Fluoride, in combination with calcium and vitamin D, increases bone mass and lowers the risk of backbone fractures associated with osteoporosis, researchers report. Fluoride is known to stimulate new bone formation, but concerns about its safety have limited its use in the elderly, according to Dr. Craig D. Rubin from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and others who contributed to the research. There is no FDA-approved drug for osteoporosis that increases bone formation.
In their study, Rubin and associates compared fluoride, calcium, and vitamin D with calcium and vitamin D alone in the treatment of 85 women aged 65 years or older who had already experienced one or more backbone fractures from osteoporosis.
Women treated with fluoride showed significant improvements in various measures of bone formation compared with women not treated with fluoride, the researchers note, suggesting that fractures were prevented by bone remodeling and bone formation.