Monday, April 15, 2013

The Pharmacology of Fluoride and its contribution to Diabetes and Obesity

The Pharmacology of Fluoride and its contribution to Diabetes and Obesity.

In 1950 GUSTAV WM. RAPP, Ph. D. Professor of chemistry and physiology, Chicago College of Dental Surgery published the findings of his research on the Pharmacology of Fluoride.[1]

The most important factors that influence  absorption of fluoride were identified as:
  • the solubility of the fluoride source,
  • the concentration of fluoride in the source,
  • the amount of fluoride available for absorption,
  • the pH of the medium in which absorption takes place and
  • the presence or absence of fluoride-insolubilizing substances.

In consideration of the first factor it was noted that naturally occuring calcium fluoride is largely insoluble compared to water fluoridation chemicals which are soluble. Further is was noted that the higher the calcium level in water the lower the absorption of fluoride. This means that where the same level of fluoride is added to low calcium waters compared to hard waters the absorption of fluoride in consumers will be significantly higher in those areas with soft water.

In consideration of the concentration of fluoride it was noted that in general the greater the amount ingested the greater the amount will be retained in the body. However, importantly, it was also found that more fluoride will be retained if it is given in small multiple doses than when a similar amount is given in a larger dose.  

This means fluoridation of drinking water results in greater retention of fluoride overall as water is consumed over the course of a day over a persons entire lifetime.

A factor that was identified to influence fluoride retention is the age of the subject exposed to fluoride. The younger the person the more fluoride is retained in the body.

Professor Gustav noted that fluorides are accumulated throughout the entire body not just in hard tissues such as teeth and bone. Fluoride is distributed in normal body in tissues such as blood, brain, liver, Kidney, heart, spleen, muscles and bone. Professor Gustav also stated that: “fluoride passes the placental barrier. The importance of this is that the fetus has already accumulated fluoride during its development.”

Professor Gustav noted that the activity of fluoride in each of these areas will vary and that higher absorption will be found in individuals with higher metabolic rates and noted in paprticular that:

“in the human body the physiologic systems that are affected by fluorides are the bones, teeth, skin, hair, viscera, circulatory system, and genito-urinary system. The manner in which each of these systems is affected varies with the concentration of the drug, the length of time it is allow in contact, and the individual susceptibility of the system to fluorides.”

Professor Gustuc observed that “fluorides exert effects upon enzymes, cells and calcifying tissues.”

In the case of enzymes Professor Gustov stated that “one of the most important systems of enzymes that are susceptible to fluorides are those involved with phosphate transport.” 

He further highlighted the fact that “phosphate transport systems are important in the absorption of carbohyrates from the small intestine”  and points out that “when these enzymes are absent or poisoned in any manner, sugar absorption takes place more slowly.” 

Importantly Professor Gustav stated that “these enzymes are also important in the utilization of carbohyates in the body as well as indirectly in the metabolism of fats and proteins” and that in the presence of fluorides, “these enzymes are poisoned, affecting normal sugar metabolism.”

Professor Gustav compared the blood sugar, muscle and liver glycogen, and blood lactic acid concentration under the influence of fluorides and indicates that “the effects are very similar to those obtained in a diabetic animal” and observes that “the presense of fluorides seem to interfere with metabolic systems similar to those affected by the insufficiency of insulin.”

Professor  Gustav further noted that fluorides can remove calcium ions and interfere with blood clotting mechanisms. 

He further observed that:

“the effect of fluorides on cells is of importance” and that “all cells are affected by fluoride to a greater or lesser degree. The extent of the effect on a cell seems to be directly related to the cells dependence on carbohydrate metabolism.”

While Professor Gustav acknowledged that there seems to be no doubt that fluoride content of natural water may have beneficial effects for dental health he highlights that there are still many important questions that need answering and raises the concern that until research fully addresses the impact of fluorides on living systems fluoridation remains experimental and warns that until such times as all questions are answered “we must not draw hasty, unwarranted and perhaps regrettable conclusions.”

