Biochemistry and Nutrition - Upcoming Seminar
Mr. Yaniv Shlomo Ovadia, MSc RD
Iodine Deficiency and Public Health
new causes for an old concern?
Under the supervision of Prof. Aron Troen and Dr. Dov Gefel
PhD thesis final lecture abstract
Background: adequate iodine intake is essential for thyroid function
and human health throughout life. Iodine deficiency (ID) impairs human
health and function via diverse disorders, collectively named ID
disorder (IDD). These disorders also include goiter (at all ages) and
impaired intellectual potential (in children) even in mild ID areas.
ID is estimated to affect about third of the world's population and
recently has re-emerged in many industrialized countries, even those
performing national iodization programs; however, national data on
iodine status in Israel is lacking, although reports on endemic goiter
along with low iodine concentration of water sources in the north of
the country during previous century. Nowadays, Israelis are reliant on
iodine-depleted desalinated water, absent with any iodization program
and report of increased use of thyroid medication. Our preliminary
findings included local association between low iodine intake and
goiter as well as elevated serum thyroglobulin (Tg) values among
euthyroid adults exposed to iodine-diluted desalinated water.
Overall aim: to create an evidence base for iodine policy in Israel
and elsewhere; Findings: A) A novel evidence of prevalent probable IDD
in a population reliant on desalinated seawater; B) Mild ID in a
national geographic-representative sample of school aged children and
iodine insufficiency in a nationally-representative sample of pregnant
women by urine sampling via efficient and cost-saving method using a
centralized national laboratory; C) Israeli milk and dairy products
are iodine rich, but it is unlikely that population sufficiency can be
reached from diet alone without salt iodization.
Conclusions: Israel is an ID area and it population is at risk of IDD.
Our findings implies that it is likely that Israeli children are
achieving suboptimal intellectual potential mainly due to mild ID and
Israeli women are at risk of developing goiter. The evidence of heavy
national reliance on desalinated water in Israel, together with low
iodine intake from milk and dairy products among its population,
indicate that new causes might be involved in the old global public
health concern of ID and therefore IDD. Trends of increased use of
desalinated water elsewhere, along with the apparent decline in milk
and dairy products consumption (per capita) in industrialized
countries, highlights the need of implementation and adjustments of
iodine prophylaxis as well as frequent and routine monitoring of
iodine status in the public.
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