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.
Effects and safety of salt fortified with iodine
Status: guidelines under development
Recommended iodine levels in salt and guidelines for monitoring their adequacy and effectiveness [pdf 292kb]
Fortified salt for preventing iodine deficiency disorders: a systematic review
Iodized salt for iodine deficiency disorders: a systematic review