It is now acknowledged that the countries internationally with the highest incidence of diabetes and obesity are those that practice artificial fluoridation of public water supplies including the USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Argentina and Chile.

The prevalence of obesity in the U.S is 35% for males and 36% for females, in Canada 37% for males and 23% for females, Australia 35.6% for males and 21% for females, New Zealand 25% for males and 26% for females.

In Ireland, based on the findings from the 2008-10 National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS), estimated prevalence of overweight in adults is 37%, with a further 24% meeting current body mass index (BMI) criteria for obesity with 26% for males and 21% for females documented as obese. The prevalence of obesity in 18-64 year old adults has increased significantly between 1990 and 2011, from 8% to 26% in men, and from 13% to 21% in women, with the greatest increase observed in men aged 51-64 years.

According to the WHO the SDR for diabetes (2010) in Ireland for all ages is 9.5 per 100,000 compared to 5.97 for the UK. That’s 60% higher incidence than the UK.

Yet this figure does not reflect the recent alarming findings of a large scale study[2] conducted by VHI Healthcare which tested over 11,000 adults who had no previous diagnosis of diabetes between the age of 45-75 years of age in Ireland, and found that in this group, up to 11% were diabetic or prediabetic and 63% were either overweight or obese. This in a further increase on the percentage found in 2003 for the same age group where an incidence of 9.2% was recorded.[3] Add to this the 200,000 individuals who are already known to be diabetic in Ireland and the incidence of diabetes is very alarming.

Remarkably to my knowledge, no study since the publication in 1950 of Professor Gustav’s groundbreaking research has ever comprehensively examined the impact of artificial water fluoridation on diabetes or obesity. Yet the evidence on the ground clearly seems to indicate many regrettable health outcomes. In 2006 the U.S. National Academies of Sciences Medicine and Engineering, National Research Councils Scientific Committee on Fluoride made several recommendations for further scientific examination of the effects of fluoride on biological systems to include the effects of low fluoride exposure on endocrine function, immune function, the development of glucose intolerance and diabetes and on kidney and liver function in humans. The health authorities have yet to commence any such studies.

[1]  [The Pharmacology of Fluoride BY GUSTAV W.M. RAPP, Ph.D. Reprinted from the April 1950 issue of  THE BUR, REPRINT NO. 53
Original paper available to view at

[2] Sinnott M, Carr BM, Walsh C et al. Combination of FINDRISC and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) in screening for type 2 diabetes in an Irish population: the type 2 diabetes mellitus and vascular health initiative (DMVHI). Diabetologia 2011; 54(Suppl. 1):S102.
 [3]Smith SM, Holohan J, McAuliffe A, Firth RG. Irish diabetes detection programme in general practice. Diabetic Med 2003; 20: 717-722.


  1. Alright, not to put too fine a point on it, but you haven't told us where this study was published or whether it was peer-reviewed, and even then, citing biochemistry from the 1950's strikes me as an enormous stretch.

    Surely the fact that "no study since the publication in 1950 of Professor Gustav’s groundbreaking research has ever examined the impact of artificial water fluoridation on diabetes or obesity" suggests that fluoridation doesn't actually affect these things.

    After all, water fluoridation has been practiced in Ireland and the US for 40-50 years. All you'd have to do to show such an effect is compare fluoridated and unfluoridated regions within the US, Ireland or elsewhere, look at diabetes rates and show that fluoridated regions had higher rates than unfluoridated ones, after controlling for confounding variables. Once you've done that, you just write up your paper, send it to Nature and bask in the citations. There'd probably be a Nobel Prize in Medicine in it and everything.

    The fact that no such paper exists suggests strongly that no such correlation exists. It's a study that an undergrad could do, but it would be a massively influential publication. Why would it not be published if the data was out there?

    1. Well if its that simple, get out there and do it! Guarantee no one would take you seriously and you would probably ruin your entire career because of it. Open your eyes man, the health system is a very corrupt system, especially in the US. Just look at how the FDA is a pick up centre for the big pharmaceutical companies! Go work for the FDA, do right by the big pharma companies and BOOM! look at that, you quadrupled your salary and took a job with 3M because you were a good little boy and did what you were told. It's bullshit, we have had the wool pulled over our eyes for far too long.

