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Semin Perinatol. 2008 Dec;32(6):407-12. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2008.09.006.

Iodine balance, iatrogenic excess, and thyroid dysfunction in premature newborns.

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Neonatology Unit, University Hospital La Paz, Paseo Castellana, Madrid, Spain.


Iodine is a trace element that is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones, thyroxine and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine, are necessary for adequate growth and development throughout fetal and extrauterine life. The iodine intake of newborns is entirely dependent on the iodine content of breast milk and the formula preparations used to feed them. An inadequate iodine supply (deficiency and excess) might be especially dangerous in the case of premature babies. The minimum recommended dietary allowance is different depending on age groups. The iodine intake required is at least 15 microg/kg/d in full-term infants and 30 microg/kg/d in preterms. Premature infants are in a situation of iodine deficiency, precisely at a stage of psychomotor and neural development that is extremely sensitive to alterations of thyroid function.

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