It’s common truth that today fluoride is omnipresent, from drinking water to toothpaste, even antibiotics. This makes fluoride exposure unavoidable.
Fluoride’s toxic influence on the nervous system has long been the subject of vigorous debate, both in academic circles as well as among general public. For one thing, this widespread toxicant is well-known for its IQ lowering properties, along with its ability to increase the calcification of the pineal gland. No wonder, people around the world, including those residing in the heavily fluoridated districts of the US, are fighting bitterly for the removal of fluoride from municipal drinking water.
The theory that fluoride indeed incurs brain damage was further substantiated with the findings of a new study published in the Pharmacognosy Magazine, called “Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence.” But this study also reveals that there is a natural spice which can act as a protective agent against the numerous side effects linked to this compound – turmeric.
For over a decade, researchers from the Department of Zoology, University College of Science, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India, have studied the effects of fluoride leading to serious neurodegenerative changes in the mammalian brain, especially in cells of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.
The study actually investigated neurotoxicity caused by fluoride, finding two major culprits of neurodegeneration – excitoxicity (i.e. stimulation of the neuron to the point of death) and oxidative stress. The study further reveals that subjects affected with the condition known as fluorosis (mottling of tooth enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development), also suffer neurodegenerative changes related to a form of oxidative stress known as lipid peroxidation (rancidity).
Due to the fact that excess lipid peroxidation in the brain can result in a reduction in total brain phospholipid content, the researchers discovered that the primary polyphenol in the spice turmeric (known as curcumin) is as an ideal neuroprotective substance. In addition, curcumin is believed to increase endogenous glutathione production in the brain, which is the most important antioxidant defense system.
With the purpose of evaluating the neurotoxic properties of fluoride and verifying curcumin’s protective function against it, researchers randomly divided up mice into four groups, for 30 days:
- Control (no fluoride)
- Fluoride (120 ppm): fluoride was given in distilled drinking water without restriction.
- Fluoride (120 ppm/30 mg/kg body weight) + Curcumin: Oral dose of curcumin dissolved in olive oil along with fluoride in drinking water
- Curcumin: (30 mg/kg body weight)
Also, the researchers measured the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in the brains of the differently treated mice so as to determine the effect of treatment; MDA being a familiar marker of oxidative stress/damage.
The findings revealed that MDA levels were considerably raised in the fluoride (F) treated group as opposed to the non-fluoride treated (control) group. Plus, the F + Curcumin group showed decreased MDA levels compared to the F only group, which in fact indicates curcumin’s neuroprotective activity against fluoride-induced neurotoxicity.
“Our study thus demonstrates that daily single dose of 120 ppm F result in highly significant increases in the LPO [lipid peroxidation, i.e. brain rancidity] as well as neurodegenerative changes in neuron cell bodies of selected hippocampal regions. Supplementation with curcumin significantly reduce the toxic effect of F to near normal level by augmenting the antioxidant defense through its scavenging property and provide an evidence of having therapeutic role against oxidative stress mediated neurodegeneration,” the study concluded.