Fluoride is a mineral not considered essential to humans. Being famous as “dentists` mineral”, fluoride helps prevent dental cavities and strengthen the bones.
a) Reduces sugar consumption by oral bacteria, which decreases production of acid followed by damage to the teeth.
b) Stimulates the bone cells osteoblasts, which are responsible for making new bone.
Absorption and Food Sources:
The total amount of fluoride in the body is 2 – 3 grams with the highest concentrations in the teeth and bones. The blood level of fluoride is 0.3 mg/dl. Foods rich in fluoride are fish, gelatin, tea, and most seafood. It is usually added to the municipal water supply as sodium fluoride in many countries at the concentration of 1 ppm. The absorption of sodium fluoride in drinking water is very high, 90% - 100%.
Benefits of Fluoride:
The following conditions may benefit from fluoride:
- Tooth decay.
- Otosclerosis (hearing loss due to scar – like lesions and deposits in the middle ear).
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for fluoride. However, the dietary recommended intake for adults is 3 – 4 mg daily. The tolerable upper limit for adults is 10 mg a day. Drinking water contains 1 mg of fluoride per liter, which is enough to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride is not usually added to multivitamins – multiminerals. It is also available as chewable tablets, fluorinated mouthwash, and liquid forms. Each chewable pill contains 0.5 – 1 mg of fluoride. In liquid forms, every milliliter of the liquid contains 0.5 mg of fluoride.