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In a previous study, large variability in iodine content was found among samples of store brand retail milk at a single time point in a sampling taken from 24 nationwide U.S. locations for the USDA FoodData Central database, but the sampling plan was not designed to detect differences among locations. This follow-up study was carried out to evaluate iodine levels in retail milk across the U.S. over time. Milk samples (2% fat) were collected bimonthly in fourteen locations for one year and analyzed in duplicate. Control materials were used to support accuracy of results and ensure precision across analytical batches. The overall mean and standard error (SE) for iodine concentration were 82.5 (7.0) µg/240 mL serving, which was comparable to the previous national mean [85.0 (5.5) µg/240 mL]. A similar wide range among individual samples was detected (27.9-282 µg/240 mL). For some locations, the mean iodine concentration differed significantly from others, and differed from the national average by amounts ranging from -47 µg to +37 µg per serving. The between-sample range within location was large for some (up to 229 µg/serving) and minimal for others (as little as 13.2 µg/serving). These findings suggest iodine intake from some retail milk supplies could be over- or underestimated relative to the national average, even if the national average is suitable for population-wide intake estimates.


Janet M Roseland, Katherine M Phillips, Bryan T Vinyard, Todor Todorov, Abby G Ershow, Pamela R Pehrsson. Large Iodine Variability in Retail Cows' Milk in the U.S.: A Follow-Up Study among Different Retail Outlets. Nutrients. 2023 Jul 08;15(14)

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PMID: 37513495

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