Can non-fortified marine salt cover human needs for iodine?

Carolina B. Lobato, Ana Machado*, Raquel B. R. Mesquita, Lurdes Lima, Adriano A. Bordalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Iodine deficiency remains a worldwide problem with two billion individuals having insufficient iodine intake. Universal salt iodisation was declared by UNICEF and WHO as a safe, cost-effective, and sustainable way to tackle iodine deficiency. In Portugal, the few studies available unravel an iodine status below the WHO guidelines for pregnant women and school-aged children. In the present study, the iodine levels of household salt consumed in Portugal was assessed, for the first time. Non-iodised (median 14 ppm) and fortified (median 48 ppm) marine salt samples showed iodine levels lower than the minimum and above the maximum threshold recommended by non-mandatory Portuguese law and WHO recommendations, respectively. This study calls attention to the fact that marine salt per se, in spite of containing a natural high amount of iodine, requires further fortification in order to be used as an effective tool to deal with iodine insufficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • Iodine
  • Public health
  • Salt


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