Skeletal Fluorosis

Skeletal Fluorosis

Skeletal fluorosis

Jos van Bemmel,

Summary of my documentation research on skeletal fluorosis:

On the Pubmed of internet a lot of information can be found about ‘fluorosis’. Though most of the articles only write about the fluorideproblem of the teeth, some of them refer to the fluorosis of the skeleton, a disease well known at the outreach area of the Rehabilitation Center of Monduli (Tanzania).

During my research I noticed some remarkable things:

Most documents are from India where fluorosis is an important problem in certain areas. Fluoride seems to be most damaging in circumstances of insufficient intake of calcium.

In case of insufficient calcium intake by small children and a slightly increased intake of fluoride, skeletal deformities are seen. (the Article Teotia 1998 is very intersting). It may well be that a higher intake of milk may reduce the problem. Therefor I wonder if Maasai children who have a higher intake of milk may show a reduced impact from the same fluoride concentration in drinking water. But I can’t find yet any research that confirm my hypothesis.

Research from 2001 shows that high fluoride intake leads to secondary hyperparathyreoid activity (hyperfunctioning of the parathyroid) and therefore to decalcification of the skeleton. Some researchers claim that the calcium concentration of the blood is normal in such cases, others say that the calcium concentration in the blood can be lower than normal.

Fluorosis depends on a number of factors: age, sex (males more sensitive), kidney function and calcium intake. Skeletal fluorosis is most likely accompanied by “high bone turnover”, independent of other factors. Measuring fluor levels in the blood does not seem to give relevant information.

It may be so that altitude has some impact on the severity of the deformities.
I couldn’t find any relation between fluorosis and magnesium.

It is clear to me that much more research is needed to clarify the background of the “crooked” legs.


Pubmed on Skeletal fluorosis
Pubmed article Teotia 1998