The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Iodine in Dairy: The Neglected Nutrient in Dairy

Iodine in dairy: The neglected nutrient in dairy

Insufficient intake of iodine remains a public health concern in many countries across the world and affects both industrialised and developing nations. Iodine is critically important for normal growth and neurological and brain development in children, and is also essential for normal metabolism, hormonal function and thyroid activity. Notable dietary sources of iodine include milk and dairy products, fish and iodised salt, the use of which is required by law in South Africa. However, the reduction in salt intake currently encouraged to curb the development of hypertension and its associated health risks may result in a considerable reduction in iodine intake and so lead to potential iodine deficiencies. Milk and dairy products as part of a healthy, balanced diet may therefore become increasingly important sources of iodine. Continued monitoring of the intake of dietary iodine is advised to ensure sufficient iodine status, especially among vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and infants.

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