Food and Behaviour Research

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Risk of suboptimal iodine intake in pregnant Norwegian women

Brantsaeter AL, Abel MH, Haugen M, Meltzer HM. (2013) Nutrients.  5(2) 424-40. doi: 10.3390/nu5020424. 

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Abstract:

Pregnant women and infants are exceptionally vulnerable to iodine deficiency. The aims of the present study were to estimate iodine intake, to investigate sources of iodine, to identify predictors of low or suboptimal iodine intake (defined as intakes below 100 μg/day and 150 μg/day) in a large population of pregnant Norwegian women and to evaluate iodine status in a sub-population. 

Iodine intake was calculated based on a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort.

The median iodine intake was 141 μg/day from food and 166 μg/day from food and supplements. Use of iodine-containing supplements was reported by 31.6%. The main source of iodine from food was dairy products, contributing 67% and 43% in non-supplement and iodine-supplement users, respectively.

Of 61,904 women, 16.1% had iodine intake below 100 μg/day, 42.0% had iodine intake below 150 μg/day and only 21.7% reached the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD recommendation of 250 μg/day.

Dietary behaviors associated with increased risk of low and suboptimal iodine intake were: no use of iodine-containing supplements and low intake of milk/yogurt, seafood and eggs. The median urinary iodine concentration measured in 119 participants (69 μg/L) confirmed insufficient iodine intake.

Public health strategies are needed to improve and secure the iodine status of pregnant women in Norway.

FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:

Similarly low iodine intakes are also found in UK women during pregnancy, and such mild-to-moderate deficiencies of this essential nutrient have now been linked with reduced IQ and reading in the resulting children. See: