Fluoride & Heart Disease?

This month a study allegedly linking cardiovascular disease and fluoride was published in Nuclear Medicine Communications and was almost immediately set up by anti-fluoridationists to bolster their case that fluoridation of water supplies is a dangerous conspiracy.  The source of most of the misinformation seems to be an article written by Anthony Gucciardi in which he claims that “new research has linked sodium fluoride to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide“, “fluoride consumption directly stimulates the hardening of your arteries“, and links it to water fluoridation saying, “sodium fluoride is currently added to the water supply of many cities worldwide, despite extreme opposition from health professionals and previous studies linking it to decreased IQ and infertility.” Gucciardi has a history of irresponsible science writing for sites such as Natural News and Natural Society and this latest article is no different, the study Gucciardi was reporting on was not about the use of dental fluoride or fluoridated water at all. In reality it was a retrospective study examining imaging data from 61 patients who received whole-body sodium [¹⁸F] fluoride PET/CT studies. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans use positron-emitting tracers, in this case the radioactive isotope fluorine-18, in the blood to produce a 3D image of the body and are an important diagnostic tool in oncology and elsewhere. It appears that Gucciardi grossly misunderstands or willfully misrepresents both the nature of the study and its conclusion that “increased fluoride uptake in coronary arteries may be associated with an increased cardiovascular risk“. Upon reading the actual study it becomes clear that it was not fluoride that was being studied as a risk factor , rather the study was examining the the usefulness of fluorine-18 to aid in  imaging atherosclerosis and determining risk as clearly outlined in the Objective statement.

Objective The feasibility of a fluoride positron emission
tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan for
imaging atherosclerosis has not been well documented.
The purpose of this study was to assess fluoride uptake of vascular calcification in various major arteries, including coronary arteries.

There you have it, the authors of the study we simply seeing if they could use fluorine-18 to image atherosclerosis rather than saying fluorine-18 induced atherosclerosis. But what about sodium fluoride? Sodium fluoride, along with hexafluorosilicic acid and sodium hexafluorosilicate, is used in small quantities to fluoridate water supplies or salt depending on where you live. Fluoridation has rightfully been called one of the most successful and cost-effective public health measures, saving millions of dollars in dental work and preventing untold cavities. Fluoride’s safety has been well studied and when it comes to heart health numerous studies (1, 2, 3, 4) show no positive correlation between fluoridation and heart disease or increased mortality, in fact numerous studies (1, 2, 3, 45 , 6, 7, 8) show an inverse correlation with heart disease possibly resulting from reduced effects from dental infections. Contrary to what the anti-fluoridationists would have you believe, fluoride may actually have a protective effect for your heart. So next time you see a scary or sensational headline take a little time to look deeper, things often are not what they seem. Be skeptical, not susceptible.

Oh, and those claims some people make about how the Nazis used fluoride to dumb down prisoners? Totally and utterly baseless. Some people really do just make stuff up.

Further Reading:
Fluoride & Brain Damage
Fluoride & the Brain: Déjà Vu
Fluoride & the Brain: Strike 3, You’re Out!
Fluoride & the Brain: The China Studies
Fluoridation: Don’t Let the Poisonmongers Scare You on Quackwatch
All About Fluoridation on Skeptoid
fluoridation of water on the Skeptic’s Dictionary
Fluoridation Facts from the ADA
When public action undermines public health: a critical examination of antifluoridationist literature by Jason M Armfield

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55 Responses to “Fluoride & Heart Disease?”

  1. Rob Says:

    I call shenanigans on Gucciard.

    NaF-18 was the first agent used in nuclear medicine for a procedure called a Bone Scan, because the fluoride ion is quite avid for the hydroxyapatite crystal matrix of bone, mainly seeking out the calcium. Many centres now use F-18 PET bone scans to search for disruptions in the skeleton which may signal the presence of metastatic cancer in the bones.

    Atherosclerotic heart disease, medical speak for hardened arteries, frequently features amorphous calcium phosphate in the lesions that occupy the walls of the involved arteries. It is widely accepted that the amount of calcium detected in coronary arteries correlates with risk of cardiovascular disease.

    It has also been noted incidentally for a long time that F-18 binds to these calcium-rich lesions. The question which naturally arises is, does the binding of F-18 correlate with the degree of atherosclerotic burden?

    This preliminary investigation, a retrospective review of 61 patients who had already received NaF-18 bone scans, seems to suggest it does. You’re right there was no control group, but there can’t really be an appropriate control group in a retrospective, associational study. The strength of the associations and the effect size are two ways to partially overcome this and help suggest whether or not the hypothesis generated is one worth pursuing.

    Where this study is interesting, those coronary artery lesions which had higher F-18 uptake *also* had a higher burden of symptomatic heart disease.

    Why might this be? The F-18 binds to calcium in lesions where active calcium deposition is occurring, which is in those lesions with increased inflammation. Anatomic imaging such as a CT scan can see the calcium, but it can’t see whether or not the lesions is inflamed and active. The F-18 can.

    What this potentially opens up is a way to distinguish calcium containing coronary artery lesions into more and less dangerous categories prognostically, to guide the level of urgency and aggression in risk-factor modification and medical intervention.

    *That* is pretty cool.

    But for the love of teeth, *please* get regular fluoride treatments, drink fluoridated water, and use fluoride-containing toothpaste.

  2. Rob Says:

    Also, sorry to read the godawful responses to your effort to inject some reason into the insanity over on Natural Society.

  3. Ronnie from Negaunee Says:

    I went through the NRC, Fluoride in Drinking Water – A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards


    book and extracted only the recommendations. They can view them in a short 9 page summary.


    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Ronnie, neither the extract nor the paper itself serve as evidence that fluoridation of water supplies at current typical levels is dangerous. Rather the review concluded that the “EPA’s MCLG of 4 mg/L should be lowered.” this is over 4 times the amount of fluoride added to water. What is an issue however is excessive naturally occurring fluoride in some areas. Often time in those areas municipalities will actually filter some of the fluoride out to lower it to a safer level and this is what they were talking about. They were quite clear that, “These exposure values are not recommendations for the artificial fluoridation of drinking water, but are guidelines for areas in the United States that are contaminated or have high concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride.

      I’m starting to think maybe fluoride helps reading comprehension.

