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      Assessment of iodine nutrition in pregnant north Indian subjects in three trimesters

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          The cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the iodine status of pregnant women, using median urinary iodine concentration (MUI) as the measure of outcome, to document the impact of advancing gestation on the MUI in normal pregnancy.

          Materials and Methods:

          The present study assessed the MUI in casual urine samples from 50 pregnant subjects of each trimester and 50 age-matched non-pregnant controls.


          The median (range) of urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in pregnant women was 304 (102-859) μg/L and only 2% of the subjects had prevalence of values under 150 μg/L (iodine insufficiency). With regard to the study cohort, median (range) UIC in the first, second, and third trimesters was 285 (102-457), 318 (102-805), and 304 (172-859) μg/L, respectively. Differences between the first, second, and third trimesters were not statistically significant. The MUI in the controls (305 μg/L) was not statistically different from the study cohort.


          The pregnant women had no iodine deficiency, rather had high median urinary iodine concentrations indicating more than adequate iodine intake. Larger community-based studies are required in iodine-sufficient populations, to establish gestation-appropriate reference ranges for UIC in pregnancy.

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          Most cited references 32

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          The regulation of thyroid function in pregnancy: pathways of endocrine adaptation from physiology to pathology.

           D Glinoer (1997)
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            Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation-United States and Canada: recommendations of the American Thyroid Association.

             J Hollowell,  V Becker,   (2006)
            The fetus is totally dependent in early pregnancy on maternal thyroxine for normal brain development. Adequate maternal dietary intake of iodine during pregnancy is essential for maternal thyroxine production and later for thyroid function in the fetus. If iodine insufficiency leads to inadequate production of thyroid hormones and hypothyroidism during pregnancy, then irreversible fetal brain damage can result. In the United States, the median urinary iodine (UI) was 168 microg/L in 2001-2002, well within the range of normal established by the World Health Organization (WHO), but whereas the UI of pregnant women (173 microg/L; 95% CI 75-229 microg/L) was within the range recommended by WHO (150-249 microg/L), the lower 95% CI was less than 150 microg/L. Therefore, until additional physiologic data are available to make a better judgment, the American Thyroid Association recommends that women receive 150 microg iodine supplements daily during pregnancy and lactation and that all prenatal vitamin/mineral preparations contain 150 microg of iodine.
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              The regulation of thyroid function during normal pregnancy: importance of the iodine nutrition status.

              The main change in thyroid function associated with the pregnant state is the requirement of an increased production of thyroid hormone that depends directly upon the adequate availability of dietary iodine and integrity of the glandular machinery. Physiologic adaptation takes place when the iodine intake is adequate, while this is replaced by pathologic alterations when there is a deficient iodine intake. Pregnancy acts typically, therefore, as a revelator of underlying iodine restriction. Iodine deficiency (ID) has important repercussions for both the mother and the fetus, leading to sustained glandular stimulation, hypothyroxinemia and goitrogenesis. Furthermore, because severe ID may be associated with an impairment in the psycho-neuro-intellectual outcome in the progeny-because both mother and offspring are exposed to ID during gestation (and the postnatal period), and because ID is still prevalent today in several European countries-it has been proposed already in the early 1990s that iodine supplements be given systematically to pregnant and breast-feeding women. Particular attention is required to ensure that pregnant women receive an adequate iodine supply, by administering multivitamin tablets containing iodine supplements, in order to achieve the ideal recommended dietary allowance of 200-250 microg iodine/day.

                Author and article information

                Indian J Endocrinol Metab
                Indian J Endocrinol Metab
                Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                Mar-Apr 2013
                : 17
                : 2
                : 289-293
                Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Dr. Emmy Grewal, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. E-mail: emmygrewal@
                Copyright: © Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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