Iodine Absorption in Celiac Children: A Longitudinal Pilot Study

Nutrients. 2021 Mar 1;13(3):808. doi: 10.3390/nu13030808.

Maurizio Delvecchio 1, Francesca Bizzoco 2, Rosa Lapolla 3, Antonia Gentile 4, Cinzia Carrozza 5, Michele Barone 6, Simonetta Simonetti 7, Paola Giordano 2


Author information

  • 1Metabolic Disorder and Diabetology Unit, "Giovanni XXIII" Children Hospital, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, "Giovanni XXIII" Children Hospital, "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  • 3Pediatrics Unit, "San Carlo" Hospital, 85100 Potenza, Italy.
  • 4Pediatrics Unit, "Antonio Perrino" Hospital, 72100 Brindisi, Italy.
  • 5UOC Chimica, Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare Clinica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli", IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 00168 Roma, Italy.
  • 6Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy.
  • 7Neonatal Screening Center and Clinical Pathology Unit, "Giovanni XXIII" Children Hospital, 70126 Bari, Italy.
  • 8Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine-Pediatrics Section, "Aldo Moro" University of Bari, 70121 Bari, Italy.


Background: non-autoimmune thyroid disorder is a common finding in celiac patients, more frequent than in the general population. An impairment of iodine absorption has been hypothesized, but it has never been investigated so far. We aimed to evaluate the iodine absorption in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed celiac disease. Methods: 36 consecutive celiac patients (age 7.4 years, range 2.4-14.5 years) before starting a gluten-free diet (GFD) were enrolled. We assayed the urinary iodine concentration (UIC) in a 24-h urine sample, at baseline (T0) after 3 (T1) and 12 months (T2) of GFD. Results: UIC at T0 was 64 μg/L (IQR 45-93.25 μg/L) with an iodine deficiency rate of 77.8%. UIC was not different according to histological damage, clinical presentation (typical vs atypical); we found no correlation with the thyroid function tests and auxological parameters. UIC was not statistically different at T1 (76 μg/L) and T2 (89 μg/L) vs T0. UIC at T2 was similar between patients with positive and negative anti-transglutaminase antibodies at T2. No patients presented overt hypothyroidism during the study. Conclusions: We found that iodine absorption in celiac children is impaired compared to the general population; it increases slightly, but not significantly, during the GFD. We should regularly reinforce the need for a proper iodine intake in celiac disease patients to reduce iodine deficiency risk.

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