    2. Why do you imply there's no citation when a link to the study itself is provided? It appeared in "The Bur" a quarterly published at the time by the Alumni Association of The Chicago College of Dental Surgery. It's scarcely likely that such an august body would let an unvetted article slip through.

      As to why a 1950 study? In 1950 the politically motivated coverup of water fluoridation's potential health threats had not yet begun. The program was only 5 years old at the time, and implemented in only a few places, so a widespread coverup wasn't deemed necessary. Researchers were still free to pursue honest science and expect their results to be published impartially. Not so today. However, the Periodic Table elements don't change their characteristics over time, so results obtained more than 60 years ago remain just as valid today as when the studies were conducted.

  2. Matthew, looks like i have to to do all your research for you. If you were in any way serious abut examining the evidence about fluoride you would at least have read Dr George Waldbotts book 'The struggle with Titans' where I first came across reference to this paper. I suggest you take the time to this remarkable book with personal insights into fluoride from one of the worlds most distinguished medical physicians of the last century. I have attached in notes above the link from which you can access the original report but I would recommended that you read what Dr Waldbott had to say about how Professor Gustav, like many other noted academics, was silenced after publication of this study.

    1. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in anyone's "personal insights" - I want data and hard science that has withstood peer review.

      I'm particularly not interested in people claiming to have been "silenced", which is a common claim from creationists and global warming deniers and is almost invariably without merit.

      Good data is almost impossible to silence - note how the oil industry has been almost completely unsuccessful in creating controversy about global warming in the scientific community, even though it's succeeded in confusing the public in many countries. Oil is some of the biggest business in the world, and it's pouring billions into bad science, lawsuits and lobbying efforts. With all that, if oil companies can't suppress science, why should I believe that fluoride/aluminium companies can?

      I am genuinely open to the truth here. I suspect you consider me closed-minded, but believe me, I'm not. I have no connection with water or fluoride companies of any kind. I live in Ireland and drink tap water most days - if it were poisonous, I'd want to know.

      All I ask before I believe you is for real evidence. I want peer-reviewed papers from reasonably reputable journals (as judged by, say, impact factor) showing statistically significant (P < 0.05 would be fine) negative health effects (besides dental fluorosis) from fluoride at the levels used in Irish water fluoridation, with controlling for confounding factors. I've been watching your blog and TGAF's facebook page for some time, and have yet to see such a paper.

      You're the one going against the scientific and medical consensus here. That doesn't mean you're automatically wrong, but it does mean the burden of proof lies on you to establish your claim.

    2. Fair call! Bring on current studies to prove this stuff!!! I've been sitting on the fence for a while now, but the corruption in various areas of US government/corporate/industrial/military is enough for me to call this idea completely plausible at this stage.

    3. The main problem with Declan Waugh's work is the complete disregard for fact-checking.

      For example, there is no relationship in any of the stats available online between high incidence of diabetes with water fluoridation.

      The claim that the countries with the highest incidence of diabetes and obesity are all fluoridated countries is complete nonsense.

      I'm not sure what a "standardised disease ratio" is but the prevalence of diabetes in Ireland is 5.54% whereas in the UK it is 5.59%. The world average is 8.35. Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland are just some of the unfluoridated countries in Europe with higher prevalence of diabetes than Ireland.

    4. Thats funny Ronan, the map you present as evidence that the fluoridated countries do not have the highest incidence of diabetes shows exactly that.
      North America (fluoridated) 10.5%, Australia and NZ (fluoridated) 8%, Saudi Arabia (fluoridated also with very high fluoride levels in water) 10.9%, South America (Brazil, Chile, Argentina fluoridated) 9.2%, India (60 million overexposed to fluoride) 8.7%, Europe (98% unfluoridated) 6.7%. Also the figure quoted for number of people undiagnosed with diabetes is 86,000 when the figure is over 200,000. Even Diabetes Ireland accepts that.

