World Iodine Deficiency Day Date in the current year: October 21, 2024

World Iodine Deficiency Day World Iodine Deficiency Day, also known as Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day, is observed annually on October 21. Its main goal to raise awareness of the dangers of iodine deficiency and the ways of its prevention.

Iodine is one of the most important dietary minerals. It is essential for the production of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine that play a crucial role in growth, development and metabolism. Severe iodine deficiency results in a range of thyroid disorders, while a slight lack of iodine may cause fatigue, mood swings, irritability, memory problems, and headaches.

The recommended daily intake of iodine may vary depending on a number of factors such as age, sex, body weight, and overall health. It is generally considered that children under one year of age need 110–130 µg iodine for maintenance of normal thyroid function, children under eight years old need 90 µg, children under 13 years old need 130 µg, adults need 150 µg, pregnant women need 220 µg, and lactating women need 290 µg.

Iodine is present in all living organisms. However, the content of this mineral in plants depends on the presents of its compounds in the soil and water. Therefore, seaweeds have one of the highest levels of iodine. The main sources of iodine in the human diet are seafood, plants grown on iodine-rich soil, as well as dairy products and eggs obtained from animals that receive enough iodine.

Iodine deficiency is more common in remote inland areas and mountainous regions where soils are poor in iodine and marine foods are uncommon. According to World Health Organization, nearly two billion people around were globe were affected by insufficient iodine intake in 2007. Regions where iodine deficiency is particularly common are Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific.

Serious consequences of iodine deficiency include a high rate of infant mortality, goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland causing a swelling in the neck), hypothyroidism (an endocrine disorder that can cause a number of symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue to weight gain), delays in growth and intellectual development in children, and intellectual disability. Iodine deficiency is especially dangerous for children whose body is still growing and developing.

Fortunately, there is a simple and affordable way to prevent iodine deficiency. We’re talking about the consumption of iodized salt which is fortified with iodine in the form of sodium iodide. In regions where iodine deficiency is a significant public health problem, the use of iodized salt is heavily promoted. Some countries (for example, Romania, Thailand and Philippines) have mandated the use of iodized salt by law.

World Iodine Deficiency Day was created to raise public awareness about the dangers of iodine deficiency and to promote iodine salt consumption to prevent iodine deficiency and resulting disorders. World Iodine Deficiency Day events and activities are held by healthcare organizations around the world, especially in the countries where iodine deficiency is common.

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World Iodine Deficiency Day, Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day, international observances, iodine deficiency