Hostname: page-component-5db6c4db9b-bhjbq Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-24T00:31:24.878Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Dietary iodine intake and urinary iodine excretion in a Danish population: effect of geography, supplements and food choice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Lone B. Rasmussen*
Institute of Food Research and Nutrition, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, DK-2860 Søborg, Denmark
Lars Ovesen
Institute of Food Research and Nutrition, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, DK-2860 Søborg, Denmark
Inge Bülow
Department of Endocrinology, Aalborg Hospital, 9100, Aalborg, Denmark
Torben Jørgensen
Centre for Preventive Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, 2600, Glostrup, Denmark
Nils Knudsen
Centre for Preventive Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, 2600, Glostrup, Denmark Department of Internal Medicine I, Bispebjerg Hospital, 2400, Copenhagen NV, Denmark
Peter Laurberg
Department of Endocrinology, Aalborg Hospital, 9100, Aalborg, Denmark
Hans Perrild
Department of Internal Medicine I, Bispebjerg Hospital, 2400, Copenhagen NV, Denmark
*Corresponding author: Dr Lone Banke Rasmussen, fax +45 33 95 66 96, email
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]


HTML view is not available for this content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

I deficiency diseases remain a health problem even in some developed countries. Therefore, measurement of I intake and knowledge about food choice related to I intake is important. We examined I intake in 4649 randomly selected participants from two cities in Denmark (Copenhagen and Aalborg) with an expected difference in I intake. I intake was assessed both by a food frequency questionnaire and by measuring I in casual urine samples. I excretion was expressed as a concentration and as estimated 24-h I excretion. Further, subgroups with low I intake were recognized. I intake was lower in Aalborg than in Copenhagen for all expressions, and lower than recommended in both cities if I intake from supplements was not included. Milk was the most important I source, accounting for about 44 % of the I intake, and milk (P<0·001) and fish (P=0·009) intake was related to I excretion in a multiple linear regression model. Thus, risk groups for low I intake were individuals with a low milk intake, those with a low intake of fish and milk, those not taking I supplements and those living in Aalborg where the I content in drinking water is lower. Even individuals who followed the advice regarding intake of 200–300 g fish/week and 0·5 litres milk/d had an intake below the recommended level if living in Aalborg.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2002