    5. That argument makes no sense - there are countries with much higher rates of diabetes that are non-fluoridated (I saw some at 16% or higher, like Egypt and UAE).

      You can point to fluoridated countries with high diabetes and low diabetes, and you can point to non-fluoridated countries with high diabetes and low diabetes. We can cherry pick to our hearts' content, but taken as a whole I don't think the correlation is very strong, and when you correct for wealth/obesity as confounding factors I suspect it would disappear entirely.

    6. @Anonymous, if you're still reading this: Note the complete lack of response to my request :p

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Matthew do you release how absolutely absurd your suggestion is that the burden of proof of harm or safety from exposure to a chemical lies on me. The law on chemical use is very clear, if you decide to use a chemical including hexafluorosilicic acid the burden of proof that it is safe for humans and the environment lies with the producer and end user. Read the EU regulations on chemicals and their safe use. Also called the REACH Regulations. Under these very regulations the technical department responsible for Biocides banned Hexafluorosilicic acid for use sale or importation in the EU for use as a biocide due to a complete lack of toxicologicial data to demonstrate its safety for both humans and the environment. This is the very same chemical that is added to water which the public consume and whioch is discharged into the environment. There is no data and no circumstance is it the responsibility of consumers to prove its safety. The National research council of the US National Academy of Medicine and Sciences noted more than 50 epidemiological studies that were necessary to demonstrate the safety of water fluoridation chemical, The British Medical Council also recommended further studies to demonstrate their safety as did the EU SCHER committee and many other organisations including the German authorities, the dutch authorities and many more. The response by the health authorities that mandate this is absolute silence. Not a single study has been commossioned to examine the effect of water fluoridation on general health, or on sensitive subgroups such as people with diabetes, thyroid disorders, skin disorders, neurological disorders, gastrointestional disorders, or individuals who are immuno compromised. Not a single study has demonstrated what the total dietary fluoride exposure of the irish population is, not a single study has been published to establish the fluoride content of foodstuffs, beverages, or medications. If you dont know the fluoride exposure of a person how can you or anyone even consider that exposing them to fluoride ions anbd silicafluoride chemicals is safe? If the authorities dont have even basic toxicological data on the chemical used how can you say that consuming it is safe? please provide me with one study that has fully examined the toxicological and biological implications of consuming this chemical that demonstrates it is safe. After two years of research and reading thousands of studies I havenet managed to find one. I would welcome your investigative input.

    9. Fairly easy. The available evidence shows that hexafluorosilicic acid (also known as fluorosilicic acid or hydrofluorosilicic acid) dissociates completely in water. ( ). This article is paywalled, so I've uploaded a copy of the PDF at

      I am not sure how strong your organic chemistry background is or whether you're familiar with NMR, but the take-home message of the paper is fairly clear. To quote from the results section:

      "The results of this study do not
      contradict previous findings that at pH
      7 and at typical drinking water formal fluoride concentration, hexafluoro-silicate dissociation to produce free fluoride ions will be essentially complete".

      In fact, if you read further up, they had to go below pH 3.5 to show detectable levels of fluorosilicate ions remaining in solution.

      Regardless, this means that there is no fluorosilicic acid in the water that comes from taps in Ireland, because by the time it leaves the plant it has completely dissociated. This applies for the complete range of pH that might be found in Irish water (and then some). Therefore, it is sufficient to show that each of the dissociation products of fluorosilicic acid are safe in order to prove the safety of fluoridation with fluorosilicic acid.

      This would also explain why you are unable to find studies specifically for fluorosilicic acid - given that it dissociates into fluoride ions, any studies on fluoridation in general should also be applicable to it.

      Do you have any problems thus far, or should I continue?

    10. Sorry to hassle you again about this, but have you had a chance to look at my above post yet? If you'd like more time to analyse the paper, just say so. I felt like it was fairly clear, and there's more I'd like to post, but there's no point discussing this further until we can at least agree on some fundamentals.

    11. Can't help noticing you're still posting graphics saying fluorosilicic acid has 'unknown toxicological properties', which is possibly true but completely irrelevant, because we're not spraying people with neat fluorosilicic acid.

