Another concern is fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland, a small but powerful structure located between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The pineal gland secretes melatonin, a hormone that affects such functions as sleep cycles, jet lag, hybernation in animals, immunity, and the onset of puberty. Jennifer Luke, Ph.D., found that the pineal gland attracts fluoride, and, thereby, interferes with melatonin’s functions.(180) In autopsy studies she discovered extremely high concentrations of fluoride in the gland, averaging 9,000 ppm, going up to 21,000 ppm in some cases.(181) And in an accompanying study of fluoride-treated Mongolian gerbils (the animal considered most favorable for studying effects on the pineal gland) Luke found lower levels of melatonin and earlier onset of puberty.
This research is highly suggestive. People with insomnia could be suffering as a result of fluoride’s interference with melatonin production. Currently more than half the population of the United States suffers from some form of sleep disturbance.(182) Sleep deprivation promotes reduced immunity. Sleep-challenged people are more likely to suffer depression, stroke, or heart disease than their well-rested peers. Numerous studies have correlated insufficient melatonin production with an earlier-than-usual onset of puberty.(183, 184)
This recalls the 1955 Newburgh-Kingston study, which produced some extremely puzzling results that scientists have yet to explain. One was the finding that girls in fluoridated Newberg were reaching menstruation five months earlier on average than the girls in unfluoridated Kingston. This raises the question, does fluoride contribute to the alarming rates of early puberty that we are seeing?(185) Premature menstruation is associated with a variety of ills, including breast cancer and obesity. A 2001 study published in the American Journal of Public Health reveals that early maturation nearly doubled the odds of being obese.(186)