Endocrine Abstracts (2010) 22 P784

Beverage iodine levels in Germany

Rainer Hampel1, Julia Kairies1 & Harald Below2


1Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin, Abteilung für Endokrinologie und Stoffwechselkrankheiten, Rostock, Germany; 2Institut für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin, Universität, Greifswald, Germany.


Background: Sales of iodized table salt (household use, bulk containers) have been flat in Germany since 1996/97. Nevertheless, the amount of iodide excreted with the urine has been steadily on the rise in the German population since 1993.

Aim of the study: We investigated the beverage iodine levels as possible source of the increased input of iodine into the food chain. No systematic studies on this topic have yet been carried out in Germany.

Methods: A total of 510 samples were drawn from large grocery discounters who supply all German states with their products (35% fruit and vegetable juices, 35% beers, 10% pooled milk and yoghurt drinks, 10% mineral water, 10% soda).

Determination of iodine: Sample preparation by solid phase extraction in the water-based beverages. Sample preparation of milk and milk products by trichloroacetic acid precipitation and centrifugation. Determination of the iodide concentration by HPLC and electrochemical detection.

Results: Since the iodine concentrations in the beverage samples showed a left-skewed distribution, all expressed values are median values. Low iodine concentrations were observed in the water-based beverages: fruit and vegetable juices 2.92 μg I/l, beers 2.91 μg I/l, mineral waters 0.5 μg I/l, sodas 0.5 μg I/l. The median value measured in pooled milk and its derived products was 117 μg I/l and 126 μg/l, retrospectively. As expected, summer milk was lower in iodine than winter milk (x˜=108 μg I/l and x˜=134.2 μg I/l, retrospectively). Although not statistically significant, beers from Northern Germany had higher concentrations of iodine than did beers from Southern Germany (x˜=3.6 vs 0.5 μg I/l).

Conclusions: Based on our results, milk and milk products (117 μg I/l and 126 μg/l, retrospectively) contribute significantly to the increased nutritional iodine supply of the German population.

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