Fluoride Action Network


Fluoride treatment is used to increase bone formation and cancellous bone mass in patients suffering from postmenopausal osteoporosis with vertebral fractures. Patients submitted to similar therapeutic protocols have shown various histological responses to the treatment, some developing calcification defects and others not. In fact, the bone histological response to fluoride salts depends on the cumulative uptake of fluoride by bone. To clarify the relationship between the presence of calcification defects (identified by the presence of mottled bone and linear formation defects) and the bone fluoride content, a retrospective study was performed on 29 women with type 1 osteoporosis and treated for several months (11-24) with sodium fluoride (50 mg/day), calcium and vitamin D. Bone fluoride content always significantly increased after treatment, but it was significantly higher in patients showing calcification defects than in those having no defects. These differences between the two groups of patients were not due to differences in clinical details (no significant differences concerning age, duration of treatment, total amount of fluoride ingested, renal function) or in their bone remodelling activity. Thus, it may be hypothesized that the high bone fluoride uptake is due to different individual responses from one patient to another concerning the bioavailability of the same dose of fluoride. This is difficult to predict, except by testing the individual bioavailability of the compound to be used in each patient before starting long-term treatment.