Vitamin Bears™ Nutrition & Healthy Living

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Iodine deficiency in Pregnancy may lower IQ in children

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.



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!


#lancet #pregnancy #newstudy #iodine #IQ #deficiency #kids #children #health


Long Winter causing Vitamin D Deficiency?

With the long drawn out winter, the recent breaks of sunshine we’re experiencing are better for us than many of us may realise.

Our bodies produce the sunshine ‘Vitamin D’ from direct sunlight on our skin. Vitamin D is also produced in much smaller quantities from oily fish, eggs and meat. Sunshine being the preferred supply.

Vitamin D helps with the absorption of Calcium from the diet. We all know how important Calcium is for our bones, hence why deficiency in Vitamin D leads to weakening and softening of bones. In children this leads to Rickets, an old victorian ailment which is now on the increase. Adults can develop Osteomalacia, the adult form of Rickets, which causes bone pain and tenderness.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight


Those most at risk are the over-65s, pregnant and breast-feeding women, children under five, people with darker skin and anyone who wears clothing that covers their skin or spends a lot of time indoors — as most of us now do. Also with the extra demands of today’s hectic lifestyles, leaving for work early and arriving home after dark, and juggling everything in-between, our time spent outdoors can be limited. I don’t think we can help wanting to be inside with the sub zero temperatures many of us around the country are experiencing.


Dr Oliver Gillie, founder of the Health Research Forum, says recent weather patterns mean many of us will be ­dangerously low on this vitamin.

“Vitamin D deficiency is a major problem because of our climate and because this past summer was so bad for sunshine, there was little chance to build up reserves to last us through this winter.

“Sunbathing can increase a person’s gain in vitamin D substantially during the ­summer putting him or her in the best condition to avoid chronic disease, but that has been impossible.”

An international authority on vitamin D deficiency, Dr Robert Moy, agrees: “An awful summer increases the risk of deficiency, which is reckoned to contribute to a whole range of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

“What is not really known is at what sort of level these risks increase but we probably ought to be supplementing our intake for six months of the year, from October to March.”


Sunbathing seems to be the best idea – laying out in the sun, there is nothing that can compare right? But how many of us can get away to tropical climates to sit out in the sun to get our Vitamin D fill. Also with the scares of skin cancer many of us choose to cover up in the sun, rightly so, but at an expense to our Vitamin D production.


Supplements are always an option, and are particularly important when sunshine isn’t an option.

The Department of Health recommends at-risk adults have a daily top-up of 10 µg (200% RDA) – try Boots or Holland & Barrett for a supplement.

All children under five can take a daily supplement of 7-8.5 µg, unless they drink formula milk, which is fortified with vitamin D. 

Also with recent developments in food technology, eggs contain 70% more Vitamin D than they did 30 years ago. Breakfast cereals are now also starting to introduce fortification of Vitamin D alongside their B vitamins. But on average, a healthy well balanced diet is unlikely to afford us enough of the sunshine vitamin. Food provides around 10% of our Vitamin D intake.

Your GP can prescribe Vitamin D on the NHS for those in the at risk category.

But as a recent study showed, many so called healthy individualise were unknowingly deficient. This was reported in the Daily Mirror and cited by the British Dietary Association.



Recent Vitamin D Studies

A Danish study of 10,000 people last year found low levels increased the risk of dying from heart disease by 81%, while US Department of Health ­researchers reported that high levels cut the risk of stroke by 11%.

A Canadian study of 1,200 women found those who regularly took a vitamin D supplement cut their cancer risk by 60%.

There was also evidence of protection against breast, lung and bowel cancer — the three most deadly forms, which claim 62,400 lives in the UK annually.

Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease are some of the health problems linked to low levels.

Patterns of disease also point to the importance of vitamin D. Multiple ­sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological condition which affects on average 100,000 people in the UK, is much more common in northern ­climates, where lack of sunlight means vitamin D deficiency is common.

In England and Wales it is estimated that MS affects about one in 1,000 people, but in Scotland it is twice that and in Orkney, one of the most northerly parts of the UK, four in 1,000 people have MS — the highest incidence in the world.

#supplement #vitamind3 #deficiency #sunshinevitamin #rickets #sunbathe #eastersun#welovesunshine #vitaminbears