BENGALURU: With at least 85 per cent of salt samples from various districts of the state found to have iodine levels less than the stipulated limit, Karnataka continues to report iodine deficiency disorders like goitre. This, despite the launch of the National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme in 1988-89, almost 30 years ago, in Karnataka. In 2017, from January to November, 145 cases were reported.
This indicates that various districts still continue to sell non-iodised salt.
Chamarajnagar reported the highest with 63 cases, followed by Udupi (43) and Belagavi (28). Other endemic districts are Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada, Ballari, Kodagu, Chikkamagalur, Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Shivamogga. Iodine deficiency causes cretinism, deaf mutism, dumbness, physical and mental retardation.
Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, a nutritionist at Apollo Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, said, “Food or diet per se will not give you sufficient amount of iodine. The quality of soil has deteriorated, so the amount of iodine that enriches vegetables has also reduced.”
Iodine is highly sensitive to oxidation. “If we fortify 30 parts per million, by the time it reaches the customers in a packaged form, 50 per cent of it will be oxidised. There is a loss of a lot of iodine due to oxidation. It is important that at the household level iodine is present in at least 15 parts per million,” she said.