About 15,000 people could be suffering needlessly from thyroid problems because of fluoride in drinking water, University of Kent has warned.
However, new research from the University of Kent suggests that there is an increase in the number of cases of thyroid insufficiency in high fluoride areas such as the West Midlands and North East England.
Lead author Professor Stephen Peckham, Centre for the Study of Health Services, said:
“I think it is worrying for people living in those areas.
“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which was not particularly surprising. There were almost double the number of cases in the West Midlands.
“underactive thyroid is a very dangerous thing behind to have and that can lead to other health problems long term. I think that boards need to re-think about putting fluoride in the water. There are ways much more safe to improve dental health. ”
In England, about 10 percent of the population (6 million) live in areas with fluoridated water supply naturally or artificially 1 mg of fluoride per liter of drinking water.
The researchers compared the records of areas to 7935 general practices covering about 95 percent of the English population in 2012-2013.
high thyroid rates recently were at least 30 percent more likely to practice located in areas with fluoride levels in excess of 0.3 mg / l.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water in varying amounts, depending on the region and is also found in certain foods and beverages, including tea and fish. It helps fight tooth decay by making the bacteria resistant enamel.
However, previous studies have found that inhibits the production of iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid.
The thyroid gland, located in the neck, regulates metabolism, as well as many other systems in the body.
An underactive thyroid can lead to depression, weight gain, fatigue and muscle pain and affects 15 times more women than men, about 15 of every 1,000 women.
Researchers say the councils should rethink the public health policy of fluoridation of the water supply in an attempt to protect the health of the teeth of the nation.
However Public Health England said the previous overwhelming evidence showed that fluoride in water was safe.
Dr. Sandra Black, Director of Dental Public Health at Public Health England, said:
“Public Health England periodically reviews the evidence base for water fluoridation.
“All the evidence accumulated over decades of research, tells us that water fluoridation is a measure of safe and effective public health and shows no association with thyroid function reduced.”
Other experts also cautioned that the study may have been biased by the bias of the population, a claim denied by the authors.
Professor David Coggon, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Southampton, said:
“It is quite possible that the observed association is a consequence of other ways that areas with higher fluoride differ from the rest of the country.
“There are substantially more rigorous epidemiological methods so that the research team could have tested his idea”
fluoride is one of the things that do not want us to know?
The research was published in BMJs Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health .