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1.  Urinary Iodine Excretion In Pregnancy: A Pilot Study in The Region of Nepal 
Background: Pregnancy is accompanied by profound alterations in the thyroid economy and the relative iodine deficiency. The median Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE) is the most reliable indicator of the population’s iodine nutrition. The physiological alterations in normal pregnancy, such as an increased glomerular filtration rate, potentially invalidate UIE as an assessment tool in pregnancy.
Objectives: To assess the Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE) in pregnant mothers and to enquire about the current status of their iodised salt intake.
Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study in which urine samples were collected from 45 pregnant mothers who were admitted to the antenatal ward. The iodine level in the urine was analysed by a method which was provided by Singh and Ali, to determine the Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE). A questionnaire was introduced to document the status of the dietary intake of iodised salt. The UIE was expressed in median (interquartile) and the other data are expressed in frequency and percentage. Fisher Exact test was applied to compare between UIE and iodine intake.
Results: Thirteen (28.88%) pregnant mothers had UIEs of <150 μg/L, which were below the cut-off point of the UIE for pregnant mothers. Overall, 33 mothers were from the Terai region; among them, one third had UIEs of <150 μg/L. Among the 45 pregnant women, 15 (33.34%) were not using iodised salt and the rest were using iodised salt. Among those who were using iodised salt (30 out of 45), 8 pregnant women had UIEs of <150 μg/L and among those who were not using iodised salt, 5 pregnant women had UIEs of < 150 μg/L.
Conclusion: The UIE was below 150μg/L in a substantial percentage (28.89%) of pregnant women of the Terai region, regardless of their intake of iodised salt.
PMCID: PMC3749625  PMID: 23998055
Iodine deficiency disorder; Urinary iodine excretion; Pregnancy
2.  Cost-effectiveness of reducing salt intake in the Pacific Islands: protocol for a before and after intervention study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:107.
There is broad consensus that diets high in salt are bad for health and that reducing salt intake is a cost-effective strategy for preventing chronic diseases. The World Health Organization has been supporting the development of salt reduction strategies in the Pacific Islands where salt intakes are thought to be high. However, there are no accurate measures of salt intake in these countries. The aims of this project are to establish baseline levels of salt intake in two Pacific Island countries, implement multi-pronged, cross-sectoral salt reduction programs in both, and determine the effects and cost-effectiveness of the intervention strategies.
Intervention effectiveness will be assessed from cross-sectional surveys before and after population-based salt reduction interventions in Fiji and Samoa. Baseline surveys began in July 2012 and follow-up surveys will be completed by July 2015 after a 2-year intervention period.
A three-stage stratified cluster random sampling strategy will be used for the population surveys, building on existing government surveys in each country. Data on salt intake, salt levels in foods and sources of dietary salt measured at baseline will be combined with an in-depth qualitative analysis of stakeholder views to develop and implement targeted interventions to reduce salt intake.
Salt reduction is a global priority and all Member States of the World Health Organization have agreed on a target to reduce salt intake by 30% by 2025, as part of the global action plan to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases. The study described by this protocol will be the first to provide a robust assessment of salt intake and the impact of salt reduction interventions in the Pacific Islands. As such, it will inform the development of strategies for other Pacific Island countries and comparable low and middle-income settings around the world.
PMCID: PMC3933378  PMID: 24495646
Salt; Sodium; Hypertension; Intervention; Surveillance; Diet; Food; Monitoring; Non-communicable diseases; Pacific Islands
3.  Consequences of excess iodine 
Nature reviews. Endocrinology  2013;10(3):136-142.
Iodine is a micronutrient that is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. The primary source of iodine is the diet via consumption of foods that have been fortified with iodine, including salt, dairy products and bread, or that are naturally abundant in the micronutrient, such as seafood. Recommended daily iodine intake is 150 μg in adults who are not pregnant or lactating. Ingestion of iodine or exposure above this threshold is generally well-tolerated. However, in certain susceptible individuals, including those with pre-existing thyroid disease, the elderly, fetuses and neonates, or patients with other risk factors, the risk of developing iodine-induced thyroid dysfunction might be increased. Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism as a result of supraphysiologic iodine exposure might be either subclinical or overt, and the source of the excess iodine might not be readily apparent.
PMCID: PMC3976240  PMID: 24342882
4.  Assessment of Iodine Status in Children, Adults, Pregnant Women and Lactating Women in Iodine-Replete Areas of China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81294.
Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are widespread in China. Presently, IDD have been put under control by Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) in China; however, there is a lack of evidence on whether the iodine status in adults, pregnant women and lactating women is optimal. This study was therefore conducted to assess the iodine nutrition and thyroid function of children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women residing in areas where the USI program is fully established.
Six areas were selected according to the geographical regions in China. In each of these areas, we selected 4 distinct groups of subjects (children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women) in regions where the coverage rate of iodised salt was more than 95% and the levels of iodine and fluoride in drinking water were less than or equal to 10 µg/L and 1 mg/L, respectively. We tested the iodine content of salt, urinary iodine (UI), free thyroxin (FT4), thyrotropin (TSH), thyroglobulin (Tg), thyroglobulin antibody (Tg-Ab) and antimicrosomal antibody (TM-Ab) in the 4 groups, and examined the thyroid volume in children.
The median urinary iodine (MUI) concentrations were 271.4 μg/L, 260.2 μg/L, 205.9 μg/L and 193.9 μg/L in children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women, respectively; MUI in children and adults were more than adequate. The goitre prevalence (GP) in children was 6.70%. The odds ratios (OR) of subclinical hypothyroidism in the Tg-Ab- or TM-Ab-positive groups were 3.80, 7.65, 2.01 and 7.47 for children, adults, pregnant women and lactating women, respectively, compared with the negative groups.
The iodine status in children and adults is above the requirement, we should reduce their iodine intake. Subclinical hypothyroidism easily occurs in the Tg-Ab or TM-Ab positive groups.
PMCID: PMC3840003  PMID: 24282581
5.  Post-production Losses in Iodine Concentration of Salt Hamper the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders: A Case Study in Northern Ethiopia 
Iodine is essential for good function of the thyroid, and its deficiency is of public-health importance in Ethiopia. Iodization of salt is an effective and sustainable strategy to prevent and control iodine deficiency in large populations. The effectiveness of salt-iodization programmes depends on the conservation of iodine concentration in salt at various stages of the supply-chain. The overall objective of the study was to assess the loss of iodine in salt from production to consumption and to estimate the proportion of adults, especially pregnant women, at risk of dietary iodine insufficiency. A cross-sectional study was conducted during February-April 2007 in northern Ethiopia. Iodine concentrations of salt samples from producers (n=41), retailers (n=7), and consumers (n=32) were determined using iodiometric titration. A risk assessment was conducted for dietary iodine insufficiency among adults, including pregnant women, using a semi-probabilistic approach. The concentration of iodine in the sampled salts decreased by 57% from the production site to the consumers. The assessment of exposure showed that adults in 63% (n=20) of the households, including 90% (n=29) with pregnant women, were at risk of insufficient iodine intake. A monitoring and evaluation system needs to be established to ensure adequate supply of iodine along the distribution chain. Special attention is needed for the retailers and consumers. At these levels, dissemination of information regarding proper storage and handling of iodized salt is necessary to address the reported loss of iodine from salt.
PMCID: PMC2980888  PMID: 20635634
Cross-sectional studies; Iodine; Iodine deficiency; Salt; Ethiopia
6.  Bread Iodine Content and Thyroid Radioiodine Uptake: A Tale of Two Cities 
British Medical Journal  1972;1(5792):79-81.
The iodine content of bread consumed in the Bronx, New York, was found to be significantly lower than that of bread consumed in Columbia, Missouri. This difference in dietary intake of iodine could account for the lowered range of normal values for 24-hour 131I uptake tests in Columbia, and the persistence of the same normal range for this test over the past 28 years in the Bronx. A population with high iodine intake requires higher doses of radioactive iodine in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease. Questions are raised regarding the relationship of high iodine intake to the risk of developing thyrotoxicosis.
PMCID: PMC1789259  PMID: 5007073
7.  Variable Iodine Intake Persists in the Context of Universal Salt Iodization in China123 
The Journal of Nutrition  2012;142(9):1728-1734.
