Debunking the Fluoride Myth: Navigating the Waters of Misinformation

Ever glanced at your tap and wondered about the fluoride in your water? You’re not alone. Fluoridation is a common practice in countries like the United States, Australia, and the UK. While it serves an oral health purpose, some individuals argue for its complete removal. Let’s deep dive into this.

Fluoride: A Blessing or a Curse?

Firstly, let’s set the record straight. While approximately 10% of the UK’s water is fluoridated, it’s primarily an initiative to combat tooth decay. This isn’t some covert operation but rather a public health strategy.


However, the debate rages on. Is fluoride a friend or foe?

Understanding Fluoride's Origins

Naturally, fluoride is harmless. But the fluoride introduced to water can sometimes come with companions like fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride, and sodium fluoride. While they’re not supervillains, excessive intake can lead to problems such as tooth fluorosis or stains on teeth.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Minimizing Fluoride Exposure

In today’s world, where health and well-being are at the forefront of our minds, concerns about fluoride exposure have led many to seek out ways to reduce it. Here’s a deeper look at how you can minimize your fluoride intake:

1. Examine Your Medications:

Some drugs, including certain antidepressants and osteoporosis treatments, contain fluoride. Before taking any medication, it’s wise to check its ingredients or consult with your healthcare provider about potential fluoride-based components. If possible, opt for alternatives.

2. Cookware Choices:

Non-stick pans, particularly those with Teflon coatings, might release fluoride when they’re heated. To avoid this, switch to using ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron pans for cooking.

3. Stay Hydrated, Fluoride-Free:

Not all bottled drinks are fluoride-free. It’s essential to read labels. If the drink isn’t made with distilled water or processed through reverse osmosis, it’s likely fluorinated. So, the next time you’re sipping on a bottled drink, be aware of its source.

4. Rethink Your Oral Care:

While fluoride toothpaste is common, there are many non-fluoridated alternatives available. These options can be particularly suitable for families with children, as youngsters are prone to swallowing toothpaste, leading to unintentional fluoride consumption.

5. Be Cautious with Tea:

Although teas, especially black and red varieties, come with a host of health benefits, they also naturally contain fluoride. If you’re looking to reduce fluoride intake, consider limiting these teas or seeking out younger leaf varieties, such as white tea, which usually contain less fluoride.

6. Inspect Your Pantry:

Surprisingly, certain preserved foods like canned fish might contain fluoride. Always inspect product labels and, when possible, opt for fresh or frozen alternatives.

7. Opt for Natural, Whole Foods:

The more a food is processed, the higher its fluoride content might be. Prioritize fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, and organic meats. By making this shift, you’re not only cutting down on fluoride but also embracing a healthier, more wholesome diet.

8. Wine and Grape Juice Choices:

If you enjoy grape-based drinks, consider going organic. In the U.S., many vineyards use fluoride-containing pesticides. By choosing organic or even European brands, you reduce your exposure to such additives.

9. Tea Selections for Health:

While tea is a global favorite, remember that some types contain more fluoride. Opt for high-quality teas made from younger leaves, which boast a higher antioxidant content and lesser fluoride levels. Instant teas, though convenient, often have higher fluoride amounts due to the lower quality of leaves used.

10. Upgrade Kitchen Equipment:

If you’ve been using Teflon-coated pans, consider switching to stainless steel or cast iron. These alternatives don’t release fluoride during cooking and can often offer better heat distribution for your dishes.

11. Assess Your Pharmaceutical Intake:

Beyond the typical medicines, some fluorinated drugs can break down into fluoride in the body, leading to increased exposure. Examples include Cipro, fluorinated anesthetics, and others. It’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider for non-fluorinated alternatives.

12. Choose Quality Meat:

Mechanically deboned meats, especially chicken products like nuggets and fingers, tend to have higher fluoride levels. The process introduces more bone particles into the meat, and since bones accumulate fluoride, this increases overall content. Opt for whole cuts whenever possible.

13. Salt Selections:

In some regions, salt can be fluoridated. If you reside in such an area, be mindful of the salt you purchase, and choose non-fluoridated versions.


Taking steps to reduce fluoride doesn’t require a drastic lifestyle change. By making informed choices and understanding sources of exposure, you can navigate a path that aligns with your health priorities.

Navigating Fluoride Filtration: Your Options Unveiled

Water, the essential element of life. Yet, it’s not just about drinking plenty of it; it’s also about ensuring its quality, particularly concerning fluoride content. Fluoride, while beneficial in optimal amounts, has its detractors, leading many to explore filtration options. Let’s explore which water filtration systems are up to the task and which aren’t.

