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I've recently seen a quote by one William Douglass, MD, making the rounds on facebook. It sounded suspicious, so I found the original quote on his own website:

People who warned against FLUORIDATION used to be ridiculed, but guess what? In Scandinavia, in fact all of Europe, and nearly every other medically advanced nation, they have now banned the practice.

Know why? Because fluoride makes your body absorb extra aluminum . And where does the aluminum go? Your brain. And what metal shows up alarmingly in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims? You guessed it. (Hmm Maybe our health authorities have been drinking too much water?)

The first part of the quote is clearly false, which is perhaps why that part was omitted from the recent meme, which appears as:

Fluoride makes your body absorb extra aluminum . And where does the aluminum go? Your brain. And what metal shows up alarmingly in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims? You guessed it.

I'm skeptical about fluoride's role in "making" your body absorb extra aluminum. Presumably this means that it somehow makes your body more efficient at absorbing aluminum, or less efficient in eliminating aluminum, because that "extra aluminum" must come from somewhere. Is there any research to support this claim?

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    @bummi how do the level of exposure to fluoride and to aluminium in that study compare to the real-life situation? How does the intestinal tract of the rat compare to that of the human for the absorption of aluminium? – nico Sep 9 '14 at 16:26
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    @nico that's why I did not make up an answer, I would just see it as an possible indication. – bummi Sep 9 '14 at 16:53
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    There are additional claims here that perhaps should be addressed (possibly as separate questions), aside from the title question: Does the aluminum go to your brain? What relation does aluminum have with Alzheimer's (as the quote implies causation)? Did you guess it? – iamnotmaynard Sep 11 '14 at 19:08
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    To @iamnotmaynard's point: The quoted claim not only links fluoride to aluminum (the subject of this question), but aluminum to Alzheimer's which is challenged in this question. – Oddthinking Sep 11 '15 at 2:07
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There does seem to be evidence that fluoride in water can aid the bioavailability of aluminum, at least in rabbits.

"Al levels in tibia were significantly increased by the addition of F to the drinking water, even in animals receiving no Al in their drinking water."

Interactive effects of fluoride and aluminum uptake and accumulation in bones of rabbits administered both agents in their drinking water. Ahn HW, et al. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1995.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/7897695/

However, the subsequent claim that this leads to Alzheimer's does not appear true. On the contrary, there seems to be preliminary evidence that fluoridation of water may have a preventative effect on Alzheimer's.

"One reported study suggests that relatively high fluoride in drinking water plays a preventive role in Alzheimer's disease."..."Further investigation of relatively high fluoride in drinking water as a preventive measure for Alzheimer's disease should receive high priority."

Aluminum, fluoride and the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. Kraus AS, et al. Can J Public Health. 1992 Mar-Apr.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/1617567/

  • I realize I missed the main title question and jumped right into the follow-up questions. Editing now. – Tashus Apr 4 '18 at 15:35

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