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Vitamin- Fluoride

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Fluoride Fluoride is mineral, traditionally known for its use in keeping our teeth clean, strong and preventing tooth decay. Although Fluoride helps our teeth, it does not help with the growth of our bodies, so is not practically considered a mineral essential for health and well being. It has been around for a long time and it is used in today’s society a lot. Fluoride was discovered by Henri Moissan in 1886, a French chemist that found fluoride in a hydrogen fluorine gas mix. It wasn’t discovered to help with tooth decay until 1936, when they did a study with fluoridated water in cities in Colorado Springs. Our bodies only need a small amount of fluoride in our bodies and 95% of that can be found in our skeletal system. The way fluoride helps our teeth is, by interacting with calcium and phosphate to help mineralize broken down tooth enamel. It has been found that children that consume a sufficient amount of Fluoride when their teeth are starting to develop and come through, have greater protection from tooth decay for the rest of their lives. Fluoride not only helps protect our teeth by prevent decay; it also helps strengthen our bones. Our body absorbs fluoride through the stomach and small intestine, for where it eventually ends up in our bloodstream. Once there it gets into our bones and teeth, and doesn’t build up in our soft tissue. Fluoride deficiency has been proven in communities where fluoridated water has not been introduced yet. It has been proven that in communities where the water has been treated with fluoride has had a decrease in tooth decay, than water systems where it has not been introduced yet. Deficiency in fluoride causes the enamel on the teeth to break down, therefore breaking down the protection teeth have against decay. When there is enough decay to the teeth it can cause numerous other health problems, like dead teeth and gum infection. Since fluoride also helps strengthen bones, when there is a deficiency the bones become brittle and in some cases can cause fractures. As well as these fractures, the bones can also develop osteoporosis, which is a disease where there is a decrease in bone density. Also from this in some cases, it can cause a curvature in the spine, but is generally seen in long term deficiency. The deficiencies of fluoride aren’t too bad but are a lot worse than fluoride at a toxic level. For Fluoride to be toxic to humans it has to be taken in amounts that are a lot more than that of normal dietary consumption. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis to the teeth and bones. Fluorosis occurs only in the developmental stages of the teeth and in mild cases can cause little white dots to appear on the teeth of children. In severe cases the teeth develop permanent yellow stains, while also developing pits in the enamel. To prevent fluorosis, the fluoride consumption in children has to be monitored, as it irreversible it is a high priority to keep this from happening. Adults also can have fluorosis as the white, yellow or brown stain do stay with you for the rest of your life. Not only does fluorosis affect your teeth, but can also affect your body mostly the bones in your body. It can cause your body to produce bone spurs, calcify your tendons and ligaments, and cause premature onset of osteoporosis. In some cases it has been consider contributing to chronic fatigue syndrome To prevent consuming too much fluoride one must know where its coming from and sources you have to watch out for. Sources of fluoride in foods is very small but the foods that have the most fluoride content are fish, shellfish and tea. Most fluoride comes from the earth and water source, particularly water that has been fluoridated. Fluoridated water is also being used in some soft drinks and fruit juices. Also for people that are deficient in fluoride, there are supplements that can be taken to raise the body levels, but this recommended to people in areas that have fluoridated water, as that is sufficient enough. Other than the sources that are ingested there are the kinds that are used in dental hygiene, like toothpaste, mouth wash, mouth gels. The recommended D There have been a lot of discussion of fluoride being dangers and toxic to our bodies, but research has concluded that if consumed in small quantities it beneficial a health existence. The quantities that are being put in our water supply are also under scrutiny, as there have been some studies showing as much as double the recommended daily intake present in these waters. If this is the case it can be dangerous to our health, but this mistake is very rare. Then in recent studies the quality of fluoride being put in our water is quite questionable, as in some cases it is sodium fluoride. Sodium Fluoride is a byproduct of aluminum production and has been used as a rat poison, which isn’t much good for our health. From these studies 97% of western Europe have chosen to free their water ways of fluoridation. All in all fluoride is relatively safe, although there are many studies say opposite, there are a lot more that say it safe for use. From the information on fluoride deficiency and toxicity, it is clear that the benefits out way the risks. With our society consuming more and more sugar, the state of our societies teeth are at risk. Any little thing we can do, like adding fluoride to our water should be taken with open arms. Fluoride is not a very harmful mineral and it isn’t essential to our diets, so its significance in our lives is very small.

Bibliography:
National Cancer Institute. Fluoridated Water: Questions and Answers. NCI, 29 June 2005. Web. 3 Oct. 2010. Path: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/fluoridated-water.

DeBruyne, Linda k., Kathryn Pinna, and Ellie Whiteny. Nutrition and Diet: Principle and Practise. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson & Wadsworth, 2008. 262-63. Print.

Whitford, Gary M. "THE METABOLISM AND TOXICITY OF FLUORIDE." International Society for Fluoride Research 30.2 (1997): 104+. Web. Oct. 2010.

Kaminsky, Laurence s., Martin c. Mahoney, James Leach, and Mary J. Miller. Fluoride: Benefits And Risks of. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.

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