Osteoporosis is a bone disease that
It affects about 200 million people worldwide and is associated with long lasting reduced quality of life and increased mortality.
Some of the most common locations for osteoporosis-induced fractures are the hips, forearms, and vertebrae — the small bones that make up your spinal column.
While anyone can get osteoporosis, some people are
- were assigned female at birth
- are older than age 50
- are postmenopausal and are not taking hormone replacement therapy
- have low calcium levels
- smoke tobacco products
- engage in low levels of physical activity
- drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day
- have low body weight
- are using certain long-term medicinal therapies
Osteoporosis currently has no cure. However, multiple nutrients, including fluoride,
Here’s what the latest evidence has to say about the role of fluoride in osteoporosis.
Fluoride is a mineral that’s
Your gastrointestinal tract can absorb up to
Fluoride intake primarily comes from fluorinated water or foods and drinks made with fluorinated water. However, there are
First things first: Your bones are constantly being
Osteoclasts are in charge of bone resorption — meaning that they break down bone tissue to release its minerals into the bloodstream. In contrast, osteoblasts are in charge of bone formation.
To ensure that this process is successful, osteoblast and osteoclast activities must be well balanced. However, osteoporosis is characterized by
Some vitamins and minerals, such as fluoride, can help support bone remodeling. According to a recent
- stimulating osteoblast activity and quantity
- inhibiting osteoclast activity
- increasing the level of bone cell growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor–1 (IGF-1) and osteoblastic transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1)
Furthermore, a recent
The researchers also determined that women who consumed fluorinated water had a 31% and 27% lower risk of hip and vertebral fractures, respectively, than those who drank non-fluorinated water.
Still, despite these promising findings, there’s conflicting evidence — from both older and newer research — on fluoride’s effect on fracture risk.
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing
Regardless of fluoride’s role in
Skeletal fluorosis is a condition that can lead to joint pain or stiffness, muscle weakness, neurological problems, and even osteoporosis.
Therefore, researchers emphasize that it’s important for the medical community to determine an appropriate dose of fluoride for humans, considering that the difference between a tolerated dose and a harmful dose seems to be small.
To help prevent people from unintentionally consuming excess fluoride, the
Evidence indicates that many people with osteoporosis may benefit from maintaining a generally
- strength or resistance training to promote stronger bones and improve coordination and balance
- avoidance of tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke
- limited alcohol use
- a nutritious, balanced diet
- precautions to prevent falls, such as wearing shoes that provide support or using a cane if needed
- daily supplements of calcium and vitamin D, if recommended or approved by a healthcare professional
Some of the most important micronutrients for osteoporosis are calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, manganese, boron, iron, copper, silicon, and selenium.
Furthermore, people following
Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low BMD, which leads to fragile and brittle bones.
Given fluoride’s role in bone formation, research suggests that supplementing with it might be beneficial for treating and preventing the disease.
While recent research supports fluoride supplementation to increase BMD and reduce the risk of fractures, results are still mixed, as both older and more recent studies suggest that it can do more harm than good.
In the meantime, people with osteoporosis may benefit from maintaining a generally healthy and active lifestyle.
In some cases, supplementation with vitamins and minerals aside from fluoride might be necessary, but it’s important to check in with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.