Iodized salt crucial in fight vs IDDBy Theresa S. Samaniego
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Within the spectrum of the more acute diseases and disorders, iodine deficiency may not place highly on anybody’s list. But the high incidence of iodine deficiency in the country commands that much-needed attention if we are to effectively combat its debilitating effects.
Although the National Nutrition Survey 2008 showed that 81 percent of the respondents are using iodized salt, the amount of iodine was found to be below the standard level of fortification. The same survey showed that 65.8 percent of household have salt that has 0-4.9 ppm (parts per million) of iodine content.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers were likewise found in the survey to have low level of iodine based on UIE (urinary iodine excretion) levels, which means that they are prone to iodine deficiency disorders.
Vincent Tansiongco of Salinas Foods Inc. stressed that iodine is an essential nutrient needed by the body for proper cellular functions and is even regarded as the “food” of the pituitary gland. The lack of adequate iodine will thus result in iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), which may lead to various complications.
According to Tansiongco, IDD is often manifested through a goiter, cretinism, sluggishness, mental retardation and stillbirth. However, there are effects of iodine deficiency disorder which are not visible to the eyes, hence this is also called, Hidden Hunger.
Women, Tansiongco added, are more prone to iodine deficiency, especially pregnant and lactating mothers. This is because more nutrients are needed for the development of the fetus as well as in producing milk for the infant.
Thus, the government, in the ’90s, had promoted the use of iodized salt, believing that this may be the most effective, economical and efficient way to combat IDD since everyone uses salt in flavoring the food. Through Republic Act 8172 or the Act of Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide (Asin), the government in 1995 has started to mandate all salt producers and manufacturers of food-grade salt to iodize the salt they produce, import and distribute to the consumers.
For its part, Salinas Corp., the largest salt producer in the country, then began the distribution of the Fidel Iodized Salt, which was the first locally produced iodized salt. In 1998, Salinas developed Asin Pinoy Iodized Salt to cater to low-end market and later on, the Mr. Salt Iodized Table Salt for the food service channel.
Another innovation of Salinas in 2007 was the development of an iodized salt that can aid in cooking meat faster and safer with Fidel Hammer Meat Tenderizing Salt.
Tansiongco noted that since the ’90s Salinas has took upon itself the cause of finding ways to better implement the iodized salt program as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
“Salinas has been a strong partner of the DOH in promoting iodized salt to every municipality and barangay. We have also in 1997 partnered with the Department of Education for the Adopt-A-School Breakfast Feeding program,” Tansiongco related.
Promote healthy habits
“We [also] aim to promote healthy habits particularly in doing exercise and eating the right kind of food,” he added.
This is why Salinas, whose main product is salt, also markets other products like Nigari mineral supplement drop, which aids in the prevention of complications arising from pregnancy.
Nigari is a mineral supplement particularly rich in macro and trace minerals needed for optimum health and nutrition, contains magnesium, sulfates, chlorides, potassium and more than 40 trace elements like selenium, boron, manganese and zinc.
Nigari, Tansiongco claimed, can help improve an individual’s energy and stamina; boost one’s immunity and resistance against sickness; and help prevent lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones.
(Users of Nigari and those who wish to try the benefits of Nigari Mineral Supplement Drops can avail themselves of a 50-percent discount by presenting the ad upon purchase in Salinas Foods Inc. office at 33 Scout Rallos St., Quezon City. Offer is valid until Aug. 28, 2012.)
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