Effective Fluoride Removal Strategies

1. Reverse Osmosis Filtration:

One of the heavy hitters in water purification, reverse osmosis, can effectively remove fluoride. It’s a go-to for several bottled water brands aiming to offer fluoride-free options. However, quality comes at a cost; these systems can be pricier compared to standard water filter pitchers that usually don’t address fluoride.

2. Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter:

For those in areas grappling with fluorosis, activated alumina filters are a lifesaver. They’re a specialized, albeit pricier, option requiring more frequent replacement, but they’re unparalleled in fluoride extraction efficiency.

3. Water Distillation:

When it comes to purity, distillation is king. Distillers eliminate virtually everything from water, including fluoride. Commercial distillers are widely available, but note that distilled water isn’t solely for drinking – it’s a multipurpose solution used in hospitals and industries due to its purity.

Methods That Fall Short

Water Pitcher Filters:

If you’re eyeing that Brita or Pur pitcher, tread carefully. While budget-friendly and convenient, these pitchers are generally not designed to remove fluoride. Always scrutinize the product descriptions and specifications directly from the manufacturer’s website to ensure you’re not missing out on this crucial filtration feature.

Boiling Water:

Contrary to popular belief, bringing water to a rolling boil won’t bid farewell to fluoride. In fact, it does the opposite – boiling concentrates fluoride, increasing its presence in water.

Freezing Water:

Freezing is excellent for preserving food, but when it comes to mitigating fluoride content in water, it’s a no-go. Temperature alterations, cold or hot, don’t impact fluoride concentration.

Bottled Water: A Note of Caution

As you peruse the bottled water aisle, keep in mind that not all are created equal. ‘Distilled’ doesn’t always translate to ‘fit for consumption.’ Look out for specific labels indicating suitability for drinking. Also, while some bottled waters boast being fluoride-free, always check to confirm this claim.

To eradicate fluoride from your drinking water, two of the top-tier water filtration systems that come highly recommended include the Big Berkey and AquaTru.

Big Berkey (Removes 99.99% of Fluoride)

The renowned Big Berkey, paired with specialized fluoride filters, stands out not only for its capacity but its efficacy. This dispenser unit, while thorough, takes a bit of time and purifies limited quantities of water in one go. Capable of holding up to 6 gallons and efficiently filtering 3.5 gallons per hour, it’s a go-to for individuals keen on eliminating not just impurities and particles, but effectively ridding their water of fluoride.

AquaTru (Filters out 91.8% of Fluoride)

Meanwhile, AquaTru has made a significant impression, thanks to its ability to transform virtually any liquid into pure water. This countertop marvel is plug-and-play, initiating its fast and efficient filtration process the moment water is poured in. However, its reliance on an electric outlet underscores a vulnerability during power outages, a limitation that the non-electric Big Berkey doesn’t share.
Each has its merits – Big Berkey thrives in thoroughness and AquaTru in speed. The choice hinges on individual needs, balancing the quest for purity against the convenience of rapid filtration.

  • Arsenic: Approx. 90% (unspecified).

  • Fluoride by 91.8% (WITHOUT extra filters).

  • Lead 97.5%

  • Benzene 99.9%

  • Chlorine 96.6%

  • Cysts 99.99%

  • Arsenic by 99.9%

  • Fluoride by 99.9%

  • Lead 97.5%

  • Benzene 99.8%

Available in 1-size only. Available in various sizes.
Plastic materials. Metal & plastic materials.
Number of filters: 3 Number of filters: 2 - 4
Filter methods: Mechanical, Reverse Osmosis & Activated Carbon filters. Filter methods: Black microporous-filters & white fluoride Filters
4-stage filter process. 2-stage filter process.
Holds a maximum water capacity of 3-quarts.2.25 Gallons
45.7 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm 19" High x 8.5" Diameter
System: 1 year limited warranty.Filters: 2 years; System: 1 year.

Scientific References

  • Koblar A, Tavčar G, Ponikvar-Svet M. Fluoride in teas of different types and forms and the exposure of humans to fluoride with tea and diet. Food Chemistry. 2012; 130(2):286–290.
  • Almodaresi, A. et al. Investigation of Fluoride Concentration in Rural Drinking Water Resources of Bardaskan County Using Geographic Information System (GIS) in 2014. Journal of Tanin Salamat (Health Chimes) 3(4), 32–41 (2015).
  • Ismail AI, Hasson H. Fluoride supplements, dental caries and fluorosis: a systematic review. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2008;139(11):1457–1468.
  • Zeng, Q. et al. Studies of fluoride on thyroid cell apoptosis and mechanism. Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine 46(3), 233–236 (2012).
  • Peckham, S., Lowery, D. & Spencer, S. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. J Epidemiol Community Health 0, 1–6, (2015).

Leave a Comment