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 microg of Zn per day on tamarind diet as compared to 23.39+/-3.68 mg of Mg and 331.78+/-35.31 microg 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.