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Open Access Decision to fluoridate. 1. Fluoride levels in herbal teas used in Lebanese communities

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This study assessed fluoride levels in herbal teas available in the Lebanese market, taking into consideration methods of preparation and time. The fluoride contents of two-minute decoctions prepared from 25 different brands of herbal teas were measured. Only tea and maté were prepared as infusions, and decoctions were prepared from tea, anise, mint, and mixed herbs (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 minutes). For two-minute decoctions, fluoride concentrations ranged from 0.620 to 1.680 mg/L for tea (mean, 0.955 mg/L), 0.056 to 0.060 mg/L for anise (mean, 0.058), 0.030 to 0.037 mg/L for mint (mean, 0.033), 0.010 to 0.068 mg/L for mixed herbs (mean, 0.039), and 0.143 to 0.185 mg/L for maté (mean, 0.160). More fluoride was leached in tea decoctions than in infusions with the same preparation time. Leaching of fluoride reached a maximum after boiling for 10 minutes for tea, mint, and mixed herbs; boiling for 3 minutes for anise; and five runs for maté. Fluoride levels were highest in tea decoctions, followed by mixed herbs, anise, and mint. These findings point to the importance of considering fluoride levels from herbal teas in the overall determination of fluoride intake. In addition, such studies enrich databases required when considering fluoridation as a policy issue.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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