A study in the May 22, 2013 issue of Toxicological and Applied Pharmacology has found evidence to suggest that fluoride which is added in 75% of the drinking water in the United States to prevent dental caries can actually reduce fertility in men.
The study considered the first on the effect of fluoride on the male reproductive showed that chronic exposure to fluoride in drinking water can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in sperm cells and others.
S. Zhang and colleagues of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China conducted the study and found rats exposed to fluoride from pre-pregnancy to gestation, birth and finally to postpuberty experienced increased MDA accumulation (oxidative stress), decreased SOD activity and enhanced germ cell apoptosis.
Research say that “Long-term excessive fluoride intake is known to be toxic and can damage a variety of organs and tissues in the human body.” The current study was intended to examine the molecular mechanisms underlying fluoride-induced male reproductive toxicity, specifically the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammatory response in fluoride-induced testicular injury.
In the study, rats were exposed to a few doses of fluoride for a period of 8 weeks.
“fluoride elevated mRNA and protein levels of Glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), inositol requiring ER-to-nucleus signal kinase 1 (IRE1), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP),” the researchers reported, suggesting the activation of ER stress signaling.
Also fluoride was found to induce testicular inflammation, “as manifested by genes up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), in a nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B)-dependent manner.”
The researchers found marked lesions such as injury of spermatogonia, decrease in spermatocytes, depletion of elongated spermatids, and severe ultrastructural abnormalities in testes.
The researchers concluded “our results provide compelling evidence that ER stress and inflammation would be novel and significant mechanisms responsible for fluoride-induced disturbance of spermatogenesis and germ cell loss in addition to oxidative stress.”
Fluoride has no nutritional value and its only assumed preventative role against dental caries remains debatable. On the contrary, fluoride has been found to cause a variety of serious health conditions including skeletal and dental fluorosis, bone cancer in boys, lowered IQ, diabetes, heart disease, reproductive dysfunctions, and anemia among other things.
For more information about water fluoridation, read wikipedia.