We drink water every single day but could tap water containing fluoride be causing us more harm than good?
New research has found a connection between high levels of fluoride in water and an underactive thyroid. An underactive thyroid can cause weight gain, tiredness and depression and affects around 11.25 per cent of Australian women aged 51 to 60, and 2.5 per cent of men in the same age group.
It has been revealed that water fluoridation is linked to 30 per cent higher rates of hypothyroidism in England, and because we have fluoridated water in Australia, it could be affecting us too.
Fluoridation of the water supply has been under scrutiny since it was introduced in Australia in the 60s and 70s, but now it seems that the benefits of prevented tooth decay are being counteracted by the possibility we may contract an underactive thyroid from it.
Researchers from the University of Kent has warned that water fluoridation could be responsible for a steady increase in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
According to the Daily Mail, Professor Stephen Peckham from the University said, “Consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop [those] reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions”.
What’s even more worrying is that only 10 per cent of England have fluoridated water, whereas in Australia, 90 per cent of the country have the mineral in their tap water supply.
The evidence from fluoride tests and national prevalence of underactive thyroid was able to be examined in around 8,000 cases.
After noting influential factors, such as female sex and older age – both of which are linked to greater risks of hypothyroidism – the researchers found a link between rates of the condition and levels of fluoride in the drinking water.
Where fluoride levels were above 0.7mg per litre, they found higher than expected rates of hypothyroidism than in areas with levels below this dilution.
Other scientists refute this evidence and believe that fluoride is still safe.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, then Healthdirect can help to understand the condition better. For a trusted, clinically approved guide to causes and symptoms of thyroid issues, click here.
What do you think? Do you suffer from hypothyroidism? What do you think caused it? Tell us below.