'Serious implications for public health': Study finds organic milk contains a third less iodine

By Mark ASTLEY contact

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'Serious implications for public health': Study finds organic milk contains a third less iodine

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Organic milk contains nearly a third less iodine than conventionally-produced fresh milk, a British study has found.

As detailed in their study, Effect of milk type and processing on iodine concentration of organic and conventional winter milk at retail: Implications for nutrition, ​researchers at the University of Reading discovered that iodine levels were 32.2% lower in organic winter milk.

Ultra-heat treated (UHT) milk was meanwhile 30% lower in iodine than conventionally-produced milk, said the study, published in the journal Food Chemistry.

“Organic and UHT milk is not bad for you, and drinking all types of milk has numerous health benefits,"​ said lead researcher, Ian Givens, University of Reading, in a statement. 

"But to get the same amount of iodine as in a pint of conventional pasteurised milk, you would need to drink around an extra half-pint of organic or UHT milk.”

"Serious implications for public health"

British consumers are increasingly swapping conventionally-produced for organic and UHT - a trend Givens said could lead "serious implications for public health."

Health organisations, including the UK National Health Service (NHS), recognise the role played by iodine in a baby's brain development.

Earlier studies, cited in the University of Reading statement,​ have linked iodine deficiency in mothers during pregnancy with lower IQ in children.

UK organic certification body, the Soil Association, branded the suggestion “pure scaremongering.”

“This study does not include measures of iodine levels in individuals who consumed organic milk or IQ for babies whose mothers did. Therefore there is no evidence to show mothers consuming organic milk have lower iodine levels,"​ it said.

"Reflects former practices"

Weighing in, Judith Bryans, CEO, Dairy UK, said the University of Reading study "reflects former practices."

"The fact that organic cows historically do not receive iodine in feed may explain why iodine levels have in the past been lower in organic milk," ​she said. "This practice however has now been changed."

"At the end of 2014, the industry resumed the practice of enriching feed with iodine and recent testing carried out in January 2015 on a representative number of milk samples found no significant difference in iodine levels between organic and conventional milk."

If the same tests were carried out at the end of this year "we'd likely see different results," ​Bryans told DairyReporter.com.

Source: Food Chemistry doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.01.091
Title:Effect of milk type and processing on iodine concentration of organic and conventional winter milk at retail: Implications for nutrition.
Authors: L Payling, D Juniper, C Drake, C Rymer, I Givens.

Related topics: R&D, Fresh Milk

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3 comments

Dairy is VG 4U

Posted by Pete Granger,

A problem perhaps easily resolved by returning to old-fashioned iodine-based sanitisers in the dairy shed. And as for Ivan's derogatory comment. There is a lot of baloney written about dairy by the purist fanatics. Dairy is about the healthiest food one can consume, especially for children. The research overwhelmingly demonstrates this. Whilst saturated fat should be consumed in moderation, it nonetheless contains highly crucial fat soluble vitamins. It is probably even more beneficial when delivered in a fermented (cheese) form. The consumption of milk fat should occur in conjunction with monounsaturated fats (xv olive oil), sunshine (vitamin D) and greens (vitamin K). Effectively, the Mediterranean diet/lifestyle. The research suggests the only one's needing to moderate dairy food (and calcium intake more generally)are those with a predisposition to prostate cancer. And excessive vitamin D supplementation should be avoided, as it may deposit calcium where it is not wanted. That aside, because of its concentration and bio availability dairy food (esp yoghurt) should be the principal source of one's calcium intake, along with moderate vitamin D and vitamin K intake or supplementation. Certainly, calcium from dairy foods is a much safer proposition than the pharmaceutical calcium supplementation we are only too familiar with. Again, this causes calcium to be deposited where it does not belong. It will shorten one's life, not extend it.

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Iodine in Milk

Posted by Ivan Pedro J.Schiffer,

This is a total non sense argument,the main Iodine's source should be a quality Sea Salt, unrefined and unwashed, that is the original Iodine people should be getting daily, only 2 grams of unrefined Sea Salt will supply the necessary Iodine for Man, for Woman 3 to 4 grams is the necessary amount because of larger Thyroid Glands, a human being needs about 2 to 3 grams of Iodine for a life time as well as all other 84 nano minerals, elements and substances contained in a good quality Sea Salt harvested at unpoluted areas, Salt from PORTUGAL and HAWAI, ARE GOOD SOURCES.
Plant roots are also a source of Iodine, the Potassium Iodate added to refined salts or kitchen salts which had the original Iodine removed as well as most of their other elements, then added with Potassium Iodate do not in any way supply the necessary needs. To say that the deficiency of pregnant mothers lack Iodine because of drinking Organic Milk is an absolute libel and whoever is propagating such news should be prossecuted. China and Asia in general never had Cow Milk in their diets for thousands of years and have developed into the worlds largest populations with no signs of mental retardation or lower IQ. The |Milk Industry has been one of the top damage causes of many modern diseases.

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Really?

Posted by Michael Bryanton,

Serious Health Implications? Really?

What percentage of RDA Iodine are people getting from milk?

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