Balancing Magnesium, Iodine, and Boron: A (Lengthy) Fluoride Detox Update

My latest fluoride detox theory centers around the inclusion of dried plums in my regular diet.  Prunes are naturally high in boron, a mineral that displaces fluoride from the body.

In the beginning, even a single prune would cause my fluoroderma to flare up, but now I can eat a few at a time.  Being that I’ve been at this fluoride detox thing for over a year now,  I consider that progress!

Here are a few other small signs of progress that give me confidence I’m on the right track with my fluoride detox efforts.

Effect of Magnesium Supplements on Water Retention

One of the side effects I experience when I detox fluoride too quickly is persistent water retention, particularly around my stomach and, when it’s really bad, my lower legs.  The magnesium supplements help with that significantly.

The form of magnesium I am taking is magnesium taurate (as recommended in The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean).  It is easily digested unlike other more common forms of the supplement.  I haven’t noticed any negative side effects whatsoever.  I also use magnesium oil on occasion, although I’m not nearly as consistent with that.  It can be itchy and I don’t always have time to deal with it.

Since I started supplementing with magnesium, I haven’t had any cramps in my legs and my calves don’t swell or feel tense on plane rides.  I didn’t see any difference at all when I tried supplementing with potassium, so I think the fluoride detox somehow caused a distinct magnesium deficiency.  I’m relieved to finally have that one figured out.

Fluoride Detox and Raw Milk

I rarely drink milk anymore because my state does not allow the sale of farm-fresh milk and I refuse to drink the highly-processed, cooked milk available in grocery stores.  On a recent trip to my homestate of Pennsylvania, my sweet parents bought farm-fresh milk in abundance, and an extra gallon for me to take home.  Heaven!

Being milk deprived for so long, I drank the whole gallon within a few days.  I hadn’t been taking my magnesium supplements during the trip to PA and I started to notice the bloating came back right away. I suspect raw milk detoxes fluoride but I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it is the iodine content or boron?    In any case, as soon as I noticed the bloating again, I started taking my magnesium and it went away.  I made a point to take a magnesium pill with the tall glass of milk I drank each day and it seemd to do the trick.  Yay!  Small victories like this make me happy.

Acne and Iodine: Experimenting with Caviar

Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

I’ve learned to be more methodical with my fluoride detox so I’m trying to be more conscious of the quantity of foods I eat that detox fluoride.  After I finished the milk, I decided to switch to dates for a few days.  Dates contain about one third the amount of boron as prunes.  My fluoride detox was going well until last weekend when I broke out the caviar.

Fish eggs are a potent source of iodine.  I used to eat them regularly but even a tiny jar contains so much iodine that there’s no way I can get through it without causing a severe fluoroderma reaction—even when I freeze half of it to eat later.  But I was feeling emboldened after my detox successes to I pulled the half-eaten jar of caviar out of my freezer and went to town.  I ate half of what was left in the jar with dinner.

Before I went to bed that night, I could feel familiar lumps forming at the base of my right earlobe, lymphatic congestion from the fluoride displaced from my jaw or thereabouts.  When I awoke the next morning I had a few breakouts on my neck and chin too, nearly all of them on the right side of my face. (Any ideas why it would be on my right side but not the left?)

That was my signal to back off the detox for a few days.

A Few Reflections About My Fluoride Detox in 2011

As I write this post, I’m sitting on an airplane with a three-quarters-eaten jar of caviar in the lunchbag at my feet.  I couldn’t stand to let it go to waste.

I was actually happy that my face broke out from the fish egg experiment.  It gives me confidence that these specific nutrient dense foods I am eating really are releasing the fluoride that accumulated in my body for the last thirty years.

The breakouts are helping me establish a scale of which foods detox fluoride and how much.  So far we’ve got farm-fresh milk, then dates, then prunes, then fish eggs.  Cilantro is in there somewhere, too, I’m just not sure where.  I haven’t eaten it yet in anything other than ridiculous amounts (it’s that dedication not to let food go to waste, again).

I feel like I’m going through the same learning process as when I figured out which foods contain fluoride.  That was trial and error, as well.  That process took over a year too so maybe I’m almost there with this one.

Wow, you’re still reading.  I am impressed.  Thanks to all of you who have been so encouraging and helpful during this journey.  The fact that you voluntarily read along about my seemingly random “adventures” with fish eggs and prunes and pimples and bloating—with kind hearts and open minds—pretty much makes you my heroes.

Oh, and my friends.  🙂

Happy holidays!

PS– As promised (several moons ago), here is another pic of that memorable meal at Ristorante Miky in Cinque Terre, Italy.  Someday I will learn how to take mouth-watering food pictures, but even my amateur photography skills can’t take away from this masterpiece.  The pine nuts, olives, herbs, crispy potatoes… this has to be one of my all-time favorite fish dishes.  Sorry Scotland, but how can one eat fish and chips again after a dish like this?

Creative Commons License photo credit: kw.traveller

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo PicassoJoin the Cause

Start healing your cellulite right now by visiting our Cellulite Treatments page.  Please come back and let us know how it’s going along the way!

Or to make the most of your time and effort, why not first take a few minutes to get smart on cellulite theory by reading Cellulite 101?

*Signup to receive email when we announce a breakthrough in the case.


By submitting a comment below, you agree to abide by our comment policy

Soli @ I Believe in Butter says:

It’s fascinating for me to read your ongoing work with the detox. Keep up the good work.


Thanks, Soli! I’m happy to hear you find it interesting enough to continue to read along.

Barb says:

Hi, Melissa.

As for toxins and lymph congestion on one side vrs the other, would it happen to correspond to the side you sleep on most?


