Most of know we should drink plenty of water and brush our teeth at least twice a day. These are habits that most of us now no longer need to think about.
Unfortunately, these habits – when done by a pregnant mother – may have negative side effects on her unborn baby.
Fluoride is a component in both tap water and certain dental hygiene products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Unfortunately, while it can be healthy for adults to use these products, pregnant women should be wary of using these to excess.
Dr. Howard Hu and his colleagues set out to study the effects of high amounts of fluoride in pregnant woman, and the subsequent effects on the baby. Their findings are now in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
First, Hu and his colleagues began studying urine samples from 299 women and their offspring in order to determine amounts of fluoride consumption.
Next, the intelligence of each child as determined by the General Cognitive Index (GCI) of the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities for the 4 year old children. The intelligence of the children ages 6-12 were given the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI).
According to the results, women with higher levels of fluoride in their system during pregnancy are more likely to bear children with lower intelligence.
According to Medical News Today:
Specifically, the researchers found that for every 0.5 milligram per liter increase in expectant mothers’ fluoride levels, their offspring’s GCI and WASI scores were reduced by 3.15 and 2.5 points, respectively.
Taken together, the researchers say that their findings suggest that prenatal fluoride exposure may impact neurodevelopment in a way that reduces a child’s intelligence.
“OUR STUDY SHOWS THAT THE GROWING FETAL NERVOUS SYSTEM MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY HIGHER LEVELS OF FLUORIDE EXPOSURE. IT ALSO SUGGESTS THAT THE PRENATAL NERVOUS SYSTEM MAY BE MORE SENSITIVE TO FLUORIDE COMPARED TO THAT OF SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN.”
– DR. HOWARD HU
Despite this evidence, researchers are still seeking further studies to confirm or deny their findings. However, this gives pregnant mothers the opportunity to reevaluate their fluoride consumption before the baby is born.