soil with sufficient iodine, or from meat where livestock has grazed on such soil. The contribution of the latter two is small, and in most countries other sources are required. Iodine added to salt, as noted above, is the primary source for many populations. Table 5 shows sample iodine content for various sources.

In the US and Britain, as well as in other developed countries, most dietary iodine comes from food processing. Intake can vary, as illustrated in Table 6. Iodophors used as antiseptics in the dairy and baking industries provide residual iodine in milk and processed foods. In addition, iodine is present in several vitamin and pharmaceutical preparations.

Iodine as a trace element in low concentrations in most environments plays a critical role in the normal growth and development of many species. In humans, iodine is critical for brain development and correction of global deficiencies is an unparalleled opportunity to improve the well-being of our global community.

Table 6 Iodine intake from average US and British diets


Milk fag per day)


Meat, fish, and

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