Effect of fluoride on the uteroplacental transfer of calcium and magnesium and their role in congenital anomalies in newborns
Introduction: Calcium and magnesium are one of the most important micronutrients for fetal development. Environmental pollutants like excess fluoride can hamper the action of calcium and magnesium resulting in a bad outcome of pregnancy.
Aim: We aimed to find out the effect of fluoride on the uteroplacental transfer of calcium and magnesium and the role of these minerals as a causative factor of congenital anomalies in newborns.
Materials and Methods: Out of 50, 25 newborns with congenital anomalies were included in group I and 25 healthy newborns were included in group II. Cord blood fluoride was estimated by the ion‑selective electrode while calcium and magnesium were estimated by the autoanalyzer. Unpaired ‘t’ test and Pearson’s correlation test were applied for statistical analysis.
Results: Serum fluoride levels were significantly raised and serum calcium levels and serum magnesium levels were significantly decreased in newborns with congenital anomalies as compared to newborns without congenital anomalies (P = 0.000). Serum fluoride levels showed a positive correlation with serum calcium in group II, which got inverted in group I. Both the results were statistically significant. Serum fluoride levels showed a positive correlation with serum magnesium levels in group II, which got inverted in group I. Both the results were statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: Hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia can affect fetal development. Environmental pollution due to fluorosis emerges as a factor as fluoride has a direct influence over calcium and magnesium absorption and transfer via the placenta to the developing fetus. Prophylactic measures have to be taken to counter the effect of fluorides on calcium and magnesium for proper development of the growing fetus.
Key words: Calcium; congenital anomalies; fluoride, magnesium; placental transfer.
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