Oooh, that’s a good idea. But no, I tend to sleep on my left side and it’s the right side that broke out. But your suggestiong made me remember something I read about the lymphatic system. The right lymphatic duct drains lymph from the right side of head and neck, the right arm, and the upper right quadrant of the body. The left lymphatic duct drains lymph from the left side of the head and neck, the left arm, the upper left quadrant of the body, AND the lower trunk and both legs. (see I wonder if that has something to do with it. Perhaps there is less pressure in the lymph circulatory system on the right because if it smaller??? Any thoughts?

Skip Savage says:

Always interesting to hear your experiences with iodine and breakouts, Melissa. I remember your sardine adventure from the summer and now caviar. My, you know how to eat.

But so sad that you react. Well, not that sad, because it happens to me too, and it’s hardly life threatening. I’m just grateful you have connected the dots between seafood, iodine, fluoride and breakouts. That has helped me control the input side of the equation.

Lately I’ve been wondering about iodine-restricted diets, goiter, and thyroid trouble in general. No conclusions yet, but I’d like to know how much iodine I need to keep my thyroid working well, without consuming so much that I break out.

Research for later. For now, all the very best for the holidays and 2012.


Yes, I have an ongoing love affair with food. I can’t tell you how many times I sit down to a meal and think “this makes me happy to be alive.” My yellow lab and I have that in common.

About your iodine question… I just finished reading an interesting book called Enzyme Dr. Edward Howell. He was an old school doc and he briefly mentioned the traditional way of treating food “allergies.” He said you are supposed to eat a small amount of the food that triggers the reaction. The amount has to be so small that the reaction is not even noticeable. Gradually, you increase the amount until you are able to eat the food without incident. I’ll try to write a post about this soon so I can look up more of the details. He said something about the enzymes in the food causing a healing reaction in the body.

This is the approach I’m taking with both boron and iodine. It definitely worked with the prunes. By starting out slow, I was able to work up to a larger amount that no longer caused a reaction. You’re right that it can be dangerous to avoid iodine altogether. Unlike fluoride which has no real use in the human body, iodine is vital to several organs. I need to find an iodine-rich food that’s not quite as potent as caviar. Maybe kelp or other sea vegetables?

Happy holidays to you, too!!

PS–I just remembered I promised you another food pic from Italy! I need to get better at food pics, but I posted the main dish I ordered from Ristorante Miky (the one with the sardines). It’s in the post above. You just can’t get grilled fish like that here. I don’t know how they do it. Amazing.

Liz says:

I lack your attention to detail and persistence. Reading this makes me want to try harder though. Perhaps I’ll begin a food/supplement journal in the new year and learn more about what is helping my body and what isn’t.

Love your blog — thanks for all the time you put into it!


Liz, I never would have considered my reaction to food in such detail if not for the painful cystic acne that plagued me for years. It’s a highly motivating factor!

Please let us know how the food journaling goes! I’m looking forward to hearing about your discoveries!

Tee says:

I meant to go to my chiropractitioner because all my troubles (cysts, lypoma, jumpers knee, even visible cellulite only on right leg) manifest on my right side. I wonder if your alignment is out of wack it surely will have an effect on the lymphatic system. There must be a reason why the right side is more vulnerable. When my son was born he screamed through the night, very unhappy baby. No one had an idea or was sayin ‘oh he is just colicky. Turns out wasn’t my baby but my milk. my rib on my back was out of wack and it had an effect on my chest area, that interfered with making good milk. Could it be a mix up between draining the lymph from my body in the area where breast milk is made? When i was cured my son, still had temperament, but was happy and would sleep! Crazy, right? Wouldn’t believe it if i hadn’t experienced it.


How did you fix the alignment issue, Tee? Was it simply an adjustment from the chiropractor? Or was it something that took many months to get over, where it could have coincided with when he grew out of whatever was “colicky” phase he was going through? Really interesting that it was all on your right side. I have a few small breakouts on my left side after the fish eggs, but it’s nothing like the effect they had on the right side.

Melissa @ Unmistakablyfood says:

What an interesting post! I did not know any of this about fluoride building up and needing to be detoxed. I am looking at getting a water filter for my family, but at this point we are still drinking fluoridated water. Can the things you are talking about happen to everyone? I’m probably showing my ignorance on this subject but hey! They say you learn something new every day! I will go back and read more of your posts and maybe some of my questions will be answered 🙂


Yep, fluoride toxicity is pretty common these days because of it’s prevalence in the food and water supply. Most health care professionals have no idea how much fluoride is in common food and beverages, from chicken soup and lunch meat to tea and wine.

smgj says:

Hi! I found your site looking for information on iodine supplementation. And I think I can “repay” for your information by providing some of my own 😉

Calcium competes with magnesium in the body and unusual amounts of calcium (your gallon of milk) will reduce the available magnesium in the blood. (I did this myself and “got paid” with a horrible tooth enamel and muscle cramps…)


That makes total sense, smgj. Thanks! I had read that before which is one of the reasons why I started taking the magnesium supplements. So maybe the milk isn’t detoxing fluoride but the bloating is caused purely by the calcium. It’s confusing because it’s the same reaction I sometimes get from a fluoride detox. In any case, I’m going to move milk to the “maybe” column when it comes to fluoride detox. The fish eggs and prunes are still in the solid “yes” category.

Liesl Hallman says:

I suspect the breakouts being on the right side only are because of blood flow and it may be also because of what side you slept on?


Nope, the breakouts were on the opposite side from the one I slept on. I think the cause was internal rather than external.

Christina says:

Look up Chinese Skin Mapping! The right cheek is connected with your lung/large intestine.


Oops!Please fill out all required fields