e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Iodization of salt

Iodine is essential for healthy brain development in the fetus and young child. Iodine deficiency negatively affects the health of women, as well as economic productivity and quality of life.

Most people need an additional source of iodine as it is found in relatively small amounts in the diet. Iodization is the process of fortifying salt for human consumption with iodine and is an effective strategy to increase iodine intake at the population level.

The public health goals of reducing salt and increasing iodine intake through salt iodization are compatible as the concentration of iodine in salt can be adjusted as needed. Monitoring the levels of iodine in salt and the iodine status of the population are critical for ensuring that the population's needs are met and not exceeded.

WHO recommendation

Universal salt iodization is the recommended intervention for preventing and correcting iodine deficiency.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

23 October 2014 12:33 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee