Iodine Status In UK

Tuesday, 06 April 2010 by
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Iodine deficiency is the single most common cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage in the world. It also decreases child survival, causes goitres, and impairs growth and development. Iodine deficiency in pregnant women causes miscarriages, stillbirths, and other complications. Children with IDD can grow up stunted, apathetic, mentally retarded, and incapable of normal movements, speech, or hearing. Globally, 2.2 billion people (38% of the world’s population) live in areas with iodine deficiency and risks its complications.

But are people in the UK deficient in Iodine? There is surprisingly little information available to identify whether the population has adequate or insufficient levels to meet the various needs of all the tissues that have iodine receptors.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Most basic research relies on the use of mice as the sacrificial animal. Many of these mouse are carefully engineered to have special gene abnormalities, or to be a consistent animal in order that different laboratories can limit variability by using the same strain/species. Without doubt millions of mice have been sacrificed in the name of science, and whilst there will be considerable polarisation on the validity of their use, they have contributed an enormous amount of information to human health.

But man is not a mouse, and indeed a mouse may be adversely affected by the choice of mouse chow given to it. A remarkably elegant study by Courtney Kozyul PhD demonstrated how by changing the diet of lab mice, significantly divergent results could be collected. A few years prior, there was an understanding from labs that the local environment would impact on outcomes, now the mice chow is the next item on their radar.