Decades ago, studies found that fluoride could protect teeth from cavities and tooth decay. As a result, they started pouring the chemical into water systems around the country. What people didn't realize is that this chemical doesn't just harden your teeth. It also hardens your arteries.
A new study out of Spain wanted to look at the connection between fluoride, calcification, and hardening of arteries. To do so, a group of researchers from the University of Zaragoza followed the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for fluoride usage. That equates to 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L). Then they put this amount of fluoride in water and gave it to rats.
After five days, the researchers examined the rats and found that all of them had some calcification in the smooth muscles cells of their arteries. All of these rats had already suffered from some level of lab-induced chronic kidney disease. But the fluoride made the renal function of every rat decline even more.
The researchers said the fluoride "dramatically increased the incipient aortic calcification" in the rats with kidney disease. This means fluoride likely causes the same type of kidney damage in people. And just as concerning is that it will also lead to significant calcification and hardening of the arteries.
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Healthy people can usually clear most fluoride through the kidneys. But when kidneys aren't healthy, the body doesn't clear the fluoride and up to 90% of it can remain in the body.
What's more, fluoride can make calcium even more dangerous. A couple of weeks ago, I told you how taking excess calcium supplements can lead to calcification of your arteries. The calcium that builds up in your arteries is hydroxylapatite. Fluoride replaces the hydroxyls inside these calcium crystals and forms fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is less soluable than hydroxylapatite, so the body has a harder time eliminating it. This also means you have to work harder to remove it from your body.
The best way to keep your arteries soft and supple is to avoid fluoride in your drinking water. That's easier said than done, as most water filters won't remove it. Reverse osmosis will, but it also removes a lot of healthful minerals.
So I suggest fighting calcification with a combination of nutrients. Taking magnesium is vital. Magnesium keeps your blood vessels relaxed and less likely to allow calcification. Rice bran oil also is essential. Rice bran oil is filled with phytosterols – plant chemicals that are great for you. There are 27 different phytosterols in rice bran oil. And they're great for clearing your arteries of plaque and keeping them soft and supple.
I'll have more on rice bran oil in a future Nutrient Insider. In the meantime, you can find rice bran oil in Complete Daily Oils.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.