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SALT and IODINE

OK.  Here is something you probably never thought of and were not worried about since the news has not picked up on it…. Yet.    IODINE!

 Iodine deficiency, termed iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs), include endemic goiter, hypothyroidism, cretinism, decreased fertility rate, increased infant mortality, and mental retardation.

 The natural sources of dietary iodine are saltwater fish, and seaweed(Yum!). In the United States, iodine has been voluntarily supplemented in table salt (70 mcg/g) since 1920. Salt was selected as the medium for iodine supplementation because intake is uniform across seasons of the year and across all socioeconomic strata costing $0.04 per person.  Other major sources of dietary iodine are egg yolks, milk, and milk products because of iodine supplementation in chicken feed and the treatment of milk cows. Iodine used to be in bread and one slice of bread gave you most of your iodine.  Then in the 1970s they started using Bromine instead of Iodine in bread. Since the 1970s there has been a steady decrease in dietary iodine because of the bread, decrease in the intake of salt and eggs, and the increase of non-iodine salt in fast foods. Tests of the general public show below normal urinary iodine in many people.

The upper limit of safe daily iodine intake is 1100 mcg/day for adults; it is lower for children.  Here are the normal recommended daily requirements.

Adults and adolescents - 150 mcg/day
Pregnant women - 220 mcg/day
Lactating women - 290 mcg/day
Children aged 1-11 years - 90-120 mcg/day
Infants - Adequate intake is 110-130 mcg/day

 Recent warnings about excessive salt intake in children have parents and some children and teens avoiding salt.  Some teens have reduced their salt so much that they have low blood pressure and have increased risk of fainting.  Many years ago the manufacturers took salt out of one of the baby formulas and the babies were damaged because they did not get enough salt.  So like everything else, we need a little but not too much.  Moderation!!! 

 I recommend children (and also adults) take a vitamin.  Flintstone chewables have iron and zinc and iodine… the things that we do not get enough of in our diet.  Gummy vitamins have no iron and very little zinc and iodine. Prenatal vitamins have iodine which is very important for the developing fetus.  So this is not something to worry about.  Just take a vitamin and worry more about our country.

 A CDC study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that about 90% of US children had sodium intakes higher than the recommended 1,900 mg to 2,300 mg per day, with those ages 14 to 18 having a daily salt consumption of 3,565 mg on average. The findings, based on 2011 to 2012 data involving more than 2,100 youths ages 6 to 18, also showed higher daily salt intake among boys and that foods bought at grocery stores accounted for 58% of children's daily sodium consumption.  Use salt but with moderation.