Mandatory bread fortification increases iodine for pregnant and post-partum women

January 01, 0001

Mandatory bread fortification increases iodine for pregnant and post-partum women

Iodine deficiency has re-emerged in Australia. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need higher iodine intakes (estimated average requirements: 160 ìg/day and 190 ìg/day) than non-pregnant women (100 ìg/day) because iodine is critical for early infant development. Recent iodine analyses of Australian foods were combined with reported intakes of key foods to estimate iodine intake before and after fortification for 665 pregnant, 432 zero to 6 months postpartum, 467 seven to 12 months postpartum and 7324 non- pregnant women. Differences in mean iodine intake between these groups were projected onto National Nutrition Survey estimates of total iodine intake for women of child-bearing age.

Pregnant and postpartum women reported eating more bread than did non-pregnant women. Mean iodine intakes (ìg/day before vs after fortification) from key foods were higher in pregnant (78 vs 124), 0-6 months postpartum (75 vs123) and 7-12 months postpartum (71 vs 117) than in non-pregnant women (65 vs 103).

The researchers concluded: "Current iodine intakes are well below dietary recommendations. The impact of iodine fortification of bread would be greater for pregnant and postpartum women than has been previously estimated using general population intakes, but additional strategies to increase intakes by these groups are still needed."

It is difficult to know the generalizability of this study without knowing local conditions. Nor do we know if this figures are linked to adverse or improved outcomes within Australia.

For the full abstract, click here.

J Epidemiol Community Health published online 13 August 2010
© 2010 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
Estimating the impact of mandatory fortification of bread with iodine on pregnant and post-partum women. Dorothy Mackerras, Jennifer Powers, Julie Boorman, Deborah Loxton and Graham G Giles. Correspondence to Dorothy Mackerras: [email protected]

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional, W. Pregnancy/Childbirth/Family. Keywords: iodine, bread, fortification, mandatory, pregnant, post-partum, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 10 September 2010

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