Appleby, PN, Thorogood, M, Mann, JI & Key, TJ (1999) The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70, 525S531S.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bartels, H & Böhmer, M (1971) Micro-determination of creatinine. Clinica Chimica Acta 32, 8185.Google ScholarPubMed
Bourdoux, P, Delange, F, Filetti, S, Thilly, CH & Ermans, AM (1985) Reliability of the iodine/creatinine ratio: a myth? In Thyroid Disorders Associated with Iodine Deficiency and Excess, pp. 145152 [Hall, R and Köbberling, J, editors]. New York: Raven Press.Google Scholar
Brug, J, Löwik, MRH, Wedel, M & Odink, J (1992) Iodine excretion before and after revision of goiter prophylaxis (Dutch Nutrition Surveillance System). European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 46, 671678.Google Scholar
Delange, F (1994) Iodine deficiency in Europe. Thyroid International 3, 120.Google Scholar
Delange, F & Bürgi, H (1989) Iodine deficiency disorders in Europe. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 67, 317325.Google Scholar
Ford, HC, Johnson, LA, Feek, CM & Newton, JD (1991) Iodine intake and the seasonal incidence of thyrotoxicosis in New Zealand. Clinical Endocrinology 34, 179181.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Goldberg, GR, Black, AE, Jebb, SA, Cole, TJ, Murgatroyd, PR, Coward, WA & Prentice, AM (1991) Critical evaluation of energy intake data using fundamental principles of energy physiology: 1. Derivation of cut-off limits to identify under-recording. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 45, 569581.Google ScholarPubMed
Jakobsen, J, Ovesen, L, Fagt, S & Pedersen, AN (1997) Para-aminobenzoic acid used as a marker for completeness of 24 hour urine: assessment of control limits for a specific HPLC method. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 51, 514519.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kesteloot, H & Joossens, JV (1997) On the determinants of the creatinine clearance: a population study. Journal of Human Hypertension 10, 245249.Google Scholar
Knudsen, N, Bülow, I, Jørgensen, T, Laurberg, P, Ovesen, L & Perrild, H (2000 a) Goitre prevalence and thyroid abnormalities at ultrasonography: a comparative epidemiological study in two regions with slightly different iodine status. Clinical Endocrinology 53, 479485.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Knudsen, N, Christiansen, E, Brandt-Christensen, M, Nygaard, B & Perrild, H (2000 b) Age- and sex-adjusted iodine/creatinine ratio. A new standard in epidemiological surveys? Evaluation of three different estimates of iodine excretion based on casual urine samples and comparison to 24h values. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54, 361363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Knudsen, N, Jørgensen, T, Rasmussen, S, Christiansen, E & Perrild, H (1999) The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in a population with borderline iodine deficiency. Clinical Endocrinology 51, 361367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larsen, EH, Knuthsen, P & Hansen, M (1999) Seasonal and regional variations of iodine in Danish dairy products determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 14, 4144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laurberg, P (1987) Thyroxine and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine content of thyroglobulin in thyroid needle aspirates in hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 119, 125131.Google Scholar
Laurberg, P, Andersen, S, Hreidarsson, A, Jørgensen, T, Knudsen, N, Nøhr, S, Ovesen, L, Pedersen, IB, Pedersen, KM, Perrild, H & Rasmussen, LB (1998) Iodine intake and thyroid disorders in Denmark. In Elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) in Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Baltic States. Proceedings of a Conference Held in Munich, pp. 3142 [Delange, F, Robertson, A, McLoughney, E and Gerasimov, G, editors]. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
Lightowler, HJ & Davies, GJ (1998) Iodine intake and iodine deficiency in vegans as assessed by the duplicate-portion technique and urinary iodine excretion. British Journal of Nutrition 80, 529535.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Munkner, T (1969) Urinary excretion of 127 iodine in the Danish population. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 24(Suppl. 110), 134.Google Scholar
Nelson, M & Phillips, DIW (1985) Seasonal variations in dietary iodine intake and thyrotoxicosis. Human Nutrition: Applied Nutrition 39A, 213216.Google Scholar
Pedersen, KM, Iversen, E & Laurberg, P (1995) Urinary iodine excretion and individual iodine supplementation among elderly subjects: A cross-sectional investigation in the commune of Randers, Denmark. European Journal of Endocrinology 132, 171174.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pedersen, KM, Laurberg, P, Nøhr, S, Jørgensen, A & Andersen, S (1999) Iodine in drinking water varies by more than 100-fold in Denmark. Importance for iodine content of infant formulas. European Journal of Endocrinology 140, 400403.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pedersen, KM, Nøhr, SB & Laurberg, P (1997) Jodindtagelse i Danmark (Iodine intake in Denmark). Ugeskrift for Læger 159, 22012206.Google Scholar
Rasmussen, LB, Andersson, G, Haraldsdottir, J, Kristiansen, E, Molsted, K, Laurberg, P, Overvad, K, Perrild, H & Ovesen, L (1996) Iodine. Do we need an enrichment program in Denmark? International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition 47, 377381.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rasmussen, LB, Larsen, EH & Ovesen, L (2000) Iodine content in drinking water and other beverages in Denmark. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54, 5760.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rasmussen, LB, Ovesen, L, Bülow, I, Jørgensen, T, Knudsen, N, Laurberg, P & Perrild, H (2001) Evaluation of a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate iodine intake. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55, 287292.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rasmussen, LB, Ovesen, L & Christiansen, E (1999) Day-to-day and within-day variation in urinary iodine excretion. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53, 401407.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Remer, T, Neubert, A & Manz, F (1999) Increased risk of iodine deficiency with vegetarian nutrition. British Journal of Nutrition 81, 4549.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sandström, B, Aro, A, Becker, W, Lyhne, N, Pedersen, JI & Pórsdoó ttir, I (1996) Nordiske Näringsrekommendationer 1996 (Nordic Dietary Recommendations 1996). Nord, no 28, Nordisk Forlagshus: Nordisk Ministerråd.Google Scholar
Saxholt, E (1996) Levnedsmiddeltabeller (Food Composition Tables) 4th ed. Sarborg: Levnedsmiddelstyrelsen.Google Scholar
Vought, RL, Londom, WT, Lutwak, L & Dublin, TD (1963) Reliability of estimates of serum inorganic iodine and daily faecal and urinary iodine excretion from single causal specimens. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 23, 12181228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, B & van Zyl, A (1967) The estimation of iodine in thyroidal amino acids by alkaline ashing. South Africa Journal of Medical Sciences 32, 7082.Google ScholarPubMed
World Health Organization (1996) Trace Elements in Human Nutrition and Health. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar