Does Fluoride Calcify the Pineal Gland?
One of the main reasons that patients tell me they avoid fluoride toothpaste is because they heard that it calcifies the pineal gland. Is this true? Does fluoride calcify the pineal gland?
Let’s look at the science.
What is the pineal gland?
The pineal gland (or organ) is a very small “pea sized” structure that lies in the centre of the brain. It’s main role is to secrete melatonin, which is a chemical that is primarily recognized for regulating sleep and mood. Melatonin is also an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, and has many more proposed effects, including the modulation of bone metabolism and sex hormones. In primitive creatures, the pineal organ has/had light receptors which help the animal regulate circadian rhythms, but in more advanced organisms, this photoreceptive ability is questionable, and melatonin release by the pineal gland is controlled by a network of areas in the brain. This activity does remain related to exposure to light, with increases in melatonin release by the pineal gland noted during the night.
Many tissues in the body can release melatonin, but the pineal gland is unique in that it lies partially within the third ventricle of the brain, allowing it to release melatonin directly to the cerbrospinal fluid, the liquid which bathes and nourishes the central nervous system.
In addition to synthesizing melatonin, the pineal gland/organ is said to release DMT, steroids and other chemicals.
Does the pineal gland calcify?
Yes, as creatures age, calcium deposits (acervuli) accumulate within the tissues of the pineal gland. Similar to the kidneys, the pineal gland is highly vascular and senses concentrations of chemicals in order for the body to perform important homeostatic regulatory functions. The pineal gland, however, appears to calcify based on its own metabolism, and does not accumulate calcium via filtration. Melatonin itself is implied in the activation of bone creating cells within the pineal gland which increases calcium deposits!
Calcium accumulates in the pineal gland in the form of hydroxyapatite; the same crystal that is found in the dentin and enamel of the teeth.
Is pineal gland calcification dangerous?
It is still debatable whether or not calcification of the pineal gland is part of a pathological process or if it is a natural outcome of the metabolic aging of the body. It is clear that as animals and humans age, the amount of calcium deposits in the pineal gland increases. It is also known that as humans age, melatonin levels decrease, but it is not clear whether or not this is directly due to the calcifications themselves, or due to changes in signalling pathways upstream in the activation process.
Calcification of the pineal gland has been correlated to various neurological conditions, and so have decreased levels of melatonin, but we must remember that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
Does fluoride calcify the pineal gland?
No. Fluoride does not calcify the pineal gland. Calcium calcifies the pineal gland.
The pineal gland accumulates hydroxyapatite crystals in it as we age, and fluoride has a high affinity to this mineral. Wherever you find calcium accumulations in the body, you will find fluoride bound to it. In teeth and bones this is a healthy change because it strengthens them (to a point). The more fluoride that the body absorbs, the more fluoride that you will find in these calcium deposits, so it is logical for highly calcified pineal glands to also have high levels of fluoride in them.
There is no evidence that shows that fluoride initiates calcification, nor that it increases the rate of the calcification, or that avoiding fluoride reduces the rate of calcification of the pineal gland in humans. Studies looking at fluoride toxicity and the pineal gland primarily focus on ingested (swallowed) fluoride in food and drinking water (in rats); I could not find any evidence that brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is at all related to pineal gland calcification.
The pineal gland calcifies on its own as you age and fluoride chases calcium.
Can you decalcify your pineal gland?
No. Please do not try to decalcify your pineal gland by avoiding calcium.
Calcium deposits are not accumulated in the pineal gland because of high concentrations of calcium in the bloodstream. They are deposited as part of the metabolic processes that occur within the pineal gland. The longer you live, the more calcium will be found in your pineal gland. Even healthy older adults will have calcium deposits in their pineal glands.
Circulating and intracellular levels of calcium are highly regulated in the human body. There are multiple organ systems, tissues, hormones, and enzymes involved in keeping this mineral in check. Depriving your body of calcium to try to cleanse your pineal gland can be a dangerous experiment that will not have positive outcomes.
There are no medications or herbs that draw the calcium out of your pineal gland, or at least I could not find any scientific evidence for this. Surely if something worked there would be actual proof, because these calcium deposits are readily visible in non invasive imaging techniques. All it would take is a simple before and after scan. If you know of any studies proving decalcification, please send them my way!
The only thing that works to remove calcium from the pineal gland is the surgical application of chemicals to the surface of the gland to directly chelate the calcium. So yes, in theory it is possible to remove calcium from the pineal gland, but who is going to have brain surgery to do this? Those poor rats.
Many people visiting my office have grave concerns over this caclification of the pineal gland and refuse to use fluoride, even if they have a mouth full of tooth decay. The risks of dental disease are clear, painful, sometimes dangerous, are usually very expensive to manage, are extremely prevalent, yet are primarily preventable. Fluoride toothpaste is a key weapon in this fight and is not shown to calcify the pineal gland.
If you are concerned with fluoride intake, you should look at dietary sources and not the tube of medicine that is helping you fight one of the most common, communicable bacterial infections that humans suffer from. We can talk fluoride in food another day.
Thanks for reading.