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Wednesday 26th June 2019

Iodine deficiency concern in UK

12th April 2011

Researchers have warned that iodine deficiency is an increasing problem in the UK and fortifying salt with iodine could help.

salt and sugar

The study, which was carried out for the British Thyroid Association, found that two-thirds of teenage girls were deficient in iodine.

The researchers studied 737 girls from nine UK centres in London, Belfast, Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham, Dundee, Exeter, Cardiff and Aberdeen.

Almost 70% of the samples were deficient in iodine and one fifth showed extremely low iodine levels.

The researchers said further investigation was necessary in order to discover how widespread the problem was.

Many EU countries fortify salt with iodine, but in the UK it is not mandatory for manufacturers to add it to their products.

Dr Mark Vanderpump, who carried out the study, spoke at a meeting of the Society for Endocrinology: "Our data suggest the UK is now iodine deficient, warranting a full investigation of the UK iodine status. We need to look into this now to decide whether public health bodies need to step in."

He added: "One cup of milk gives you about 50% of your daily iodine needs. And tests on milk show that its composition has not really changed, so it must be that children are drinking less milk than before. That's what we suspect."


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