Iodine deficiency disorders were prevalent in China until the introduction of universal salt iodization in 1995. Concerns have recently arisen about possible excess iodine intake in this context. To document iodine intake and the contribution from iodized salt in China, we surveyed dietary iodine intake during China’s nationally representative 2007 total diet study (TDS) and during an additional TDS in 4 coastal provinces and Beijing in 2009. Iodine intake was broken down by age and sex in 2009. Mean daily iodine and salt intake and the contribution from different food and beverage groups (and in 2009, individual items) was measured. The iodine in food cooked with iodized and noniodized salt was also assessed. The mean calculated iodine intake of a standard male in China was 425 μg/d in 2007 and 325 μg/d in coastal areas in 2009, well below the upper limit (UL) in all provinces. In 2009, iodine intake was above the UL in only 1–7% of age-sex groups, except among children (18–19%). A concerning number of individuals consumed less than the WHO-recommended daily allowance, including 31.5% of adult women. Salt contributed 63.5% of food iodine, and 24.6% of salt iodine was lost in cooking. Overall salt consumption declined between the surveys. Salt iodization assures iodine nutrition in China where environmental iodine is widely lacking. The risk of iodine excess is low, but planned decreases in salt iodization levels may increase the existing risk of inadequate intake. Regular monitoring of urinary iodine and more research on the impact of excess iodine intake is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3417834  PMID: 22810983
8.  National Approaches to Monitoring Population Salt Intake: A Trade-Off between Accuracy and Practicality? 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46727.
There is strong evidence that diets high in salt are bad for health and that salt reduction strategies are cost effective. However, whilst it is clear that most people are eating too much salt, obtaining an accurate assessment of population salt intake is not straightforward, particularly in resource poor settings. The objective of this study is to identify what approaches governments are taking to monitoring salt intake, with the ultimate goal of identifying what actions are needed to address challenges to monitoring salt intake, especially in low and middle-income countries.
Methods and Results
A written survey was issued to governments to establish the details of their monitoring methods. Of the 30 countries that reported conducting formal government salt monitoring activities, 73% were high income countries. Less than half of the 30 countries, used the most accurate assessment of salt through 24 hour urine, and only two of these were developing countries. The remainder mainly relied on estimates through dietary surveys.
The study identified a strong need to establish more practical ways of assessing salt intake as well as technical support and advice to ensure that low and middle income countries can implement salt monitoring activities effectively.
PMCID: PMC3474782  PMID: 23082128
9.  Healthy Bread Initiative: Methods, Findings, and Theories—Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
The scientific evidences show that the content, baking methods, and types of bread can make health impacts. Bread, as a major part of Iranian diet, demonstrates a significant potential to be targeted as health promotion subject. Healthy Food for Healthy Communities (HFHC) was a project of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), consisting of a wide variety of strategies, like Healthy Bread (HB) Initiative. The HB Initiative was designed to improve the behaviour of both producers and consumers, mainly aiming at making high-fibre, low-salt bread, eliminating the use of baking soda, providing enough rest time for dough before baking (at least one hour), and enough baking time (at least one minute in oven). A workshop was held for volunteer bakers, and a baker-to-baker training protocol under direct supervision was designed for future volunteers. Cereal Organization was persuaded to provide less refined flour that contained more bran. Health messages in support of new breads were disseminated by media and at bakeries by health professionals. Evaluation of the HB Initiative was done using before-after assessments and population surveys. While HB was baked in 1 (0.01%) bakery at baseline, 402 (41%) bakeries in the intervention area joined the HB Initiative in 2009. Soda was completely eliminated and fibre significantly increased from 4±0.4 g% before study to 12±0.6 g% after the intervention (p<0.001). The preparation and baking times remarkably increased. Wastage of bread decreased from 13±1.8 g% to 2±0.5 g% and was expressed as the most important advantage of this initiative by consumers. People who lived in Isfahan city consumed whole bread 6 times more than those who lived in reference area Arak (p<0.001). The HB Initiative managed to add new breads as a healthy choice that were compatible with local dishes and made a model to solve the long-standing problems of bread. It used various health promotion approaches but was best consistent with Beattie's model.
PMCID: PMC3702358  PMID: 23617204
Bread; Community trial; Health promotion; Nutrition; Iran
10.  Goiter and Multiple Food Allergies 
Severe iodine deficiency results in impaired thyroid hormone synthesis and thyroid enlargement. In the United States, adequate iodine intake is a concern for women of childbearing age and pregnant women. Beyond this high risk group iodine deficiency is not considered to be a significant problem. This case report describes a 12-year-old male with severe iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) resulting from restricted dietary intake due to multiple food allergies. We describe iodine replacement for this patient and continued monitoring for iodine sufficiency. Children with multiple food allergies, in particular those with restrictions to iodized salt and seafood, should be considered high risk for severe iodine deficiency.
