According to a new study published in the Journal of Water Health, adding sodium fluoride to public water systems increases the risk of members of the public developing type 2 diabetes (T2D).
The study by Kyle Fluegge, PhD, convulsively shows that fluoride has a direct link to T2D rates in the public.
Fluegge, a health economist for New York City’s health department, completed his research as a post-doctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University. He used mathematical models and publicly available data to examine connections between diabetes incidence and fluoridation levels in 22 states. The study adjusted for obesity and physical inactivity.
His findings, drawn from 2 sets of regression analyses, suggest that adding sodium fluoride to public drinking water was significantly associated with rising T2D rates from 2005 to 2010. “The models look at the outcomes of (diabetes) incidence and prevalence being 2predicted by both natural and added fluoride,” Fluegge said in a statement.
He found that a 1 mg increase in the average county fluoride level predicted a 0.17% increase in age-adjusted T2D prevalence. What’s more, not every part of the country uses the same additive, and they apparently have different effects on diabetes.
Fluegge found that in contrast with sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid seemed to combat T2D, as it was associated with decreases in diabetes incidence and prevalence. Meanwhile, counties that relied on natural levels of fluoride in their water had lower diabetes rates.
The links were revealed when Fluegge adjusted fluoride exposure levels to adjust for estimated per capital tap water consumption. “The models present an interesting conclusion that the association of water fluoridation to diabetes outcomes depends on the per capita consumption of tap water,” he said. “
In other words, relying on the “parts per million” measurements won’t reveal much—one has to take the extra step and measure what people actually drink.
Fluegge said his study alone should not trigger policy changes, but it does suggest the need for more research. Population-level associations must be followed by studies of individuals, and other sources of fluoride would need to be taken into account, he said.
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