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Unfiltered: The Fluoride Debate – Pregnancy, Neurodevelopment, and the Pursuit of Safe Water

Friday, May 31st 2024 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

An extensive research study, led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, has shed light on the potential dangers of fluoride exposure during pregnancy. The study, which involved more than 220 mother-child pairs, found that higher levels of fluoride in the mother’s body during pregnancy were associated with a nearly doubled chance of the child exhibiting neurobehavioral problems at age three.

The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, indicated that a 0.68 milligram per liter increase in fluoride exposure was linked to a higher likelihood of children displaying neurobehavioral issues. These issues included emotional reactivity, anxiety, somatic complaints, and symptoms associated with autism.

“Women with higher fluoride exposure levels in their bodies during pregnancy tended to rate their 3-year-old children higher on overall neurobehavioral problems and internalizing symptoms,” said Tracy Bastain, Ph.D., an associate professor of clinical population and public health sciences and senior author of the study.

These results align with previous animal studies and data from other countries, which have shown that prenatal exposure to fluoride can negatively impact brain development and lower IQ in early childhood.

The researchers hope that these findings will help raise awareness among policymakers, healthcare providers, and the public about the risks of consuming fluoride during pregnancy. “This is the first U.S.-based study to examine this association,” said Ashley Malin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine. “Our findings are noteworthy, given that the women in this study were exposed to pretty low levels of fluoride—levels that are typical of those living in fluoridated regions within North America.”

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