Risks of alternative nutrition in infancy: a case report of severe iodine and carnitine deficiency

Eur J Pediatr. 1992 Oct;151(10):786-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01959092.


A 7.5-month-old infant with failure to thrive, developmental delay, muscular hypotonia, a visible goitre and severe osteopenia is described. Laboratory examination revealed a markedly increased serum TSH with low free T4, severe iodine and carnitine deficiency. The infant was breastfed until the age of 2.5 months and was then given a mixture of almond extract in water. The mother is a strict vegan and the father a lactovegetarian. The nutritional intake of the child was severely depleted in calories (-46%), calcium (-73%) and iodine (-88%). The restrictive alternative nutrition was responsible for the various deficiency disorders.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carnitine / deficiency*
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / etiology*
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / metabolism
  • Iodine / deficiency*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Risk Factors


  • Iodine
  • Carnitine