Previous data have indicated low bone formation as a mechanism of osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease. Fluoride can stimulate bone formation.


To assess the effect of fluoride supplementation on lumbar spine bone mineral density in osteoporotic patients with inflammatory bowel disease treated in parallel with calcium and vitamin D.


In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, parallel and placebo-controlled study, 94 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (lumbar spine T score below − 2 standard deviations, normal serum 25OH vitamin D), with a median age of 35 years, were included. Bone mineral density was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Patients were randomized to receive daily either sodium monofluorophosphate (150 mg, n=45) or placebo (n=49) for 1 year, and all received calcium (1 g) and vitamin D (800 IU). The relative change in bone mineral density from 0 to 12 months was tested in each group (fluoride or placebo) and compared between the groups.


Lumbar spine bone mineral density increased significantly in both groups after 1 year: 4.8 ± 5.6% (n=29) and 3.2 ± 3.8% (n=31) in the calcium–vitamin D–fluoride and calcium–vitamin D–placebo groups, respectively (P < 0.001 for each group). There was no difference between the groups (P=0.403). Similar results were observed according to corticosteroid intake or disease activity.


Calcium and vitamin D seem to increase lumbar spine density in osteoporotic patients with inflammatory bowel disease; fluoride does not provide further benefit.