Iodine and human health, the role of environmental geochemistry and diet, a review

Fuge, Ron; Johnson, Christopher C.. 2015 Iodine and human health, the role of environmental geochemistry and diet, a review. Applied Geochemistry, 63. 282-302.

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Iodine is an essential element in the human diet and a deficiency can lead to a number of health outcomes collectively termed iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). The geochemistry of iodine is dominated by its volatility with volatilisation of organo-iodine compounds and elemental iodine from biological and non-biological sources in the oceans being a major component of its global cycle. As a result of the dominant oceanic source, iodine is strongly enriched in near-coastal soils, however, the major zone of marine influence generally stretches to only 50–80 km inland and terrestrial sources of volatilised iodine, from wetlands, soils and plants are also an important aspect of its global geochemical cycle. Iodine in soils is strongly bound with transfer factors from soil to plants being generally small and as a consequence there is only limited uptake of iodine through the plant root system. It is likely that uptake of atmospheric iodine by the aerial parts of plants is an essential process and, along with iodine deposited on plant surfaces, is a major source for grazing animals. Human intake of iodine is mainly from food with some populations also obtaining appreciable quantities of iodine from drinking water. Plant-derived dietary iodine is generally insufficient as evidenced from the low dietary iodine of strict vegan diets. Seafood provides major iodine-rich dietary items but other inputs are mainly from adventitious sources, such as the use of iodised salt and from dairy produce, which is a rich source mainly due to cattle-feed being fortified with iodine, and to the use of iodine-containing sterilants in the dairy industry. While the distribution and geochemistry of iodine are reflected in the global distribution of IDD, the recent upsurge of IDD in developed countries would seem to reflect changes in diet.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 08832927
Date made live: 12 Apr 2016 14:47 +0 (UTC)

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