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There is still controversy about optimal dietary iodine intake as the Universal Salt Iodization policy enforcement in China. A modified iodine balance study was thus conducted to explore the suitable iodine intake in Chinese adult males using the iodine overflow hypothesis. In this study, thirty-eight apparently healthy males (19·1 (sd 0·6) years) were recruited and provided with designed diets. After the 14-d iodine depletion, daily iodine intake gradually increased in the 30-d iodine supplementation, consisting of six stages and each of 5 d. All foods and excreta (urine, faeces) were collected to examine daily iodine intake, iodine excretion and the changes of iodine increment in relation to those values at stage 1. The dose–response associations of iodine intake increment with excretion increment were fitted by the mixed effects models, as well as with retention increment. Daily iodine intake and excretion were 16·3 and 54·3 μg/d at stage 1, and iodine intake increment increased from 11·2 μg/d at stage 2 to 118·0 μg/d at stage 6, while excretion increment elevated from 21·5 to 95·0 μg/d. A zero iodine balance was dynamically achieved as 48·0 μg/d of iodine intake. The estimated average requirement and recommended nutrient intake were severally 48·0 and 67·2 μg/d, which could be corresponded to a daily iodine intake of 0·74 and 1·04 μg/kg per d. The results of our study indicate that roughly half of current iodine intakes recommendation could be enough in Chinese adult males, which would be beneficial for the revision of dietary reference intakes.
Data on average iodine requirements for the Chinese population are limited following implementation of long-term universal salt iodisation. We explored the minimum iodine requirements of young adults in China using a balance experiment and the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis proposed by our team. Sixty healthy young adults were enrolled to consume a sequential experimental diet containing low, medium and high levels of iodine (about 20, 40 and 60 μg/d, respectively). Each dose was consumed for 4 d, and daily iodine intake, excretion and retention were assessed. All participants were in negative iodine balance throughout the study. Iodine intake, excretion and retention differed among the three iodine levels (P < 0·01 for all groups). The zero-iodine balance derived from a random effect model indicated a mean iodine intake of 102 μg/d, but poor correlation coefficients between observed and predicted iodine excretion (r 0·538 for μg/d data) and retention (r 0·304 for μg/d data). As iodine intake increased from medium to high, all of the increased iodine was excreted (‘overflow’) through urine and faeces by males, and 89·5 % was excreted by females. Although the high iodine level (63·4 μg/d) might be adequate in males, the corresponding level of 61·6 μg/d in females did not meet optimal requirements. Our findings indicate that a daily iodine intake of approximately half the current recommended nutrient intake (120 μg/d) may satisfy the minimum iodine requirements of young male adults in China, while a similar level is insufficient for females based on the ‘iodine overflow’ hypothesis.
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