      • Hal Says:

        Yes, but it was not in NRC’s remit to make recommendations about artificial fluoridation, only (as you say) to determine whether the maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) should be lowered. You seem to think that 4 times is a generous margin, but in normal toxicological terms it is low. So, given that NRC said that the 4mg/L MCLG was too high, a revised MCLG would at the least be getting uncomfortably close to 1 mg/L. Also note that EPA has a secondary MCLG (not legally enforceable) of 2mg/L. These figures are under review, but as you doubtless know HHS has already lowered its recommended concentration for fluoridation to 0.7mg/L.

  4. LiseyDuck Says:

    Because being a prisoner of the Nazis left so many people with great teeth…

  5. Cajdasj Says:

    Look how it calcifies your pipes and then ask yourself is your plumbing that much different…..

  6. Timberati Says:

    I heard from a person at a meeting in SF that fluoride could be linked to increasing levels of gluten intolerance. I’m linking (increasing/decreasing) gluten intolerance to the sun coming up every morning. Coincidence?

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      That’s a new one to me. The scary (unsupported) claims for fluoride are so varied even the cranks cant agree with each other it seems sometimes.

    • Ewan R Says:

      That’d only be a “good” (ie not even remotely good) comparison if the sun didn’t used to come up every morning, but does now – what you need to do is find something that didn’t used to occur very often, and now does… then ta-da, correlation (regardless of how weak) = causation in the wooish mindset.

      As such I ask everyone to join me in condemning Twitter as a contributor to gluten intolerance – the number of tweets today is far higher than it was in *mumble mumble* as is the incidence of gluten intolerance.

  7. Fluoride & Brain Damage « Skeptical Vegan Says:

    [...] Skeptical Vegan Examining the Intersection of Science and Anti-speciesism « Fluoride & Heart Disease? [...]

  8. Anna Says:

    Whoa, I just read the comments on that webpage. I can’t believe you went ahead and jumped into that hornets’ nest. Yikes.

    On the plus side, the language they used was very similar to that used by a classmate of mine (in a biology class, of all places) who was all into this “GMOs cause Morgellon’s” conspiracy theory. So that was enlightening.

  9. Hal Says:

    Good account of the Nuclear Med Comm paper. So A for you and E- for Gucciardi whose ‘interpretation’ is the most exaggerated of the various misinterpretations that have appeared in the last few days. Your advice to read the papers is also good, but that is not easy for many people who have poor library access. Unfortunately abstracts can, whether deliberately or not, be quite misleading. Best to look at the data.

    Also, you are right about the Nazi myth. It goes back a long way, but I suspect that the soviet gulag version goes back even further. That was quite carefully crafted back in the early 50s to support right wing claims of a commie conspiracy.

    However, I don’t think much of your general reading recommendations for anyone wanting any kind of unbiased information. Beware of talking about “the” anti-fluoridationists. They are a varied lot. Some are cranks, conspiracy theorists or just exaggerators, but others are quite sensible and well informed. The rants about poisonmongers and Armfield’s diatribe (he has done some good work as well) that you recommend are more for light entertainment.

  10. Anand Khushi Says:

    Thank God for Hal

  11. Anand Khushi Says:

    The information posted by skepticalvegan would be more persuasive if the English grammar and spelling was more correct.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Really, that is the best you have? You do realize that has no actual bearing on the argument at hand, its just childish. Perhaps you could point out any typos or errors in grammar so I can fix them rather than dismiss the argument because of them.

  12. peaknikmicki Says:

    How about people just cutting back on sugar and brush their teeth properly. Then there will be less heart problems and no need for toxic waste forsed on to people.
    Besides there are numerous studies also showing fluoride doesn’t prevent cavities particularly well but promote dental flurosis and of course has been linked to hormonal changes, cancers especially in young boys and brittle bones.

    And I wouldn’t say it is baseless nonsense that Nazi’s used fluoride in the camps. There is a book written on the investigation into this and withough having critically studied the claims, I think one must take a neutral stance. Besides fluoride seems to be a major component in Prozac. Just sayin…

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      If you haven’t looked into the issue then why would you try to assert the reality of this Nazi/fluoride myth. Did you even read the link provided that details the origins of the conspiracy? The book you are thinking of is probably one either by Christopher Bryson or Ian E. Stephens neither of which offer any real and verifiable evidence. Its a myth based on the rantings of two conspiracy prone writers with no supporting evidence.

      And NO, the cancer link is false. Here from the National Cancer Institute:

      The possible relationship between fluoridated water and cancer has been debated at length. The debate resurfaced in 1990 when a study by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, showed an increased number of osteosarcomas (bone tumors) in male rats given water high in fluoride for 2 years (3). However, other studies in humans and in animals have not shown an association between fluoridated water and cancer (4).

      In a February 1991 Public Health Service (PHS) report, the agency said it found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date (4).

      In one of the studies reviewed for the PHS report, scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between the fluoridation of drinking water and the number of deaths due to cancer in the United States during a 36-year period, and the relationship between water fluoridation and number of new cases of cancer during a 15-year period. After examining more than 2.2 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers found no indication of increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water (5).

      In 1993, the Subcommittee on Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride of the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted an extensive literature review concerning the association between fluoridated drinking water and increased cancer risk. The review included data from more than 50 human epidemiological studies and six animal studies. The Subcommittee concluded that none of the data demonstrated an association between fluoridated drinking water and cancer (5). A 1999 report by the CDC supported these findings. The report concluded that studies to date have produced “no credible evidence” of an association between fluoridated drinking water and an increased risk for cancer (2).

      (2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Achievements in public health, 1900–1999: Fluoridation of drinking water to prevent dental caries. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1999; 48(41):933–940.

      (3) Bucher JR, Hejtmancik MR, Toft JD, et al. Results and conclusions of the National Toxicology Program’s rodent carcinogenicity studies with sodium fluoride. International Journal of Cancer 1991; 48(5):733–737.

      (4) Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs. Review of Fluoride Benefits and Risks: Report of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Fluoride. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, 1991.

      (5) National Research Council. Carcinogenicity of flouride. In: Subcommittee on Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride, editor. Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1993.

      as for you claim that “fluoride doesn’t prevent cavities particularly well”, present your evidence
      Because there IS good evidence that fluoride prevents dental carries

      as for your claim that “fluoride seems to be a major component in Prozac”, So what!? It is a total non sequitur.

    • Ewan R Says:

      “withough having critically studied the claims, I think one must take a neutral stance”

      Odd that you take that approach with regard to Nazi’s and fluoride and yet when it is evident that you haven’t critically studied the claims about fluoridation on health (either with respect to ill effects, or positive effect on occurence of cavities etc) you’re willing to be less than neutral.

