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Breast-milk iodine concentration declines over the first 6 mo postpartum in iodine-deficient women.

Author(s): Mulrine HM, Skeaff SA, Ferguson EL, Gray AR, Valeix P

Affiliation(s): Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Publication date & source: 2010-10, Am J Clin Nutr., 92(4):849-56. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the iodine status of lactating mothers and their infants during the first 6 mo postpartum or, if deficient, the amount of supplemental iodine required to improve status. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine maternal and infant iodine status and the breast-milk iodine concentration (BMIC) over the first 6 mo of breastfeeding. DESIGN: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled supplementation trial was conducted in lactating women who received placebo (n = 56), 75 mug I/d (n = 27), or 150 mug I/d (n = 26) after their infants' birth until 24 wk postpartum. Maternal and infant urine samples and breast-milk samples were collected at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 wk. Maternal serum thyrotropin and free thyroxine concentrations were measured at 24 wk. RESULTS: Over 24 wk, the median urinary iodine concentration (UIC) of unsupplemented women and their infants ranged from 20 to 41 mug/L and 34 to 49 mug/L, respectively, which indicated iodine deficiency (ie, UIC < 100 mug/L). Mean maternal UIC was 2.1-2.4 times higher in supplemented than in unsupplemented women (P < 0.001) but did not differ significantly between the 2 supplemented groups. BMIC in the placebo group decreased by 40% over 24 wk (P < 0.001) and was 1.3 times and 1.7 times higher in women supplemented with 75 mug I/d (P = 0.030) and 150 mug I/d (P < 0.001), respectively, than in unsupplemented women. Thyrotropin and free thyroxine did not differ significantly between groups. CONCLUSION: BMIC decreased in the first 6 mo in these iodine-deficient lactating women; supplementation with 75 or 150 mug I/d increased the BMIC but was insufficient to ensure adequate iodine status in women or their infants. The study was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry as ACTRN12605000345684.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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