Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride (F) is a well-recognized hazardous substance. Ingested F initially acts locally on the intestines. The small intestine plays a critical role in the digestion, absorption, and defense. In this study, therefore, we investigated the effects of fluorine on the intestinal development by light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and histochemistry. A total of 280 one-day-old avian broilers were randomly divided into four groups and fed on a corn-soybean basal diet as control diet (fluorine, 22.6 mg/kg) or the same basal diet supplemented with 400, 800, and 1,200 mg/kg fluorine (high fluorine groups I, II, and III) in the form of sodium fluoride for 42 days. The results showed that the intestinal gross, histological, and ultrastructural changes were observed in the high fluorine groups II and III. Meanwhile, the intestinal length, weight, viscera index, villus height, crypt depth, villus height to crypt depth ratio, diameter, muscle layer thickness, and goblet cell numbers were significantly lower (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05), and the intestinal diameter to villus height ratio was markedly higher (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05) in the high fluorine groups II and III than those in control group. In conclusion, dietary fluorine in the range of 800-1,200 mg/kg obviously altered the aforementioned parameters of the intestines, implying that the intestinal development was suppressed and the intestinal functions, such as digestion, absorption, defense, or osmoregulation were impaired in broilers.