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; 193 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03922.x
Published online: 6 September 2010

In reply: While Zhou and colleagues disagree with our viewpoint that Australian “women planning a pregnancy and pregnant and lactating women should be advised to take an iodine supplement”,1 we note that they suggest any such recommendation should await the results of their planned randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining the effects of maternal iodine supplementation on maternal health and neurodevelopmental outcome of the offspring. They neglect to mention that the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued a public statement in January this year, with supporting evidence attached, stating that: “The NHMRC recommends that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy take an iodine supplement of 150 μg each day”.2 Similar recommendations, based upon available scientific evidence, have been issued by the World Health Organization, International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, American Thyroid Association and American Endocrine Society.

  • Gisselle Gallego1
  • Stephen Goodall1
  • Creswell J Eastman2

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


Competing interests:

Gisselle Gallego and Stephen Goodall coauthored reports for FSANZ and the Department of Health and Ageing on the cost-effectiveness of iodine fortification of bread in Australia and NZ. Stephen Goodall is an FSANZ fellow. Creswell Eastman is the vice-chairman of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, which is supported by the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program and the Canadian International Development Agency. Creswell Eastman is patron of the Australian Thyroid Foundation, which has received support from Cerebos (manufacturer of Saxa salt) and Blackmores.


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