Continuing the fluoride debate
Jon Busch (Letter to the Editor, July 11) used a fact I presented in this paper in order to falsely claim that fluoride (F) causes the aged to have fractures. As usual, the opposite is true. Fluoride, in addition to adequate calcium, reduces osteoporosis and fractures. FDA treatment for two bone-softening diseases: Take 25 times the F daily that is in F-water.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a nonprofit that advises the public and government agencies, with 2,000 members, almost 200 Nobelists and the top scientists from our best research universities. NAS confirms F’s status as an essential nutrient. Nutrients have upper limits for daily lifetime consumption, and the NAS’ for F is 10 mg per day: 10 times the amount older children/adults receive from Fwater. Does any rational person think that NAS would do this if there were any truth in the statements made by local antifluoridationists? Aspen residents are far too sophisticated and educated to be misled by persons who have no credentials in this field.
If Mr. Busch does not wish to avail himself of the cost-effective benefits of Fwater, he can use bottled water or install a reverse-osmosis filter rather than continue his efforts to make Aspen a national laughingstock.
Dr. Krakovitz (Letter to the Editor, July 14) is to be lauded for not transferring his anger at the government to F itself. Although the U.S. leads in dental prevention, largely due to F, he looks to Europe and Japan, ignoring the other “New World” countries that supply the majority of their people with F-water: Canada, New Zealand and Australia. He wisely omits England, as it is too well-known for its pride in having the worst teeth in the industrialized world. France fluoridates its salt rather than its water, to be different. There were successful trials, with no adverse effects, in the small northern European countries, but their mostly bucolic legislatures, influenced by U.S. antifluoridationists’ misinformation, voted to terminate. We must remember that at that time, education ceased at age 14 for over 90 percent of Europeans. Also, much of the dentistry done in these socialist-leaning countries is by government public-health dentists, who are not in favor of lessening the need for their services.
My colleague holds Japan’s lack of F-water to be a positive. Surely he knows that Japan was the only country not to use F-toothpaste as well; nor did it permit, until just a few years ago, the sale of birth-control pills. In Oriental culture, it is unthinkable to deprive persons of their livelihood, and as abortion is the most common operation done by their M.D.s, and filling cavities the most common procedure done by dentists, both the pill and F were not utilized. While there are admirable areas in Oriental culture, most Americans would not want to emulate these two examples, and I regret that Dr. Krakovitz is so eager to denigrate his country for its leadership role in this area of preventive nutrition.
William Glenn, M.D.
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