Are you experiencing thinning hair and can’t figure out the cause? The answer could be lurking in your water–or your toothpaste.
A 2010 study found that exposure to high levels of sodium fluoride (10 mmol/L) “resulted in a marked increase in terminal dUTP nick end labeling-positive cells in the outer layer of the outer root sheath, the dermal sheath, and the lower bulb matrix surrounding dermal papilla.” In other words, it signaled hair follicles to stop growing. Additionally, the study found fluoride to actually kill hair follicles, due to the oxidative stress that the substance creates in the body. Fluoride is not a nutritive element and the body sees it as a toxin.
10 mmol/L is about 200 ppm–much higher than what you would find in fluoridated drinking water, but lower than what you would find in a fluoride toothpaste (1000 ppm). (source)
The good news: the same study found that selenium was able to counteract some of the effects of the fluoride, protecting cells from the damage the fluoride created. So, if you have fluoridated water and don’t have access to a filter, eating foods high in selenium are a good change at helping to protect your body from its effects.
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