Iodized salt test?

~~anna~~

New member
Oct 27, 2003
210
4
0
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~~
 

Chirimoya

Moderator
Dec 9, 2002
17,555
591
113
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.
 

~~anna~~

New member
Oct 27, 2003
210
4
0
Iodized salt test

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

John Evans

Guest
should i be worried ...which is best ....i came here to avoid stress now even salt is a source of stress
 

Chris

New member
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
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. :ermm: 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!
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
2,981
36
48
www.temasactuales.com
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.
 

GringoCArlos

Retired Ussername
Jan 9, 2002
1,416
40
0
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.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator
Dec 9, 2002
17,555
591
113
The issue here is that most or all the brands of salt on sale in the DR say "Sal yodada" - a lie.
 

GringoCArlos

Retired Ussername
Jan 9, 2002
1,416
40
0
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.
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
2,981
36
48
www.temasactuales.com
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. :ermm:
 

Chris

New member
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
I want to stress what I'm saying here is perhaps not valid for poor campesinos in the DR, I do not know. I want to stress again that if salt is advertised as iodized, it needs to be iodized otherwise the consumers are being lied to. This is how this issue received attention initially, from Chiri's blog where she did the salt tests.

I am responding more to the question: "Which salt is the best?"

From the posted WHO report: "Deficiency results when the soil is poor in iodine, causing a low concentration in food products and insufficient iodine intake in the population."

From the posted WHO report: "Second, to assist Member States to ensure that populations at risk have access to iodized salt by working closely with governments and WHO's partners in the area of iodine deficiency

From the posted WHO report: "In 29 countries, iodine intake was slightly too high or even excessive. Daily iodine intake above a safe level may result in iodine-induced thyroid dysfunction in susceptible groups."

So, it is clear that excessive iodine intake occurs; in 29 countries, as the WHO states here. In fact, I bet most of us eating a normal diet has excessive iodine in our systems. Studies show that those that eat a diet high in fast foods, have mega high iodine levels with concomitant thyroid problems in the population.

So, according to the WHO report, iodine deficiency occurs in populations when the soil is poor in iodine? So, the solution is to put iodine in everyone's salt? Huh? And cause most people in 29 countries to have elevated levels of this stuff? And is everyone a 'population at risk'?. Is the solution not to put the iodine back in the soil? Anyway ....

Traditionally many community health programs were done in this "complete penetration" way, e.g, the soil is becoming poor and therefore the food does not have sufficient iodine, therefore folks in the midwest far from the oceans are becoming mentally challenged. So, how do we get people to have sufficient iodine? So, we don't put together that we are impoverishing the soil, we say ... Well, everyone eats salt, so, we will put it in the salt and do a very large educational campaign and teach everyone to buy iodized salt.

Sounds reasonable eh? (Major social engineering, and I'm sure there was a salt lobby behind it ;) but that's another story!)

These types of community solutions were universally seen as 'a good thing', and I don't dispute that in certain cases, or most cases, it was indeed a very very good thing! Remember I grew up in Africa. Illnesses that you all in the first world did not even think of, I had family die of, because not all people were immunized where we were, or we were behind the curve. So, we accept these massive community solutions because this is what we learnt. Most of us would never buy anything but iodized salt for our families today as we feel it would be quite wrong for us to do so.

However it is time to relook at those '40's and '50's (where I come from - earlier in other places) style solutions to see if they are still valid today, or in a matter of speaking, are we still putting the iodine in the salt instead of in the soil?

Note that what I say here about iodine is our experience. It may perhaps not be valid for you. It certainly is not mainstream thinking yet but these things are being questioned more and more. I've only seen the salt pans in the DR outside of Monte Cristi and thought all of the DR's local salt comes from there. I was not aware that there were inland salt pans. Has anyone actually tested the iodine and selenium levels in that salt? Does anyone know what the percentage thyroid disease is in the DR comparatively (same type of population type, same type of food, same type of socio economics). Has anyone check out salt from the Monte Cristi pans vs salt from inland pans?

