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Monday April 8th 2019


How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Nine Sources of Fluoride Exposure You Might Not Recognize

Post Published: 14 March 2010
Category: Column, How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass, thyroid nutrition and health column
This post currently has 31 responses. Leave a comment

This week, we have a guest post from a special lady with a special website: Melissa from The Cellulite Investigation.   Trust me, you’ll love the site — it’s a report on our modern cellulite epidemic, which resonates with the Cellulite Analyst (as she’s referred to) because of her own struggles with cellulite.   Today she’s written a post for us about her experiences with fluoride, which, of course, is so important to the thyroid community.   You’ll be shocked with what she’s uncovered:

It all started when I noticed a strange phenomenon while traveling. Living in the U.S. my face was one huge acne outbreak. Yet I didn’t need a single spot treatment when living abroad. This pattern repeated itself through two decades of frequent travel. Finally, after much perplexing, I understand the reason. It’s called fluoroderma, a form of halogen acne caused by fluoride.

Once I received the fluoroderma diagnosis, I began to limit my fluoride ingestion and saw immediate results with my cystic acne. In the beginning, I thought avoiding fluoride would be simple: just stop drinking fluoridated water. Turns out it wasn’t that easy. After a year and a half of trial and error, I finally succeeded in limiting my fluoride consumption enough to heal my fluoroderma (who says there’s no real cure for acne?!).

Now, dear Dear Thyroid readers, I would like to offer my fluoride-detecting superpowers to those of you who suffer with hypothyroidism. As you recall from earlier HTKYTA posts, fluoride blocks iodine receptors (iodine is also a halogen) and causes a decrease in absorbed thyroid hormone. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, fluoride in the range of 2-5 mg per day is enough to slow down thyroid function.1 In fact, fluoride was used to treat hyperthyroidism before more powerful medications were developed.

If you are looking to limit your fluoride exposure, here are nine sources of fluoride that might surprise you.

1. Non-Organic Tea

Tea leaves accumulate more fluoride from soil and air pollution than any other edible plant. Total fluoride content depends on steeping time. In one lab analysis, a cup of black tea was found to contain 17.5 mg of fluoride. The level in green tea was even higher, at 22 mg per cup. Non-organic iced tea, instant tea, and decaf tea are all known to contain high amount of fluoride.2

2. Processed Cereal

When cereals are manufactured using fluoridated water, the water evaporates, leaving concentrated levels of fluoride in the finished product. One study found that cereal made with fluoridated water contained fluoride levels ranging from 3.8 to 6.3 ppm (the maximum contaminant level for fluoridated water set by the EPA is 4 ppm).3

3. Other Food and Beverages Prepared in Fluoridated Water

This one is a little more obvious, but it’s still easy to overlook. Coming from someone who breaks out after eating steamed broccoli or drinking a single Newcastle (who knew Newcastle was one of the few cities in the UK to fluoridate its public water supply?), food and beverages made with fluoridated water are a significant source of fluoride exposure. When eating out at fluoridated restaurants, don’t forget that foods like pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables will contain some of the fluoridated water they were cooked in. Fruit juices can pack an extra fluoride punch due to the promiscuous use of fluoride-based pesticides. Which brings us to…

4. Grapes, Potatoes, and other Non-Organic Crops

The primary fluoride-based pesticide used in the U.S. is cryolite, most commonly used on crops of grapes and potatoes. The EPA allows over 7 ppm of cryolite on 30 different fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, citrus fruits, cucumbers, lettuce, peaches, peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes.4

5. Factory-Farmed Chicken

My fluoride-o-meter goes into hyperdrive with this one. When humans ingest fluoride, roughly half of it accumulates in the bones while the other half is excreted. A similar process must occur with chickens because it’s the chicken bones that contain the highest amounts of fluoride (commercial chicken feed can be high in fluoride-based pesticides). Chicken skin is another culprit. Watch out for soups made from a chicken stock base as well as mechanically deboned chicken products and luncheon meats.5

6. Teflon and Aluminum Pans

The next two fluoride sources have not been verified by my experience with fluoroderma, but the research makes them worth mentioning. I cook with cast iron, pyrex, and stainless steel, but some fluoridation opponents argue that teflon and aluminum cookware can leech dangerous fluoride compounds into the food. Considering that most of the fluoride added to the public water supply is a byproduct of the aluminum industry (you can check your local water report to find out where your fluoride comes from), this does not sound like an outlandish claim.

7. Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals

The list of fluorine-based medications is staggering, from anesthetics and antibiotics to antidepressants like Paxil and Prozac.6

[To find out if your medications are fluorine-based, here is an index of fluorinated pharmaceuticals from the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative]

8. Showering/Bathing in Fluoridated Water

I haven’t found any scientific studies of fluoride exposure from bathing, so this evidence is mostly based on my anecdotal experience (although research does confirm that small amounts of fluoride may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin 7). I noticed a marked improvement in my fluoroderma when I installed a carbon filter in the shower, but I did not find complete relief until I moved into a non-fluoridated house. When I visit relatives who live in fluoridated cities, the fluoroderma flares up slightly even though the sink/shower is my only major source of fluoride exposure.

9. Non-Organic Wine

Remember all that fluoride-based pesticide they are spraying on grape crops? You probably don’t want to hear this, but it ends up in your wine glass. Researchers from California State in Fresno conducted a 5-year study on vineyards in San Joaquin Valley. They found fluoride levels between 3 and 9 ppm. At 6 ppm, one small glass of non-organic wine contains as much fluoride as a liter of “optimally” fluoridated water.8

Are you surprised by any of the items on this list? Do you know any I missed? And while we’re at it, what are your thoughts on fluoride? Could something we pay to add to the public water supply really be all that bad?

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31 Responses to “How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Nine Sources of Fluoride Exposure You Might Not Recognize

  1. Kaytee says:

    Have greatly reduced Fl exposure since getting the Berkey filter- I cook with the filtered water. I guess I should “rerinse” with it, too, after rinsing fruit with the tap water…. Also, have replaced most of the Teflon/aluminum cookware with stainless steel or cast iron (when available), or glass (bakeware). It’s hard to find heavy gauge steel for smaller pans– and things tend to burn in the thin stuff (“hot spots” develop).
    I don’t have any rx other than the Armour thyroid, and don’t drink wine or eat cereal (#2 son does, though, and he has the cystic acne… hmmm), so I guess I’m OK there…. Have a shower filter;it doesn’t remove Fl, but does remove Cl and Cl compounds, which has helped with other problems– I no longer spend several minutes coughing after a shower. I also use a non-Fl toothpaste, although I do rinse the brush and my mouth with tap water.

  2. Liz says:

    Kaytee, sounds like you’re doing some amazing stuff and have made some healthy and wonderful changes! Good for you! Chlorine and fluoride are so destructive — especially in people with a diagnosed chronic illness. The changes you’ve made are probably helping you so much, health-wise.

    I’d definitely suggest brushing teeth and washing fruit/veg with filtered water. I just wet a paper towel with a few drops of filtered water and then wipe off produce — that way it saves water.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Kaytee!

  3. Sandi says:

    As a dental hygienist that is NOT a gung-ho fluoride advocate, I loved your list. It shows how easily it could be for levels of fluoride to get out of hand in the body. Children are exposed is too many ways when you look at your list.

    I will be looking for more ways to eliminate the fluoride in my world. Carifree.com makes a fluoride free toothpaste that I am going to invest in.

    I have to use hydrated aluminum in a mist spray when polishing my patients teeth. The particle size is so small that I am ingesting it when I do that part of my treatment (even though I wear a mask), 8 times a day. There has to be a fluoride side effect from that too. That could have contributed to my 50 lb weight increase since starting this job 2.5 years ago.

    I do need a water filter. Any inexpensive suggestions? I drink a LOT of water daily and I need to be aware of the fluoride I am getting from that too.

    What a great eye opener. Thanks!

    • Alesha Miamia Bott says:

      I am ecstatic to read that you are a Dental Hygienist. I am a Dental Hygeinist Assistant and have found it very hard to keep or even get a job being an advocate for the ban on Fluoride. It just nice to see that there is at least one doctor out there who is starting to realize how bad this stuff is for humans. Thank you!!!

