Iodine Global Network (IGN)

01.05.2009   IDD Newsletter 2/2009

In this issue:
  • Cambodia
  • Pollin Prize
  • Pakistan
  • Iodine Safety Declaration
  • Thailand
  • History of Iodine Research
  • Kosovo
  • Biofortification
  • Meetings and Announcements
  • Abstracts


Cambodia closes inon IDD elimination

(Ping Sivlay, Chan Puong Vatnana, Un Sam Oeurn, Gregory Gerasimov and Cres Eastman)
IDD has long been a significant public health problem in Cambodia. The Royal Government of Cambodia initiated a National Sub-Committee for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders in 1996 to fight this problem, focusing on Universal SaltIodization (USI) as the primary strategy to improve iodine status ...

Pollin Prize awarded to BasilHetzel for his pioneering workon IDD

The 2009 Pollin Prize for Researchin Pediatrics has been awarded to Basil S.Hetzel, M.D. for his discovery that maternal iodine deficiency can cause brain damage in newborns. It is estimated that Dr. Hetzel’s work has protectednearly 80 million newborns frombrain damage, and saved over one billion intelligence quotient points ...

Did universal salt iodization helpreduce the infant mortality ratein Nigeria?

(Daniel N. Lantum)
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Between 1995 and 2006, the infantmortality rate in Nigeria decreased from114‰ to 99‰. Although many factors contributed to the reduction in the infantmortality rate during this period, it is likelythat IDD elimination played a role, as severe iodine deficiency may increase infantmortality. At the 2007 Micronutrient Forum Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, Nigeria was honored with the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) certification award, in recognition of the nation’s pragmatic approach in combating endemic IDD through an aggressive salt iodization program ...

Severe IDD in pregnancy in Northern Pakistan: a sentinel study

(Hamida Ali, Peerzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Junaid Mahmood Alamand Tehseen, H Kazmi and Ghulam Mehdi)
According to the WHO Global Databaseon Iodine Deficiency, Pakistan is a country struggling with severe iodine deficiency. In 1993-1994, a national survey ofiodine status found a median urinary iodine concentration (UI) of 16 ug/L and 90.4% of the population had a UI <100ug/L. The total goiter prevalence was estimated to be 85%. About 17% of households were using iodized salt and 128 million people in Pakistan were at risk ofiodine deficiency ...

Importance and Safety of Optimizing Iodine Nutrition

Iodine deficiency is still prevalent world-wide. It can lead to goiter, thyroid dysfunction and is the main preventablecause of mental retardation globally ...

Urinary iodine concentrations indicate iodine deficiency in pregnant Thai women but iodinesufficiency in their school-aged children

(Sueppong Gowachirapant )
The median urinary iodine concentration (UI) in school-aged children is recommended for assessment of iodine nutrition inpopulations. If the median UI is adequate inschool-aged children, it is usually assumediodine intakes are also adequate in theremaining population, including pregnantwomen. But iodine requirements are sharply increased during pregnancy. Recommendediodine intakes during pregnancy are 250ug/d compared to 150 µg/d for nonpregnant women. The corresponding medianurinary iodine concentration (UI) that indicates optimal iodine nutrition increases from100-199 ug/L in non pregnant women to150-250 ug/L during pregnancy ...

Research on iodine deficiencyand goiter in the 19th andearly 20th century

(Michael B. Zimmermann)
In 1811, France was at war, and Bernard Courtois was producing saltpeter for gun-powder for Napoleon’s army. He was burning seaweed to isolate sodium bicarbonate, and when he added sulfuric acid to theash he produced an intense violet vaporthat crystallized on cold surfaces. He sentthe crystals to Gay-Lussac, who subsequently identified it as a new element, and named it iodine, from the Greek for‘violet’ ...

Progress towards eliminationof IDD in Kosovo

(Tahire Maloku–Gjergji, Ilirjana Zymberaj, Agron Gashi and Frits van der Haar)
Kosovo is a small landlocked territory of 10,908 km2 in the center of the Balkan Peninsula with a population of approx. 2.1 million. Kosovo is divided into six regions and 30 municipalities. The capital city is Prishtina. Iodine deficiency has been historically present, with especially high goitre rates in Western Kosovo (Deçan, Peja, Gjakova and Prizren), ranging from 30 to 60%. All salt is imported in Kosovo...

Iodine biofortification of plants: an ‘alternative’ to iodized salt?

A low dose of iodine can stimulate the growth of plants. Small doses may also enhance the antoxidant content – a favorable effect for both crops and consumers. But there is another reason for the growing interest in plant iodine nutrition: food biofortification to control iodine deficiency.Biofortification of staple food crops with micronutrients by either breeding for higher uptake efficiency or fertilization can be an effective strategy to address widespread dietary deficiency inhuman populations. But is iodine biofortification realistic? Expert views on this potential ‘alternative’ to iodized salt differ greatly. The following article summarizes recent discussion in this area ...