By consciously favouring ‘Rava Dosa’ (a thin and crispy crepe made from Rava and rice flour) over other food items or consuming “Rohu” (river) fish to satisfy your hunger pangs, you are likely to end up with a higher intake of fluoride.

Rava Dosa and ‘Upma’ (popular in South India) have a high concentration of fluoride among all non-fish foods and Rohu fish contains high fluoride levels in both bones and flesh, reveals a Nitte Deemed To Be University study published in a peer-reviewed journal on dental research.

Professor Chitta Ranjan Chowdhury, who led the team of fluoride researchers, informed DH that the objective of the study was to estimate the fluoride content in regular food items and fish available in the coastal districts of Karnataka.

Commonly consumed different species of fish (eight types were included in the study) and popular food items (12 types) were collected from markets in and around Deralakatte, through a random sampling strategy and then tested in Fluoride and and Health Division of the Department of Oral Biology and Genomic Studies at Nitte Deemed to be University, Prof Chowdhury, who is the founding head of the Department of Oral Biology and Genomic Studies at A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences (ABSMIDS), said.

Based on the study, the highest concentration was estimated 3.16 ppm (parts per million) in Rohu fish flesh and 7 ppm in Rava Dosa. “Fluoride determined in the flesh of other fishes was also high with the concentration being 2.28 ppm,’’ he said and added that shrimps had the lowest fluoride levels.

“Since the consumption of seafood is more common in coastal parts of the district, further investigation is needed on the health effects on this population,” he said adding that there is “nothing to panic at this point of time”.

The scientist also favoured a need to investigate relationships between fluoride levels in foods and the fish available in different parts of the country for human consumption, including drinking water, which is the main source of fluoride. Thus, the population residing along the coast may have a higher intake of fluoride (from fish and other food items), but it will be a concern for the population living in fluorosis endemic areas, such as Pavagada of Tumakuru district of Karnataka.

Thus, the study emphasises on the development of a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fluoride for a defined population as the need-of-the hour,’’ Prof Chowdhury stressed (The summary detail of the report can be viewed here.)

*Original article online at