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Eur J Endocrinol. 1999 May;140(5):400-3.

Iodine in drinking water varies by more than 100-fold in Denmark. Importance for iodine content of infant formulas.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Medicine, Aalborg Hospital, Denmark.

Abstract

The iodine intake level of the population is of major importance for the occurrence of thyroid disorders in an area. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the importance of drinking water iodine content for the known regional differences in iodine intake in Denmark and for the iodine content of infant formulas. Iodine in tap water obtained from 55 different locations in Denmark varied from <1.0 to 139 microg/l. In general the iodine content was low in Jutland (median 4.1 microg/l) with higher values on Sealand (23 microg/l) and other islands. Preparation of coffee or tea did not reduce the iodine content of tap water with a high initial iodine concentration. A statistically significant correlation was found between tap water iodine content today and the urinary iodine excretion measured in 41 towns in 1967 (r=0.68, P<0.001). The correlation corresponded to a basic urinary iodine excretion in Denmark of 43 microg/24h excluding iodine in water and a daily water intake of 1.7 l. The iodine content of infant formulas prepared by addition of demineralized water varied from 37 to 138 microg/l (median 57 microg/l, n=18). Hence the final iodine content would depend heavily on the source of water used for preparation. We found that iodine in tap water was a major determinant of regional differences in iodine intake in Denmark. Changes in water supply and possibly water purification methods may influence the population iodine intake level and the occurrence of thyroid disorders.

PMID:
10229903
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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