    • Alesha Miamia Bott says:

      Oh and one mor thing.. It’s fantastic you are going to get a water filter but 100% of the water filters you can purchase do NOT remove Fluoride from the water. The only thing that will completely remove Fluoride from your water is a Reverse Osmosis System. And after you have elimated Fluoride from your diet then you should start looking into a way to Decalcify your Pineal Gland… That is the part of the brain that Fluoride attacks and damanges causing it to calcify up. Good thing is, it is reversible. Slow but reversible.

  4. Liz says:

    Sandi, that’s a great point that you bring up — exposure on the job. I actually deal with this too — I’m exposed to all kinds of chemicals and endocrine disruptors and food allergens three days a week. It does alarm me, and as much as I try to minimize the impact, I know that it does add up. So many people deal with this because, sure, we can control our homes to a large degree, but we can’t control the work environment (or, for children, like you mentioned, we can’t control their school environment). You especially as a dental hygienist know this! I really feel for you, having to be exposed 8 times a day! So sorry to hear that.

    For filtered water, I don’t yet have a filter in-home, so I buy filtered water from water machines at local grocery and health food stores. I know this water is not 100% fluoride- and chlorine-free, but it is filtered several times. This is a good alternative to buying a water filter, because those usually are hundreds of dollars, while water vending machines usually cost 25-35 cents per gallon. If you can afford a water filter right now, I would suggest looking at Dr. Mercola’s website. He has VERY reliable filters that ensure you’re not being contaminated.

  5. thy_r88gous says:

    ahh ha! i have found the answer ive bee looking for. im just gonna sit around and drink new castles all day, as i am hyper and i think it will be my miracle cure!! im off to get this cure started. my fav beer and flouride. who knew. gotta go. (just kidding)

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    I had no idea fluoride was in so many products and foods… I think I’m still in shock!

    Melissa, thank you for writing such an insightful post. This was a great wake-up call and one that I am most appreciative of.

    Take Care,

  7. Haha, thy_r88gous. Glad my research could be of service!

    Sandi, the most effective filter I found for fluoride is a reverse osmosis filter. It removes approximately 95 percent of fluoride. I bought mine through a little company out of Denton, Texas called Pure Water Products. I liked them because they have good customer service, competitive prices, and an informative website (http://www.pwgazette.com).

  8. I think I’m still in shock, too, Katie. Thanks for your kind comment!

  9. HD inOregon says:

    I am a bit confused. We live in a town that does not, as so many other areas in the US, fluoridate its drinking water supplies; yet my dentist is very, very adamant about me using a fluoridated mouthwash against tooth decay (which for me is a serious problem. Due to my throat and thyroid cancer treatments, I am having a very dry mouth all the time, which in turn is very bad for my teeth).

    Has anyone look at the benefit/damage analysis of our fluoride intake. Could cellulite be the lesser evil in certain cases?

    Except for this question in my mind, this is a very interesting article. Amazing how many hidden sources of fluoride there are in our foods.

    Thanks for sharing Melissa!


  10. Reid Kimball says:

    I wanted to find out if my water supply is fluoridated and this website is a nice resource for everyone in the US.


    Turns out where I live the water isn’t fluoridated and I avoid everything else.

  11. Liz says:


    I’ve done a bunch of reading into this, and I’d say the risks outweigh the benefits. There are a ton of natural things you/we can do to prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. Have you ever looked into Xylitol (candies, toothpastes, and whatnot) for moisturizing? Xylitol (make sure it’s from a non-GMO source) is anti-bacterial and helps with saliva flow.

  12. Liz says:

    Awesome, Reid, thank you!

  13. HD inOregon says:

    Thank you so much Liz, I’ll look into Xylitol!


  14. Great question, HD. A lot of dentists are pro-fluoride, so it can be a very confusing matter. The best advice I can give is to read up on both sides of the argument and make the decision that feels best to you. To learn more about the ‘alternative’ theories of dental decay, I recommend “Cure Tooth Decay” by Rami Nagel. Here is a link to an interview with the author: http://www.cheeseslave.com/2010/01/27/how-to-cure-tooth-decay-with-rami-nagel/

    Best of luck with whatever you decide!

