Fluoride Action Network


The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of antioxidants to prevent or alleviate fluoride (F) toxicity in pregnant female Wistar rats and their fetuses. Groups of pregnant rats (10 in each group) were treated by oral intubation with F (40 mg F–/kg bw/day from NaF), antioxidants (a mixture of vitamins A, C, and E and selenium) (25 mg/kg bw/day), and a combination of F and antioxidants at the same dosage levels, respectively, from the 8th to the 19th day of gestation. A control group received tap water. No significant change occurred among treated groups in outcome of pregnancy (no. of resorbed, dead, live normal, and abnormal fetuses/litter) on gestational day 20. However, fetuses of F-treated rats exhibited significant reduction of body weight and length concomitant with a significant decrease of total protein content in liver tissue. On the other hand, the F concentration in serum and amniotic fluid of F-treated rats was significantly higher than all other groups. Pregnant rats with higher serum F concentration had a significantly lower serum Ca level and a higher serum P concentration with a non-significant reduction of serum total protein in comparison with the control. Administration of the antioxidants reduced the F-induced changes. Less fetal growth retardation occurred in the rats treated with both F and the antioxidants than in those treated with F alone. Moreover, antioxidant treatment resulted in some recovery of serum Ca and P levels in the F-treated group. Antioxidants were therefore found to protect against or ameliorate F-induced toxicity in pregnant rats and their fetuses.