Fluoride Action Network



Fluoride is widely presented in drinking water and foods. A strong relation between fluoride exposure and obesity has been reported. However, the potential mechanisms on fluoride-induced obesity remain unexplored.

Objectives and methods

The effects of fluoride on the obesity were investigated using mice model. Furthermore, the role of gut homeostasis in exacerbation of the obesity induced by fluoride was evaluated.


The results showed that fluoride alone did not induce obesity in normal diet (ND) fed mice, whereas, it could trigger exacerbation of obesity in high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice. Fluoride impaired intestinal barrier and activated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling to induce obesity, which was further verified in TLR4?/? mice. Furthermore, fluoride could deteriorate the gut microbiota in HFD mice. The fecal microbiota transplantation from fluoride-induced mice was sufficient to induce obesity, while the exacerbation of obesity by fluoride was blocked upon gut microbiota depletion. The fluoride-induced bloom of Erysipelatoclostridium ramosum was responsible for exacerbation of obesity. In addition, a potential strategy for prevention of fluoride-induced obesity was proposed by intervention with polysaccharides from Fuzhuan brick tea.


Overall, these results provide the first evidence of a comprehensive cross-talk mechanism between fluoride and obesity in HFD fed mice, which is mediated by gut microbiota and intestinal barrier. E. ramosum was identified as a crucial mediator of fluoride induced obesity, which could be explored as potential target for prevention and treatment of obesity with exciting translational value.



Fluoride exacerbates obesity in HFD fed mice, while shows limited effect in ND mice.

Fluoride induced obesity is mediated by gut microbiota and intestinal barrier.

Fluoride exacerbates the obesity in HFD mice through a TLR4-dependent mechanism.

Erysipelatoclostridium ramosum was identified as a crucial mediator of fluoride induced obesity.

*Original full-text article online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090123222002399