Health official: Iodine intake level safe

By Shan Juan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-05-06 11:23:32

China will stick to a wide use of iodized salt, and the current level of iodine intake is safe, said a health official, dismissing reports that linked salt iodization to increasing thyroid cancer cases.

"China preliminarily eliminated iodine deficiency diseases by 2000 in most regions, and consumption of iodized salt will be a cost-effective mainstay to avert iodine deficiency," Lei Zhenglong, deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau under the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a news conference on Monday.

Iodine is a micronutrient necessary to produce thyroid hormone, but the human body doesn't make iodine, experts noted.

Iodine deficiency causes enlargement of the thyroid, hypothyroidism, and mental retardation among babies whose mothers are iodine-deficient during pregnancy.

In China, about 30 million people live in high-iodine areas, and 80 to 90 percent of the iodine intake comes from food, said Yang Xiaoguang, a nutrition researcher for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the early 1950s, about 20 million Chinese suffered from thyroid enlargement due to iodine deficiency.

In 1994, China adopted universal salt iodization, which worked well to curb the situation, Yang said.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular