Tessa Lasswell '15
Iodized Salt Is Good For You! Iodine Intake of College-Aged Women
The public health initiative to reduce blood pressure by reducing sodium intake has led to a reduction in salt consumption. However, iodized salt is the best source of iodine in American diets.
Purpose: To determine the dietary sources of iodine and knowledge about iodine in college-aged women.
Methods: The Institutional Review Board granted approval for this cross-sectional study and participants signed informed consent before beginning study. College-aged female juniors and seniors (n=195) completed a questionnaire to assess iodine knowledge and dietary intake. The survey contained questions about iodine and dietary intake, including use of iodized salt, foods high in iodine, multivitamins and supplements. A One-Way ANOVA, a post hoc test, and descriptive statistics were used to analyze survey results.
Results: The Recommended Daily Allowance of 150μg was met by 38.1% (n=76) of participants by food sources alone and was met by 46.6% (n=88) of participants when taking a multivitamin. Iodine content of multivitamins ranged from 0 μg to 200 μg. Although 58% of women report owning iodized table salt, only 24% report more than occasional use of salt. Nutrition and nursing majors have a stronger knowledge base regarding iodine than students in other majors (p=0.004). However, there was no significant correlation between iodine knowledge and the total amount of dietary iodine (p=0.083). Milk is the primary contributor of iodine in women's diets; the average iodine intake provided by milk was 40.7 ± 47.2 μg.
Conclusions: Less than half of college-aged women are iodine adequate. Survey responses indicated pressure to avoid salt, so the low dietary iodine intake may be due to conscious restriction of salt, as well as not recognizing food sources of iodine. Iodized salt in moderation can contribute an important source of iodine; in addition, women can meet the recommended daily allowance (150 μg) by consuming 3 cups of milk, 2 cups of yogurt or 5 whole eggs, or some combination. Multivitamins help to meet the requirement but not all vitamins contain the same amount of iodine, so careful reading of supplement labels is necessary.
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