Iodine is a difficult element to get naturally in the diet, which is why much of the world has addressed iodine deficiency by fortifying foods and providing iodized salt – but iodine deficiency clearly persists in populations and it is estimated 2 billion people worldwide having insufficient dietary iodine intakes. Despite the UK population has been considered iodine sufficient, recent research has indicated that the UK population is in fact mild to moderately iodine deficient.
Why Does Iodine Matter?
This nutritional element is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Therefore, its deficiency may contribute to hypothyroidism, goiter, pregnancy complications, and decreased IQ and cretinism in children. Even moderate deficiency has been linked with breast cancer risk and infertility.
Essential elements are abundant and only healthy when they are within optimal ranges. Iodine is paramount among these, but other important elements include copper, magnesium, selenium, and zinc – which are critical for enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitters and activate hormones.
Why Test in Urine?
A convenient way to test for iodine deficiency is to measure it in urine, since more than 90% is excreted. However, a problem with urinary iodine measurements has always been in the procedure for collecting it. With most liquid urine tests, all urine produced over 24 hours must be collected – which is logistically very difficult. Upwards of 40% of people who collect urine over 24 hours do not do it correctly and miss collections.
Our dried urine method offers a discreet, at-home testing alternative and eliminates the hassles of all-day jug urine collection. Patients collect urine on a filter strip twice during the day. Dried strips are shelf-stable for 30 days and easy to mail back to the lab for analysis.