Physical exercise ameliorates the toxic effect of fluoride on the insulin-glucose system

J Endocrinol. 2013 Jun 1;218(1):99-103. doi: 10.1530/JOE-13-0067. Print 2013 Jul.


Daily intake of water with fluoride concentrations >1.5 mg/l produces insulin resistance (IR). On the other hand, physical activity increases insulin sensitivity in the muscle. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of physical activity on IR in rats treated with sodium fluoride (NaF) in drinking water. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups (n=10/group): Control (drinking water without NaF), NaF (drinking water with NaF 15 mg/l for 30 days), and Exercise (daily running on a treadmill for 60 min at 2.25 m/min and drinking water with NaF 15 mg/l for 30 days). IR was evaluated with the homeostasis model assessment-IR (HOMA-IR) index using fasting plasma levels of glucose and insulin. IR increased in rats treated with 15 mg/l NaF in drinking water. A decrease in IR was observed in rats that performed physical activity and drank water with 15 mg/l NaF; the Exercise group also showed an increase in the amounts of bone fluoride. The variation in the HOMA-IR values could be the consequence of variation in the sensitivity of tissues to insulin or decrease in plasma fluoride levels due to bone fluoride intake. These findings indicate that the performance of daily physical activity could reduce the negative effects of the chronic ingestion of NaF on glucose homeostasis.

Keywords: HOMA-IR; fluoride; glucose; insulin resistance; physical exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cariostatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cariostatic Agents / analysis
  • Cariostatic Agents / metabolism
  • Cariostatic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Femur / chemistry
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Motor Activity*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium Fluoride / adverse effects*
  • Sodium Fluoride / analysis
  • Sodium Fluoride / blood
  • Sodium Fluoride / pharmacokinetics
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sodium Fluoride