Fluoride damages memory, but selenium may help reduce the damage

A new study in Wei Shen Yan Jiu (Journal of Hygiene Research) suggests that taking selenium supplements or eating selenium rich foods may help reduce the damage to neurons and minimize memory lossinduced by fluoride, which is added in drinking water in the U.S.

Z. Zhang of Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua, China and colleagues conducted the study and found supplementation of selenium in a moderate dose can decrease the toxic effect of fluoride.  High doses of selenium can also cause side effects, the researchers found.
Fluoride, a neurotoxin, is forced often by elected city public officials into about 75 percent of the public drinking water system in the United States.   Studies have shown that fluoride can help prevent dental caries,  but can also cause more serious conditions called dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis among other things.
One Japanese study has associated a number of cancers including colorectal cancer and bone cancer with drinking fluoridated water in the United States.
In the current Chinese study, researchers administered a sodium fluoride solution with or without a selenium compound added, in male mice for eight weeks.  The effect of fluoride on learning memory behavior was tested using Y-maze and the CA3 area hippocampus was analyzed.
The researchers found that mice drinking higher concentration of fluoride experienced significant deterioration in their learning capability.  And fluoride decreased the thickness of post-synaptic density and significantly increased the width of the synaptic cleft.
A positive finding from the study was that selenium supplementation in a proper dose along with administration of fluoride could decrease the toxic effect of fluoride.  However, a high concentration of selenium can have synergistic toxicity with fluoride.
The study findings suggest “selenium might antagonize the neurotoxicity of fluoride on behavior and morphology.”
Previous studies have found fluoride can lower intellectual quotient or IQ in children.
Fluoride has been also found to be able to damage reproductive function among other things.  And studies found vitamin E and vitamin C supplementation may reduce this toxic effect of fluoride.
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