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Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans


Objective: To evaluate the effect of tamarind (Tamarindus indicus) ingestion on excretion of fluoride in school children.

Design: Randomized, diet-control study.

Subject: Twenty healthy boys were included and 18 of them completed the study.

Interventions: Each subject consumed 10 g tamarind daily with lunch for 18 days at the social welfare boys' hostel. The nutrient composition of the daily diet was constant throughout the experimental period.

Results: Tamarind intake led to significant increase (P<0.001) in the excretion of fluoride in 24 h urine (4.8±0.22 mg/day) as compared to excretion on control diet (3.5±0.22 mg/day). However, excretion of magnesium and zinc decreased significantly (7.11±1.48 mg of Mg and 252.88±12.84 µg of Zn per day on tamarind diet as compared to 23.39±3.68 mg of Mg and 331.78±35.31 µg Zn per day on control diet). Excretion of calcium and phosphorous were not significantly different while creatinine excretion decreased with tamarind intake (225.66±81 mg creatinine/day with tamarind and 294.5±78.76 mg creatinine/day without tamarind).

Conclusion: Tamarind intake is likely to help in delaying progression of fluorosis by enhancing urinary excretion of fluoride.

Sponsorship: National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India (ICMR).

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Khandare, A., Rao, G. & Lakshmaiah, N. Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, 82–85 (2002).

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