Nutrition

Recommended iodine levels in salt and guidelines for monitoring their adequacy and effectiveness

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Authors:
World Health Organization, ICCIDD, UNICEF

Publication details

Number of pages: 9
Publication date: 1996
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/NUT/96.13

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Overview

Universal salt iodization is the recommended intervention for preventing and correcting iodine deficiency; substantial experience has been gained in the last decade in implementing this strategy and in assessing its impact on iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). A major achievement is the spectacular reduction of IDD in countries that have adopted appropriate measures.

However, it appears that there are some cases of unnecessarily high iodine intakes that may occasionally be associated with iodine-induced hyperthyroidism. For this reason, WHO, UNICEF and ICCIDD carried out a study in seven African countries to examine the relationship between salt iodization and population iodine status.

Previous recommendations for iodine levels in salt have been reexamined as a result of this study, and in the light of other recent technical and scientific developments. Based on this information, this document summarizes current WHO, UNICEF and ICCIDD recommendations concerning iodine levels in salt, risk of associated iodine-induced hyperthyroidism, and requirements for monitoring both iodine status and adequacy of iodine levels in salt.