15 Feb Fluoride Health Effects [Kidney disease]
The kidneys help prevent the build-up of toxic fluoride levels in the body by excreting fluoride through the urine. When kidney function declines (due to age or disease), the risk of fluoride toxicity increases.
Individuals with advanced kidney disease are known to have a very high susceptibility to fluoride toxicity since their bones and other tissues accumulate fluoride at levels far higher than healthy individuals. This fluoride build-up places kidney patients at a sharply elevated risk for skeletal fluorosis, a painful bone disease caused by excessive fluoride intake. Fluoride intake can also contribute to and exacerbate the complex bone disease renal osteodsystrophy, as well as the tooth staining and disfigurations that many people with advanced kidney disease suffer. These risks exist at current levels of exposure in communities with fluoridated drinking water.
Fluoride & Osteomalacia
Excessive intake of fluoride is well known to cause osteomalacia, a bone-softening disease which frequently develops in advanced kidney disease. The link between fluoride and osteomalacia started receiving attention in the 1970s when researchers discovered that the failure by dialysis centers to filter fluoride out of the water used in dialysis was causing severe, debilitating osteomalacia in the patients. By the start of the 1980s, therefore, all dialysis units had installed filtration equipment to remove the fluoride.
Low Levels of Fluoride Linked to Skeletal Fluorosis
In 1979, scientists at the Mayo Clinic documented the occurrence of crippling skeletal fluorosis in patients with advanced kidney disease drinking water with just 1.7 ppm fluoride. (Johnson 1979). Based on these findings, the authors reasoned that a similar risk would likely exist at the fluoride level (1 ppm) added to water to prevent tooth decay. Despite the Mayo Clinic’s findings, and despite numerous calls for studies to determine the rate of skeletal fluorosis among people with kidney disease, there has yet to be a single such study in the United States or any other fluoridating country, to determine the prevalence of skeletal fluorosis, or more subtle indications of fluoride toxicity, among patients with kidney disease. Read more.