World Iodine Deficiency Day
- World Iodine Deficiency Day observed
on 21st October aims
to create awareness of the use of iodine and highlights the consequence of
- Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD)
is caused due to lack of iodine in the diet and
- About 72 percent of the world's
population is iodine deficient
- Consuming foods rich in iodine and
adding iodine to salt can prevent and control iodine deficiency.
is observed every year on 21st October
and is otherwise known as Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD)
Prevention Day. This day aims to create
awareness among the general
public of the adequate use of iodine in everyday life and also highlights the
consequence of iodine deficiency.
The only organization that concentrates on the deficiency of iodine
is the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders
(ICCIDD). It plays a major role in the promotion and success of Global Iodine
‘Iodine deficient diet can lead to mental retardation, goiter, or thyroid disorders. Iodized salt is the most effective preventive measure used to control iodine deficiency.’
Globally, iodine deficiency disorders
have become a public health problem. Nearly, one-third
of the world's
population is at the risk of developing iodine deficiency disorders, and
according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 54 countries are still iodine deficient.
Iodine Deficiency Disorder
Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD
) is caused due to lack of
iodine in the diet and may lead to abnormality of the
thyroid gland, i.e., the development of goiter and hypothyroidism
Insufficient amounts of iodine in the diet can cause many problems.
For example, severe iodine deficiency in pregnant women can permanently harm
the fetus, as it can cause stunted growth, mental retardation, and delayed
Less severe iodine deficiency causes lower-than-average IQ in
infants and children and reduces the ability to work in adults. Goiter
is often the
first visible sign of iodine deficiency.
Functions of IodineIodine is an essential micro-nutrient
which is important for the production of thyroid hormones.
The body's metabolism and many other functions like bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy are controlled by these thyroid hormones. Some of the functions are listed below:
1. Aids in Fetal and Infant
Pregnant and nursing women need iodine for
the growth and development of their babies. Breastfed infants receive iodine
from breast milk, which depends on the iodine intake of the mother. Women
during pregnancy require 150 µg of iodine daily.
2. Improves Cognitive
Function during Childhood
Severe iodine deficiency during childhood can lead to harmful
effects on the development of the brain and nervous system. Iodine supplements
can help children improve their physical development, reasoning ability, and
overall cognitive function.
3. Prevents Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Fibrocystic breast disease affects women of reproductive age and
sometimes can occur even during menopause causing painful, and lumpy breasts.
Iodine supplements taken in high doses can reduce the pain and other symptoms.
However, consulting a physician before taking the supplementation is necessary.
Radiation-induced Thyroid Cancer Risk
Individuals with iodine deficiency, when exposed to radioactive
iodine, are at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (USFDA) approved potassium iodide
as a thyroid-blocking agent, which aids in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer
in radiation emergencies.
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Iodine
The average daily recommended amount varies depending on age. The
amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg).
|Birth to 6 months
|Infants 7-12 months
|Children 1-8 years
|Children 9-13 years
|Teens 14-18 years
||Pregnant teens and women
||Breastfeeding teens and women
of Iodine Deficiency
Iodine plays a significant role in neurological and endocrine
development, and lack of iodine in the diet can lead to mental
, goiter, or
thyroid disease. Iodine deficiency can be easily corrected. Consuming foods
rich in iodine on an everyday basis can help reduce and prevent iodine
deficiency. Iodine is most widely found in table salt.
Food Sources of Iodine
Iodine is naturally available in some foods. Foods that are rich in
iodine include the following:
- Fish such as cod and tuna,
seaweed, shrimp, and other seafoods
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt,
- Grains such as bread and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Iodized salt
The National Health Ministers Research Council, (NHMRC) recommends all
pregnant and lactating women
to take iodine supplementation, as part of
their daily routine
International health agencies WHO, UNICEF and ICCIDD recommend that
all salt in the diet should be iodized, which is known as Universal Salt
Many multivitamin-mineral supplements contain iodine, and dietary
supplements of iodine-containing kelp
(seaweed) are also available.
Facts about Iodine Deficiency
- Nearly, 72 percent of the world's
population is iodine deficient
- In 2013, more than 35 million
newborns were at risk of IDD worldwide
- Sub-Saharan Africa has more than
14 million newborns at risk of IDD, followed by South Asia (11 million)
- During pregnancy, women need about
50 percent more iodine
- Currently, about 70 percent of
households use iodized salt globally
Insufficient iodine in the diet can lead to Iodine Deficiency
Disorder (IDD). Adding iodine to salt is the most widely used preventive
measure to control iodine deficiency. References :
- Iodine - (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-Consumer/)
- Iodine Deficiency & Nutrition - (https://www.thyroidfoundation.org.au/page/13/iodine-nutrition-iodine-deficiency)
- Adequately iodized salt can protect children from brain damage, but only three quarters of the world's households are using it - (https://data.unicef.org/topic/nutrition/iodine-deficiency/)
- WHO Global Database on Iodine Deficiency - (http://www.who.int/vmnis/iodine/en/)