PMCID: PMC2777012  PMID: 19956702
11.  The Standard, Intervention Measures and Health Risk for High Water Iodine Areas 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89608.
Our study aims to clarify the population nutrient status in locations with different levels of iodine in the water in China; to choose effective measurements of water improvement(finding other drinking water source of iodine not excess) or non-iodised salt supply or combinations thereof; to classify the areas of elevated water iodine levels and the areas with endemic goiter; and to evaluate the risk factors of water iodine excess on pregnant women, lactating women and the overall population of women. From Henan, Hebei, Shandong and Shanxi province of China, for each of 50∼99 µg/L, 100∼149 µg/L, 150∼299 µg/L, and ≥300 µg/L water iodine level, three villages were selected respectively. Students of 6–12 years old and pregnant were sampled from villages of each water-iodine level of each province, excluded iodized salt consumer. Then the children's goiter volume, the children and pregnant's urinary iodine and water iodine were tested. In addition, blood samples were collected from pregnant women, lactating women and other women of reproductive age for each water iodine level in the Shanxi Province for thyroid function tests. These indicators should be matched for each person. When the water iodine exceeds 100 µg/L; the iodine nutrient of children are iodine excessive, and are adequate or more than adequate for the pregnant women. It is reasonable to define elevated water iodine areas as locations where the water iodine levels exceed 100 µg/L. The supply of non-iodised salt alone cannot ensure adequate iodine nutrition of the residents, and water improvement must be adopted, as well. Iodine excess increases the risk of certain thyroid diseases in women from one- to eightfold.
PMCID: PMC3938487  PMID: 24586909
12.  Successful Efforts Toward Elimination Iodine Deficiency Disorders in India 
Iodine deficiency (ID) is the world's single most important preventable cause of brain damage and mental retardation. Iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs) is a public health problem in 130 countries, affecting 13% of the world population. The simplest solution to prevent the IDD is to consume iodized common salt every day. In India, significant progress has been achieved toward elimination of IDD, in the last 30 years. Satisfactory levels of urinary iodine excretion and iodine content of salt have been documented by the research surveys conducted by research scientists. The results indicate that we are progressing toward elimination of IDD. IDD is due to a nutritional deficiency, which is prima-rily that of iodine, in soil and water. IDD is known to re-appear if the IDD Control Program is not sustained. To ensure that the population continues to have intake of adequate amount of iodine, there is a need of i) periodic surveys to assess the magnitude of the IDD with respect to impact of iodized salt (IS) intervention; ii) strengthening the health and nutrition education activities to create demand for IS and iii) development of a monitoring information system (MIS) for ensuring that the adequately IS is available to the beneficiaries.
PMCID: PMC3026120  PMID: 21278862
Goiter; iodine; salt; urinary iodine excretion
13.  Salt content of school meals and comparison of perception related to sodium intake in elementary, middle, and high schools 
Excessive sodium intake leading to hypertension, stroke, and stomach cancer is mainly caused by excess use of salt in cooking. This study was performed to estimate the salt content in school meals and to compare differences in perceptions related to sodium intake between students and staffs working for school meal service. We collected 382 dishes for food from 24 schools (9 elementary, 7 middle, 8 high schools) in Gyeonggi-do and salt content was calculated from salinity and weight of individual food. The average salt content from elementary, middle, and high school meals were 2.44 g, 3.96 g, and 5.87 g, respectively. The amount of salt provided from the school lunch alone was over 80% of the recommended daily salt intake by WHO. Noodles, stews, sauces, and soups were major sources of salt intake at dish group level, while the most salty dishes were sauces, kimchies, and stir-fried foods. Dietary knowledge and attitude related to sodium intake and consumption frequency of the salty dishes were surveyed with questionnaire in 798 students and 256 staffs working for school meal service. Compared with the staffs, the students perceived school meals salty and the proportions of students who thought school meals were salty increased with going up from elementary to high schools (P < 0.001). Among the students, middle and high school students showed significant propensity for the preference to one-dish meal, processed foods, eating much broth and dipping sauce or seasoning compared with the elementary students, although they had higher nutrition knowledge scores. These results proposed that monitoring salt content of school meals and consideration on the contents and education methods in school are needed to lower sodium intake.
