23.04.2018 change 23.04.2018

Scientists have signed the Krakow Declaration on Iodine

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Development of effective methods for preventing iodine deficiency in Europe and control of preventing iodine deficiency in Europe are the postulates of the Krakow Declaration on Iodine signed by scientists from 27 countries in Krakow.

The declaration is an international document, "Krakow" in the name refers to the city in which it was signed.

"The Krakow Declaration on Iodine demands national governments and public health officials to be aware of their responsibility to take care of the sufficient iodine status of their populations instead of relying on scientists and other stakeholders to take action" - said Prof. Henry Völzke, project coordinator "EUthyroid", as part of under which the declaration was created.

John Lazarus from the Iodine Global Network (IGN) stated that this is probably the first such declaration in Europe and an important step to ensure adequate consumption of iodine. He hopes that it will be an advisory platform for governments, food industry representatives and public health institutions.

The declaration can also be signed by all those interested in the problem. It will soon be available on the websites of the Polish Society of Endocrinology and the city of Kraków.

For years, WHO has been calling for regular monitoring of the supply of iodine as an important step towards eliminating iodine deficiency in Europe.

"Most studies in many European countries have shown that even if the supply of iodine is normal in the general population, there are sensitive groups, including children and pregnant women, who require iodine supplementation" - noted Prof. Alicja Hubalewska-Dydejczyk, head of the Clinical Department of Endocrinology at the University Hospital in Krakow.

She emphasised that iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones that are involved in the development of the body. They are very important for the proper development of the central nervous system.

Prof. Marek Ruchała from the Polish Society of Endocrinology pointed out that thanks to the long-term programs, "the iodine situation in Poland is very good compared to many European countries". "The Krakow declaration will allow us to continue this good condition and monitor the iodine situation in Poland" - he said.

Iodine is an essential micronutrient supplied to the body with liquids and with food, it is also present in the air. It is required for the production of thyroid hormones, which are an important regulator of metabolism, growth and development of the body. During pregnancy, the iodine demand increases significantly and its amount in a woman`s daily diet often becomes insufficient. Even a small deficiency exposes the child to the risk of cognitive impairment and lower IQ. Most mothers, however, are not aware of the consequences of low consumption of iodine for the development of their children.

Experts say that in many European countries, which have voluntary iodine prophylaxis programs, up to 50 percent newborns are exposed to a small deficiency of iodine, and therefore at risk of limited cognitive potential. (PAP)

author: Beata Kołodziej

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