In the group who were given the iodine supplement, their iodine levels in the urine had more than doubled (from 79 mcg/L to 178 mcg/L) by the end of the 24 week period. Among the group who took the placebo pills, there was essentially no change in the urine iodine levels. Correspondingly, when compared to the placebo group, the iodine-supplemented group also had blood thyroglobulin levels decrease by 12% at 8 weeks, 20% by 16 weeks, and 27% by the end of the study at 24 weeks. This decreasing trend in blood thyroglobulin levels confirms that the iodine supplementation improved the iodine deficiency (as also confirmed by the increased urine iodine levels) over the study period.
Neither of the two groups had any abnormalities or significant changes in the thyroid hormone levels in the blood, which are not surprising, as they reflect changes in iodine status over a much longer timeframe.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
This study in adults confirms the trend in children that improved iodine nutrition is able to decrease blood thyroglobulin levels. Thus, blood thyroglobulin levels may be a potential way to monitor iodine status in large populations of adults. This is important in areas of the world in which there is insufficient iodine naturally in the diet, particularly in women of childbearing age as a way to safeguard against brain damage in infants and young children.
— Angela M. Leung, MD, MSc
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Iodine Deficiency: http://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency