什麼是加碘鹽?

What is iodized salt?

Iodized salt is table salt fortified with iodine. Iodine is an important micronutrient needed by the body to produce thyroid hormone, which is essential for regulating metabolism and other important body functions.

Iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid disorders such as goiter, hypothyroidism, and developmental problems, especially in pregnant women and infants. To address this shortcoming, many countries have implemented iodization programs, adding small amounts of potassium iodide or potassium iodate during the salt manufacturing process.

Regular consumption of iodized salt helps ensure that an individual is getting enough iodine in their diet, thereby reducing the risk of iodine deficiency diseases. This is an effective and cheap way to solve this public health problem.

How much iodine is usually added to iodized salt?

The amount of iodine added to iodized salt may vary, depending on the country of production and the regulations of the specific brand. Typically, however, iodized salt contains about 45 to 100 micrograms of iodine per gram of salt.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults consume 150 micrograms of iodine per day to maintain thyroid health. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the recommended daily intake is higher, usually around 220 to 250 micrograms.

Regular consumption of iodized salt along with a balanced diet can help individuals meet their daily iodine needs and prevent iodine deficiency disorders. However, it is necessary to check the iodine content on the label to ensure it meets your dietary needs.

What is the difference between iodized salt and regular salt?

The main difference between iodized salt and regular salt is its iodine content. While both are primarily sodium chloride, iodized salt contains added iodine, an important micronutrient necessary for thyroid health. Iodine deficiency can lead to thyroid disease, so iodized salt is a common choice for people who need iodine supplements. In comparison, regular or non-iodized salt lacks this added nutrient. The choice between the two depends on dietary needs and considerations for maintaining optimal health.

Why is iodine added specifically to salt and not to other foods?

Iodine is specifically added to salt as it is a highly effective way to ensure widespread distribution and consumption of this essential nutrient. There are several reasons:

  • Universal: Salt is a staple ingredient in almost every household and is used in almost every type of cooking around the world. Adding iodine to salt ensures that people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and regions have access to this important nutrient.
  • Consistent intake: Since salt is frequently used in cooking and food preparation, iodine intake becomes a regular part of the diet. This helps maintain stable iodine levels in the body and reduces the risk of deficiency.
  • Technical Feasibility: Adding iodine to salt is a relatively simple and cost-effective process for salt manufacturers. It does not significantly change the taste, appearance or texture of the salt, making it easily acceptable to consumers.
  • Public Health Impact: Iodine deficiency can lead to serious health problems, particularly related to thyroid function. By adding iodine to salt, public health officials can effectively prevent iodine deficiency diseases at scale and improve the health of the entire population.

While it is possible to add iodine to other foods, it may not be as practical or effective for a wide range of people. Salt iodization remains the most widely used and successful strategy for ensuring adequate iodine intake by the population.

What are the different public initiatives on iodized salt in different countries?

Countries have implemented public health measures to ensure adequate iodine intake through iodized salt. These measures typically involve government regulations, partnerships with salt producers, and public awareness campaigns. For example, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that table salt be iodized to prevent iodine deficiency diseases. Likewise, countries such as India, China and Brazil have national programs to promote the use of iodized salt, often in partnership with salt manufacturers and health organizations, to address widespread iodized salt deficiency. In addition, organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) promote the use of iodized salt globally and support countries' efforts to eliminate iodine deficiency through research, policy advocacy and technical assistance.

Where can I buy iodized salt?

What other foods are rich in iodine?

There are several foods that contain significant amounts of iodine that can significantly increase your daily intake. Here are some examples:

  • Seafood: Seafood, especially saltwater fish and shellfish, is one of the richest natural sources of iodine. Examples include cod, tuna, shrimp, salmon and seaweed.
  • Seaweed and seaweed products: Seaweeds, such as kelp, wakame, and kelp, are extremely high in iodine due to their ability to concentrate iodine from seawater.
  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of iodine, as dairy cows consume iodine-rich feed or iodine supplements.
  • Eggs: Eggs contain large amounts of iodine, especially if the hens are fed an iodine-rich diet.
  • Some fruits and vegetables: Certain fruits and vegetables may contain moderate amounts of iodine, depending on the iodine content of the soil in which they are grown. Examples include strawberries, potatoes, and spinach.

While these foods contribute to iodine uptake, the iodine content may vary depending on factors such as processing methods, soil iodine content, and farming practices. It is crucial to eat a varied and balanced diet to ensure adequate iodine intake, especially if you live in an area where iodine deficiency may be a problem.

Note: Iodine deficiency can affect thyroid hormone production, leading to developmental problems, reproductive effects, and lowered IQ.

Where can I buy iodized salt?

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