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Illnesses and disabilities

Fluoride imbalance

Category: Illness or disabilities



Introduction and description


Fluoride is an inorganic anion of fluorine with the chemical formula F− . It occurs naturally in both rocks and sea water.  Fluoride is also found naturally in low concentration in drinking water and foods. Fresh water supplies generally contain between 0.01–0.3 ppm.

Fluorine, in the form of fluoride, is considered to be a micronutrient for human health, necessary to prevent dental cavities, and to promote healthy bone growth.  But the amount needed is truly tiny.   Furthermore, the amount we need is usually present naturally in a host of foods, not just natural unadulterated spring or ground water.

Approximately, fifty percent of absorbed fluoride is excreted renally with a twenty four hour period. The remainder is retained in the oral cavity, and lower digestive tract.  For optimal dental health, the World Health Organization recommends a level of fluoride from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/L (milligrams per litre). The dietary reference intake is a theoretical 4mg for an adult per day [!], according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA state that the Dietary Reference Intake which is the "highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects" is 10 mg/day for adults.  For infants and young children the values are much much smaller, ranging from 0.7 mg/d for infants to 2.2 mg/d for larger children.  It is not clear how these figures were derived.

Fasting dramatically increases the rate of fluoride absorption to near hundred percent, in comparison with the sixty to eighty percent when taken with food.

“The lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 5 to 10 g (which is equivalent to 32 to 64 mg/kg elemental fluoride/kg body weight). However, a case of a fatal poisoning of an adult with 4 grams of sodium fluoride is documented”.

Some natural sources of fluoride

The following table shows some of the natural sources of fluoride, it was derived from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database


(mg per 100g)


(mg per portion)

Black Tea (brewed)


1 cup, 240g (8 fl oz)


Raisins, seedless


small box, 43g (1.5 oz)


Table wine


Bottle, 750ml (26.4 fl oz)


Baked potatoes, Russet


Medium potato, 140g (0.3 lb)




Chop, 170g (6 oz)




1 large carrot, 72g (2.5 oz)


The tea plant (Camellia sinensis L.) is a known accumulator of fluorine compounds, ‘released upon forming infusions such as the common beverage’. The fluorine compounds decompose into products including fluoride ions. Fluoride is the most bioavailable form of fluorine, and as such, tea is potentially a major natural source of fluoride.

In a 2013 study, it was found that consumption of one litre of tea a day, can potentially supply the daily recommended intake of 4 mg per day.  [Ref:  Chan, Laura; Mehra, Aradhana; Saikat, Sohel; Lynch, Paul (May 2013). "Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A UK based issue?". Food Research International 51 (2): 564–570. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2013.01.025].


It does not take much increase in fluoride intake for it to become poisonous.  Poisoning from fluoride is known as fluorosis and few if any people will be aware they have it.  Even overdoses of a relatively small amount can cause serious health problems.

  • Calcium imbalance -  The mechanism of toxicity involves the combination of the fluoride anion with the calcium ions in the blood to form insoluble calcium fluoride, resulting in hypocalcemia – calcium deficiency; calcium is indispensable for the function of the nervous system, and the condition can be fatal.
  • IBS, Stomach and Intestine disease -  Ingestion of fluoride can produce gastrointestinal discomfort at doses at least 15 to 20 times lower (0.2–0.3 mg/kg) than lethal doses. It also irritates the stomach, sometimes so severely as to cause ulcers
  • Skeletal and muscle disease - Although helpful in very very low dosage, chronic exposure to fluoride in large amounts interferes with bone formation.  Just some of the symptoms include, pain in the legs and incomplete stress fractures.  Toxic levels of fluoride have been associated with a weakening of bones and an increase in hip and wrist fractures. The U.S. National Research Council concludes that fractures with fluoride levels 1-4mg/L, suggesting a ‘dose-response relationship’.
    Consumption of fluoride, even at levels below those used in fluoridated water, for a long period of time causes ‘skeletal fluorosis’. In some areas, particularly the Asian subcontinent, skeletal fluorosis is endemic. It is known to cause irritable-bowel symptoms and joint pain. Early stages are not clinically obvious, and may be misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis

