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  1. #1
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    Question Iodized salt test?

    A few weeks ago DR1 had an article about salt in the Dominican Republic not being iodized, even if it was listed on the container otherwise. I'm pretty sure there was a simple test to do to determine which salt was iodized.

    I was in the States at the time, but now I'm back and would like to check our salt. Anyone know how to test? I recall it was a simple test using household product(s). But that's as far as the memory goes~~
    Is it all one brand that doesn't have it? Or, individual batches within the same brand?
    Would really like to know...TIA~~

    ~~anna~~

  2. #2
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    Put some salt on a white paper napkin. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on the salt. If the paper turns blue, iodine is present. Linda and other leading brands test negative. Not just DR brands, apparently.

  3. #3
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    Smile Iodized salt test

    Thanks so much for the quick response!!
    Now, to find my lemon juice....
    ~~anna~~

  4. #4
    John Evans
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    should i be worried ...which is best ....i came here to avoid stress now even salt is a source of stress

  5. #5
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    I think if it is advertised as iodised salt and there is no iodine in it, something needs to be done. But there is plenty iodine present in a healthy diet and most of us that eat a variety of things (sea food, sea vegetables, unrefined sea salt) do not need the additional iodine. We need minute amounts of iodine to keep the metabolic rate at a healthy level and to avoid iodine deficiency which is serious. One needs iodine in trace amounts ... 75-150 mcg iodine daily for optimal thyroid hormone production.

    A little unrefined sea salt as well as sea food or sea vegetables regularly in the diet could give you sufficient iodine. (not sea salt alone! a balanced diet.)

    Salt is a strange thing. We can live with it but we can also live without it. Remember the Egyptians used salt for embalming. I prefer to know when I eat iodine and when I eat salt. I don't like it when a government decides to put iodine in my salt and fluoride in my drinking water!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I don't like it when a government decides to put iodine in my salt and fluoride in my drinking water!
    Most governments decide to mandate adding iodine to salt because the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that they do. Why does WHO recommend it? Because several decades of studies have shown iodine deficiencies and related health disorders (such as goitre), particularly among children, pregnant women and the poor, and particularly in the developing world, including the DR. Universal salt iodinization (USI) is considered a relatively cheap, easy and reliable way of correcting the problem, hence why WHO and most development agencies (USAID, SIDA, DANIDA, etc.) support it.

  7. #7
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    Iodized salt is not generally used in the DR , except by foreigners and well-off Dominicans who know better. 65%+ of school-age dominican children are deficient in iodine, which leads to poor growth as well as making it more difficult for them to learn in school (and maybe a loss of 10 or 15 points in IQ, which if borderline turns them into much less productive members of their society in time).

    Most of the salt sold in the DR, and ALL of the salt sold in el campo in the colmados comes from an inland source in the southwest DR. Go look for yourselves if you don't believe me. It isn't there in el campo, and it's tough to find in the cities, unless there are many gringos as customers.

    I think this is a cultural problem. Offered either the familiar rough salt without iodine, or Iodized salt, the average dominicana will choose the regular salt and turn their nose up at the iodized salt.

    Poor dominicans (the majority) don't get a chance to eat things like sea-salt, or marine fish, etc which would provide sufficient iodine for a human being. When they do get to eat fish, such as Semana Santa, etc the fish they buy typically is tilapia, which is a freshwater fish. Landcrabs as well do not provide much iodine. People living inland rarely see marine fish or know what to do with it either.

    Well-meaning folks can start handing out canisters of iodized salt, but without the added education and overcoming the cultural issue, it won't change a thing. Another good project.

    See this WHO report, and if you want the DR's data which reports "insufficient" , it's on page 38 of the attached report.

    WHO | Eliminating iodine deficiency worldwide is within reach

    This problem would usually never occur to someone raised in North America, where it is doubtful that you could even fined uniodized salt. There's a reason for that, and another reason why N.A. children do better in school and grow larger bodies.

  8. #8
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    The issue here is that most or all the brands of salt on sale in the DR say "Sal yodada" - a lie.

  9. #9
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    I agree with you Chirimoya, as far as the supermarkets go. But I would wager that the big majority of people (or their cook/ maid) buy their salt in a little plastic bag from the colmado, which all comes from the salt mines in the southwest , near Lago Enriquillo.

  10. #10
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    There was initial resistance to iodizing salt in the US too, from both industry and consumers, back when it was first pushed in the 1920s. But the government kept the pressure up and started educating the public about the importance of micronutrients (including iodine) in the diet for child development and the health of pregnant women and mothers, and gradually it switched.

    There are plenty of nations, including several in Latin America and the Caribbean, that have successfully switched, so there is no lack of successful (and not that expensive) models for the DR to emulate.

    When I was still living in SD in the late 1990s, I often talked with one of favorite Dominican cousins, a cardiologist who did alot of charity (free clinics, etc.) work on his weekends throughout some of the poorest parts of the DR (he himself had come from a poor family). I once asked him why it was so hard to find iodized salt in the DR, since medical science had agreed that iodine deficiency was a serious issue, WHO/PAHO and UNICEF recommended it, and it was not so expensive for industry to do. He shook his head, lamenting that some of the doctors had pushed SESPAS (Health Ministry) to do it, but the Ministry did not treat it as a priority. He also raised the cultural issue GringoCarlos mentions, saying it would take a concerted public education by SESPAS and doctors to get Dominicans to demand iodized salt. And last but not least, he told me that some local salts claimed to be iodized, but weren't and that angered him. (that was 10 years ago!) He recommended only trusting foreign brands with the iodized label claim.

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