The Possible Link Between Fluoride in Tap Water and Hypothyroidism Risk During Pregnancy

Research has uncovered evidence suggesting that exposure to fluoride from drinking water could increase hypothyroidism risk among pregnant women, with lower IQ scores being seen among boys who had mothers identified as having hypothyroidism than among boys with normal thyroid levels.

Preliminary research had established an association between maternal exposure to fluoride during gestation and lower IQ scores in boys; and this current research may provide the answers.

Research shows an association between high fluoride exposure levels and thyroid disruption and negative birth outcomes for children. Hypothyroidism that goes untreated while pregnant has also been shown to cause negative consequences in their offspring.

This study could shed new light on why boys born to mothers exposed to higher concentrations of fluoride have lower IQs at birth and adds further proof that prenatal exposure could be linked to adverse cognitive outcomes in children.

The study involved over 1,500 women enrolled in an ongoing, multi-year project designed to understand how environmental chemicals impact vulnerable populations – pregnant women and babies included.

Participants were recruited from 10 cities across Canada – 7 of which had fluoridated drinking water – only women who reported consuming tap water during gestation were assessed, as were their infants from birth into early childhood.

Fluoridated drinking water levels increased by just half-a milligram per liter – equivalent to the difference in exposure levels between fluoridated communities and non-fluoridated communities – was associated with an 1.65 increase in likelihood of being diagnosed or meeting requirements for hypothyroidism while pregnant.

Hypothyroidism has been identified as one of the main contributors to brain-related disorders among children. These results should be cause for great concern as hypothyroidism has an alarming 65% increased risk.

Researchers exploring the relationship between exposure to fluoride and hypothyroidism has primarily focused on laboratory animals or individuals living in areas where natural levels of fluoride occur in abundance.

Fluoride has long been used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Since the 1930s, fluoride has been utilized for this purpose.

Fluoride’s exact mechanism of impacting thyroid function remains unknown, though it could involve altering certain enzymes and absorption of iodine which is critical in producing thyroid hormone.

Women tend to have a greater risk of hypothyroidism, a disorder wherein too little thyroid hormone is produced in their bodies and results in symptoms including depression, weight gain and fatigue.

Pregnancy places a substantial strain on the thyroid system, especially during its first trimester when an unborn fetus relies solely on maternal thyroid hormones for nourishment.

Fluoride exposure from tap water was measured as well as from other dietary sources that naturally contain high amounts of fluoride – including naturally high in fluoride black tea. Urinary fluoride levels were also measured and no link with hypothyroidism could be identified.

Researchers suggest that tap water fluoride levels could provide more accurate evidence of long-term fluoride exposure than urinary levels, which more closely represent short-term exposure.

Fluoride compounds added to tap water for cavity prevention purposes represent an additional source of fluoride exposure.

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