  13. Hal Says:

    @scepticalvegan – You need to be careful about the cancer story. Your most recent reference is 12 years old. The osteosarcoma link is still very much alive (EB Bassin et al, Cancer Causes Control (2006) 17:421–428). This careful case control study found that boys drinking fluoridated water between 6 and 8 years of age had a considerably increased risk of getting osteosarcoma as young men. This bone cancer is very rare and therefore difficult to study. That may account for the fact that some less sensitive ecological studies since then have not found a link. So not everyone agrees, but currently fluoride is under strong suspicion as a carcinogen for that particular cancer.

    As you say, fluoxetine is a non sequitur, especially since it does not contain fluoride, but fluorine tightly bound to carbon – quite a different thing.

    peaknikmicki is exactly right that “there are numerous studies also showing fluoride [in the form of fluoridated water] doesn’t prevent cavities particularly well but promote dental fluorosis”, if she allows the bracketed bit. But believe me I have done a lot of digging on the nazi myth and am 99% sure that it is just that, a myth.

  14. Ronald Says:

    Studies and findings regarding human health are not reliable for the fact that each subject has a different blood type, consumes different quality of foods, lives in a better, cleaner environment, and may or may not exercise. Now if 100 people with the same blood type, consumes the same foods, living in a dense populated area and all or none of them exercised, then the study would be more accurate.

    I do know one thing for certain though and I challenge anyone to prove it wrong. The human body was never ment to consume any type of drug, chemical, or any other man made substance. If the current level of fluoride in the drinking water is harmless as many claim, then why not dump in 3 or more times the current amount? Would it then be considered toxic to humans?

    If a large quantity of a drug or substance is toxic for humans, then it is still toxic in small quantities.

    When any drug, chemical, or man made substance enters the human body, our immune system immediately works to combat its intrusion. While the immune system is busy fighting off the intrusion, our bodies are more susceptible to disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

    If the only reason for adding fluoride into our drinking water is to help prevent cavities then why not sell it in a store next to the toothpaste where consumers can decide for themselves if they want to use it? If its sole purpose is to prevent tooth decay then why make it pass through every organ in our bodies?

    How about we study 100 average human beings that are provided with pure unmedicated drinking water, that eats mostly nutritious organic foods, that exercises regularly, and doesn’t consume any type of a drug? We’ll compare their health to another group of people who consume fluoride medicated water, soda pop, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, genetically modified foods, and who do not get enough exercise and publish the results in 50 years.

    As humans we should demand from our government and the FDA that they stop adding dangerous chemicals and toxins into our food supplies. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d like to see the potential the human race would have and could achieve without these toxins.

    Sorry about any grammar mistakes as I only have a high school education.

    Good day!

    • Ewan R Says:

      “I do know one thing for certain though and I challenge anyone to prove it wrong. The human body was never ment to consume any type of drug, chemical, or any other man made substance.”

      The human body is not “meant” for anything.

      That aside though, and addressing the thinking rather than the assumption of meaning, everything you consume is chemical in nature – water, proteins, fats, everything – there is no magical distinction between what is man-made and what is natural, there is no magical prediction one can make and say that chemical A will be toxic and chemical B will be non-toxic based on the arbitrary assignment to either group (if not I suggest you go eat a bunch of nightshade while I consume a twinkie, I’m betting I show less of a toxic reaction than you despite my meal being utterly man-made and your own being totally natural).

      “If a large quantity of a drug or substance is toxic for humans, then it is still toxic in small quantities.”

      Only if you completely redefine what toxic means. A large quantity of Sodium Cholride will kill you, a small quantity – not so much. Toxicity is all about dosage, making your statement not only wrong, but utterly so.

      “If the only reason for adding fluoride into our drinking water is to help prevent cavities then why not sell it in a store next to the toothpaste where consumers can decide for themselves if they want to use it?”

      Because this puts undue burden on the poor who are far less likely to have good dental insurance, available food choices, and higher chance of having decay issues in the first place?

      “How about we study 100 average human beings that are provided with pure unmedicated drinking water, that eats mostly nutritious organic foods, that exercises regularly, and doesn’t consume any type of a drug? We’ll compare their health to another group of people who consume fluoride medicated water, soda pop, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, genetically modified foods, and who do not get enough exercise and publish the results in 50 years.”

      Because that would be a bloody stupid pair of groups to compare to each other – you wouldn’t be able to extract meaning from the results in any way shape or form – was reduced heart disease due to one, all, a combination of the effects for instance? You need to change one thing and keep all others as constant as you can (in lieu of this you’d do a paired comparison whereby all other factors than the one of interest would be kept similar between individual comparisons between each group)

      “As humans we should demand from our government and the FDA that they stop adding dangerous chemicals and toxins into our food supplies.”

      Thats what the FDA does, perhaps we should also demand that street cleaners clean our streets?

      “Sorry about any grammar mistakes as I only have a high school education.”

      Grammar mistakes are forgivable, you don’t get a pass on thinking mistakes however – which are far more ubiquitous than spelling or grammar in the above post.

      • Hal Says:

        @ Ewan R. Not sure whether it’s worth risking annihilation by replying to this, but there are a couple of things you are only about half right about.

        Toxicity. Chronic toxicity is not as simple as you make out, particularly when, as with fluoride, the substance accumulates in the body. Over a few decades the equivalent of several acute lethal doses pile up in the skeleton, the pineal gland and possibly calcifying lesions in the arteries. Neither you nor I know exactly what the effects of that may be, but skeletal fluorosis can produce arthritic symptoms and plenty of people have those. Somewhat heavier chronic exposure, as seen in parts of China and India, produces severe crippling.

        “Thats what the FDA does”. In fact, the FDA does not regulate (or claim to regulate) the addition of fluoride to drinking water. For the rest, it might be more correct to say “That’s what the the FDA is supposed to do”, mightn’t it?

