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Iodine deficiency in Pregnancy may lower IQ in children

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Lower IQ’s and reading scores have been observed in primary school pupils whose mothers had too little iodine whist pregnant  the new study published in the Lancet journal of over 1,000 families in the UK.

The Research 

Researchers from Surrey and Bristol Universities measured iodine in urine samples taken in the first three months of pregnancy from 1,040 women.

These women were more likely to have children with lower IQs, and it was found the lower the iodine the lower the IQ and reading ability.

Professor Margaret Rayman of the University of Surrey, who led the study, said: “Our results clearly show the importance of adequate iodine status during early pregnancy, and emphasise the risk that iodine deficiency can pose to the developing infant, even in a country classified as only mildly iodine deficient.”

Adjusting the results for external factors likely to affect these scores, such as parental education and breast-feeding, the researchers found that children of women in the iodine-deficient group were significantly more likely to have low scores of verbal IQ, reading accuracy and reading comprehension. The lower the mother’s concentration of iodine, the lower were the average scores for IQ and reading ability in the children.

Prof Rayman said: “Our results clearly show the importance of adequate iodine status during early pregnancy, and emphasise the risk that iodine deficiency can pose to the developing infant, even in a country classified as only mildly iodine deficient.”

 

Where do we get Iodine from?

Dairy products and fish sources are the richest sources of Iodine.

One way to achieve this is to drink more milk whilst pregnant to ensure you are obtaining enough Iodine. Fish is also another option, but many are a not advised during pregnant so this option can pose a more difficult option over increasing dairy intake.

Some reports have suggested that Organic milk has a lower iodine content than non-organic milk, therefore less ideal.

 

Even a mild deficiency during pregnancy could have detrimental effects on children’s brain development, according to new studies.

 

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Importance of Iodine – Pregnant and breastfeeding women need about 250mg of iodine a day.

Why aren’t we getting enough Iodine?

Although milk and dairy products are good ideal sources of iodine, supplying more than 40% of dietary intake, reports suggest that fearfully many pregnant women shun them in pursuit of a low fat diet – even though the iodine content of skimmed milk is the same as the full-fat version.

It is very common for many so called health conscious consumers to shun dairy products for their fat content, but ignore the other benefits like Iodine and Calcium which are important Micronutrients for the body.
Ensuring adequate micronutrient intake during pregnancy is vital to ensure healthy and able children. New research is forever in favour of supplementing the diet and ensuring we all have a balanced diet and lifestyles to give our kids the best start in life.

Do it for the kids!

 

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