Wine is one of the beverages that contains significant amounts of fluoride… sometimes.
Sources claim that certain wines are high in fluoride because of a pesticide commonly used on grape crops in California. After reading this, I avoided all wine for a while. I didn’t know if this pesticide was used in any other regions and I didn’t want to complicate matters as I tried to heal my fluoroderma.
Once my acne cleared completely and I felt like I had my fluoride exposure under control, I was able to experiment with adding the occasional glass of wine back into my menu. Here is what my fluoroderma taught me about wines and fluoride.
After my fluoroderma healed, the first wines I started drinking were organic. I was confident they weren’t treated with cryolite, the pesticide that contributes to the fluoride content of grapes. I’m not 100 percent confident in organic labeling, but I never noticed a problem with any organic wine I’ve tried.
But organic wines can be difficult to come by, especially at a restaurant.
Next, I tried wines imported from Europe. Europe has stricter laws governing the fluoride content of wine. Again, I did not notice any problems. I even expanded to wines from other regions, including Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia. None of them seemed to cause a noticeable reaction on my skin.
I was happy with my options. Most restaurants have at least a few imported wines available by the glass so I rarely ran into a situation where I could not order anything to drink. Wine was a more reliable option than water at most places.
Yet, I was curious about wines from Washington state. Sources I read emphasized the fact that the use of cryolite was specific to grape crops in California. Was wine from Washington state that much different?
That’s when I found this article from the food and wine section of The Seattle Times: No Worries About Cryolite Here. Apparently, cryolite isn’t used at all in Washington state because they don’t have the same pests there that California wineries are trying to avoid.
We ordered a bottle of wine from Washington state at dinner one night and it was fantastic! No breakouts followed, either. It’s nice to have Washington wines as an option since they are often less expensive than imported bottles.
At this point, I had never actually experienced a fluoroderma reaction from wine—I was only avoiding it because I had read that wine can be high in fluoride. I never drank so much as a sip of California wine to try and confirm that fact.
Until one evening, I found myself at a friend’s house. I had not seen her in a couple years and I was just stopping by for a quick visit while I was in town. My friend offered me a glass of wine from California. It was a common brand available in most grocery stores. I didn’t want to a) be rude or b) explain my fluoride sensitivity so I accepted the offer. It would be a good opportunity to test the claim that California wines can be high in fluoride.
We were chatting so much that I didn’t think my hostess would notice that I was taking the tiniest possible sips from my glass. That’s why I was shocked when my skin started to break out before I left her house. I wasn’t even halfway through the glass!
We had been visiting for less than two hours when I started to feel a fluoriderma-like breakout forming on my chin. This was my fourth day of travel and my face was crystal clear up until that point. I remember thinking it seemed even clearer than when I was at home.
I would have to repeat this experiment a few more times because I would conclude with confidence that the breakout was caused by the wine. Even now, it seems hard to believe that such a small amount of wine could cause a reaction on my skin so quickly. Usually it takes a few hours before I notice a reaction. But the experience was enough to keep me away from California wines indefinitely. With so many other options to choose from, why take the risk?
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