Fluoride's Harmful Impact on Mental Health and Brain Cognition: Neurotoxicity of Fluoride and its Role in Mitochondrial Dysfunction


6/20/20232 min read

Fluoride, a widely-used compound in water fluoridation, has been the subject of concern due to its potential long-term effects on mental health and cognition. This article goes into the current scientific evidence, both experimental and observational, that sheds light on the neurotoxicity of fluoride and its role in mitochondrial dysfunction. By examining the relationship between fluoride exposure and childhood mental health, as well as exploring the mechanism of action involving mitochondrial function, we present a compelling case against the usage of fluoride.

The Alarming Prevalence of Fluorosis: Across the globe, approximately 200 million people reside in areas affected by fluorosis, a condition caused by high fluoride levels in water sources. Countries such as India, Iran, Kenya, and Mexico are particularly affected, highlighting the widespread nature of the problem. In the United States, manual water fluoridation has been practiced since 1945, and today, over 200 million Americans have access to fluoridated drinking water.

Potential Lifelong Impairments: Researchers are increasingly concerned about the short-term and long-term consequences of chronic low-level fluoride exposure, especially during critical developmental stages. There is mounting evidence suggesting that fluoride exposure during prenatal and perinatal periods can lead to neurotoxic effects. Animal and human studies have observed physical changes in animals, including fur loss and delayed reflex development. Furthermore, intelligence loss, increased hyperactivity, and irregular moods have been associated with fluoride exposure. It is important to note that fluoride-induced mitochondrial damage, characterized by a decrease in circulating mitochondrial DNA content, dysregulation of biogenesis, and loss of circular structure, further compounds the potential risks. Recent research highlights associations between fluoride exposure and reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as somatization behaviors such as pain, headache, fatigue, and digestive disorders.

Animal Studies Reveal Cognitive and Behavioral Impacts: Animal studies have shown that fluoride exposure, particularly sodium fluoride, is associated with cognitive, behavioral, and memory disruptions. These effects are more pronounced during critical periods of central nervous system development, resulting in slower spatial learning, depressive tendencies, and anxious tendencies. Hyperactivity and behavioral alterations have also been observed in animal subjects. Moreover, fluoride exposure has been linked to increased excitement in the hippocampus, impaired memory, anxiety-like behavior, and depression-like behavior in adult mice. These findings suggest that fluoride may influence behavioral outcomes through alterations in serotonin levels and specific brain regions.

Human Studies Reinforce Concerns: Extensive research has explored the cognitive outcomes of fluoride exposure in humans. Meta-analyses and research reviews have consistently shown a negative association between fluoride exposure and IQ, with children being more susceptible to neurotoxic effects. Furthermore, studies have highlighted the association between fluoride exposure and increased prevalence of ADHD diagnoses and symptoms, such as hyperactivity and inattention. While limited studies have investigated the impact of fluoride on mental health outcomes, one study found a significant association between urinary fluoride content and somatization behaviors.

Gender Disparities: Sex differences have emerged in cognitive studies, indicating that males may be more susceptible to fluoride's impact on cognition and mental health. Notably, prenatal fluoride exposure has been linked to increased risk of negative outcomes in males, such as lowered IQ. However, more research is needed to fully understand the complex interplay

There is significant evidence suggesting that fluoride can induce mitochondrial damage, further exacerbating the risk of cognitive deficits and mental health issues. While some studies have shown inconsistent findings and more research is needed, the existing evidence raises concerns about the long-term effects of fluoride on brain development and overall well-being.

Read more about Hydroxyapetite toothpaste, a non-toxic alternative to fluoride toothpaste here.

Source: Adkins EA, Brunst KJ. Impacts of Fluoride Neurotoxicity and Mitochondrial Dysfunction on Cognition and Mental Health: A Literature Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 7;18(24):12884. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182412884. PMID: 34948493; PMCID: PMC8700808.