PMCID: PMC3572227  PMID: 23424102
School meal; salt content; sodium intake; saltiness perception
14.  Iodine Intake in Somalia Is Excessive and Associated with the Source of Household Drinking Water123 
The Journal of Nutrition  2014;144(3):375-381.
Few data on iodine status in Somalia are available, but it is assumed that deficiency is a public health problem due to the limited access to iodized salt. We aimed to describe the iodine status of the population of Somalia and to investigate possible determinants of iodine status. A national 2-stage, stratified household cluster survey was conducted in 2009 in the Northwest, Northeast, and South Central Zones of Somalia. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was determined in samples from women (aged 15–45 y) and children (aged 6–11 y), and examination for visible goiter was performed in the Northwest and South Central strata. A 24-h household food-frequency questionnaire was conducted, and salt samples were tested for iodization. The median UICs for nonpregnant women and children were 329 and 416 μg/L, respectively, indicating excessive iodine intake (>300 μg/L). The prevalence of visible goiter was <4%. The coverage of salt iodization was low, with a national average of 7.7% (95% CI: 3.2%, 17.4%). Spatial analysis revealed localized areas of relatively high and low iodine status. Variations could not be explained by food consumption or salt iodization but were associated with the main source of household drinking water, with consumers of borehole water having a higher UIC (569 vs. 385 μg/L; P < 0.001). Iodine intake in Somalia is among the highest in the world and excessive according to WHO criteria. Further work is required to investigate the geochemistry and safety of groundwater sources in Somalia and the impact on human nutrition and health.
PMCID: PMC3927550  PMID: 24500936
15.  The impact of iodine supplementation and bread fortification on urinary iodine concentrations in a mildly iodine deficient population of pregnant women in South Australia 
Nutrition Journal  2013;12:32.
Mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have significant effects on fetal development and future cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to characterise the iodine status of South Australian women during pregnancy and relate it to the use of iodine-containing multivitamins. The impact of fortification of bread with iodized salt was also assessed. Women (n = 196) were recruited prospectively at the beginning of pregnancy and urine collected at 12, 18, 30, 36 weeks gestation and 6 months postpartum. The use of a multivitamin supplement was recorded at each visit. Spot urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) were assessed. Median UICs were within the mildly deficient range in women not taking supplements (<90 μg/L). Among the women taking iodine-containing multivitamins UICs were within WHO recommendations (150–249 μg/L) for sufficiency and showed an increasing trend through gestation. The fortification of bread with iodized salt increased the median UIC from 68 μg/L to 84 μg/L (p = .011) which was still in the deficient range. Pregnant women in this region of Australia were unlikely to reach recommended iodine levels without an iodine supplement, even after the mandatory iodine supplementation of bread was instituted in October 2009.
PMCID: PMC3621546  PMID: 23497409
Iodine; Pregnancy; Urine; Supplements
16.  A cross-sectional comparison study on the iodine nutritional status between rural and urban residents in Zhejiang Province, China 
BMJ Open  2014;4(6):e005484.
To evaluate the difference of iodine nutritional status between rural and urban residents under the universal salt iodisation policy.
A multistage cluster sampling technique was employed in the present cross-sectional study. In total, 3300 rural and 3300 urban households were selected where the investigation was conducted.
A total of 8553 rural and 8909 urban residents participated in this provincial survey.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Spot urine samples were collected and the iodine concentration in urine was determined by the modified acid-digestion method.
The median urinary iodine concentration of rural residents was 170.1 μg/L, which was higher than that of urban residents with 153.5 μg/L. For school-aged children, middle-aged people and older people, the median urinary iodine concentration of rural residents was 191.2, 160.2 and 154.0 μg/L, respectively, which was higher than that of urban residents with 166.2, 153.8 and 129.5 μg/L, respectively. Risk factors for urinary concentration of rural residents were age (OR=0.99), terrain (OR=0.83), usual intake of pickled products (OR=1.45) and non-iodised salt intake (OR=0.39), while those for urban residents were age (OR=0.99), terrain (OR=0.83), usual intake of aquatic products (OR=1.24) and non-iodised salt intake (OR=0.27) compared with iodised table salt intake.
The median urinary iodine concentration of rural residents was higher than that of urban residents although they were both falls in optimal iodine status as recommended by WHO/UNICEF/International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. Iodised salt intake is the major factor which influences the iodine nutritional status mostly for rural and urban residents. The ongoing monitoring of population iodine status remains crucially important.
