Iodine is an essential chemical element that forms part of the common diet of human and domestic animals. It is an essential constituent of the thyroid hormone that control cellular metabolism, neuromuscular tissue growth, and development.
Requirement: The daily recommended dose of iodine for adults is 150 microgram per day. The requirement in lactating and pregnant women is 200 micrograms. In normal circumstance the amount is supplied by well balanced diets and drinking water.
Deficiency: Goiter, commonly considered the most common sequel of Iodine Deficiency, is just tip of iceberg. There is long list of other diseases, clinical & subclinical, caused by Iodine Deficiency. These are;
Retard physical development. .Inadequate intake of iodine impairs immune system.
- Productivity losses. . Impaired mental function & low IQ.
- Increase rate of spontaneous abortions and still birth.
- Loss of energy and early fatigability. Infertility in females.
- Nervous system function is affected in children as well in adults. As it include speech defects, hearing defects, and delayed motor milestone in children.
Most effective strategy to control iodine deficiency is the use of Iodized salt. It is easier, low cost, easily available and effective method to control the iodine deficiency. Currently this program in under implementation in 65 districts of Pakistan with technical & financial assistance of The Micronutrient Initiative.