  • Mild fluorosis
    Dental fluorosis - It can also cause ‘dental fluorosis’, which can alter the appearance of children's teeth during tooth development.  In areas that have naturally occurring high levels of fluoride in groundwater both dental and skeletal fluorosis can be prevalent and severe.  Fluoridation of 1 mg/L is estimated to cause fluorosis in one of every 6 people (range 4–21), and to cause fluorosis of aesthetic concern in one of every 22 people
  • Brain damage – including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  A meta analysis conducted on epidemiological studies conducted in China concluded that exposure to "high" levels of fluoride (variously defined) in childhood was associated with a reduction in IQ of about 7 points.  The National Research Council (2006) report  Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards found that "many of the untoward effects of fluoride are due to the formation of AlFx [aluminum fluoride] complexes”.  The NRC noted that rats administered fluoride had twice as much aluminium in their brains. When water (1 ppm fluoride) is boiled in aluminium cookware, more aluminium is leached and more aluminium fluoride complexes are formed.  In other words there is a greater risk of heavy metal poisoning, a known cause of numerous brain diseases – not just Alzheimer’s.
  • Kidney disease -  Fluoride induced nephrotoxicity is kidney injury due to toxic levels of serum fluoride, commonly due to release of fluoride from fluorine-containing drugs, such as methoxyflurane.  The kidney injury is characterised by failure to concentrate urine, leading to polyuria, and subsequent dehydration with hypernatremia and hyperosmolarity. Fluoride also stimulates intrarenal vasodilation, leading to increased medullary blood flow, which interferes with the counter current mechanism in the kidney required for concentration of urine.
  • Thyroid disease - Thyroid effects in humans were associated with fluoride levels 0.05–0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01–0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was inadequate.  Its mechanisms and effects on the endocrine system remain unclear.


The main sources of overdose levels include

  • Tea drinking - In the same 2013 study mentioned above,  drinking a litre of ‘builder’s brew’, lower quality brands of tea supplied up to a 120 percent of the needed/safe amount of fluoride. Fasting can increase this to 150 percent. The study indicated that tea drinking communities are at an increased risk of fluorosis, and at serious risk in cases where water fluoridation is in effect.
  • Tap water - Western government’s insistence upon involuntary dosing of everyone via tap water – their drinking water, adds hugely to the risk of overdose. 


(mg per 100g)


(mg per portion)

Municipal tap-water,


3 litres (0.79 US gal)


"The countries with the highest incidence of cancer in the world in yellow are artificially fluoridated countries– Ireland, Australia, New Zealand", note that this statement does not come from me, but it is an interesting finding

  • Toothpaste and other dental products - Fluoride ion in low doses in the mouth reduces tooth decay. For this reason, it is used in toothpaste.  Fluoride-containing compounds are also used in topical and systemic fluoride therapy for preventing tooth decay. Adults rarely swallow dental products, but children do, furthermore the amounts may simply be too high in the products. 
    In the following study, for example, 30% of the children exposed to fluoride dental products developed mild symptoms [Ref:  Augenstein WL, Spoerke DG, Kulig KW, et al. (November 1991). "Fluoride ingestion in children: a review of 87 cases". Pediatrics 88 (5): 907–12. PMID 1945630]. 
    Between 1990 and 1994, over 628 people in the USA, for example, mostly children, were treated after ingesting too much fluoride-containing toothpaste.  [Ref:  Jay D. Shulman; Linda M. Wells (1997). "Acute Fluoride Toxicity from Ingesting Home-use Dental Products in Children, Birth to 6 Years of Age". Journal of Public Health Dentistry 57 (3): 150–158. doi:10.1111/j.1752-7325.1997.tb02966.x. PMID 9383753]
  • Table salt - In some countries, fluoride “is delivered to the populace” by fluoridating table salt. People may or may not be aware that this is happening.
  • Normal drinking water - In some locations, the fresh water contains dangerously high levels of fluoride, leading to serious health problems.  In India an estimated 60 million people have been poisoned by well water contaminated by excessive fluoride, which is dissolved from the granite rocks. The effects are particularly evident in the bone deformations of children. Similar or larger problems are anticipated in other countries including China, Uzbekistan, and Ethiopia. The map below shows the main problem areas

Groundwater fluoride world

  • Baby formula – a baby that is bottle fed using tap water, is at risk from significant fluoride overdosing if the water has been treated
  • Pharmaceuticals - The fluorine atom is pervasive in a number of pharmaceutical products for example anti-depressants such as Prozac and Osteoporosis treatments.  This LINK provides details from eHealthme of just a small number of the pharmaceuticals that have knowingly caused fluorosis.  The list includes statins, antibiotics and anti-histamines.  Please note that we have had problems with the links we provide to eHealthme.  If this link fails use the 'symptom' search table to find fluorosis and then scroll down to the section 'drugs that could cause'.
  • Being anaesthetised – a number of anaesthetics contain fluoride, for example, Methoxyflurane formerly marketed as Penthrane, is a halogenated ether that was in clinical use as a volatile inhalational anaesthetic from its introduction by Joseph F. Artusio et al in 1960 until the late 1970s.
  • Toxins – including insecticides and rodenticides, and a host of other fluoride containing products such as glass-etching or chrome-cleaning agents like ammonium bifluoride or hydrofluoric acid, fluxes used to promote the flow of a molten metal on a solid surface, and metal cleaners.

The fluorine atom is also pervasive in many other substances such as freon, Teflon, and blood serum (PFOS, PFOA, and PFNA).

How it works

In those cases where hallucinations, Near death and other experiences occur, the person is being poisoned.

It is worth pointing out, however, that given the number of illnesses and diseases resulting from fluoride overdose, these are the reason for the experience.

Related observations