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Iodine deficiency is when there is not enough iodine in the body. Iodine is an essential trace element. The thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodotyronine have iodine. In areas where marine food is not eaten, there is low iodine in the diet. This causes iodine deficiency which gives rise to goiter (so-called endemic goiter), as well as cretinism, which results in developmental delays and other health problems. The Lancet has said, "According to WHO, in 2007, nearly 2 billion individuals had insufficient iodine intake, a third being of school age. ... Thus iodine deficiency, as the single greatest preventable cause of mental retardation, is an important public-health problem." Iodine deficiency causes diseases of the oral and salivary glands.
In these areas,small amounts of iodine to table salt in form of sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and/or potassium iodate is added. This helps preventing iodine deficiency. This product is known as iodized salt. Iodine compounds have also been added to other foods. This includes flour, water and milk in areas of deficiency. Seafood is also a well known source of iodine. Thus, iodine deficiency is more common in mountainous regions of the world where food is grown in soil poor in iodine.
- The Lancet (12 July 2008). "Iodine deficiency—way to go yet". The Lancet 372 (9633): 88. . . http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)61009-0/fulltext. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- Venturi, S.; Venturi, M. (2009). "Iodine in evolution of salivary glands and in oral health". Nutrition and health 20 (2): 119–134. . .
- François Delange, Basil Hetzel. "The Iodine Deficiency Disorders". Thyroid Disease Manager. http://www.thyroidmanager.org/Chapter20/20-frame.htm.
- Iodine in Seaweed
- International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders
- Can Africa meet the goal of eliminating iodine-deficiency disorders by the year 2000?
- Kotwal A, Priya R, Qadeer I (2007). "Goiter and other iodine deficiency disorders: A systematic review of epidemiological studies to deconstruct the complex web". Arch. Med. Res. 38 (1): 1–14.