PMCID: PMC4078769  PMID: 24969785
17.  Dietary Salt Reduction and Cardiovascular Disease Rates in India: A Mathematical Model 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44037.
Reducing salt intake has been proposed to prevent cardiovascular disease in India. We sought to determine whether salt reductions would be beneficial or feasible, given the worry that unrealistically large reductions would be required, worsening iodine deficiency and benefiting only urban subpopulations.
Methods and Results
Future myocardial infarctions (MI) and strokes in India were predicted with a Markov model simulating men and women aged 40 to 69 in both urban and rural locations, incorporating the risk reduction from lower salt intake. If salt intake does not change, we expect ∼8.3 million MIs (95% CI: 6.9–9.6 million), 830,000 strokes (690,000–960,000) and 2.0 million associated deaths (1.5–2.4 million) per year among Indian adults aged 40 to 69 over the next three decades. Reducing intake by 3 g/day over 30 years (−0.1 g/year, 25% reduction) would reduce annual MIs by 350,000 (a 4.6% reduction; 95% CI: 320,000–380,000), strokes by 48,000 (−6.5%; 13,000–83,000) and deaths by 81,000 (−4.9%; 59,000–100,000) among this group. The largest decline in MIs would be among younger urban men, but the greatest number of averted strokes would be among rural men, and nearly one-third of averted strokes and one-fifth of averted MIs would be among rural women. Only under a highly pessimistic scenario would iodine deficiency increase (by <0.0001%, ∼1600 persons), since inadequate iodized salt access—not low intake of iodized salt—is the major cause of deficiency and would be unaffected by dietary salt reduction.
Modest reductions in salt intake could substantially reduce cardiovascular disease throughout India.
PMCID: PMC3435319  PMID: 22970159
18.  Review of salt consumption and stomach cancer risk: Epidemiological and biological evidence 
Stomach cancer is still the fourth most common cancer; thus, it remains an important public health burden worldwide, especially in developing countries. The remarkable geographic variations in the rates of stomach cancer indicate that dietary factors, including a range of food groups to which salt and/or nitrates have been added, may affect stomach cancer risk. In this paper, we review the results from ecologic, case-control and cohort studies on the relationship between salt or salted foods and stomach cancer risk. The majority of ecological studies indicated that the average salt intake in each population was closely correlated with gastric cancer mortality. Most case-control studies showed similar results, indicating a moderate to high increase in risk for the highest level of salt or salted food consumption. The overall results from cohort studies are not totally consistent, but are suggestive of a moderate direct association. Since salt intake has been correlated with Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection, it is possible that these two factors may synergize to promote the development of stomach cancer. Additionally, salt may also cause stomach cancer through directly damaging gastric mucus, improving temporary epithelial proliferation and the incidence of endogenous mutations, and inducing hypergastrinemia that leads to eventual parietal cell loss and progression to gastric cancer. Based on the considerable evidence from ecological, case-control and cohort studies worldwide and the mechanistic plausibility, limitation on salt and salted food consumption is a practical strategy for preventing gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC2682234  PMID: 19437559
Disease prevention; Helicobacter pylori infection; Salt consumption; Stomach cancer
19.  Effect of maternal excessive iodine intake on neurodevelopment and cognitive function in rat offspring 
BMC Neuroscience  2012;13:121.
Iodine deficiency and iodine excess are both associated with adverse health consequences. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy leads to insufficient maternal thyroid hormone, subsequently causing irreversible adverse effects on the neurological and cognitive functions of the offspring. The results of our previous epidemiological study suggested that mild iodine excess might increase the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism. In the present study, female Wistar rats maintained on low-iodine grain were randomly assigned to three groups based on iodated water concentration: low iodine (LI, 1.2 μg/d), normal iodine (NI, 5–6 μg/d), and 3-fold high iodine (3HI, 15–16 μg/d). The present study investigated whether higher-than-normal iodine intake (3HI) by rats from before pregnancy until breastfeeding affects the postnatal (PN) neurodevelopment (PN7 and PN45) of their offspring during particularly sensitive periods in brain development.
