Safe use of iodized oil to prevent iodine deficiency in pregnant women. A statement by the World Health Organization

Bull World Health Organ. 1996;74(1):1-3.


The risks and expected benefits from iodized oil, given orally or by injection, to pregnant women in areas of severe iodine deficiency where iodized salt is not available were evaluated. The conclusions, which were approved by the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD), showed that for preventing and controlling moderate and severe iodine deficiency, the giving of iodized oil is safe at any time during pregnancy. Maximum protection against endemic cretinism and neonatal hypothyroidism will be achieved when iodized oil is given before conception. The potential benefits greatly outweigh the potential risks in areas of moderate and severe iodine deficiency disorders, where iodized salt is not available and is unlikely to be made available in the short term (1-2 years).

MeSH terms

  • Congenital Hypothyroidism / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / prevention & control
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iodine / deficiency*
  • Iodized Oil / adverse effects
  • Iodized Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Preconception Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*


  • Iodized Oil
  • Iodine