        • Ewan R Says:

          Hal – with fluoride it absolutely is as simple as I make out. There are toxic quanitites, there are quantities one can consume which are non-toxic – it is clear from the literature that the doses of fluoride which are under discussion in the case of chronic fluoride toxicity in places India for instance are many times higher than the EPA (it appears I was half wrong – wrong agency – it is however still enforcable by law) recommended dose (a dose recommended after taking into account quantities which may lead to either acute or chronic toxicity) and indeed higher than the legally enforcable (the EPA has an enforcable upper limit of 4.0ppm according to their own website, which rather makes your claim that the FDA right only in respect to the agency enforcing things) – the self same EPA page has links to the reports which led to the various decisions – all of which indicate that you don’t start seeing skeletal fluorosis as an issue until generally past 8ppm and in large study groups (and even then not very conclusively) do not see significant skeletal fluorosis in 0-4ppm areas but do, on very rare occasions, see it in 8ppm+ locations (twice the *enforcable* limit) (23 cases out of 170,000 looked at (a group split between low and high fluoridation areas) – there are numerous studies looked at and critqued – generally the well designed studies have findings of equivalence (and things like U shaped responses in terms of bone frailty – meaning that a little bit of fluoride is protective, and a lot leaves you either as well off as if you had no fluoride, or worse) – all over prolonged time periods.

          So while right about the FDA not being involved, your statements remain less than half right – as fluoride levels are enforced, fluoride levels as enforced have no evidence of chronic toxicity, and my correction should simply be that asking the FDA to do anything is wrong because it is the EPA who enforce this particular issue.

          Starting point for EPA related statements:-


          I may have posted this twice… once with it being utterly wrong (as I missed that I was looking at the EPA rather than the FDA, which rather backs up your statement that I am only half right…)

  15. Hal Says:

    @Ewan R. Leaving aside the agency question, the picture you paint is not so much simple as simplistic. You are right that many studies that detail toxic effects involve exposure to much larger doses of fluoride than the 0.7mg/L now recommended for water fluoridation by HHS, but by no means all do. Nor do your bland generalizations about bone strength and fractures stand up to scrutiny.
    I am familiar with the EPA reports you mention. This probably is not the place for an analysis of them, but I suggest you take a long hard look at the paper 820-R-10-019, entitled “Fluoride: dose-response analysis for non-cancer effects” and ask yourself whether you honestly believe that EPA has the ability or will to regulate fluoride in a way that protects all US citizens from harm.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      This would be more relevant if I saw major fluoride opponents focusing on the EPA and naturally occurring fluoride, rather that focusing almost solely on low level city water fluoridation.
      Perhaps it is because the existence of naturally occurring fluoride and the fact that we do filter it to lower the levels doesn’t fit into the conspiracy narrative as well as the government adding fluoride to city water.
      As I already said, naturally occurring fluoride is a real health issue worldwide and perhaps the FDA limits should be lowered. Thankfully they are in the process of reviewing that very question right now. But the purpose of this post was to dispel myths regarding low level city water fluoridation and use of fluoridated toothpaste, it was not primarily addressing naturally occurring fluoride which is somewhat a different issue.

    • Ewan R Says:

      The vast majority of the studies cited show the toxicity kicks in well past 0.7ppm, and indeed past 4ppm.

      I’m not sure what you mean about my bland generalizations about bone strength and fractures – I was paraphrasing a number of the papers cited in the very paper you pointed me to – there are clear U shaped responses showing an increase in bone strength followed by a decrease in such based on fluoride concentration of the water. Without specific refutation of my points, or indeed the papers, simply calling my points bland or simplistic doesn’t cut it – if I’m wrong show me why, the fact that I have bored you says nothing of the veracity of my statements.

      Do I believe that the EPA *will* regulate fluoride in a way that protects all US citizens from harm? I believe they already do. If you can show me reliable evidence that I am incorrect in this assumption I’d be more than willing to admit that my assumption is wrong.

      • Hal Says:

        @Ewan R. First off, I have not been bored. In fact I posted earlier thanking the site owner for an interesting discussion – to which obviously you have been a major contributor. I guess I shouldn’t have criticized without detail, but time was short and I didn’t want to take up a lot of space. But I’ll try to respond in part to your request for details.
        You mention the U-shape dose response apparently supporting a protective effect of fluoride at 1mg/L, so let’s take a look at Li et al’s paper which apparently shows this. It is a good study overall, as agreed by the EPA’s profiler. But the graphical presentation is actually (no doubt unintentionally) misleading. The profiler seems not to have noticed that for some reason Li plotted on a categorical X axis, although he had the data available to use a reasonably accurate numerical axis. Normally on a categorical axis on would use a bar chart. It has long been considered inappropriate to draw lines between the category data, as Li has, for the good reason that they give a distorted picture of what is happening. The distortion is very substantial in this case because on a linear numerical axis the three lowest concentration points come very close together. Let me say that I’m not the first to have noticed this, but I had a bit of fun replotting the data for myself using Excel, which will also fit a regression line (this too had been done by others). Plotted in this way the “U-shape” for all fractures merges into an approximately flat linear regression. You can do it too if you don’t believe me. The errors are large, but that is not unusual in studies of this kind. The point is that regression should be the first method to employ on such data and it is inappropriate to cherry pick a pair of points, as Li did, that happen to differ “significantly”. I don’t know whether or not there is genuinely a protective effect of fluoride at 1% F conc, nor does anyone else. It would be very convenient for fluoridation promoters if there were. But I do know that Li has not demonstrated such a relationship or even provided credible evidence in its favor.
        So much for the overall fractures. Now look at the femur data. They are plotted in the same way. Try replotting and fitting a regression, preferably using a bit more of the available vertical space than Li chose to use, and you will see that a single straight line gives a reasonable fit to all the points. In other words the data give no good reason to think that there is any threshold for the effect of fluoride. I certainly would not claim from these data that there really is no threshold. But the analysis makes nonsense of attempts to identify a threshold and derive a LOAEL as EPA did. It just shows that the frequency of hip fractures rose with increasing F conc. Li is a respected researcher and doubtless had reason to display the data as he did and obviously I am not suggesting that he or his colleagues intended to mislead in any way.
        Re the EPA, ScepticalVegan complained I was wandering off-topic so I’ll try to keep it short. I’m not really wanting to criticize EPA – it is in a difficult, maybe impossible position trying to hold a line between those who want more stringent controls and those who want less. That applies to fluoride as much as anything else. It has a current enforceable maximum contaminant limit (MCL) of 4.0mg/L and a secondary (advisory) MCL of 2.0mg/L. The NRC report of 2006, which probably you have read, recognized a variety of possible health risks. It advised that 4mg/L was too high and that EPA should reconsider it particularly on the basis of available data on skeletal health, including Stage 2 skeletal fluorosis and fracture risk, and on severe dental fluorosis. To cut a long story short, EPA ended up making their preliminary recommendation for a Reference Dosage (RfD) for drinking water of 0.07mg/kg body weight/day – an essential step for determining an MCL – based solely on severe dental fluorosis. Skeletal effects were found inadequate to include in the analysis and no other possible health effects were considered. Moreover, they had to rely mainly on a study conducted back in 1942, in which all of the subjects were Caucasian. Normally, when dealing with this kind of problem, one would expect an Uncertainty Factor (UF) of up to 10 to be applied in calculating the RfD to allow, for example, for the fact that some other racial groups are more susceptible to the more severe forms of dental fluorosis. But EPA failed to allow for any uncertainty by setting the UF at 1, thus failing to protect black Americans, as well as very high water consumers such as diabetics. Why did they do that? Because they wanted to avoid an RfD lower than the so-called Adequate Intake (AI) of 0.05mg/kg/day. The AI was devised by the Institute of Medicine to accommodate the water fluoridation program, before it was widely accepted that the action of fluoride is primarily topical, not systemic. Thus it is largely outmoded, particularly since fluoride is not an essential nutrient. I think this is a fair analysis and thus that, in effect, EPA was doctoring the RfD to accommodate HHS’s fluoridation program. Perhaps that’s the right thing to do, I guess you could argue that. It seems unsatisfactory to me, particularly since EPA has not studied the benefits of fluoridation for itself.