  15. Liz says:

    Thanks Melissa! Another good book to read is “Going Against The Grain” — she touches on the way grains have led to tooth decay and oral problems. Very interesting…

  16. Alexia says:

    I am not shocked but this is a great list in one place Thanks Liz

  17. Wayne says:

    That is right most Dentist are pro fluoride. Fluoride initially makes teeth look whiter and stronger, however later in life the teeth become weak, and the body becomes very toxic!

  18. Wow! I didn’t know most of this. Thanks for sharing.

  19. HD inOregon says:

    Hello Wayne,

    Is there literature that supports your statement that fluoride makes teeth weak? Please let us know. – Thanks.


    • mojo says:

      This is a great site, with many references and additional sites at the bottom of the article. Do a google search on dangers of fluoride, or hidden sources of fluoride, fluoride toxicity, etc. You will have plenty to read! We are avoiding any contact with it. My Dad and step-dad both have fluoride poisoning, and my grandmother died of bone cancer. We grew up in a city with fluoridated water. Many cities have rejected the use of fluoride. It can be done, and should be done. 98% of European countries ban it’s use. We need more people to learn about it, and stand up and say no more!

  20. Paul says:

    The National Academy of Sciences did a thorough review on fluoride in 2006. They documented numerous deleterious effects of fluoride on many organ systems including increased potential risk for bone fractures (the well characterized disease of skeletal fluorosis) possibly increased risk of osteosarcoma, reduced IQ, thyroid dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction and others all 300 pages is online if anyone cares to confirm it. Of course don’t forget fluoride induced dental fluorsosis (i.e. teeth mottling and a sign of toxic exposure to fluoride) They ended with recommending that the EPA should more strictly regulate fluoride. Their findings mirror those in the peer-reviewed medical literature, while Harvard trained toxicologist Phyllis Mullenix also extensively documented behavioral changes in mice upon exposure to blood levels of fluoride not far greater than those experienced through water fluoridation and other sources of exposure. Former, well credentialed EPA scientists have been fired for bucking the political line on this issue. Meanwhile 90% of the fluoride placed into our water supply is not industrial grade sodium fluoride, it is silicofluorides, quite simply, scraped from the sides of Florida phosphate plant smokestacks. If it weren’t thrown into the water supply it would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. You can read more on this starting here http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2009/11/water-fluoridation-part-i.html if you suspect I am just making this all up.

  21. Paul brings up a lot of good points. It’s probably not surprising that in addition to the fluoroderma, I also have dental fluorosis.

    When I was growing up, my well-intentioned pediatrician prescribed fluoride pills since I was drinking well water at home. My parents asked about the discoloration when my permanent teeth came in, but they were not advised it was from the fluoride. I also developed chronic nose bleeds at this time, which I’ve read is another side effect of fluoride toxicity. I suspect this early fluoride exposure is the reason I developed fluoroderma.

    Thanks for the information, Paul. A lot of people don’t know about this so it’s important to spread the word, especially to people who have small children at home.

  22. Liz says:

    Thanks Paul! We appreciate it!

  23. Hi, I’ve got an acne problem and I am looking for bodywashes/soaps that will cure acne. Are there any good natural (no animals or animal testing, no petroleum, drugs or harsh chemicals) soaps or bodywashes that would take care of this problem?

  24. Melissa @CI says:

    Hi, Teodoro. The only way to cure acne completely is to eliminate the cause, but a good skincare routine will help the skin heal quickly when it does break out. The best method I’ve found is oil cleansing. It might sound strange at first to wash your face with oil (especially if you have oily skin), but it really does work. This website offers more info and detailed instructions.


    Best of luck!

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  26. Jan says:

    good site for info on USA Water Fluoridation.
    I am working very hard to get a petition going in Harbor Springs , Michigan , since 1963, to put it on the ballot so we the people can vote it out.

    We pay $6,500 a year to put it into our water, which what we don’t drink or use goes back into our Great Lakes , Rivers and Streams, affecting our wildlife also.

