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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 8;16(5). pii: E856. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16050856.

The Contribution of Fluoride to the Pathogenesis of Eye Diseases: Molecular Mechanisms and Implications for Public Health.

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EnviroManagement Services, 11 Riverview, Doherty's Rd, Bandon, P72 YF10 Co. Cork, Ireland.


This study provides diverse lines of evidence demonstrating that fluoride (F) exposure contributes to degenerative eye diseases by stimulating or inhibiting biological pathways associated with the pathogenesis of cataract, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. As elucidated in this study, F exerts this effect by inhibiting enolase, τ-crystallin, Hsp40, Na⁺, K⁺-ATPase, Nrf2, γ -GCS, HO-1 Bcl-2, FoxO1, SOD, PON-1 and glutathione activity, and upregulating NF-κB, IL-6, AGEs, HsP27 and Hsp70 expression. Moreover, F exposure leads to enhanced oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant activity. Based on the evidence presented in this study, it can be concluded that F exposure may be added to the list of identifiable risk factors associated with pathogenesis of degenerative eye diseases. The broader impact of these findings suggests that reducing F intake may lead to an overall reduction in the modifiable risk factors associated with degenerative eye diseases. Further studies are required to examine this association and determine differences in prevalence rates amongst fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities, taking into consideration other dietary sources of F such as tea. Finally, the findings of this study elucidate molecular pathways associated with F exposure that may suggest a possible association between F exposure and other inflammatory diseases. Further studies are also warranted to examine these associations.


BCL-2; FoxO proteins; IL-6; NF-kB; Na+, K+-ATPase; Nrf2; age-related macular degeneration; cataract; diabetes; down syndrome; fluoride; glaucoma; heat shock proteins; molecular mechanisms; schizophrenia

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