In a new study, researchers found that fluoride exposure may lead to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents.
The study was conducted by Mount Sinai researchers.
The team analyzed fluoride measured in blood samples of 1,983 adolescents and the fluoride content of the tap water in the homes of 1,742 adolescents.
They examined the link between fluoride levels in drinking water and blood with kidney and liver health among adolescents.
They found that exposure to fluoride may contribute to complex changes in kidney and liver function among youth.
Although the tap water fluoride concentrations were generally low, there are several mechanisms by which even low levels of fluoride exposure may contribute to kidney or liver dysfunction.
The team also found that adolescents with poorer kidney or liver function may absorb more fluoride in their bodies.
In the country, 74% of public water systems add fluoride for dental health benefits. Fluoridated water is the main source of fluoride exposure in the U.S.
While fluoride exposure in animals and adults has been linked to kidney and liver toxicity, this study examined the potential effects of chronic low-level exposure among youth.
This is important to study because a child’s body excretes only 45% of fluoride in urine via the kidneys, while an adult’s body clears it at a rate of 60%, and the kidneys accumulate more fluoride than any other organ in the body.
The team says while the dental benefits of fluoride are widely established, recent concerns have been raised regarding the appropriateness of its widespread addition to drinking water or salt in North America.
This study’s findings suggest that there may be potential kidney and liver health concerns to consider when evaluating fluoride use and appropriate levels in public health interventions.
Future studies are needed to examine the impact of chronic low-level fluoride exposure on kidney and liver function in the U.S. population.
The lead author of the study is Ashley J. Malin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow.
The study is published in Environment International.
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