      I'll say it again: People are drinking the dissociation products of fluorosilicic acid in water, not the acid itself. The dissociation products are hydronium (H3O+) ions, silica (SiO2) and fluoride (F-) ions. Hydronium is present in any water sample and silica is present in much of Earth's surface water. Many studies have been done on fluoride at low concentrations in drinking water - you might disagree with their conclusions, but I'd hardly call its properties 'unknown'.

      I've shown you peer-reviewed data proving that fluorosilicic acid dissociates completely in water, which you've certainly read, even if you haven't replied to it, but you continue to repeat these assertions. I'm starting to get the feeling that you're more interested in scaring people than honestly reporting science. I hope I'm wrong, because I still want to believe you're an honest scientist, but you're not exactly filling me with confidence here.

  3. Erp, minor correction: I should have said chemistry, not organic chemistry. Typo.

  4. Matthew, what is very clear here is that you have not bothered to read any of my reports, if you had you would see that in my orginal report last year i discussed this paper and other peer reviewed studies. Furthermore subsequently I discussed in my rebutal to Joe Mullens of the expert body the peer reviewed study by Urbansky (2002) and his findings where he clearly states that authorities should stop using the terminology that it dissociates completley when added to water. I also have discussed that the NRC found that silicofluorides will be present in low ph environments such as in soft drinks made from fluoridated water. Soft drinks such as coke have a ph of 2.7. They also discussed how some people may be hypersensitive to the presence of silicofluorides in drinking water. Pease go away and read the information I have compiled in my various reports all of which are on my website to view and when your finished then get back to me.

    1. I can find no reference to Finnery et al in your report, whereas in the rebuttal there is only one mention: The expert body refer to it in a quotation, but you never actually discuss the paper itself.

      NMR data is surely the gold standard for detecting whether different silicofluoride species remain in solution, and it clearly demonstrated that they do not above pH 3.5, which is the pH at which dissociation will occur during water fluoridation (I'm ignoring the soft drink question for now, but we'll come back to that if and when we settle this).

      Finnery et al is a well-cited paper in a high-impact journal. It is also more recent than any of the works you've cited on the subject. It clearly states that silicofluoride dissociation is essentially complete during water fluoridation, and that statement passed peer-review. If previous works had shown this to be untrue then this statement would never have gotten through the editing process.

      I am very confident that I have not misread the Finnery paper, and I am equally confident that you have not directly rebutted it in your report or rebuttal.

      Please tell me exactly what problems you have with the Finnery paper. Until you can clarify your objections, its conclusions stand.

    2. Also, I'd like to point out that Urbansky (2002) specifically says (about two-thirds of the way through the conclusion) that his conclusions are uncertain and that further techniques such as 19F NMR will be required to clarify the situation.

      Finnery (2006) is more or less exactly the experiment that Urbansky suggested be performed to elucidate fluorosilicate dissociation, and it found no intermediates even under forcing conditions.

  5. You'll find no reference because it not Finnery et al. The correct name is Finney and its discussed in section 3 of my orginal report (2012) under FLUOROSILICICTES AND DRINKING WATER. So its obvious you havent actually read my report.

    See new post for more info that you may find useful.

    1. Welp, that was an embarrassing mistake on my part. I read most if not all of your report a few months ago, but I confess that there's a lot of it and I can't recall it at will, so the second time around I lazily searched it for the typo "Finnery" and found nothing. My fault entirely, and I apologise.

      Anyways, I'll take some time to read your new post and follow up its references, and I'll get back to you when I'm done doing that.

      Again, sorry!

  6. Wow. I must say that Matthew's attitude and level of seriousness is quite refreshing. I find it so interesting to read the comments on this blog. I haven't been able to find this level of dialogue on any of the United States based articles. Thank you to each of you for taking the time to reply thoughtfully. Rest assured that people are reading what you have to say!

  7. Its really important to people know about water and fluoride and how much limit of fluoride in one litter water.
    Moore Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7th Edition Keith L. Moore