Iodine Global Network (IGN)

Most US prenatal multivitamins lack iodine: NEJM letter

ICCIDD Board member Elizabeth Pearce of the Boston University Medical Center reports in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that 51% of US prenatal multivitamins contain NO iodine. This despite the fact that prenatal iodine nutrition is the key to avoiding IDD.

"Using the Internet, they identified 223 brands of prenatal multivitamins currently marketed in the United States, 127 prescription and 96 nonprescription brands. Only 114 contained iodine: 87 of the nonprescription and 27 of the prescription brands.

"Of these, 101, or 89%, contained 150 µg or more of iodine per daily dose, at least according to their labels. However, that was not what the researchers found when they actually measured iodine content.

"The mean level of measured iodine per daily dose in 35 brands containing potassium iodide as the iodine source was 119.0 + 13.6 µg. 'Potassium iodide contains 76% iodide,' they note. 'Thus, the measured iodine content was approximately equivalent to 76% of the total potassium-iodide content.'

"Conversely, the measured iodine levels in 25 brands using kelp as the iodine source ranged from 33 µg to 610 µg per daily dose. There were 13 brands that contained levels that were discordant by 50% or more with the values on the label; 10 of these had levels that were lower by 50% or more."


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