Fluoride Action Network

Relatively low fluoride in drinking water increases risk of knee osteoarthritis

September 16th, 2023 | Fluoride Action Network

A large, high-quality study published this week in Environmental Geochemical Health found that fluoride in drinking water can increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis (KOA), with older males with obesity more likely to have KOA.

“Previous studies indicate that fluoride in drinking water has a toxic effect on cartilage and skeleton, which triggers osteoarthritis (OA) of which the most frequent is knee OA (KOA). A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the association between fluoride exposure and KOA among 1128 subjects. Water fluoride (WF) and urinary fluoride (UF) were chosen as external exposure (internal exposure) of fluoride.”

It’s not the only study linking fluoride exposure to osteoarthritis but it is the strongest to date. The same research group published a related paper in 2021 that also found clear association between F and KOA (Sowanoua 2021).

Graph by Dr. Hardy Limeback. Click on the image to access the full study.

This a strong study that shows a very large effect.  The model-predicted rate of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) when water fluoride concentration is 0.2ppm (unfluoridated) is about 18%. But when the water fluoride concentration reaches 1ppm (fluoridated) it is about 28%. This is a very large increase in rate of KOA across the range of exposure that represents the range from an unfluoridated area to a fluoridated area in the U.S.