In higher fluoride areas, Vitamin C increases fluoride excretion
and normalizes soft and hard tissue fluoride levels
and thus prevents the development of fluorosis. FLUORIDATION AND VITAMIN C by
John A. Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D. (1943-2000)
The National Health Federation P.O. Box 688, Monrovia, California 91017 e-mail: email@example.com Washington, D.C., 20002
Abstract: Vitamin C plays an important role in the orderly deposition of fluoride into various tissues. In higher fluoride areas, Vitamin C increases fluoride excretion and normalizes soft and hard tissue fluoride levels and thus prevents the development of fluorosis. At lower fluoride levels, Vitamin C increases the incorporation of fluoride into teeth. Fluoridation of water systems in not the solution to optimal incorporation of fluoride into teeth; in cases of Vitamin C deficiency, fluoridation may lead to fluorosis.
– 7 August 1974 –
While fluoridation of public water systems has been advocated and encouraged by the national and state public health services, a number of questions concerning the need to add fluoride to public waters have gone unanswered.
Mother’s milk, containing as little as 0.01 to 0.05 ppm fluoride confers as much caries resistance on the child as other infants consuming 1 to 2 ppm fluoride present in commercially prepared formulas (1, 2).
In unfluoridated areas, containing natural fluoride levels of 0.1 to 0.5 ppm and even less, there exists a certain part of the population that are free of caries. In fact, in Nigeria, a population has been found where over 98% of the population is caries free and the fluoride level in their water is within the above range (3).
In a study at Great Lakes Naval Base, the previous life-long residence of caries-free recruits, were examined to determine if any trace elements could be correlated with the low incidence of caries.
The level of fluoride in the drinking water was not implicated.
It has also been noticed that primitive areas in which the people of the area eat unrefined food have a relatively low caries rate as compared to later when these areas became “civilized” and their diets begin to consist of more refined foods.
In these cases, caries rates often soar and addition of fluoride to the water supply is unable to restore the previous caries rate (5, 6, 7).
In areas and among people where nutrition is poor, mottling is observed at levels below the 1 ppm level used to fluoridate public water systems (at levels as low as 0.4 ppm fluoride).
This has been noticed in India (8) as well as among American Negroes whose mottling rate, in the 1-ppm range is higher than that of whites in the same area.
In a comprehensive study in Japan, the fluoride levels associated with the lowest incidence of caries ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 ppm (9).
In the 1930’s it was found that the ingestion of fluoride causes scurvy-like symptoms and that this was associated with a decrease in the Vitamin C levels of various tissues. Similarities in the symptoms of scurvy and mild fluorosis were also observed (10, 11).
In 1954, in an area containing 0.34 to 0.8 ppm fluoride in the water, 23% of the children 4-7 years old exhibited mottling (dental fluorosis). The Vitamin C contents in blood for normal children (without mottling) averaged 0.78 mg %. In the mottled enamel group, the blood Vitamin C levels of most children were extremely low (0.15 to 0.3 mg % in 29%, and 0.0 to 0.15 mg % in 31%. Treatment of these subjects with Vitamin C brought substantial improvement (12).
In 1964-65, the death rate of guinea pig population in Australia had reached epidemic proportion. (The Guinea pig is the only non-primate known that cannot synthesize its own Vitamin C). This death rate was eventually attributed to slightly higher levels of fluoride in feed pellets. Symptoms of sub-acute Vitamin C deficiency were observed. Fluorosis was diagnosed as the cause of death (13). In rats and mice (both of which synthesize their own Vitamin C, no such death rate was reported. U.S.P.H.S. [United States Public Health Service] experiments are performed with rats – they do not use guinea pigs (14). Both in the U.S. (15) and Russia (16) Vitamin C is recognized as being capable of retarding the development of fluorosis.
In guinea pigs exposed to fluoride, Vitamin C was found to normalize altered blood Ca, P, and sugar levels, as well as fluoride levels and ash contents in teeth and bone, and fat glycogen, and fluoride levels in the liver. Fed to men exposed to elevated fluoride uptakes, 100mg of Vitamin C increased the excretion of fluoride from 3-5.5 mg/day to 6-8.5 mg/day (17).
Most important, however, are the following findings:
1.) in guinea pig, fluoride added to the diet cannot make teeth more insoluble (caries-resistant) than the addition of Vitamin C to the diet and-
2.) in low fluoride areas, dietary supplementation with Vitamin C leads to fluoride deposition in teeth equal to the of higher fluoride areas (18, 19).
In conclusion, it appears that Vitamin C is and essential factor in the deposition of fluoride in, as well as the exclusion of fluoride from, various tissues in the body.
