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Iodine intake in Germany on the decline again - tips for a good iodine intake

Updated questions and answers on iodine intake and the prevention of iodine deficiency of 9 February 2021

Iodine is an essential trace element which the body needs for the production of thyroid hormones and thus for the control of a large number of metabolic processes. Iodine has to be taken up with food. Since the iodine levels in the soil are low, agricultural products contain very little iodine. Sea fish and shellfish, on the other hand, have high iodine contents, but do not contribute significantly to iodine supply due to the low consumption frequency. Overall, the natural iodine content of our food is not sufficient to ensure an adequate iodine intake for the German population. The iodine intake of the German population had been improved by the recommended measures from the mid-1980s to use iodised table salt in the food industry and manufacture of artisanal food products, and in private households. The use of iodine as a feed additive, which resulted in higher iodine content in milk and dairy products, had also contributed to the improvement of the situation. However, current data show that the iodine intake of the population is still not optimal and/or demonstrates a declining trend. In order to guarantee an adequate iodine supply for the German population, sustainable and continuous measures are necessary.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has answered and summarised the most frequent questions on the subject of iodine supply and the prevention of iodine deficiency below.



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Date Title Size
BfR FAQ of 20 February 2020, updated
Iodine intake in Germany on the decline again - tips for a good iodine intake 164.5 KB




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