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Total fluoride intake and urinary excretion in 4–year–old Iranian children residing in low-fluoride areas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

F. V. Zohouri
Department of Child Dental Health WHO Collaborating Centre and Newcastle University Human Nutrition Research Centre, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4BW, UK
A. J. Rugg-Gunn*
Department of Child Dental Health WHO Collaborating Centre and Newcastle University Human Nutrition Research Centre, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4BW, UK
*Corresponding author: Professor Andrew Rugg-Gunn, fax +44 (0)191 222 5928, email
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Knowledge of levels of fluoride ingestion and excretion is important in planning optimum fluoride therapy for young children. In previous literature, it has been assumed that only about one-third of ingested fluoride is excreted in young children. The aims of the present study were (a) to measure total fluoride intake, urinary fluoride excretion and fluoride balance, and (b) to investigate the effect of air temperature on fluoride intake and urinary fluoride excretion, in young children. Children (4 years old) living in a city, a small town and rural areas of Fars province, Iran, where drinking water contained 0·30–0·39 mg F/l, were invited to participate. Selection of subjects was by random sampling of kindergartens or health centres. The children were surveyed twice, once in summer and once in winter. Diet was obtained by 3 d diaries with interview. Samples of most foods and drinks were analysed for fluoride content. Ingestion of fluoride from toothpaste was estimated for each child. Each child's urine was collected over 24 h and analysed for fluoride content. Seventy-eight of the 116 volunteers completed all aspects of the study, which was conducted in 1995–6. For all children, the mean fluoride ingestion from diet was 0·390 (sd 0·122) mg/d or 0·028 (sd 0·008) mg/kg body weight per d. Fluoride ingestion from diet was higher in summer and higher in rural areas. The mean ingestion of fluoride from all sources was 0·426 (sd 0·126) mg/d and the mean fluoride urinary excretion was 0·339 (sd 0·100) mg/d. The difference between ingestion and urinary excretion was +0·087 (sd 0·143) mg, equivalent to 80 % excretion. Faecal excretion was not estimated. The results indicate fluoride retention at 4 years to be much lower than previously assumed.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2000


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