While increased fluoride in teeth had been correlated to caries-resistant of teeth, adequate Vitamin C levels in the diet in areas of 0.1 to 0.5 ppm fluoride (and even 0.01 to 0.05 ppm in the nursing infant) leads to adequate uptake by the teeth. Indeed in animals that manufacture there own Vitamin C (e.g. rats), Fluoride is found not to have a caries protective effect until it reaches levels of 10-20 ppm (14); at these levels it acts as a strong antibacterial in the mouth.
The indiscriminate fluoridation of water systems is not the solution to the problems of tooth decay. In the absence of sufficient Vitamin C, fluoridation will lead to Vitamin C depletion, dental fluorosis, and to abnormal levels of metabolites in blood tissues.
Adequate intake of Vitamin C may explain why people or populations in low fluoride areas can be caries-free.
(1) Y. Ericsson, U. Ribelius, Caries Research 5, 78 (1971);
(2) F.J. McClure, Personal communication.
(3) A. Sheiham, British Dental Journal 123, 144 (1967;
(18) D. J. Thompson, P. H. Phillips, J. Dent. Res. 45, 845 (1966);
(19) D. Triers, C.G. Elliott, M.D. Smith, J. K. Dent. Res. 47, 1171 (1968);
(20) W. Buttner, Advances in fluorine Research and Dental Caries Prevention, J. L. Hardwick, H.R.Held, K.G. Konig, Ed. (New York Pergamon Press, 1965) pp. 19-30;
(21) Hardwick & Bunting, J. Dent. Res. 50 (Supplement, Pt. 1), 1212 (1971)
MORE ON VITAMIN ‘C’ DEFICIENCY & FLUORIDE
It is also worth noting the link between fluoride and other micronutrients; in particular Vitamin C. – Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans and is required by the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. It also aids in the absorption of iron.
It has been documented that in the absence of sufficient Vitamin C, water fluoridation will lead to Vitamin C depletion, dental fluorosis and to abnormal levels of metabolites in blood tissues. Animal studies have also demonstrated the link between Vitamin C and fluoride intake. The findings of this latter study support the previous observations noted by Yiamouyiannis.
This fact should be of particular interest to the Irish health authority as a national health survey has documented the inadequacy of Vitamin C intake in boys and girls aged from 5 to 12 years in Ireland. A more recent study among adults aged 65 years and over, similarly showed a low intake of Vitamin C in addition to inadequate intakes of calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Alarmingly, it is possible that water fluoridation may itself be contributing to Vitamin C depletion as well as dental fluorosis in Ireland. Interestingly, it has also been observed that in low fluoride areas, dietary supplementation with Vitamin C leads to fluoride deposition in teeth equal to that of higher fluoride areas with water fluoridation., It is plausible therefore, to assume, that exposure to fluoride compounds in drinking water may increase the associated risk of Vitamin C depletion, a contributory factor associated in the development of both dental fluorosis and periodontal disease.
Indeed the coexistence of fluorosis and signs of Vitamin C deficiency have been reported, and it has been suggested that low concentrations of Vitamins A, C and D tend to worsen the symptoms of fluorosis and accelerate the development of fluoride toxicosis.
1. 449 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research↵
2. 450 Vitamin C and Fluoridation- John A. Yiamouyiannis Ph.D.↵
3. 451 Verma RJ, Sherlin DM , Fluoride and Vitamin C, Human & Experimental Toxicology, 2001 Dec;20(12):619-23.↵
4. 452 Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA), 2001, Adequacy of micronutrient Intakes in Ireland, Results from the National Food Consumption Surveys,↵
6. 454 D. J. Thompson, P. H. Phillips, Journal of Dental Research. 45, 845 (1966).↵
7. 455 D. Triers, C.G. Elliott, M.D. Smith, J. K. Dent. Res. 47, 1171 (1968).↵
8. 456 Krishnamachari K. A. V. R, and Laxmaiah N., Lack of effect of massive dose of vitamin C on fluoride excretion in fluorosis during a short clinical trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 28: November 1975, pp. 1234-1236.↵
9. 457 Pandit, C. G., I. N. S. Raghavachari, D. S. Rao And V. Krishnamurthy. Endemic fluorosis in South India. A study of the factors involved in the production of mottled anamel in children and severe bone manifestations in adults. Indian J. Med. Res. 28: 559, 1940.↵
Guinea pigs have a requirement for vitamin C,
because they can not manufacture or store vitamin C
(lack of the enzyme L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase). ( THE SAME AS US HUMANS )
…Then I happened across a report on fluoride and it’s negative effecton collagen synthesis. I immediately switched to water without fluorideand the results were magical.
This may be unique to my chemistry.But given the volume of research,
it might be worth recommending…
It has been said that the greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. Too often the things we think we know obstruct the things we need to learn.