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pregnant woman

Iodine supplementation necessary for women during childbearing years!

Lynn Griffith
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Iodine deficiency affects more than 2.2 billion people worldwide!  Even mild iodine deficiency could have adverse effects on the cognitive function of children.  Iodine deficiency is associated with intellectual disability, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (1)

The United Kingdom has recently considered giving all pregnant women iodine supplements.  A recent study confirmed that this would save their National Health Service around £200 per expectant mother, and provide monetary benefits to the society of £4500 per child, due to increased lifetime earnings and lower public sector costs. (1)

UK considers giving all pregnant women iodine supplements in order to lower health care cost and improve economy

The authors of the study report that amongst 32 countries there are 1.9 billion people and 241 million school age children that have iodine deficiency.  Iodine is not made in the body and is found in foods such as dairy, seafood or supplementation.  The authors converted he effects of iodine supplementation in pregnancy on developing brains into IQ points.  The authors estimated that the benefits would equate to 1.22 IQ points per child. (1)

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) recommend that North American women get 150 μg iodine daily during pregnancy and lactation, and that all prenatal vitamins contain this dosage of iodine.  Unfortunately, these recommendations were not adopted.  A study found that even regions with salt iodization, showed that women were still at risk for iodine deficiency.  Taking a multivitamin with recommended iodine dosage during pregnancy remains strongly encouraged by the ATA.(2)

American Thyroid Association reports that iodized salt is not enough to prevent iodine deficiency

If you are vegan, taking a multivitamin is even more important.  A 2011 study found that vegans may be at risk for low iodine intake.  The study examined vegetarians and vegans in the Boston area.  They found that the vegetarians iodine levels were sufficient, but vegans were at risk.  The study recommended that vegans supplement 150 μg iodine daily during childbearing years. (3)

Study found that vegans may be at risk for iodine deficiency and supplementation during childbearing years is recommended

If you are taking a daily vitamin, check to be sure that the vitamin provides sufficient iodine; if not, it may be important to either supplement iodine or increase foods that provide iodine.

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.sciencedaily.com
(2) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(3) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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Image attributions:
 "30 weeks pregnant" by Tatiana Vdb (Featured Image)
Licensed under CC BY 4.0, images may have been modified in some way
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