water supplies? This can't be said with certainty, but after all,
doesn't it make sense to keep a potentially dangerous substance out of
the water and not FORCE the entire population to consume it?
In the United States currently about 60% of the population drinks
fluoridated water, although if the federal government has its way, that
percentage will rise dramatically. This is especially true with states
like California MANDATING the fluoridation of the public water supplies
over a certain size.
How it Caused Cell-Death
Dr. Anuradha and colleagues found that fluoride caused apoptosis in the
human leukemia cells by activating an enzyme called caspase-3, which has
been identified as a key mediator of apoptosis of cells in humans and
The authors note that "The results clearly suggest that fluoride causes
cell death in HL-60 (human leukemia) cells by causing the activation of
caspase-3 which in turn cleaves PARP leading to DNA damage and ultimately
What Type of Fluoride?
Except for readers with strong scientific backgrounds, most people don't
realize that there is really no such thing as plain "fluoride". When it
said that "fluoride" is added to the water, in reality it is a
fluoride-compound such as sodium fluoride (NaF), which is the form used
in these toxicity experiments.
While this may be the most well known and well-studied of all the
fluoride compounds, it is actually very rarely used for water
fluoridation. In over 90% of the fluoridated water in the US, the
chemicals used are one of the silicofluorides (either fluosilicic acid or
However, these chemicals have been shown to act much differently from the
much simpler sodium fluoride. In one study, it was shown that these
chemicals enhance the cellular uptake of lead
Being that there is evidence that silicofluorides may be even more toxic
than NaF, it is quite possible that the DNA damage and cell-killing
ability might be even greater in the type of fluoride used in the water
What Can I Do About it?
Whether you believe that water fluoridation is a vast conspiracy or
simply that it is a possibility that fluoride is a dangerous substance
that you would just rather avoid, the question remains the same - what to
do about it?
The best advice would be to go to our Fluoride Links Page and get
SEE LINKS BELOW............
For those of you interested in the water fluoridation issue, there is a
scheduled debate, which will take place at an upcoming conference
sponsored by The Association for Science in the Public Interest, June
1-3, 2001, in Richmond, Virginia.
Paul Connett, PhD, (Fluoride Action Network) and J. William Hirzy, PhD,
are scheduled to represent the anti-fluoride camp in the debate, although
it seems as though the conference sponsor is having trouble finding
anyone willing to debate them. Pretty amazing considering that the
American Dental Association is one of fluoridation's biggest champions.
You would think they could at least send someone to defend their
Prominent Researcher Apologizes for Pushing Fluoride
Canadian Dental Association Advises AGAINST Fluoride Supplements in Young
Links for Fluoride Information
Fluoridation Increases Lead Absorption In Children
Toothpaste and Other Fluoride Sources Can Damage Preschoolers' Teeth
Fluoride Links Page
Fluoride Links Page
The Optimal Wellness Center is a reference point for guiding healthcare
professionals and consumers through the information resources of the Internet.
The Fluoride Debate: A response to the American Dental Association's booklet,
Fluoride Action Network (Excellent Resource, Very Up-to-Date)
Fluoride: Protected Pollutant or Panacea? (Elkie Babiuk's site)
New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation
Fluoride Controversy, the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
Citizens for Safe Drinking Water (Mountainview, California)
More Scientific Facts on Fluoride
Fluoride Research Journal
Preventive Dental Health Site
America Overdosed on Fluoride - Lynn Landes (Includes e-mail correspondence
inwhich an ADA spokesperson refutes news reports that non-fluoridated bottled
water causes cavities, and what you can do to ban fluoride and educate others.)
Ellie Rudolph's site (Find out if your Pennsylvania town or city water is
The Toxic Effects of Fluoride (Be aware that they are selling a fluoride
Fluoridation Debate (Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 105, Number
11, November 1997)
Fluoridation: The Overdosing of America - Fact or Fiction? (Slides by Gerald
H. Smith, D.D.S.)
Darryl W. Roundy, D.C. - Fluoride Research
Fluoridation Fluoride Toxic Chemicals In Your Water
Does water fluoridation have negative side effects?
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