10 Feb Fluoride health effects [BONE FRACTURE]
No one disputes that high doses of fluoride wreak havoc on bone tissue.
Millions of people throughout the world, for example, currently suffer a debilitating bone disease called skeletal fluorosis, which is caused by fluoride.
For many years, however, fluoride advocates believed that fluoride could also benefit bone due to its ability, under certain circumstances, to increase bone mass.
Attempts to use fluoride as an experimental treatment for osteoporosis, however, resulted in more fractures, not less.
More recently, studies of human populations have reported increased fracture rates in communities with 4 mg/L fluoride in the water, and animal studies have consistently found reductions in bone strength from fluoride exposures.
Although an increased fracture risk has not been consistently demonstrated at the fluoride levels (0.7-1.2 mg/L) added to water in fluoridation programs, the current weight of clinical, animal, and epidemiological evidence suggests that some individuals in fluoridated communities — particularly those with kidney disease — will suffer fragile bones as a result of their overall fluoride intake, including from fluoridated drinking water.
For many years, however, fluoride advocates believed that fluoride, under controlled conditions, could benefit bone due to its ability to increase bone mass.
In the 1960s, scientists began using fluoride as an experimental drug for the treatment of osteoporosis. Instead of reducing the number of fractures, however, numerous clinical trials reported that the fluoride treatment increased the rate of fractures (particularly hip fractures) and caused a number of other side effects, including gastric distress and joint pain. Based on these results, the FDA rejected the use of fluoride as a medical treatment for treating osteoporosis.
Clinical Trials: High-Dose Fluoride Increases Fracture Rates
A Clear Risk for Kidney Patients
A narrow margin of safety is especially problematic when considering that some subsets of the population, particularly those with advanced kidney disease, have a heightened vulnerability to fluoride. Because people with kidney disease have an impaired ability to excrete fluoride, they accumulate higher levels of fluoride in their bone than healthy individuals. Because of this, kidney patients can be harmed at doses well below those that cause harm in others. Recent research, for example, has found that dialysis patients in fluoridated areas (Ng 2004) accumulate levels of fluoride in their bone that can worsen, if not cause, osteomalacia — a bone-softening disease that causes bones to fracture.