Iodine in Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition

M.B. Zimmermann, C.M. Crill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Iodine deficiency (ID) has multiple adverse effects on growth and development due to inadequate thyroid hormone production. Methods for assessment of iodine nutrition in individuals include the urinary iodine concentration (UI), thyroid size and thyroid function tests. The UI measured in several repeat 24-h urine samples can detect inadequate iodine intake in individuals receiving enteral or parenteral nutrition (PN) and allow for iodine supplementation before the onset of hypothyroidism. A daily dose of 1 µg iodine/kg body weight is currently recommended for children receiving PN, but this is far below their requirements. Daily iodine requirements in adults receiving enteral nutrition or PN are estimated to be 70–150 µg, but most PN formulations do not contain iodine. Despite this, ID has been unlikely because absorption from iodine-containing skin antiseptics and other adventitious sources can provide sufficient iodine. However, if chlorhexidine replaces iodine-containing antiseptics for catheter care, ID may occur during long-term PN, and periodic testing of UI and thyroid function may be prudent. Infants may be particularly vulnerable to ID because of their small thyroidal iodine store. In this review, we describe three recent patients (an infant, a child and an adult) who developed ID and thyroid hypofunction during PN
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-158
JournalBest Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • blood spot thyroglobulin
  • boston-area women
  • preterm infants
  • thyroid volume
  • iodized salt
  • breast-milk
  • perchlorate concentrations
  • reference values
  • dietary iodine
  • trace-elements

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