The WOMBI study

Recruitment for this study has now been completed. Thank you to all those that took, or are currently taking part. A summary of the results will be posted here once completed.

The study is nicknamed the WOMBI study which is short for women, bread and iodine.

What is the purpose of this study?

New Zealand has low levels of iodine in the soil which adversely affects the iodine content of the local food supply and predisposes the population to iodine deficiency. An adequate daily intake of iodine from the diet is essential for the optimal function of the thyroid gland to synthesize thyroid hormones.

Despite the longstanding initiative of salt iodization, iodine deficiency persists in New Zealand. More recently, and in response to this, the New Zealand government introduced mandatory fortification of all commercial bread with iodine, using salt as the vehicle in 2009 (except organic bread).

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of thyroid dysfunction, occurring more commonly in women and with advanced age. Due to severe adverse outcomes from the effects of iodine deficiency in early life, it has been much studied in pregnant women, infants and children, but less so in mid-life women.

Women at mid-life may exclude consumption of iodine fortified bread products for a variety of reasons such as choosing a low carbohydrate or organic diet, and unknowingly increase their risk of iodine deficiency. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess iodine status in a sample of mid-life women who exclude iodine fortified bread in their diet to see if this results in a low iodine status.

What will you gain from taking part in this study?

The main benefit of taking part in this study is that you contribute to a greater understanding if avoiding bread that is fortified with iodine results in a lower iodine status of mid-life women living in Auckland. This could make an important difference to the lives of other women of this age in New Zealand.

You will also receive valuable information about your dietary intake and body composition.

View the full information sheet - click here

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