Experts on natural health all seem to agree that fluoride is extremely bad for the health. Also, it seems to be generally agreed that tea is high in fluoride. This, then, would seem to mean that tea is bad for the health. HOWEVER, the Chinese have drunk tea for thousands of years, and are generally considered to be rather healthy folk. (Indeed, Chinese food is often touted as a health food, or something very close to it.) Thus it would seem that the Chinese experience with tea would indicate that fluoride -- or at least fluoride in tea -- is really quite harmless, and thus there is a substantive reason to question whether all the hoo-ha about fluoride in food is really valid.
To get some information on this matter, I wrote several Internet sites having posted articles on the dangers of fluoride. The only substantive response I got was from Sepp Hasslberger, who admittedly could not give a definitive answer, but who quoted some material of interest. Here is his letter:
I haven't heard of a study that would compare the levels of fluoride from tea as opposed to what comes with tea (apart from the fluoride in the water that's used to prepare it). If the most fluoride in tea is from the tea water, then the point is moot because you'd also get the fluoride, and perhaps more of it, from drinking the water.
This piece seems to indicate that there is little concern over the quantity of fluoride in tea:
I did a medline search of the medical literature. There isn't that much done with it. A Polish study just seeing what's in several kinds of black and green tea basically found traces of all kinds of things, but at small fractions of the levels that are a concern to the FAO/WHO. They characterized levels as low (and recommended drinking 4 cups a day for hypertension). Aluminum is probably from certain kinds of environmental exposure of the crops--that is not inherent in tea. But I'd want to know some more than the abstract said about what the conditions were for this study and where the tea was grown.
Then I found the following abstract of research dentists hoping that tea would help cavities. It actually does seem to help, but not because of the fluoride, which they found to be very low.
Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 1992 Apr;83(4):174-80 "Anticariogenic effects of green tea." Yu H, Oho T, Tagomori S, Morioka T.
"However, the action of fluoride does not seem to be so important, because its concentration is very low. The effect of green tea on caries inhibition as well as on the increment of acid resistance appears to be more correlative with the non-dialysable substances in tea."
However, there's another part of this argument, which is that fluoride can actually be a benefit for osteoporosis, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine October 22 2001. It actually prevented spinal fractures in women who already had osteoporosis.
There can be fluoride toxicity--but that's in a study of people whose food supply is exposed to industrial toxic waste in China.
So, like in all things, it seems that moderation is the way to go--and an awareness of your own problems. On average, half of the women reading this will die of heart disease. I think a few cups of tea, particularly with a meal, have benefits that outweigh whatever the risks are. But obviously if there was a way of making sure the tea was grown away from pollutants, it would be better.
(found here: http://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/archive/index.php/t-53536.html )
Anyway, someone should look into it in more detail, perhaps.
About your own site - I had come across it before, but did not at the time have a linking possibility. Have added you to the "other interesting sites" links on mine, and if you would like to recipricate in some way, I'd be very happy.
I also linked your piece on slow virus on my latest AIDS article.
[Note: We have provided Sepp a descriptive link on our Links page.]
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