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World Iodine Deficiency Day 2019: All you need to know

World Iodine Deficiency Day is observed on 21 October every year to raise awareness about the adequate use of iodine, to highlight the factors that lead to iodine deficiency and its consequences. Let us read about the importance of iodine in our diet, what happens due to iodine deficiency, how World Iodine Deficiency Day is celebrated?
Oct 21, 2019 13:08 IST
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World Iodine Deficiency Day
World Iodine Deficiency Day

World Iodine Deficiency Day is also known as Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Prevention Day. We all know that minerals and vitamins are necessary for our healthy life and play a crucial role in the physical and mental development of humans. Iodine is a mineral that is found in some foods.

What is Iodine and why it is necessary for our body?

Iodine is stored in the thyroid gland of our body and is an essential dietary mineral. It is important for our body as it helps in the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T3) and triiodothyronine (T4). Let us tell you that hormones of the thyroid gland affect mostly all the cells in the human body and are also important for the proper development of cells. It also helps In protein metabolism, increases metabolic rate of the body, regulate the growth of bones and development of brain. Basically, thyroid hormones are linked to protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism in cells.

Iodine helps in regulating various functions of our body like        

- Body temperature

- Breakdown of fat

- Growth

- Reproduction

- Muscle and nerve function

- Heart rate etc.

Various Glands and Hormones in Human Body

What is Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD)?

As the name suggests, the deficiency of iodine in the body may lead to serious illness. It can start before birth, jeopardise children's mental health and often their very survival. During pregnancy, serious deficiency of iodine can result in stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, congenital abnormalities like cretinism, mental retardation, etc. As we have discussed above, iodine is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). It is also, essential for normal growth and development of humans. Do you know that around 100-150 micrograms, it is required by our body for normal growth?

Deficiency of Iodine

  • Mental retardation
  • Goitre
  • Still birth
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Subnormal intelligence
  • Neuromuscular weakness
  • Defect in vision, hearing and speech
  • Spasticity
  • Intrauterine death etc.

Sources of Iodine

- Milk

- Meat

- Sea Fish

- Shellfish

- Eggs

- Cereal grains

- Salt

- Yogurt

- Sea vegetables

- Vegetables and Fruits etc.

WHO regarding IDD

WHO, since 1980s has been working for public health around the world and also to eliminate the deficiency of iodine. For this WHO provides guidelines, technical tools, methodologies and technical guidance to build up national salt iodization programmes.

UNICEF, ICCIDD (International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders), some international and bilateral agencies are also together working to combat with the iodine deficiency. We can't ignore that various salt agencies have helped countries to set up a permanent national salt and iodization programmes.

In 1993, for controlling IDD, a primary intervention strategy that is universal salt iodization was adopted. Salt is widely available and consumed in regular forms throughout the year so, it is chosen and the cost of iodizing is also extremely low per person per year.

In most of the countries where iodine deficiency is a public health problem, strategies are implemented against IDD.

Some facts regarding Iodine Deficiency

- Iodine deficiency can cause impaired cognitive development in children.

- Countries where iodine deficiency is a major concern has been halved now from the past according to a new global report on iodine status.

- According to WHO, approx 54 countries are still iodine-deficient.

- Sustainable salt iodization programmes are necessary to strengthen.

So, we can say that it is necessary to take iodine in our diet. But excess of everything is bad. It should be taken in proper quantity as required by our body.

Important Days and Dates in October 2019

Important Days and Dates in 2019: National and International