Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is Iodated (Iodised) Salt ?

A: Iodated or Iodised salt is used to prevent iodine deficiency disorders. It is common salt containing traces of Iodine compound. Iodated salt looks, tastes and smells exactly like ordinary salt and it should be used in the same way.


Q: What is iodine?

A: Iodine is a natural element which is essential to human life. Some of the most vital functions of the human body depend upon a steady supply of iodine.


Q: Why is Iodine so important?

A: Thyroid hormones are essential for normal growth, development and functioning of both the brain and body. Lack of iodine results in deficiency of these hormones and results in a wide spectrum of disorders, collectively called iodine deficiency disorders (Iodine is essential for the normal growth, development and functioning of brain and body. A lack of iodine can give rise to goiter and make a person dull, listless and easily tired. But more importantly without enough Iodine, a newborn’s brain and body can become permanently retarded and stunted. Iodine is vitally needed during early childhood, puberty and pregnancy. A woman who is deficient in iodine is likely to produce an abnormal child. If left untreated, the child’s mental health and physical condition worsens as he grows older.


Q: Can Iodated salt be stored like normal salt?

A:Storing iodated salt involves a few precautions. The iodine in the salt can be destroyed by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and moisture. Therefore, store the salt in an air tight container made of plastic, wood, glass or clay, with a well-fitting lid. Make sure you consume iodated salt as early as possible.

YES. Iodised salt can be used in cooking, or as table salt.
There is some loss of iodine during cooking (20% - 40%). Therefore to compensate loss of iodine during distribution, storage and cooking, higher levels of iodine are added at the production stage.


Q: Can daily consumption of Iodated Salt cure Goitre, Creinism and other Iodine Deficiency Disorders?

A: Cretinism is permanent and incurable. Like many other iodine deficiency disorders, with the exception of certain types of goiter, it cannot be cured but it can be easily prevented before it occurs. The regular consumption of iodated salt provides protection to present and future generations against the tragic consequences of iodine deficiency disorders.


Q: How much Iodine does a person normally need?

A:The average daily requirement for an adult is 150 micrograms, an amount so small that it could fit onto a pinhead (1,000,000 micrograms =1gm). An average lifetime’s requirement of an individual would add up to less than a teaspoon. However, it is important that the gets this iodine regularly everyday. This is why it must form part of every person’s daily diet.


Q: What happens if a person does not get enough Iodine?

A: Goitre is only one of the many consequences of Iodine deficiency. A number of physical and mental abnormalities, some serious some mild result from iodine deficiency.


Q: What exactly is Goitre?

A: A goiter is a swelling of the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. When the body does not get enough iodine; the thyroid increases in size. Not all goiters are visible. Many of them, particularly in the early stages, can be detected only by an experienced doctor. It is only when a goiter grows quiet large that it can be seen and recoganised by everyone. A person with a goiter many also have other hidden iodine deficiency disorders.


Q: What are Iodine Deficiency Disorders [IDD]?

A: Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) form a spectrum of abnormalities which include goiter, mental retardation, deaf mutism, squint, difficulties in standing or walking normally and stunting of the limbs. Iodine deficient women frequently suffer abortions and still births. Their children may be born deformed, mentally deficient or even cretins. All these problems caused by a simple lack of iodine, and goiter is the least tragic of them.


Q: Where does IDD occur in India?

A : The areas of severest iodine deficiency lie in the great sub-Himalayan belt that extends from Jammu and Kashmir, all along North India, to the North East covering an area of 2500 square kms. But IDD has also been reported from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Delhi. In fact no state if free from IDD and new pockets of iodine deficiency are being discovered every day.


Q: Can daily consumption of Iodated Salt cure Goitre, Creinism and other Iodine Deficiency Disorders?

A :Cretinism is permanent and incurable. Like many other iodine deficiency disorders, with the exception of certain types of goiter, it cannot be cured but it can be easily prevented before it occurs. The regular consumption of iodated salt provides protection to present and future generations against the tragic consequences of iodine deficiency disorders.


Q: Why is Iodine added to salt? Can’t it be taken separately, like medicines?

A : An important fact about iodine is that although it is needed in tiny amounts, it is needed regularly, everyday. While it could be taken everyday like medicine or a vitamin tablet, this would involve taking a tablet everyday for life. Salt, however is something that we all use every day. All of us eat roughly the same amount of salt 10-15 grams a day, and if it is iodated we automatically get the right amount of iodine.


Q: If I live an area that is not Iodine deficient, won’t the extra Iodine in the salt harm me?

A: No, it will not. All of us need only a certain amount of iodine to function normally. If this iodine ios already available to the body, it will simply reject any additional quantities and excrete it unused through the urine. On the other hand, if you are deficient of iodine, your thyroid gland will use as much as it needs and reject the rest. This makes iodated salt safe for everyone.


Q: How can I tell if salt contains Iodine?

A: Sale of non-iodised salt is banned in India. A low cost testing kit is available which allows you to test for the iodine content of the salt on the spot.


Q: Can Iodated salt be stored like normal salt?

A: Storing iodated salt involves a few precautions. The iodine in the salt can be destroyed by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and moisture. Therefore, store the salt in an air tight container made of plastic, wood, glass or clay, with a well-fitting lid. Make sure you consume iodated salt as early as possible.