Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride-induced reproductive effects have been reported in experimental models and in humans. However, these effects were found in heavily exposed scenarios. Therefore, in this work our objective was to study reproductive parameters in a population exposed to fluoride at doses of 3-27 mg/day (high-fluoride-exposed group-HFEG). Urinary fluoride levels, semen parameters, and reproductive hormones in serum (LH, FSH, estradiol, prolactin, inhibin-B, free and total testosterone) were measured. Results were compared with a group of individuals exposed to fluoride at lower doses: 2-13 mg/day (low-fluoride-exposed group-LFEG). A significant increase in FSH (P<0.05) and a reduction of inhibin-B, free testosterone, and prolactin in serum (P<0.05) were noticed in the HFEG. When HFEG was compared to LFEG, a decreased sensitivity was found in the FSH response to inhibin-B (P<0.05). A significant negative partial correlation was observed between urinary fluoride and serum levels of inhibin-B (r=-0.333, P=0.028) in LFEG. Furthermore, a significant partial correlation was observed between a chronic exposure index for fluoride and the serum concentrations of inhibin-B (r=-0.163, P=0.037) in HFEG. No abnormalities were found in the semen parameters studied in the present work, neither in the HFEG, nor in the LFEG. The results obtained indicate that a fluoride exposure of 3-27 mg/day induces a subclinical reproductive effect that can be explained by a fluoride-induced toxic effect in both Sertoli cells and gonadotrophs.