Fluoride in Water and Mental Health Issues – Could There be a Link?

Does fluoride in drinking water hurt your brain?

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Published August 22, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Back in 2011, the EPA reversed course and lowered the recommended maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water due to data that the levels then being allowed put kids at risk of dental fluorosis–streaking and pitting of teeth due to excessive fluoride, which also puts tooth enamel at risk.

This conclusion was a discordant note amidst all the accolades fluoride had won, starting with the discovery during the 1940s that people who lived near water supplies containing naturally occurring fluoride had fewer cavities in their teeth.   A massive push ensued, with government and industry encouraging cities and towns to add fluoride to water supplies.

Now, questions about the impact of fluoride on mental health are growing and can no longer be ignored.

A recently published Harvard study showed that children living in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores than those living in areas where the water has low fluoride levels.  In fact, the study analyzed the results of 27 prior investigations and found the following, among other conclusions:

* Fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development (in children) at exposures much below those that cause toxicity in adults.

* Rats exposed to (relatively low) fluoride concentrations in water showed cellular changes in the brain and increased levels of aluminum in brain tissue.

Other research studies in animals link fluoride intake to the development of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic finding in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia).

And research on fluoride also has implicated it in changing the structure of the brains of fetuses, negatively impacting the behavioral/neurological assessment scores of newborns and, in animal studies, impairing memory.

This information is very important, from a psychiatric standpoint, because we have witnessed rising rates of attention deficit disorder, major depression, dementia and many other psychiatric illnesses since the 1940s, and because the United States (which fluoridates a much higher percentage of its drinking water than most countries, including European nations) has some of the highest rates of mental disorders in the world–by a wide margin.

It is not clear, of course, that fluoride is responsible wholly, or even in small measure, for these facts, but the connection is an intriguing one, especially in light of the new Harvard study.

Given the available data, I would recommend that children with learning disorders, attention deficit disorder, depression, attention-deficit disorder or other psychiatric illnesses refrain from drinking fluoridated water, and consult a dentist about the most effective way of delivering sufficient fluoride to the teeth directly, while minimizing absorption by the body as a whole–and the brain, specifically.

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Hydration Can Help Prevent Life-Threatening Heat Injury

High school football: Heat, drought put emphasis on hydration

Mark Ambrogi | indystar.com Jul. 29, 2012

Park Tudor School junior football player Chris Elbrecht never wants to experience an ice bath again.

“I was shivering like crazy,” Elbrecht said. “It was one of the worst things.”

Yet it was likely an experience he couldn’t live without. That ice bath followed a serious dehydration incident during a game last season and might have saved his life, said his father, Chris Elbrecht Sr.

With a majority of high school sports practices beginning today, Elbrecht’s story serves as a reminder of how important hydration and the relatively cheap and easy precaution of having access to an ice bath at practices and games are with temperatures expected above 90 degrees throughout the next week.

Near the end of the first half of Park Tudor’s opener on a warm evening last August, Elbrecht crumbled to his knees on the sideline. He was playing receiver and defensive back, and on punt and kickoff returns. Elbrecht had come off the field feeling lightheaded and thought he was just dehydrated.

But it was far more serious than he originally thought.

“My body temperature was getting really high and going up quickly,” Elbrecht said. “Everybody reacted quickly. They knew they had to cool me down quick.”

After seeing an article in The Indianapolis Star two weeks earlier, then-coach Scott Fischer had consulted with athletic trainer Betsy Bradley about having ice baths available on the sideline. The school bought two kiddie pools for the ice. When Bradley diagnosed Elbrecht with heat exhaustion, she insisted hebe put in an ice bath instead of rushing him to a hospital.

The first 5 to 10 minutes are crucial in determining whether someone survives heat stroke brought on by exertion, making the kiddie pool a better option than an ambulance.

Thirty football players have died due to heat-related injuries the past 10 years, including five high school athletes last year, according to a study by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. That’s an increase over 22 the previous 10 years despite the fact that these athletes could almost certainly be saved for $25: the cost of a kiddie pool and some ice.

Park Tudor was running low on ice — the athletic department staff didn’t realize a 700-person tailgate before the game depleted the campus’ supply, something athletic director Brad Lennon said would not happen again — so police officers went to a nearby gas station convenience store. Elbrecht, who lives in Cicero, went into hyperthermia after the ice bath “but once I got my body temperature up, I started feeling better,” he said.

Despite the life-threatening incident, Elbrecht’s treatment allowed him to return to practice a few days later and he played in the next game.

“I’ve learned you can’t just drink when you’re thirsty, you have to hydrate all through week,” Elbrecht said.

Read the entire article here

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