        Hope this helps. I need to leave the thread now and get on with other stuff. Thanks again for the discussion.

  16. Hal Says:

    For FDA read EPA, right?

    Yes, apologies, I strayed a bit off topic. Not far off though. I’m not sure who you mean by major fluoride opponents, but many who oppose water fluoridation on scientific grounds pay a lot of attention to naturally occurring fluoride, which as you say is a real health issue, not so much in most of the the US, but in many parts of the world. They are largely responsible for whatever attention this problem receives in the west. They also put pressure on the EPA to lower contamination limits. But EPA has a problem. It already has an advisory contamination limit of 2mg/L. It can’t lower that very far without colliding with the recommended water concentration for “fighting” caries (that you call low-level), recently lowered to 0.7mg/L. They could lower their enforceable limit of 4mg/L, though, and perhaps they will. All these concentrations are rather close to each other.

    I applaud your aim to dispel myths, and expose the nonsense being written about the cardiovascular paper, but don’t be fooled by the quackwatch people. There are scientific grounds for opposing water fluoridation that have nothing to do with conspiracy, myth, misrepresentation or libertarian politics. It is not a black-and-white matter. As a critical thinker, you might find them worth considering.

    Thanks finally for initiating and facilitating an interesting discussion.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      “I’m not sure who you mean by major fluoride opponents”

      Groups such as the Fluoride Action Network
      “alternative health” blogs such as Natural News, Natural Society, Mercola, and others
      popular conspiracy websites such as davidicke.com and PrisonPlanet

      Again this piece was about misinformation regarding city water fluoridation and in reply to a


      blog post on Natural Society that linked it to city water fluoridation NOT naturally occurring fluoride. That blog post was copy and pasted verbatim across the “alternative health” and conspiracy blogosphere.

      From above comments you seem to believe that the EPA has no “ability or will to regulate fluoride in a way that protects all US citizens from harm”
      Yet as evidence you are citing studies and reports that the EPA themselves commissioned because they actually did care.
      And again as a result of more recent evidence the EPA is currently revising its guidelines.

  17. Inshock Says:

    Most of you here are completely missing the mark. I am disabled from being over fluoridated and I resent the high minded, false propaganda of trying to make us drink a toxic rat poison. Who on Gods green earth would EVER promote, or support a rat poison to go into our bodies. You must be all completely working for dentistry or the fertilizer companies. I am a victim of this stuff and many others are as well. We live with this on a DAILY basis. The fluoride we get comes from China and has arsenic, mercury, and aluminum mixed in with it because it is a byproduct of fertilizer. It is a waste product that is very difficult and expensive to get rid of. Maybe you all enjoy getting your dose of poisons, but I don’t. I have calcifications on my joints where fluoride has bound with calcium. I also have defunct, half working mitachondria due to fluoride that make me sick. I have a new developing heart problem, aluminum in my brain where fluoride bound with that and calcium, and I have numerous other complaints due to fluoride. Some things will never get out of my body, however 2 months after stopping fluoride water, I got my brain back thank God. Before that I was out of it. You folks throwing around your terminology and IGNORING the hundreds of Pubmed studies should be ASHAMED of yourself for your medieval propaganda. Millions of people are in my boat and let me tell you, your ignorance is disgusting. Thank God most of Europe and other countries are dropping the poison one by one. Fluoride is political and the powerful aluminum and fertilizer lobbyists FORCE a poison onto its people in order to save a buck. Shameful and karmically breathtaking. The only improvement I have had is trying to wipe the stuff out of everything, however I will always be maimed. Wait till it happens to you and see how you feel. If you like fluoride so much, drown yourself in it. Don’t make people drink it. It stole my livelihood. Oh and by the way…I bet none of you read the 2008 government report that said we were over fluoridated and the health risks that are involved? I thought not.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      “You folks throwing around your terminology and IGNORING the hundreds of Pubmed studies should be ASHAMED of yourself for your medieval propaganda.”

      What hundreds? Ive addressed many, many studies in my blog, so far non of them support the anti-fluoridationist’s claims. If you have something specific then bring it.

      I’ve already addressed many of you other claims in the comments on this blog, including the claims regarding arsenic.

    • Bimmerman Says:

      “Who on Gods green earth would EVER promote, or support a rat poison to go into our bodies.”

      Warfarin for heart disease.

      Pharmacology is a truly wonderful discipline. Worth reading one of the many “Primers” out there.

  18. Fluoride & the Brain: Déjà Vu « Skeptical Vegan Says:

    [...] water” is based on demonstrable health concerns. I’ve dealt with Natural Society before and once again the current study being cited does not actually support the claim being made. Citing [...]

