Effect of nutritional status on fluoride retention in children

Om Sah, Gregory Atkinson, Anne Maguire, Fatemeh Zohoori

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Objectives: It has been suggested that nutritional status impacts the prevalence of dental fluorosis due to changes in the rate of retention of fluoride in the body. To quantify the influence of nutritional status on total daily fluoride retention (TDFR) by measuring total daily fluoride intake (TDFI) and excretion (TDFE) in normal and undernourished children in Nepal.

Methods: One-hundred children, aged 4-5 years participated in the study. Nutritional status was evaluated by weight-for-age and height-for-age indices. TDFI was calculated from diet and toothpaste ingestion. Daily urinary fluoride (DUFE) excretion was measured by collecting a 24-hour urine sample and TDFE estimated as “DUFE + faecal fluoride excretion”, assuming 10% of TDFI was excreted through faeces. TDFR was estimated by subtracting TDFE from TDFI. A multivariable-adjusted general linear model was used to investigate differences in fluoride intake, excretion and retention between the normal and undernourished children.

Results: Data are expressed as mean ±SD. All children completed the study, of whom 37 were assessed as normal and 63 as malnourished. TDFI was similar for normal and undernourished children (0.052±0.025 v 0.056±0.027 mg/kgbw/day). The 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for group mean difference was -0.015 to +0.007 mg/kgbw/day (P=0.480). TDFE was also similar between groups (0.029±0.020 v 0.027±0.021 mg/kg bw/day). The 95% CI for mean difference was -0.003 to +0.006 mg/kg bw/day (P=0.464). TDFR was similar between groups (0.019±0.011% v 0.022±0.014 mg/kgbw/day). The 95% CI for mean difference was -0.008 to +0.003 mg/kgbw/day (P=0.957).

Conclusions: The influence of nutritional status on TDFR was small and not statistically significant. Therefore, similar optimal exposures to fluoride can be recommended for both normal and undernourished children.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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