Fluoride was once was once given to osteoporosis patients because it strongly stimulates the formation of new bone. However, follow up studies indicated that the bone produced in patients treated with high doses of fluoride was weaker than normal and susceptible to fracture, so the use of fluoride was eventually stopped in the United States.
A recent study from a medical group in Denmark reports that using lower, less toxic, doses of fluoride and shorter treatment plans than those used in previous studies can produce strong bones and protect women against spine and hip fractures.
Many doctors in the US feel that more studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of low doses of fluoride either alone or in combination with other osteoporosis treatments. While studies are ongoing, fluoride currently is not a FDA approved treatment for osteoporosis in the US.
2007. Vestergaard, P. et al. “Effects of treatment with fluoride on bone minderal density an fracture risk,” Osteoporosis Int. http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/PaperFrameSet?OpenForm&refid=2&id=48dde4a73e09a969852568880078c249&c=&newsid=852571020057CCF68525733D0029B334&u=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=17701094&r
2001. Highlights of an earlier report stating that low-dose fluoride treatment, in combination with calicium and vitamin D, can prevent osteoporosis-related fractures: “Researchers Study Use of Sodium Fluoride in Osteoporosis Treatment,” Dallas Business News. http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2001/10/22/daily51.html
WebMd, 2006. A physician describes the treatments he recommends to osteoporosis patients: “Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment,” MedicineNet. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6861&page=2
Higdon, J., 2007. Background information on fluoride-- it’s uses, sources and recommended daily intake: “Fluoride,” Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/fluoride/