  19. Truthseeker Says:

    And what of this study? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21243404 Or this study? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15167207 Or this one? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15152556 or the others in Pubmed? This abstract person you site may have sited THAT study wrong, but there are too many others to ignore. Your premise is that the conclusion is wrong based on incorrect assertions. The assertions are right but based on other studies. Having seen this first hand in the medical community, I have to concur with Pubmed data studies. Heart disease isn’t the only thing fluoride conjures unfortunately. It is a deadly and unnecessary poison. It makes sense that it would contribute to plaque, as fluoride is a metal binder to calcium.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      And what of this study? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21243404

      That study titled “Interactive effect of arsenic and fluoride on cardio-respiratory disorders in male rats: possible role of reactive oxygen species.” was investigating “correlation between environmental and occupational arsenic or fluoride exposure and risk to various cardio-respiratory disorders. Arsenic-exposure has been associated with atherosclerosis, hypertension, cerebrovascular diseases, ischemic heart disease, and peripheral vascular disorders, whereas Fluoride-exposure manifests cardiac irregularities and low blood pressure (BP).” and involved intravenous administration of 5-36.5 mg/kg of fluoride.

      Notice how its actually the arsenic that is “associated with atherosclerosis” in the study and that the levels of fluoride used were from 5 to 36.5 mg/kg when the upper intake level set for fluoride by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is 0.10 mg/kg/day. The dosages these rats were getting, besides being intravenous, were quite high compared to the recommended and estimated intake in the US. So this study is not good evidence for the argument that community water fluoridation is harmful.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Or this study? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15167207

      Wow, did you bother to read that study before posting?
      “Fluoride in the drinking water and the geographical variation of coronary heart disease in Finland.”

      Although causality cannot be asserted, the geographical pattern of CHD in Finland is consistent with the concentration of fluoride in drinking water. One mechanism could be that fluoride prevents dental infections, which in turn reduces mortality from CHD.

      That study is actually one showing an inverse correlationbetween fluoride intake and heart disease. It shows that adequate fluoride intake is actually associated with reduced heart disease. Now you are not just making bad arguments, you are citing evidence counter to your claim.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Or this one? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15152556

      I’m sorry but that study doesn’t even have an abstract available, all you can see is the title. I don’t think even you know what the study was about or what its conclusions were, it very well could be another like the Finnish study you cited that showed fluoride reducing heart disease. I think you are just citing random stuff without knowing anything about the study. If you have a link to the actual study (in English) then post it, otherwise don’t act like this study you have never read is somehow evidence for your claims.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      This abstract person you site may have sited THAT study wrong, but there are too many others to ignore.

      Its not a one-off thing, its a pattern, see my previous article on misinterpreted and misrepresented studies, see my previous comment on the studies you cite. I don’t ignore the studies, I engage them, so far I haven’t seen this over whelming evidence you speak of despite reading many, many studies.

      The assertions are right but based on other studies.

      Show the evidence then.

  20. Truthseeker Says:

    I mean plaque as in artery plaque.

  21. Megan Says:

    Just found your blog after googling “flouride and heart disease” after reading a recent ‘report’ from media outlets reporting a link. Thank you so writing this blog and for so carefully dissecting the studies! I have my MPH and have worked in clinical, human-subjects research for years. It is amazing the power of statistics and the misinformation that is reported!

  22. Jennfer O'Brien Says:

    I think there’s something to fluoride making atherosclerosis worse. Enough studies will eventually prove it. Fluoride is a negative ion that is highly attracted to binding with calcium. So it would make sense if there was calcification of arteries the fluoride would just worsen this “hardening of the arteries”. I also know that fluoride helps the teeth topically, not by ingesting it. So if you want fluoride, go get yourself some toothpaste, but keep it out of my drinking water, thankyou.

  23. Castor Pollux (@DjCastorPollux) Says:

    I never got a chance to thank you for setting me straight on the whole Nazi/fluoride thing. So, thanks!

    I want to share some things with you that we’ve discovered while debating fluoride in Portland. Enjoy.

    “In scientific research, there is no such thing as ‘final knowledge’.”

    (ADA “Fluoridation Facts” report which they conveniently haven’t updated since 2005)

    1) Fluoride Deficienciy Causes Cavities?

    “Dental caries is not the result of fluoride deficiency.”

    1988: Critical Reviews in Oral Biology & Medicine
    Dental Fluorisis: Chemistry and Biology
    Aoba T (Nippon Dental University, Japan),
    Fejerskov O (Aarhus University, Denmark)





    2) Water Fluoridation Prevents Cavities?

    Water Fluoridation – “No Evidence of Beneficial Effect” (5 Year Study of 51,683 in Portland)
    http://youtu.be/gGLPEJTYS70 (click on Show More for all the supporting references)

    Fluoride No Benefit to Low-Income Americans, Studies Show
    NEW YORK, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

    The original Grand Rapids study allegedly proving that water fluoridation prevents cavities was sponsored by Alcoa. They have a HUGE conflict of interest because fluoridation converts toxic waste disposal expenses into profits.

    Conflicts of Interest Prevalent in Dental Research

    Now fluoridation supporters are all abuzz over a conveneniently timed hot off the presses brand spankin’ new study from UNC!

    Effects of fluoridated drinking water on dental caries in Australian adults.
    Slade GD, Sanders AE, Do L, Roberts-Thomson K, Spencer AJ.
    J Dent Res. 2013 Apr;92(4):376-82. doi: 10.1177/0022034513481190. Epub 2013 Mar 1.
    Department of Dental Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Room 4501E,
    UNC School of Dentistry, 385 South Columbia Street, CB#7455, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7455, USA.






    “Colgate Oral Care provided gifts for study participants.”

    If you don’t have a sagepub.com account (and don’t want to use one of the various hacked passwords readily available from a certain website a little birdy told me about haha) it turns out somehow Google also has it cached in their database:

    Analysis from Seth Wooley (candidate for Oregon Secretary of State), NYSCOF, Clean Water Portland, etc:

    3) Topical Fluoride Prevents Cavities?

    Two large reviews in 2003 and 2004 confirm the remineralization and caries prevention effects of topical fluoride:


    But a more recent study in 2010 suggests that the benefits are minimal.