We do not have added iodine in our salt in our house as we use unrefined sea salt. We have a vegetarian child in our house. I am hyper aware of how much iodine is necessary for a person's health as we have a child that does not eat fish or seafood.
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
2,981
36
48
www.temasactuales.com
Christa, the WHO reports say, as GringoCarlos has properly pointed out, that the DR has an iodine deficiency, not excess. And it is the DR we're talking about here. The WHO, UNICEF and aid agencies tend to support salt iodinization because, as I said before, it is the easiest, cheapest and usually most reliable way to reach the greatest population at risk. In other words, from a public health point-of-view, it makes alot of sense.

BTW, as I said before, when first introduced in NA & Europe, the salt industry opposed iodinization, not pushed it. But over the decades the major salt producers have made the investment and become sold on it being a good thing, so yeah, now they support it.
 

Chris

New member
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
should i be worried ...which is best ....i came here to avoid stress now even salt is a source of stress
This is the question that I am addressing Keith. Not specifically the DR as I explained. This is also the living forum. We have many families here on this forum that do not necessarily live a Dominican campo style life - like the person who asked the question. Chiri found a problem with the salt advertised as iodized and it is not. She reported it here. And most all that read the living forum are now aware of this. They are however not aware of the other side of the coin.
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
2,981
36
48
www.temasactuales.com
Okay, I get the hint and will butt out.

But before I do, let me just say that unless those expats you refer have been buying imported Morton iodized salt or some other respected foreign brand of iodized salt, they too (and more importantly, their children -- after all, some posters living in the DR do have children growing up there, as I did) may not be getting enough iodine intake -- or as much as they think they are. That point needs to be made as well.
 

Chris

New member
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
Yes, Chiri made the point in her blog and in another thread. You should look at the data in the report that GringoCarlos posted specifically the sample sizes and the ages. Knowing what I know now about where the salt comes from (and not from the sea pans as I thought), I wonder where the sample population was.

No, sure you don't have to butt out. You may meet some very nice posters.
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
2,981
36
48
www.temasactuales.com
You should look at the data in the report that GringoCarlos posted specifically the sample sizes and the ages. Knowing what I know now about where the salt comes from (and not from the sea pans as I thought), I wonder where the sample population was.
I did (as you should know me well enough by now to know that I had). I know that DR surveys on iodine deficiency have not been as good as WHO would like and as developed nations do, and I also know that the data in the report comes from a survey in the 1990s.

But I also happen to frequently talk to MDs and public health people in the Americas including the DR, and they believe that the DR still has an iodine deficiency. Maybe they're wrong (that happens some times), but I strongly suspect they're correct.
 

Chris

New member
Oct 21, 2002
7,951
28
0
www.caribbetech.com
But I also happen to frequently talk to MDs and public health people in the Americas including the DR, and they believe that the DR still has an iodine deficiency. Maybe they're wrong (that happens some times), but I strongly suspect they're correct.
I'm not questioning that. What I'm thinking is how it is distributed in the country? It may also be a selenium deficiency - there is a complex interaction and one really needs to be a nutritional disease specialist to figure it all out. The story as I understand is that selenium deficiency may exacerbate the effects of low iodine on the thyroid function. Selenium also is a trace mineral that is present in good soil, but absent in poor soil. It is believed that adequate selenium helps to protect against some of the neurological effects of iodine deficiency. This is a complex picture, and when the WHO started putting iodine in salt, no-one could yet spell Selenium.

The whole story of the differences in the value of nourishment and nutrition of food grown in healthy soil, as against food grown in poor soil is poorly understood as yet and a whole lot of attention is now being paid to it. For us that are feeding families and are involved in helping with nutrition to the larger community, we need to know about the questions being asked now.

Forgot to say .. even the USDA changed the food pyramid recently. These things are not cast in stone.
 
