Use of Iodine-Containing Dietary Supplements Remains Low among Women of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES 2011-2014

Nutrients. 2018 Mar 29;10(4):422. doi: 10.3390/nu10040422.


In the United States, the American Thyroid Association recommends that women take a dietary supplement containing 150 &micro;g of iodine 3 months prior to conception and while pregnant and lactating to support fetal growth and neurological development. We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011&ndash;2014 to describe the use of dietary supplements with and without iodine in the past 30 days among 2155 non-pregnant, non-lactating (NPNL) women; 122 pregnant women; and 61 lactating women. Among NPNL women, 45.3% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 42.0, 48.6) used any dietary supplement and 14.8% (95% CI: 12.7, 16.8) used a dietary supplement with iodine in the past 30 days. Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women were less likely to use any dietary supplement as well as one with iodine, than non-Hispanic white or non-Hispanic Asian women (p < 0.05). Among pregnant women, 72.2% (95% CI: 65.8, 78.6) used any dietary supplement; however, only 17.8% (95% CI: 11.4, 24.3) used a dietary supplement with iodine. Among lactating women, 75.0% (95% CI: 63.0, 87.0) used a dietary supplement; however, only 19.0% (95% CI: 8.8, 29.2) used a dietary supplement with iodine. Among NPNL women using a supplement with iodine, median daily iodine intake was 75.0 &micro;g. Self-reported data suggests that the use of iodine containing dietary supplements among pregnant and lactating women remains low in contrast with current recommendations.

Keywords: iodine; lactating; pregnant; supplements; women of reproductive age.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine / administration & dosage*
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Pregnancy
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Iodine