Do preterm infants get enough iodine in the NICU?

How much iodine does a preterm infant receive during  a typical NICU stay? To estimate this, investigators from Boston measured the iodine content of preterm formulas, donor breast milk, human milk fortifiers, and parenteral nutrition solutions. Using these measurements they then calculated how much iodine a typical baby with a birth weight of 1000 grams would receive at an intake of 150 ml/kg/day. The recommended intake of iodine per day is 30 micrograms. They found that the TPN-based diet contained almost no iodine. Preterm formulas provided 16 – 29 micrograms per day. Donor breast milk provided only 5 – 18 micrograms per day. Adding Similac human milk fortifier increased the intake by 12 micrograms per day, whereas adding Enfamil fortifier increased the intake by just 1 microgram per day. Typical diets of preterm infants, particularly those based on donor breast milk, provide less than adequate amounts of iodine intake.

Low iodine content in the diets of hospitalized preterm infants. Belfort et al 2012


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