Because of recent concerns over iodized salt sold in the DR a small 'testing' of various brands was carried out over the last month.
Sal Linda, Sal Perla, Sal Marina, Sal Supreme, Food Club Iodized salt, A Gusto, and rock salt (the type the average Dominican or those living in the campo use),
Of the seven types of salt tested ONLY the brand "A Gusto" ( sold in a blue and white plastic container actually contained iodine.
Iodine may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:
Cognitive impairment
Cretinism
Fibrocystic breast disease
Goiter
Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism
Multiple miscarriages
Even mild iodine deficiency can impair development and cause subtle deficits in visual motor skills, hearing and intelligence.
Iodine deficiency is regarded as the world's greatest cause of preventable brain damage, resulting in an estimated 80 million children suffering from some form of permanent mental retardation.
Dietary deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc and/or iron can exaggerate the effects of iodine deficiency.
The conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodthyronine (T3) requires the removal of an iodine molecule from T4. This reaction requires the mineral selenium.
The iodine molecule that is removed gets returned to the body's pool of iodine and can be reused to make additional thyroid hormones.
If your body is deficient in selenium, the conversion of T4 to T3 is slowed, and less iodine is available for the thryoid to use in making new hormones.

Daily Reference Intakes (The amount your body needs DAILY)
Life Stage Iodine mcg
Infants
0-6 months 110
7-12 months 130
Children
1-3 years 90
4-8 years 90
Males
9-13 years 120
14-18 years 150
19-30 years 150
31-50 years 150
51-70 years 150
> 70 years 150
Females
9-13 years 120
14-18 years 150
19-30 years 150
31-50 years 150
51-70 years 150
> 70 years 150
Pregnancy
< 18 years 220
19-30 years 220
31-50 years 220
Lactation
< 18 years 290
19-30 years 290
31-50 years 290

Currently, the most common source of exposure to iodine is from automobile exhaust. ( at least this is plentiful in the DR.)
Dietary Sources
Although most foods do not contain iodine, one teaspoon of iodized salt consumed daily is more than sufficient to satisfy physiological requirements for this nutrient.
Note that sea salt is a poor source of iodine?it contains less than two micrograms per gram.
Other dietary sources of iodine include seafood (clams, lobster, oysters, sardines and shrimp), Sea vegetables[kelp and nori], eggs, yoghurt and cheese (if cattle fed with iodine containing food additives). The iodine content of fruits and vegetables is dependent upon soil content but usually is negligible in this day and age.
Fish and shellfish require their own special category because the amount of iodine they contain may not match up very predictably with the amount found in their home waters.
Four ounces of very low iodine fish might only provide about 70 micrograms of iodine, or less than half of the adult RDA.
By contrast, four ounces of very high iodine fish might contain as much as 1,000 micrograms of iodine - an amount just below the Tolerable Upper Limit (UL, or safety level) of 1,100 micrograms.
Due to the great variability in fish iodine content,reliance on fish alone to provide all of your dietary iodine needs is NOT recommended. You can count on getting iodine from most fish, and on any one particular day, a 4-6 ounce fish meal serving should provide at least 50% of your iodine needs.
After reading the above ask yourself how much iodine are you getting in your daily diet (without iodized salt) and how much the average Dominican gets!!
This should indicate the need for a reliable source of iodized salt........
A good friend knowledgeable in this field provided the above information.
 

~~anna~~

New member
Oct 27, 2003
210
4
0
iodine salt test??

Okay, so hubby and I pulled salt shaker out of the cupboard. Poured some on a white paper towel, then put some reconstituted lemon juice (no real lemons)
no color change.
So, we had some Morton salt...again no change. A quick check of the label showed that someone from the States bought the non-iodized salt.

Next we tried Public brand IODIZED salt. Again NO color change. NO blue. NADA!

Am I doing something wrong? Does it have to be a fresh lemon? Why won't reconstituted lemon juice work?

Or could it be that a US brand is mis-labeled?
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,941
495
83
I just tried this with Linda brand "sal yodada" and nothing, nada, happened.

Hummmm, is we is or is we ain't bein' bamboozeled, as Br'ar Rabbit would say...

HB