After 12 weeks of treatment (before pregnancy), iodine concentrations in urine and thyroid tissue and circulating thyroxine of adult females correlated with iodine intake. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampi of pups on PN7 and PN45 was decreased in 3HI group compared to the NI controls (P < 0.05, all) On PN7 and PN45, the BDNF levels of the 3HI pups were 83.5% and 88.8%, respectively, that of the NI pups. In addition, the 3HI group had a higher neuroendocrine-specific protein A (NSP-A) level than the NI controls on PN7 (P < 0.05). NSP-A levels of the 3HI pups were 117.0% that of the NI pups. No significant difference was observed in the expressions of c-Fos or c-Jun in the hippocampal CA1 region of the 3HI group compared to the controls (P > 0.05). Results from the Morris water maze test revealed that pups of the 3HI group had mild learning and spatial memory deficits.
The neurodevelopmental and cognitive deficits of the 3HI pups were mild and temporary, likely related to the changes in hippocampal protein expressions of BDNF and NSP-A.
PMCID: PMC3479063  PMID: 23043431
Iodine deficiency; Iodine excess; Thyroid hormone; Hippocampus; Neurodevelopment
20.  Salt reduction in a population for the prevention of hypertension 
Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the prevention of which is acknowledged to be critically important. Human beings are the only animal species which consume large quantities of salt, and their consumption has increased with the advancement of civilization. Many observational and interventional epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that a high intake of salt results in elevation of blood pressure, and that a salt-reduced diet induces blood pressure reduction in patients with hypertension as well as in individuals with normal blood pressure. Reduced salt intake, blood pressure reduction, and a remarkable decrease in mortality due to stroke in Japan are important examples of this effect. A decrease in the mean blood pressure in an entire population can contribute significantly to decreased incidence of cardiovascular diseases. A population-based strategy for preventing hypertension, including a salt-reduced diet, is therefore desirable. Proposed measures include public health education by the mass media, reduced salt content in processed foods, salt reduction in foods served by schools or organizations and at restaurants, and labeling of salt content. Further studies are needed of population-wide salt reduction methods, and the effectiveness of such methods.
PMCID: PMC2723567  PMID: 21432321
blood pressure; hypertension; salt; prevention; population strategy
21.  Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites in Bakery Workers in Khorramabad, Lorestan Iran 
Food contamination may occur through production, processing, distribution and preparation. In Iran especially in Khorramabad, 33° 29' 16" North, 48° 21' 21" East, due to kind of nutrition, culture and economic status of people, bread is a part of the main meal and the consumption of bread is high. In this study, the bakery workers were studied for determining of intestinal parasites prevalence.
The study was carried out during September to November 2010 in Khorramabad. All the 278 bakeries and the bakery workers including 816 people were studied in a census method and their feces were examined for the presence of parasites by direct wet-mount, Lugol's iodine solution, and formaldehyde-ether sedimentation, trichrome staining, and single round PCR (For discrimination of Entamoeba spp).
Ninety-six (11.9%) stool specimens were positive for different intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites included Giardia lamblia 3.7%, Entamoeba coli 5.5%, Blastocystis sp. 2.1%, Entamoeba dispar 0.4%, Hymenolepis nana 0.1%, and Blastocystis sp. 0.1%.
In order to reduce the contamination in these persons, some cases such as stool exam every three months with concentration methods, supervision and application of accurate health rules by health experts, training in transmission of parasites are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3279910  PMID: 22347316
Bakery workers; Intestinal parasite; Iran
22.  Lack of Association between Self-reported Saltiness of Eating and Actual Salt Intake 
Reducing salt intake is known to be an important factor for lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease. Estimating amount of salt intake is a necessary step towards salt intake reduction. Self-reported saltiness of diet is a method most easily used to measure a patient's salt intake. The purpose of this study was to examine the value of self-reported saltiness of diet in measuring salt intake.
We used data from 681 participants who visited a health center at a university hospital between August 2003 and November 2005. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on self-reported saltiness of diet, other dietary habits and lifestyle factors. Salt intake was estimated on the basis of 24-hour dietary recall with a computer-aided nutritional analysis program (CAN-Pro 2.0, Korean Nutrition Society).
There was no statistically significant difference between the mean salt intake of the self-reported salty diet group (13.7 ± 4.8 g/d) and the self-reported unsalty diet group (13.3 ± 4.4 g/d). If we assume calculated salt intake as the gold standard, the sensitivity and specificity of self-reported saltiness were 39.5% and 63.6%, respectively. Salt intake was increased with higher calorie intake, frequency of eating breakfast (≥5 times/wk) and being satiated with usual diet in men, but it was increased only with higher calorie intake in women. Regardless of actual salt intake, the group satiated with a usual diet tended to be in the group of self-reported salty diet.
