e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Iodization of salt

Iodine deficiency is the main cause of preventable brain damage and reduced IQ in children worldwide. It also negatively affects women's health, as well as economic productivity and quality of life.

Most people need an additional source of iodine as it is found in relatively small amounts in the diet. WHO recommends universal salt iodization – the fortification with iodine of all salt used for human and animal consumption – as the main strategy for eliminating iodine deficiency.

The public health goals of reducing salt and increasing iodine intake through salt iodization are compatible as the concentration of iodine in salt can be adjusted as needed. Monitoring the levels of iodine in salt and the iodine status of the population are critical for ensuring that the population's needs are met and not exceeded.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

28 March 2014 16:12 CET

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee