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J Nutr. 2009 Jul;139(7):1419-25. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.103887. Epub 2009 May 27.

Simulation model accurately estimates total dietary iodine intake.

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  • 1National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven 3720 BA, The Netherlands.


One problem with estimating iodine intake is the lack of detailed data about the discretionary use of iodized kitchen salt and iodization of industrially processed foods. To be able to take into account these uncertainties in estimating iodine intake, a simulation model combining deterministic and probabilistic techniques was developed. Data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey (1997-1998) and an update of the Food Composition database were used to simulate 3 different scenarios: Dutch iodine legislation until July 2008, Dutch iodine legislation after July 2008, and a potential future situation. Results from studies measuring iodine excretion during the former legislation are comparable with the iodine intakes estimated with our model. For both former and current legislation, iodine intake was adequate for a large part of the Dutch population, but some young children (<5%) were at risk of intakes that were too low. In the scenario of a potential future situation using lower salt iodine levels, the percentage of the Dutch population with intakes that were too low increased (almost 10% of young children). To keep iodine intakes adequate, salt iodine levels should not be decreased, unless many more foods will contain iodized salt. Our model should be useful in predicting the effects of food reformulation or fortification on habitual nutrient intakes.

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