Sources of dietary fluoride intake in 4-year-old children residing in low, medium and high fluoride areas in Iran

Fatemeh Zohouri, A. J. Rugg-Gunn

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate estimation of fluoride dietary intake is desirable for optimising caries prevention. Little is known about the dietary fluoride intake of children aged 4 years, an age when many permanent teeth are forming. This study was undertaken in Fars Province, Iran, in 1995-96, where there are big differences in temperature between winter and summer. The aims were to determine: (a) the relative contributions of different components of the diet to fluoride intake, (b) the effect of variation in fluoride concentration in drinking water, and (c) the effect of climate temperature. Temperature varied between +40°C in summer to -5°C in winter. The mean fluoride concentrations in drinking water in the three areas were 0.3, 0.6 and 4.0 mgF/L. Dietary information was obtained by two 3-day diet diaries with interview, validated with reference to international standards. The fluoride content of foods was measured using the silicon-facilitated diffusion method. One hundred and three 4-year-old children completed the study. The mean (and 95% confidence interval) dietary fluoride intakes in each of the three areas, respectively, were 413 (±21), 698 (±89) and 3472 (±557) μg/day. Drinks provided 72 to 87% of dietary fluoride - this proportion increased with increasing water fluoride concentration and increasing climate temperature. Tea (infusion) was an important source of dietary fluoride, providing 31 to 38% of total dietary intake. Tap water was a more important source of fluoride than soft drinks. Cooked rice and bread were the most important food source of fluoride and the amount of fluoride they contributed increased as water fluoride concentration increased. The results of this first such survey in the Middle East showed (a) that water (as a drink) and tea were by far the most important contributors to dietary fluoride intake, (b) substantial increases in fluoride intake with increasing water fluoride concentrations, and (c) substantially higher fluoride intakes in summer than in the winter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


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