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Optimal fluoride levels for pregnant women

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JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

Adding fluoride to the public supply of drinking water has long been a subject of debate: while fluoridation has been clearly shown to decrease dental decay, concerns have persisted about what levels of fluoride are safe and effective.

In both Canada and the United States, the optimal level of fluoride in the water is set at 0.7ppm, while the maximum allowable amount has been set at 1.5ppm. Fluoridation varies significantly across Canada, with some provinces and territories adding fluoride to water, and others relying on naturally occurring fluoride in the water. In the Yukon, for example, where I live, there is no added fluoride of the water, leaving us with approximately 0.13ppm fluoride in our water supply. Meanwhile, other Canadian communities  can see levels above 1.0ppm.

The question of optimal fluoride levels is important for pregnant women because oral fluoride intake by pregnant women has been found to be detectable in fetal cord blood. A recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the association of fluoride in drinking water with serum calcium, vitamin D and parathyroid hormone in pregnant women and newborn infants. The study considered the “low/optimum fluoride” group to be those whose drinking water was <1 ppm, and the “high fluoride group” to be those with ≥1 ppm fluoride in drinking water.

Low and deficient vitamin D were more prevalent among the high fluoride group irrespective of diet, sunshine exposure and supplementation. Serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were also significantly lower in the high fluoride group than in the low/optimum fluoride group in both pregnant mothers’ blood and cord blood. All three of these factors are highly relevant in women’s health during pregnancy for a wide range of reasons.

This study provides more evidence that keeping to the optimal level of fluoride in drinking water (0.7ppm), rather than drifting towards the upper allowable limit (1.5ppm) will best serve the pregnant women we work with.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,
Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND
Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Thipesswamy, H.M. et al. (2020). The association of fluoride in drinking water with serum calcium, vitamin D and parathyroid hormone in pregnant women and newborn infants. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

Government of Canada. Fluoride and Oral Health. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-health/environment/fluorides-human-health.html

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