    Langmuir. 2010 Dec 21;26(24):18750-9. doi: 10.1021/la102325e. Epub 2010 Nov 19.
    Elemental depth profiling of fluoridated hydroxyapatite: saving your dentition by the skin of your teeth?
    Müller F, Zeitz C, Mantz H, Ehses KH, Soldera F, Schmauch J, Hannig M, Hüfner S, Jacobs K.
    Experimental Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

    Structural and chemical changes that arise from fluoridation of hydroxyapatite (Ca(5)(PO(4))(3)OH or “HAp”), as representing the synthetic counterpart of tooth enamel, are investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Elemental depth profiles with a depth resolution on the nanometer scale were determined to reveal the effect of fluoridation in neutral (pH = 6.2) and acidic agents (pH = 4.2). With respect to the chemical composition and the crystal structure, XPS depth profiling reveals different effects of the two treatments. In both cases, however, the fluoridation affects the surface only on the nanometer scale, which is in contrast to recent literature with respect to XPS analysis on dental fluoridation, where depth profiles of F extending to several micrometers were reported. In addition to the elemental depth profiles, as published in various other studies, we also present quantitative depth profiles of the compounds CaF(2), Ca(OH)(2), and fluorapatite (FAp) that were recently proposed by a three-layer model concerning the fluoridation of HAp in an acidic agent. The analysis of our experimental data exactly reproduces the structural order of this model, however, on a scale that differs by nearly 2 orders of magnitude from previous predictions. The results also reveal that the amount of Ca(OH)(2) and FAp is small compared to that of CaF(2). Therefore, it has to be asked whether such narrow Ca(OH)(2) and FAp layers really can act as protective layers for the enamel.

    4) Fluoride CAUSES Cavities?

    Haven’t had time yet to verify these but considering all the above and all the lies for 68 years it’s worth looking into this possibility:



    And this info from NYSCOF:

    Studies show high blood-lead levels, prevalent among the poor, are linked to more cavities. (e.g.,. Lanphear/Moss (June, 1999 JAMA)

    Silicofluorides, used by over 90% of U.S. fluoridating communities, induce children’s higher blood-lead levels, according to studies by Masters and Coplan.


    • skepticalvegan Says:

      I’m a little busy with school at the moment and will need time to address each point you bring up. Be patient and as soon as I can I’ll get to it, though I may have to address them one by one as time permits.

  24. Cheri Says:

    Bottom line: Try taking 20mg of Prozac… Actually, do a study on people who take Prozac…(I bet you will have lots of examples there)… Which happens to be primarily fluoride…I guarantee that they all have hardening of arteries… Excessive swelling, weight gain… Fatigue…hmmm sounds like heart failure…

    Do you think that they now pray to God and wish that they didn’t take prozac (which again is primarily fluoride)? And, if it is in your water… OMG… You really want to test how long it takes you to die of heart disease? Take vitamin d – it is much better for teeth, something your body needs unlike fluoride…

    So, if you believe that it’s ok to have fluoride in your drinking water, I DARE you to test the effects on yourself… You won’t be testing your bone density or calcium plaque levels, or whatever else, you will be trying to find a way to fix your heart..so you don’t live a I sinful life and die early. Hmmm I wonder why sooo many people are dying of heart disease each year… It is not what they eat, it is because their heart can no longer pump fluids to capacity so the fluids back up… If doctor’s actually knew how to read lipid tests they would see that when cholesterol and triglycerides go up, and their are deficiencies in nutrients and diabetes…there is a contradiction… How could someone that appears to be fat also be malnourished? Please don’t tell me it is gluten… Guess again.. they are not fat because they eat too much, it is because their fat Cells are collecting fluid because their heart has been sacrificed by a toxic chemical called flouride.

    You don’t need to try to find research… There is plenty out there which is really sad… But us you want to, take prozac yourself and feel yourself deteriorate…

    • Anna Says:

      You lost me at “sinful life.”

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Cheri, you are wrong about the issue of Prozac and fluoride. But dont take my word for it, read what your fellow anti-fluoridationist Dr. Joel Kaufman had to say about this pervasive myth,

      How Antifluoridationists Have Weakened Their Case

      Groups such as Parents for Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC), based in British Columbia, Canada, and the National Pure Water Association Ltd. in the UK justifiably attempt to prevent fluoridation of water. Unfortunately, they suffer from chemophobia, which is not only a fear of all chemicals, but a fear of consulting with chemists. As a result, they list any material that contains fluorine in any form as a danger by claiming that it contains fluoride, and certain book authors and many website authors opposing fluoridation repeat this unsound assertion. The list includes Teflon and Tefal non-stick pan coatings, fluorocarbon propellants, and many drugs. Drugs that contain fluorine include: fluoxetine (Prozac), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), fluconazole (Diflucon), fluticasone (Flixonase or Flixotide), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), flucoxacillin (Floxapen), cerivastatin (Baycol), cisapride (Propulsid), astemizole (Hismanal), and fenfluramine (Pondimin). In fact, none of these materials either contain fluoride ion or are metabolized to generate any significant amount of fluoride ion. All contain the very stable carbon-fluorine bond in the form of trifluoromethyl (CF ), difluoromethylene (CF ), fluoroalkane (CHF), or fluorophenyl (FC H ) groups. The fluoro groups are chosen for the drugs to retard their metabolism, increasing the duration of effective drug levels in the body. Judd, a chemist, did not make the mistake of confusing fluorine with fluoride in his book.

      For Teflon, the maximum continuous service temperature is listed as 260°C or 500°F in the of 1976-1977. Overheating Teflon may produce an irritant, perhaps perfluorooctanoic acid, but the irritant is unlikely to be fluoride ion. Asked for evidence on the toxicity of Teflon, the scientific advisor to one of the antifluoridation groups sent citations to four papers on the decomposition of Teflon by ionizing radiation. Clearly this is irrelevant to ordinary use in cooking.

      Fluorocarbon refrigerants and propellants such as R12, and flourine-containing general anesthetics such as halothane and methoxyflurane, are metabolized very slowly or not at all. However, some of the fluorine in the general anesthetics enflurane, desflurane, and isoflurane is metabolized to fluoride ion.

      Asked for evidence on the toxicity of fluorinated drugs, the scientific advisor to one of the antifluoridation groups provided citations to 13 papers. Ten of the 13 were published in 1952 or earlier. Some concerned analytical methods and methods of synthesis of fluorine-containing compounds. Citations from the 1930s showed the toxicity of sodium fluoride from its interference with thyroid hormone biosynthesis. Another from 1949 showed that that 3-fluoro-5-bromo(or iodo)tyrosine was toxic in mice, and five other fluorophenyl compounds less so. The toxicity of 3- fluorotyrosine and 3,5-difluorotyrosine was confirmed, including in humans, but this is a special case in which these amino acid derivatives interfere with thyroid hormone biosynthesis.

