Less iodine – lower IQ


Experts told how to prevent diseases associated with a deficiency of an important trace element.

World Iodine Deficiency Day is celebrated on October 21st. According to endocrinologists, this problem is relevant for almost all regions of Russia. On average, the inhabitants of our country consume no more than 80 micrograms of iodine per day – this is three times less than the norm. Meanwhile, the consequences of chronic microelement deficiency are very serious: impaired mental and physical development in children, thyroid diseases, problems of the cardiovascular, digestive and skeletal systems. How to maintain the health of Russians, the Parliamentary Newspaper found out.

Salt fixes everything?

According to the Ministry of Health, today more than two million Russians suffer from thyroid diseases. Most of them are caused by iodine deficiency. The department believes that the way out of the situation could be the total iodization of edible table salt, as well as its use in baking bread. After all, Russians eat these products every day, regardless of family income.

The Ministry of Health has been developing a bill on this for several years. However, the fate of the document was not easy. The prepared bill was discussed at the site of the All-Russian Popular Front and in the State Duma Committee on Health Protection, then it was submitted to the Government. But then the initiative of the Ministry of Health stumbled over the comments of other departments. Thus, the Ministry of Economy considered that mandatory salt iodization would lead to an increase in producers’ costs and an increase in retail prices, so the document can be adopted only after taking into account the opinions of all parties.

However, as Vladimir Krugly, Honored Doctor of Russia, member of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, told Parlamentskaya Gazeta, work on the bill should be continued, because the problem of preventing iodine deficiency has not gone away.

“We supported the initiative of the Ministry of Health. After all, almost all our regions are endemic for iodine deficiency. The lack of this trace element entails serious health consequences, especially in children. As far as I know, the document has not yet been submitted to the State Duma. But now the State Duma of the new, eighth convocation has begun to work. I think things will work out.”

— Krugliy said.

Iodine itself is not produced in the human body, but you need to get it daily. This trace element is actively involved in metabolism, regulates the work of internal organs. In addition, iodine is an integral part of thyroid hormones. Its lack leads to a decrease in the synthesis of hormones and the development of iodine deficiency diseases.

Will iodine be added to both bread and salt?

“Insufficiency of iodine leads to a number of severe consequences”

-Valeria Loseva, an endocrinologist at the Khimki Regional Hospital, confirmed.

“Among them are miscarriage in women, fetal malformations, thyroid disease. In adults, diffuse or nodular goiter and iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis are most often formed. Hypothyroidism develops extremely rarely, only with prolonged and very severe iodine deficiency – less than 20-25 micrograms per day.

In children with a lack of iodine, the brain, hearing, visual memory and speech often suffer, and the IQ may decrease. Even with a slight shortage of this trace element, the IQ of an adult or child will be 10 points lower compared to those who live in a region with enough iodine, the doctor emphasized.

According to WHO recommendations, the main way to prevent iodine deficiency is to use salt enriched with this microelement. In Russia, less than 30 percent of the population consumes such salt so far.

“To avoid health problems, you just need to replace the usual salt with iodized”

Valeria Loseva explained.

“The daily norm of salt – 5-7 grams per day – is quite enough to fill the body with an important trace element. There is no risk of overdosing: for this to happen, you need to eat 100 grams of this salt per day.

How much iodine do you need per day:

children under 5 years old – 90-110 mcg;

from 5 to 12 years – 110-120 mcg;

adolescents and adults – 150 mcg;

pregnant and lactating – 250 mcg;

the elderly – 100 mcg.

1.5 million Russian adults and 650 thousand children with thyroid diseases annually require specialized endocrinological care due to iodine deficiency.


Russalt is the largest producer of iodized salt in the Russian Federation. The effectiveness of salt with iodine content in the fight against iodine deficiency was scientifically proven back in Soviet times, and modern technologies for using potassium iodate instead of the former unstable iodide to enrich salt made it possible to create a product with a long shelf life and retaining its beneficial properties even during heat treatment.

Russalt combines three of the most powerful salt deposits in the country – Iletskoye, Baskunchakskoye and Usolye-Sibirskoye – and is ready to fully meet the needs of Russians in a vital product. The company’s own developments made it possible to create a full-cycle production of iodized salt and make the product useful and affordable. Already today, Russalt uses four of its own patented salt iodization units at the fields and has two modern European lines at the plants in Novomoskovsk and Usolye-Sibirsky. In the future, the company plans to implement a strategy of transition to the widespread production of salt enriched with iodine, based, among other things, on world experience.

According to the “Parliamentary newspaper”