Iodine and Pregnancy

Supplementing with Iodine Recommended for Pregnant Women

| Modified on Jun 30, 2014
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Iodine Supplementation During Pregnancy

by Isabella Dutta
May 27, 2014

A recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advising pregnant and breast-feeding women to seek out prenatal supplements with iodine, a crucial element to healthy fetal brain development. This is in response to the fact that about one-third of pregnant women have been found to have a mild iodine deficiency, due perhaps to the increased consumption of processed food, which typically contains non-iodized salt.

A sufficient dose of iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, in turn crucial for proper brain development. A severely iodine-deficient fetus or infant could suffer irreversible mental retardation. Even a mild deficiency could lead to decreased intelligence in the child. Even when mildly deficient levels of iodine might not have an immediate, measurable impact, this tendency could, over generations, lead to a collective loss of intelligence.

 The AAP is recommending that women seek out supplements that contain at least 150 micrograms of iodide, a source of iodine easily absorbed by the body. Combined with our natural dietary intake of iodine – especially in dairy products, seafood and iodized salt – would bring pregnant women to the recommended daily dosage of 220 micrograms (290 micrograms for breastfeeding women).

 Source: Wall Street Journal