US youth risk kidney/liver function from exposure to fluoride

August 14, 2019

Fluoride can be accumulated by the kidneys over time, even though a person’s body excretes more than half the ingested fluoride through urine – an adult can eliminate 60% and a child, 45%. A recent study of US adolescents has suggested that fluoride exposure could contribute to complex changes in kidney and liver function. Adolescents with poor kidney or liver function also chance to absorb more fluoride in their bodies compared to their healthy counterparts.

Fluoridated water is the main source of fluoride exposure in the US, where some 74% of public water systems add fluoride for dental health benefits. Hence, the fluoride content of the tap water in the homes of some 1,740 adolescents and the fluoride content in blood samples of some 1,980 adolescents were looked at in the study. Although the fluoride concentrations in the tap or drinking water were generally low, it could still cause kidney or liver dysfunction.

Apparently, there is a dose-dependent relationship between fluoride and indicators of kidney and liver function. It may be important, then, to consider children’s kidney and liver function in drafting public health guidelines and recommendations, as chronic fluoride exposure could contribute to kidney/liver toxicity. Other potential health side effects include thyroid dysfunction, bone and tooth disease, and impaired protein metabolism.

Ashley J. Malin, of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai echoes recent concerns regarding the appropriateness of its widespread addition to drinking water or salt – “The findings suggest that there may be potential kidney and liver health concerns to consider when evaluating fluoride use. Prospective studies are needed to examine the impact of chronic low-level fluoride exposure on kidney and liver function in the US population.”


Category: Features, Health alert

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