    Grand Rapids Michigan was the first that government experimented on us citizens with it in 1945. My town of birth was Jackson , fluoridated since 1951.

    The Dentists and the ADA and the CDC and FDA are insane to have put this stuff into our water!
    Any form of fluroide, gels, varnishes, toothpaste, was NEVER APROVED By
    the FDA………1ppm equals 1mg. , 3mg’s to 5mgs’ is fatal for an adult.
    Dentists are applying Varnishes to children age zero to 4 yrs old, in Michigan’s “Smile Michigan” program this year, Fluroide Varnishes have 50,000ppm or 50,000 mgs !!!!!!!!!!!
    Do you parents know this? Why are you not outraged by this? Call your state senators and congressman and tell them your gets are being poisoned.

    The AMA in 2006, said no child under the age of , six months should drink fluoridated water mixed with formula or cereals or no child under the age of 2 yrs old Should not have have fluoride treatments, or use fluoride toothpaste., because they will swallow it , due to their swallowing reflex is not developed yet. ( a tube of toothpaste has 1000ppm to 2000ppm, a pea size amount swallow is equal to .25ppm , a strip is @ 4ppm, and right on the box it tells you to call Poison Control if swallowed!) That should tell our City Officials right there , WE ARE NOT TO BE INGESTING THIS POISON AND NOR SHOULD OUR CHILDREN! EXPECIALLY OUR INFANTS, AND EVEN BREAST MILK FROM MOTHER WHO HAVE DRANK IT IS HIGH ALSO IN FLUROIDE!
    They will get Dental Fluorosis from it.
    please help us get this stuff BANNED……..I could care less if this rat poison company goes broke …..I want my health back!
    I have Moderate Osteoporosis, Cervical DDD & Spondylosis, Hypothyroidism, GERD. ALL having been made to drink this fluorosilicic acid. for 59 years! My diseases could correct themselves if I did not consume more than 1ppm a day……..I buy my water, now, and I shower in it and I use a filter plus a ionizer and my F level in my blood is still 1.8ppm.
    So they are lying when they say they are putting 1.2ppm, because this stuff is absorbed instantly……..
    It blocks Calcium from being deposited inside the bones and deposits fluroide and calcium on the outside, the same with the teeth, Making our bones and teeth hollow and our the outside of the bone thicker and painful and will shatter like a china cup upon a fall……….
    this makes me very upset with our city officials in this country for doing this to us on the advice of the Dentists’s saying it will prevent tooth decay…
    well I am way beyond the tooth development stages…..and its sounds like to me they should only be giving fluroide treatments to kids from the ages of say 7yrs to 10yrs when their 2nd set teeth are coming in.
    Also, it only prevents 18% of our 36 teeth from tooth decay……that means one surface of one tooth!!!!!!!! So don’t poison us over one surface please##@!@##!@#!~#~#@~!#~@~!#~!#~!#

    Kids can’t learn or add, their poor little brains are so damaged from this stuff.
    So the blame the teachers and import intelligence from China and Japan & Europe where they know how harmful it is…..and their people would never let them do this to their kids…..

    Cost of repair or Cosmetic Dentistry is $5K to $18k to correct Dental Fluorosis………google pictures of Dental Fluorosis, to see what their teeth look like and why they would require Cosmetic Dentistry.
    Bail outs for the dentists and doctors is all this is….to keep the diseases comin for profit ……….they do not care about us ! none of them its all about the money.
    Call your cities and tell them to remove fluoride….call your senators, study it.
    We need everyone Screaming to high heaven to these @#%#@%!#%!#%$!@#

  27. Jan says:

    I forgot the site……..! its The Fluoride Action Network-
    or go to you tube and key in fluoridation…much said about it.
    Pennsylvania and New York (NYSCOF) and Nebraska (Travis) and California and LISA Stop Fluoridation in Colorado…… have activist’s working on fluoride too…

  28. Jan, I can feel your passion for this issue jumping off the page. Thanks for all your effort to raise awareness about this issue and get the laws changed. It might take awhile, but the rest of society will come around SOMEday, thanks to the combined efforts of many people like you. Keep at it!

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