Poster Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

Iodine levels in preconception and pregnancy supplements (#455)

Jessica D'Annunzio 1 , Rachel Porter 1 , Alex Vasseli 1 , Mark Nottle 1
  1. Robinson Research Institute & Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, ADELAIDE, SA, Australia

The NHMRC recommends that pregnant women take a supplement containing 150µg of iodine per day prior to conception, during pregnancy and while breast feeding to ensure adequate thyroid function and infant brain and nervous system development (1). The aim of the present study was to compare the amount of   iodine in preconception and/or pregnancy and breast feeding supplements with this recommendation. An initial survey compared the iodine content advertised on the label of 12 preconception and pregnancy products with this recommendation. In a subsequent study the actual amount of iodine in two batches for five products was compared with their advertised label amounts. The amount of iodine in the tablets was determined in duplicate from a ground sample of 10 tablets using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry following tetramethylammonium hydroxide micro digestion performed by an independent laboratory.   In the initial survey all 12 products examined met the recommended with six of these exceeding this by 70-100mcg. In the second study two of the five products examined contained on average 20 and 47% less iodine than their advertised label amount of 150 mcg. While two products contained 33 and 55% more iodine than their advertised label amount of 250 mcg (which was 100mcg in excess of the recommended intake). In three of these four products there was also of evidence of variation between the two batches tested. In conclusion our results suggest that preconception and/or pregnancy products have advertised amounts which meet or exceed the recommended supplementary iodine intake. However some products appear to contain less iodine or more iodine than their advertised amounts with evidence of variation between batches. Given the importance of adequate iodine intake in terms of thyroid function and infant brain and nervous system development further studies are warranted to confirm these preliminary findings.


  1. 1.NHMRC Public statement. Iodine supplementation for pregnant and breastfeeding women. January 2010.