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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2016, Article ID 8468594, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Fortified Iodine Milk Improves Iodine Status and Cognitive Abilities in Schoolchildren Aged 7–9 Years Living in a Rural Mountainous Area of Morocco

1Joint Unit of Nutrition and Food Research (URAC39), CNESTEN-Ibn Tofaïl University, Regional Designated Center for Nutrition (AFRA/IAEA), 14000 Kenitra, Morocco
2Ministry of Health, Rabat, Morocco
3Équipe de Recherche en Santé et Nutrition du Couple Mère Enfant, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Rabat, Université Mohammed V de Rabat, Rabat, Morocco

Received 25 December 2015; Accepted 21 February 2016

Academic Editor: Aziz Hichami

Copyright © 2016 Fatima Ezzahra Zahrou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Iodine is required for the production of the thyroid hormones essential for the growth and development of the brain. All forms of iodine deficiency (ID) affect the mental development of the child. Our study aims to assess the impact of ID on the intellectual development of Moroccan schoolchildren and to evaluate the effect of consumption of fortified milk on reducing ID. In a double-blind controlled trial conducted on schoolchildren, children were divided into two groups to receive fortified milk (30% of cover of RDI iodine) or nonfortified milk for 9 months. Urinary iodine was analyzed using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction, a dynamic cognitive test using Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices to assess learning potential was performed at baseline and end line, and anthropometric assessment was done only at baseline. The study included schoolchildren who were severely iodine deficient. The prevalence of malnutrition was high in both groups; in this study, we found improvements in iodine status and in cognitive abilities among Moroccan schoolchildren. Our study showed that the consumption of fortified milk led to a clear improvement in iodine status and also appeared to have a favorable effect on the cognitive ability of Moroccan schoolchildren in a rural mountainous region.