Skip to content

Amanda Nwufo carried out an iodine study funded by the Iodine Global Network. The study aimed to assess the knowledge of iodine among young women under the age of 30 in Chester, who are practising dietary restrictions.

She worked as a Research Assistant on a project that has been supported by the Iodine Global Network, as part of her studies for a Master’s in Public Health.

The central focus of the study was to investigate the awareness of the importance of nutrients to the physiological health of young women. Amanda said that the most significant finding to emerge from the study was that the majority of young women who took part were vegetarians and were not paying maximum attention to the nutrient content of their food choices.

The Iodine Global Network is a non-profit, non-government organisation for the sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency worldwide and aims to be the authoritative voice for iodine nutrition.

Amanda said: “Most of the participants were vegetarians with very few numbers of vegans, who were all under the age of 30.

“During the course of the study, the participants submitted urine samples as a way of ascertaining dietary iodine intake of the group as a whole. The tests revealed that young women in the study who were restricting their diet were likely to be deficient in iodine.

The women were not advised to change from being vegetarians, although they were urged to be more aware of the nutrients in their diet, and also ensure that they are getting all the essential nutrients- both macronutrients as well as micronutrients, particularly iodine. The women were encouraged to read more about foods rich in iodine. Good sources of iodine include fish (e.g. haddock, cod), dairy products including milk, cheese and eggs, and some multivitamin and mineral supplements.

Amanda said: “The tests revealed that the majority of participants were deficient in iodine. They benefitted from the knowledge on nutrients which was shared with them, in addition to suggestions on nutrient-rich vegetarian food options to promote personal health and to prevent cognitive dysfunction in babies for those who plan to have children.

“I chose to study at the University of Chester because I had seen brilliant reviews of the Master of Public Health programme. Studying at Chester has been a fantastic experience for me. The support offered by the programme leader was truly inspiring.

“This study has revived in me a drive to pursue an enduring and long-term public health ambition.”

Professor of Public Health Epidemiology, Andi Mabhala, who worked with Amanda, said: “This research has been a small research project that has the potential to influence paradigm shift in the understanding of the importance of micronutrient in our diets. Dr Nwofu has been an excellent researcher to work with.”

Professor John H Lazarus, Regional Coordinator Iodine Global Network West and Central Europe, said: “The Iodine Global Network congratulates Dr Amanda Nwufo on completing this investigation of young dietary restrictors. She has shown that this group (although small in number in this study) is significantly iodine deficient.

“Women of reproductive age require iodine to ensure adequate brain development of the fetus and this study suggests strongly that there is an urgent problem of iodine deficiency in some groups of young people in the UK. Public health corrective action should be commenced as soon as possible.”

Share this content