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Fluoride Exposure May Diminish Kidney and Liver Function of Teenagers

TGardner / Shutterstock.com

TGardner / Shutterstock.com

Fluoridated water is the primary source of fluoride exposure in the United States. Now a new study is saying that fluoride exposure may be harmful for the kidney and liver function of teens.

About 74 percent of public water systems in the United States add fluoride for its dental benefits. While several studies have linked fluoride exposure with kidney and liver toxicity in animals and adults, few have examined how a chronic-level exposure affects youth.

How is it different from the adult study, you ask?

A child’s body excretes only 45 percent of fluoride via urination. An adult’s body, on the other hand, clears as much as 60 percent. Since the kidney accumulates more fluoride than any part of the body, children and teens may be at more risk than adults.

In a statement, first author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Ashley J. Malin, Ph.D. said: 

“While the dental benefits of fluoride are widely established, recent concerns have been raised regarding the appropriateness of its widespread addition to drinking water or salt in North America.”

In a new study published in Environment International, researchers at Mount Sinai described how fluoride exposure might lead to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents.

How Fluoride Exposure Reduces Kidney and Liver Functions Among Teenagers

For the study, the researchers examined how fluoride levels in drinking water and blood could affect kidney and liver functions in adolescents. So, they collected and analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study analyzed the measured fluoride content in blood samples of 1,983 adolescents, including the tap water in the homes of 1,742 teenagers.

Findings revealed that the fluoride concentration in tap water is generally low. However, the researchers admitted that fluoride exposure could contribute to liver or kidney dysfunction through several other mechanisms.

An example of such is how the kidney retains more fluoride in children.

Combined with previous studies, the result showed that the effect of fluoride on these organs depends mostly on its dosage. As such, it becomes necessary to consider liver and kidney function of children when drafting public health guidelines and recommendation.

Malin noted:

“This study’s findings suggest that there may be potential kidney and liver health concerns to consider when evaluating fluoride use and appropriate levels in public health interventions. Prospective studies are needed to examine the impact of chronic low-level fluoride exposure on kidney and liver function in the U.S. population.”

Some potential side effects of over-exposure to fluoride include thyroid dysfunction, renal system damage, bone and tooth disease, liver damage, and impaired protein metabolism.

Read More: New DeepMind AI Detects Acute Kidney Injury in Advance

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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