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Low-dose fluoride can combat osteoporosis

Adding low doses of fluoride to the treatment of osteoporosis can help women going through menopause.

Low-dose fluoride can combat osteoporosis

Adding low doses of fluoride to the treatment of osteoporosis can help women going through menopause. The use of fluoride, in the treatment of osteoporosis remains controversial and experimental. Although, fluoride has been seen as increasing bone density, its effectiveness in reducing the risk of fracture, still remains to be found. To assess the efficacy of fluoride in the treatment of osteoporosis, researchers at the University of Auckland, studied 80 women who had postmenopausal osteoporosis and had been taking oestrogen for at least a year. The women continued on the hormone therapy and were randomly assigned to take a fluoride supplement (monofluorophosphate – fluoride content of 20 mg per day) or an inactive placebo over a period of 4 years. The results indicated progressive increases in bone mineral density of the spine over the duration of the study, with a 22 percent increase in the active treatment group, versus 6 percent for placebo patients. Although there was an 80 percent reduction in vertebral fractures, non-vertebral fractures were actually increased 3-fold in the combination group. Moreover, excessive amounts of non-calcified bone matrix were seen in biopsies from 5 of 7 patients on fluoride, making the bone soft, and two of these patients were classified as having an adult form of rickets. Fluoride supplementation produces substantial increases in bone mineral density but still interferes with bone mineralisation. This indicates that most previous studies have used toxic doses of fluoride and that much lower doses should be assessed to find a safer dose for the use of this powerful anabolic agent. Thus, lower doses of fluoride can play an effective role in combating osteoporosis.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology ,
2007
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