      Ciprofloxacin, like all drugs, is associated with some toxicity but not from fluoride. The scientific advisor to one of the antifluoridation groups cited a report showing elevated serum and urine levels of fluoride in children after administration of this drug. The actual elevation of fluoride in serum was from 0.08 to 0.21 ppm in 12 hours, and could not account for more than a fraction of the fluorine (23 mg) in the 400 mg doses used of ciprofloxacin; moreover, there was no follow-up measurement. The elevation of fluoride in urine from 0.97 to 1.12 ppm after a week was not statistically significant. The authors did not try to measure fluorinated metabolites or unchanged drug, and after MRI scans and about 2 years of follow-up by physical examinations, they pronounced short courses of ciprofloxacin safe in children. Although ciprofloxacin liberates fluoride under UVB illumination in vitro, it is metabolized in vivo mostly by hydroxylation and Nsulfation, not by loss of fluoride ion.

      The risk of rhabdomyolysis, the major toxicity of the statin drugs, is about the same with atorvastatin and pravastatin, which contain fluoro groups, and simvastatin, which does not. Agroup at Duke University Medical Center searched the literature from November 1997 to February 2002 to find 60 cases of statin-induced memory loss, of which 36 were due to simvastatin, 23 to atorvastatin, and 1 to pravastatin. Clearly, there is no correlation with the presence of a fluoro group.

      Thus, the scientific evidence presented by members of certain antifluoridation groups and by others does not support their assertion that all fluorinated organic compounds are toxic because they contain fluorine. The case against fluoridation needs to be made solely on the basis of the effects of fluoride ions and their precursors in drinking water.

      Also a quick search of Pubmed turned up some research on Prozac and cardiovascular health. What I saw wasnt anywhere near as scary as the stuff you mention.

      It seems you didnt even read the post itself, because it clearly states, that fluoride’s safety has been well studied and when it comes to heart health numerous studies (1, 2, 3, 4) show no positive correlation between fluoridation and heart disease or increased mortality, in fact numerous studies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7, 8) show an inverse correlation with heart disease possibly resulting from reduced effects from dental infections.

      You havnt provided any actually refutations of any of my point nor have your provided any supporting evidence for your wild claims and the effects of either fluoridation or Prozac.

      • Enter name Says:

        The results of a study of 513 twin veterans, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans last year,iii found that antidepressant use resulted in greater carotid intima-media thickness (the lining of the main arteries in your neck that feed blood to your brain). The researchers found that the intima-media thickness of the men taking antidepressants was about five percent thicker than that of those who were not using the drugs.

        This was true both for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressants that affect other brain chemicals, so while the researchers speculate that the vascular changes may be due to changes in serotonin, the underlying cause is still undetermined.

        According to Emory Universityiv:

        “Antidepressants’ effects on blood vessels may come from changes in serotonin, a chemical that helps some brain cells communicate but also functions outside the brain… Most of the serotonin in the body is found outside the brain, especially in the intestines… In addition, serotonin is stored by platelets, the cells that promote blood clotting, and is released when they bind to a clot. However, serotonin’s effects on blood vessels are complex and act in multiple ways. It can either constrict or relax blood vessels, depending on whether the vessels are damaged or not.”

        This isn’t the first time the issue of serious heart-related effects of antidepressants has been raised. For example, in August of last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert on the antidepressant Celexav, warning it can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of your heart, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm and fatal heart attacks. Celexa is part of the class of antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

        People with underlying heart conditions and low potassium and magnesium levels in their blood are particularly at risk for this, and the drug should no longer be used at doses greater than 40 mg per day, the FDA said. While the drug’s label indicates that “certain patients may require a dose of 60 mg per day,” studies have shown that there’s no benefit in the treatment of depression with doses higher than 40 mg, the FDA added.

        Antidepressants Also Increase Your Risk of Stroke and Sudden Cardiac Death

        Newer antidepressants also raise your risk of bleeding and stroke, according to a recent report in Pulse Today which cites a brand new study published in the BMJ on April 3:

        “GPs should consider carefully the increased risk of bleeding and stroke with newer antidepressants before prescribing them, say US researchers. Their study looked at the records of 36,000 patients with a diagnosis of major depression taking serotonin transporter inhibitors (SSRIs) as monotherapy, and the frequency of bleeding complications over 19 years. SSRIs were categorised into ‘high’, ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ affinity for the serotonin transporter and patients with multiple prescriptions and those on tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors were excluded.

        Over 600 bleeds were observed in the 21,000 patients in the high-affinity group, compared with 333 among the 15,000 patients in the low affinity group, and this equated to a risk ratio of 1.17. Stroke risk was also elevated in the high affinity group compared with the low affinity group, with a risk ratio of 1.18.”

        Another large study of women who have been through menopause found that those taking tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs were 45 percent more likely to suffer a fatal strokevi. The findings came from an analysis that involved 136,000 women between the age of 50 and 79. Comparisons were made between the women who had been prescribed antidepressants since being enrolled in the research, and those who had not. The research also found that overall death rates were 32 percent higher in women on the drugs.

        According to one theory, this tragic effect may be due to how the drugs affect blood clotting. Antipsychotics are even more problematic and should be used with strict caution. A review of the medical literature from 2000-2007, published in Expert Opinion on Drug Safety in 2008,vii found that:

        “Antipsychotics can increase cardiac risk even at low doses, whereas antidepressants do it generally at high doses or in the setting of drug combinations.”

        Another study published in January 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicineviii also found that antipsychotic drugs doubled the risk of sudden cardiac death. Mortality was found to be dose-dependent, so those taking higher doses were at increased risk of a lethal cardiac event.


        Antidepressant Use and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality Among Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative Study, Archives of Internal Medicine December 14/28 2009;169(22):2128-2139

        Atypical antipsychotic drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death, New England Journal of Medicine, January 15 2009;360(3):225-35

        Sudden cardiac death secondary to antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs, Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, March 2008; 7(2):1081-194


        • skepticalvegan Says:

          I think you are missing the point of the response to Cheri. Cheri’s claim is that Prozac causes hardening of arteries, weight gain, and fatigue via the action of fluoride. None of the above supports her claims. And even when compared with the actual effect of Prozac her statements are very hyperbolic.

          The point isnt that Prozac in typical doses is perfectly safe, because it isnt. Its use is a matter of risk versus benefit.

          The point is that Cheri repeats a common myth of the chemistry of certain medications and makes unsupported statements about fluoridation.

  25. ALS Pseudoscience: What Quacks Won’t Tell You | I fucking hate pseudoscience Says:

    […] a specialist in grossly misrepresenting scientific studies, often with the aid of outright lies. Here is a crystal-clear demonstration of him wilfully and grossly misrepresenting a fluoride study; here is a discussion about […]

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