Is the iodine supply sufficient in Europe?

Is the iodine supply sufficient in Europe?

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Iodine deficiency affects many people in Europe - experts now want to remedy the situation

A Europe-wide initiative now wants to minimize the widespread iodine deficiency and its negative consequences for human health. Researchers from 27 countries are working on the large project to support experts in their studies with uniform parameters. For several years now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that more and more people in Europe are affected by the negative consequences of an iodine deficiency.

The scientists at Greifswald University Medical Center are responsible for coordinating a Europe-wide initiative against iodine deficiency. Such a deficiency affects more and more people in Europe. The project, called “Euthyroid Network”, has already received three million euros from the EU.

Iodine deficiency in Europe must be combated

The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that monitoring iodine intake is an important step towards a sustainable and improved iodine supply across Europe. This is the only way to overcome the negative health effects of iodine deficiency in Germany and other European countries, the scientists explain. The so-called Euthyroid network is coordinated by the Greifswald University Medical Center and researchers from a total of 27 countries are working together on this project.

What does the euthyroid network do?

The Euthyroid network uses standardized questionnaires for children and adults in several languages. In this way, the socio-economic status of study participants can be determined. Euthyroid also provides an instructional video and written guide to enable the use of thyroid ultrasound in population studies.

Certified laboratory should enable comparative measurements

There are also instructions for laboratory tests using Euthyroid. These instructions range from taking blood or taking urine to the actually important measurements for determining iodine and parameters of the thyroid gland. A certified Euthyroid laboratory should also enable comparative measurements.

People in most regions of the world suffer from a lack of iodine

An increasing number of people across Europe seem to be impacted by the negative effects of a iodine deficiency, say researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO, people in most regions of the world suffer from such iodine deficiency. Here, regular monitoring through preventive programs is particularly important, say the experts.

Iodine supply must be standardized in Europe

The supply of iodine in Europe is particularly inconsistent due to many regional differences, experts say. There are very few countries in Europe that regularly monitor iodine supply. Another problem is that scientists use different methods in their studies. The iodine supply and prophylaxis are so different on the European continent that this makes comparative scientific studies very difficult. In the worst case, the differences would make such studies completely impossible.

Europe actually has a lot of experience in harmonizing measures across national borders. However, this experience does not help prevent undersupply of iodine, the scientists say. Perhaps the euthyroid network could help make this problem a thing of the past. (as)

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