Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Original Articles :
Myanamr Health Research Registration 2023; 35(1-3): 42-48.

Iodine Content of Some Commonly Consumed Freshwater and Marine Fishes and Prawns in Myanmar

Aung Myat Kyaw1*, Soe Win², Lei Lei Myint¹, Su Su Hlaing¹, Khin Mittar Moe San¹, Mya Ohnmar¹, Moh Moh Hlaing¹ and Khin Than Yee¹

Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal, 2023; 35(1-3):42-48


In Myanmar, fish is an irreplaceable animal-source food in the diet, both in terms of quality and quantity. Fish is an economical source of animal protein and other essential nutrients including iodine in developing countries. Iodine is an essential trace element for nutrition. The element is an essential part of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which are required for growth and development. Seawater fish and other marine food are natural sources of dietary iodine. The iodine content of marine fishes varies depending on the species. In addition, different individuals of the same species show variation in iodine concentration.



Iodine plays a critical role in regulating the body’s metabolism. Iodine deficiency can lead to changes in metabolism and in turn reduced growth and cognitive  decline.1, 2 Iodine is an essential trace element in nutrition. The element is necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis. Iodine deficiency is one of the most widespread deficient in  theworld.3In Myanmar, the National  Goiter Survey in 2000-2001 indicated that iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) was a public health problem especially in coastal areas and hilly regions.


Sample collection and preparation

A descriptive study was conducted to explore the iodine content of freshwater and seawater fish and prawn from January 2019 to January 2020. A total of 16 commonly consumed freshwater fishes and 2 freshwater prawns,
24 sea
water fishes and 6 seawater prawns were collected. Freshwater fishes and prawns
were purchased from local markets, Insein and Kyee Myin Taing Markets, in Yangon Region. Seawater fishes and prawns imported from
Rakhine State (Bay of Bengal) and Mon State (Andaman Sea) were bought from Insein and Pa Zun Taung jetties, Yangon. The samples were collected in a plastic bag with an ice box and transported to the laboratory.


The only natural source of iodine supply via nutrition is marine seafood and the iodine content of marine fish depends on the species and individuals considerably.7-9 Freshwater prawn and fishes namely Pa-zun-zeik (River shrimp), Nga-than-gake (Glass sheatfish) and Nga-thale-doe (Loach) would benefit for their iodine content more than 10 µg of iodine in 100 g.


This study was funded by Department of Medical Research (DMR) Grant (PRC/ 022/18). The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Mo Mo Win, Director (Research), DMR for proof reading the manuscript. We would also express our thanks to Dr. Kyaw Lwin Show, Research Scientist, Health Systems Research Division, DMR for his help in statistical analysis.


Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.



1.       Choudhry H & Nasrullah Md. Iodine    consumption and cognitive performance: Confirmation of adequate consumption. Food Science & Nutrition 2018; 6:1341-1351.

2.       Undeland I, Lindqvist H, Chen-Yun Y, Falch E, Ramel A, Cooper M, Seafood and health: what is the full story. In: The Nordic Network on Marine Functional Food (MARIFUNC). Edited by Luten JB, Wagenin-gen Academic Publisher, 2009; 17-88.

3.       Azmat R, Talat R & Mahmood SJ. Distribution of iodine in marine and fresh water fishes from Sindh regions of Pakistan. Journal of Applied Sciences 2008; 8: 1790-1792.