JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Dietary Iodine Sufficiency and Moderate Insufficiency in the Lactating Mother and Nursing Infant: A Computational Perspective.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that lactating women ingest 290 μg iodide/d and a nursing infant, less than two years of age, 110 μg/d. The World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund, and International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders recommend population maternal and infant urinary iodide concentrations ≥ 100 μg/L to ensure iodide sufficiency. For breast milk, researchers have proposed an iodide concentration range of 150-180 μg/L indicates iodide sufficiency for the mother and infant, however no national or international guidelines exist for breast milk iodine concentration. For the first time, a lactating woman and nursing infant biologically based model, from delivery to 90 days postpartum, was constructed to predict maternal and infant urinary iodide concentration, breast milk iodide concentration, the amount of iodide transferred in breast milk to the nursing infant each day and maternal and infant serum thyroid hormone kinetics. The maternal and infant models each consisted of three sub-models, iodide, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). Using our model to simulate a maternal intake of 290 μg iodide/d, the average daily amount of iodide ingested by the nursing infant, after 4 days of life, gradually increased from 50 to 101 μg/day over 90 days postpartum. The predicted average lactating mother and infant urinary iodide concentrations were both in excess of 100 μg/L and the predicted average breast milk iodide concentration, 157 μg/L. The predicted serum thyroid hormones (T4, free T4 (fT4), and T3) in both the nursing infant and lactating mother were indicative of euthyroidism. The model was calibrated using serum thyroid hormone concentrations for lactating women from the United States and was successful in predicting serum T4 and fT4 levels (within a factor of two) for lactating women in other countries. T3 levels were adequately predicted. Infant serum thyroid hormone levels were adequately predicted for most data. For moderate iodide deficient conditions, where dietary iodide intake may range from 50 to 150 μg/d for the lactating mother, the model satisfactorily described the iodide measurements, although with some variation, in urine and breast milk. Predictions of serum thyroid hormones in moderately iodide deficient lactating women (50 μg/d) and nursing infants did not closely agree with mean reported serum thyroid hormone levels, however, predictions were usually within a factor of two. Excellent agreement between prediction and observation was obtained for a recent moderate iodide deficiency study in lactating women. Measurements included iodide levels in urine of infant and mother, iodide in breast milk, and serum thyroid hormone levels in infant and mother. A maternal iodide intake of 50 μg/d resulted in a predicted 29-32% reduction in serum T4 and fT4 in nursing infants, however the reduced serum levels of T4 and fT4 were within most of the published reference intervals for infant. This biologically based model is an important first step at integrating the rapid changes that occur in the thyroid system of the nursing newborn in order to predict adverse outcomes from exposure to thyroid acting chemicals, drugs, radioactive materials or iodine deficiency.

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