Iodine deficiency in Australia: is iodine supplementation for pregnant and lactating women warranted?

Gisselle Gallego, Stephen Goodall and Creswell J Eastman
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (8): 461-463.
  • Gisselle Gallego1
  • Stephen Goodall1
  • Creswell J Eastman2

  • 1 Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE), University of Technology, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Gisselle Gallego and Stephen Goodall co-authored reports for Food Standards Australia and New Zealand and the Department of Health and Ageing on the cost-effectiveness of iodine fortification of bread in Australia and New Zealand; the views expressed were those of the authors. Stephen Goodall is an FSANZ fellow. Creswell Eastman is the vice-chairman of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), which is supported by the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program and the Canadian International Development Agency. ICCIDD is patron of the Australian Thyroid Foundation, which receives support from Cerebos (manufacturer of Saxa salt) and Blackmores.

  • 1. Travers CA, Guttikonda K, Norton CA, et al. Iodine status in pregnant women and their newborns: are our babies at risk of iodine deficiency? Med J Aust 2006; 184: 617-620. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Li M, Eastman CJ, Waite KV, et al. Are Australian children iodine deficient? Results of the Australian National Iodine Nutrition Study. Med J Aust 2006; 184: 165-169. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Burgess JR, Seal JA, Stilwell GM, et al. A case for universal salt iodisation to correct iodine deficiency in pregnancy: another salutary lesson from Tasmania. Med J Aust 2007; 186: 574-576. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Seal JA, Doyle Z, Burgess JR, et al. Iodine status of Tasmanians following voluntary fortification of bread with iodine. Med J Aust 2007; 186: 69-71. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Rasmussen LB, Ovesen L, Christiansen E. Day-to-day and within-day variation in urinary iodine excretion. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999; 53: 401-407.
  • 6. Hetzel BS. Iodine deficiency and fetal brain damage. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 1770-1771.
  • 7. Public Health Committee of the American Thyroid Association, Becker DV, Braverman LE, et al. Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation — United States and Canada: recommendations of the American Thyroid Association. Thyroid 2006; 16: 949-951.
  • 8. Boyages SC. Clinical review 49: iodine deficiency disorders. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1993; 77: 587-591.
  • 9. Picciano MF. Pregnancy and lactation: physiological adjustments, nutritional requirements and the role of dietary supplements. J Nutr 2003; 133 (6 Suppl): 1997S-2002S.
  • 10. Pearce EN. Iodine in pregnancy: is salt iodization enough? J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008; 93: 2466-2468.
  • 11. International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. Iodine requirements in pregnancy and infancy. IDD Newsletter 2007; 23 (1): 2.
  • 12. Hamrosi MA, Wallace EM, Riley MD. Iodine status in pregnant women living in Melbourne differs by ethnic group. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2005; 14: 27-31.
  • 13. Li M, Ma G, Boyages SC, Eastman CJ. Re-emergence of iodine deficiency in Australia. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2001; 10: 200-203.
  • 14. McElduff A, McElduff P, Gunton JE, et al. Neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations in northern Sydney: further indications of mild iodine deficiency? Med J Aust 2002; 176: 317-320. <MJA full text>
  • 15. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Proposal P1003 Mandatory iodine fortification for Australia: approval report. Canberra: FSANZ, 2008. (accessed Feb 2010).
  • 16. Zimmermann M, Delange F. Iodine supplementation of pregnant women in Europe: a review and recommendations. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004; 58: 979-984.
  • 17. Hess SY, Zimmermann MB, Torresani T, et al. Monitoring the adequacy of salt iodization in Switzerland: a national study of school children and pregnant women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2001; 55: 162-166.
  • 18. Nohr SB, Laurberg P. Opposite variations in maternal and neonatal thyroid function induced by iodine supplementation during pregnancy. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2000; 85: 623-627.
  • 19. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Therapeutic Goods Administration. Regulation of complementary medicines. (accessed Feb 2010).
  • 20. MIMS online [electronic database]. Available at: (accessed July 2009: subscription required).
  • 21. Watson LF, Brown SJ, Davey MA. Use of periconceptional folic acid supplements in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. Aust N Z J Public Health 2006; 30: 42-49.
  • 22. Eastman C. Iodine supplementation: the benefits for pregnant and lactating women in Australia and New Zealand. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Membership O&G Magazine 2005; 7 (1): 65-66.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Responses are now closed for this article.