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February 11, 2010

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City bureau issues clean bill of health on iodine

GOOD news for anyone worried about taking too much iodized salt:

Shanghai residents' iodine nutrition is at an appropriate level, the Shanghai Health Bureau said.

The bureau made that pronouncement yesterday after measuring the urine iodine in 8,000 local people and finding it in the healthy range. The survey included people aged 5 to 69, pregnant women and women doing breast feeding.

The bureau carried out the survey as a part of national research launched by the Ministry of Health to study people's iodine nutrition in response to recent concerns about the possible effects of taking large amounts of iodized salt.

Shanghai has been primarily selling iodized salt since 1996 to counter a widespread problem of iodine deficiencies.

Local medical experts said people should take iodized salt in accordance with personal dietary habits and health. Those who frequently eat seafood can take iodized salt and non-iodized salt in turns to control their intake of iodine.

"Those without such a habit or who like a bland diet can eat iodized salt regularly," said Dr Han Ting, nutrition department director of Shanghai No. 10 People's Hospital.

For people who should control iodine intake, non-iodized salt is sold in designated drug stores, pharmacies and salt stores in Shanghai. The information is available at or hotline 63374330.

Deficient iodine can affect the nervous system and intelligence, while excessive iodine can cause some thyroid diseases.


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