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Fluorine is found in most plants and animals at trace levels. Fluorine is important in ensuring healthy bones, although deficiencies are thought to be rare. Most domestic water supplies are treated with fluoride, to reduce tooth decay.


Fluorine is important in many bodily processes, and it may help to prevent heart disease, though it should not be taken as a supplement except in areas where water is not treated with fluoride, because in excess it can reduce bone density and can cause tooth enamel damage.

Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiencies may cause infertility or anaemia. Other effects may include tooth decay or osteoporosis.

At a Glance...

Fluorine is important in the manufacture of teeth and bones. Prevents tooth decay and osteoporosis.

Functions Dosage Toxicity Further Information What you need to eat
Fluorine, or the charged fluoride ion is highly reactive and chemically similar to chlorine. May play a role in the prevention of heart disease.
No RDA, but a typical daily intake is between 1 and 2 mg. A major source is drinking water.
Excess fluorine can cause discolouration of the teeth, together which reduced appetite. Calcification of the spine can occur in cases of extreme toxicity.
Although not recognised as an essential nutrient, it is now known to be involved in a number of biological processes and may protect against heart disease.
Fluorine is found in soil and therefore in vegetables. Fluorine is also found in water and some areas supplement supplies.

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