Iodine Global Network (IGN)

03.03.2014   IDD Newsletter 1/2014

In this issue:
  • Iodine in lactation
  • Madagascar
  • Australia
  • US economy
  • Atacama desert
  • Ghana
  • Belarus
  • UK
  • Somalia
  • Meetings and Announcements
  • Abstracts


Iodine supplementation of lactating women and infants in Morocco

(Excerpted from: Bouhouch R et al.)
A new Moroccan study shows that a single capsule of iodized oil given to lactating mothers in the first month postpartum is passed on through breast milk and covers infant iodine needs during the first year...

Reinvigorating Madagascar’s USI program

(Pieter Jooste)
Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of southeast Africa, has population of ca. 22 million, of which 41% are aged less than 15 years. 92% of the population lives on less than US$2 per day and stunting affects more than 40% of children. In addition, the country is frequently hit by natural hazards such as cyclones and floods. The island is also historically iodine deficient. The total goiter rate among 6-12 year old children decreased after the launch of the IDD control project in Madagascar in 1995, falling from 45% in 1992 to 6% in 2001 (sentinel sites) and 3.4% in 2004 (DHS)...

Iodized salt in bread improves iodine nutrition in Australia

(Mu Li, Creswell J. Eastman and Gary Ma)
There has not been any regular, national surveillance program of iodine nutrition in Australia, but some States, such as Tasmania, have regularly surveyed schoolchildren by testing urinary iodine levels. It has generally been believed that the Australian population was iodine replete, with data showing average urinary iodine levels in excess of...

Introduction of iodized salt in the 1920s boosted the US economy

(Excerpted from: Nisen M)
It is estimated that the widespread addition of iodine to salt beginning in 1924 increased IQ in America by as much as 15 points. But along with improved health outcomes, adding iodine to salt also helped boost the U.S. economy. For the generation that followed those born pre-iodization, labor force participation increased by 1% and high school completion rates jumped by 2%, according to a new paper from U.S. researchers at the University of Michigan...

Where do we get the iodine to iodize salt? The ‚white gold‘ of the Atacama Desert

(Excerpted from: Becky Oskin)
Most of the iodine used to iodize salt world-wide originates in the driest, highest desert on Earth, Chile‘s Atacama Desert. It holds the world‘s richest iodine and nitrate deposits. However, the source of the massive mineral drifts has long remained a mystery. Glowing white as they bake on the desert surface, the Atacama mineral belt is 700 kilometers long and 20 km wide. The iodine is either in crunchy surface deposits called caliche — crusts formed by evaporation — or found in veins in bedrock...

Ghana launches a new advocacy campaign on USI

(Samuel Gbogbo)
A national launch of the new communication and advocacy campaign on universal salt iodization in Ghana was held in Accra on 10th October 2013. The launch was convened by the Nutrition Department/Ghana Health Service, with funding from UNICEF, and included about 160 participants...

Belarus celebrates a superb sustained USI program

(Sergei Petrenko, Tatiana Mokhort, Gregory Gerasimov)
At the initiative of the Belarus Ministry of Health, legislation passed in April 2001 “On the Prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders” stipulated that only iodized salt could be used in the manufacture of processed foods (except seafood) and in all education and health facilities. The sale of non-iodized salt was not prohibited, but all retail food outlets were required to have iodized salt available for consumers. The Centers of Hygiene and Epidemiology were committed to conducting the regular monitoring of the quality of iodized salt...

Low iodine intakes in U.K. pregnant women

(Excerpts from an interview with Dr. Sarah Bath and Prof. Margaret Rayman)
Why are we concerned about iodine status in pregnancy? Iodine, as a component of the thyroid hormones, is required for brain development, particularly in the fetus, therefore an adequate intake of iodine is very important during pregnancy. The WHO iodine requirement for pregnant women is nearly double that of non-pregnant adults...

Somalia’s groundwater is surprisingly high in iodine

(Excerpted from: Kassim IAR et al.)
Somalia lies at the northeast tip of Africa and currently comprises the semiautonomous zones of the Northwest Zone (Somaliland), Northeast Zone (Puntland) and the war-ravaged South Central Zone. Since 1991, Somalia has lacked an effective central government. A high and persistent level of internal conflict and incursions by foreign governments has contributed to a series of health and nutrition crises (1). Until recently, little was known about the iodine nutrition of the Somali population. It was generally assumed that iodine deficiency was a public health problem in Somalia due to the limited access to iodized salt...