Self-reported saltiness of diet was not associated with actual salt intake. Further studies will be needed on the simpler and more objective tools to estimate salt intake.
PMCID: PMC3383500  PMID: 22745893
Saltiness; Salt Intake; Self Report; Diet Records
23.  Dietary Patterns and Osteoporosis Risk in Postmenopausal Korean Women 
The prevalence of osteoporosis and related fractures has increased rapidly in Korean women. Proper nutrition intake is associated with the prevention of osteoporosis. We analyzed the association between dietary patterns and the risk of osteoporosis during a 4-year follow-up in postmenopausal Korean women.
Postmenopausal women (n = 1,725) who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study were enrolled. Food intake was assessed using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, and a quantitative ultrasound device was used to measure the speed of sound at the radius and tibia.
Three major dietary patterns were identified using factor analysis based on baseline intake data: traditional (high intake of rice, kimchi, and vegetables), dairy (high intake of milk, dairy products, and green tea), and western (high intake of sugar, fat, and bread). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risk for osteoporosis. An inverse association was detected between the dairy dietary pattern and the osteoporosis incidence [relative risk (RR): 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.42–0.93, p-trend=0.055 in radius; RR: 0.56, 95% CI: 0.35–0.90, p-trend=0.048 in tibia]. Individuals in the highest quintile for the traditional dietary pattern (p-trend = 0.009 in tibia) and western dietary pattern (p-trend = 0.043 in radius) demonstrated a higher risk of osteoporosis incidence than those in the lowest quintile.
These results suggested that high consumption of milk, dairy products, and green tea may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal Korean women.
PMCID: PMC3747660  PMID: 24159515
dietary pattern; Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study; osteoporosis; speed of sound
24.  Metabolic engineering of the iodine content in Arabidopsis 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:338.
Plants are a poor source of iodine, an essential micronutrient for human health. Several attempts of iodine biofortification of crops have been carried out, but the scarce knowledge on the physiology of iodine in plants makes results often contradictory and not generalizable. In this work, we used a molecular approach to investigate how the ability of a plant to accumulate iodine can be influenced by different mechanisms. In particular, we demonstrated that the iodine content in Arabidopsis thaliana can be increased either by facilitating its uptake with the overexpression of the human sodium-iodide symporter (NIS) or through the reduction of its volatilization by knocking-out HOL-1, a halide methyltransferase. Our experiments show that the iodine content in plants results from a balance between intake and retention. A correct manipulation of this mechanism could improve iodine biofortification of crops and prevent the release of the ozone layer-threatening methyl iodide into the atmosphere.
PMCID: PMC3313481  PMID: 22468225
25.  Epidemiology of coronary heart disease. Lessons from North and South Belgium 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1980;56(658):548-556.
Differences in food intake, smoking and drinking habits in the North and the South of Belgium have been studied with the aid of household data gathered by the National Institute of Statistics, Brussels, 1973-74. Consumption of sugar, vegetables, fruits, crude fibre and meat was almost identical between the regions. Consumption of bread, fish and salt intake were slightly higher in the North and alcohol consumption higher in the South. The major differences were located in fat consumption. Saturated fat as a percentage of dietary energy amounted to 15·8% in the North v. 18·5% in the South; polyunsaturated fat was, respectively for the North and South, 7·9% and 5·5%. Dietary cholesterol intake was 320 mg/day in the North against 400 mg/day in the South. The difference in serum cholesterol, calculated with the Keys formula, was 11·9 mg%, a value totally consistent with the observed values.
The difference in saturated fat intake between the regions was almost entirely due to the difference of butter intake, thereby explaining why butter correlated so perfectly with mortality in different parts of Belgium. Similar correlations were found in France and Western Europe.
The mortality trends in both regions were compared with the available data on fat consumption over the last 15 years. Again a decreasing intake of saturated fat (less butter and less common (hard) margarine) was associated with a decreasing coronary, cardiovascular and total mortality in both the North and the South. The time-related decrease discussed in the second part was quantitatively similar to one obtained in the first part from geographical differences, making a spurious association extremely unlikely.
Similar dietary changes with identical results in terms of mortality have also been observed in the U.S.A. and Finland.
PMCID: PMC2425953  PMID: 7465458

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