News article

Pregnant women should take iodide supplement

Posted:  Thursday, June 12, 2014

A US study conducted by a group of paediatricians have determined that it is very essential for pregnant women to take the adequate amount of iodine to protect the development of the brain of their babies. Iodine is an essential mineral that is required to make the thyroid hormones that help in the developing a child’s brain before and after birth.

According to Dr. Jerome Paul, many women don’t realize that they are pregnant in the early stages and a lack of adequate iodine can have an adverse effect on the development of the child’s brain. “Women who are childbearing need to pay attention to this topic as well, because about half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned.”

Paulson is a paediatrician at the Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, D.C. and the chairperson of the American Academy of Paediatrics Council on Environmental Health, which authored the policy statement.

Iodine during pregnancy:

According, to the American academy of paediatrics (AAP) more than one-third of the pregnant U. S. Women have been found to be iodine deficient and only 15% of pregnant women take iodine supplements.

At least 150 micrograms of iodide needs to be consumed by pregnant women, to ensure normal brain development of the child. An intake of 290-1000 micrograms of table salt should be consumed, these recommendations were made by the AAP in the policy statement as well by the American Thyroid Association and the National Academy of Sciences.

Iodine is typically ingested through the consumption of table salt. However, the intake of fast and processed food is not fortified with iodized salt exposing Americans to iodine deficiencies.

Iodine Supplements:

Women who are vegan or don’t eat fish need to be tested for iodine deficiency as they don’t consume the required level of iodine.

150 micrograms is the recommended intake for pregnant women, however, most prenatal and lactations vitamins does not contain the recommended level of iodine.

“Breastfeeding mothers should take a supplement that includes at least 150 micrograms of iodide and use iodized table salt,” the Council writes.

Dr. Lorelei Thornburg, a risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said that, “Obviously iodine is critical to the foetal and child brain and is critical to have an iodine rich diet.”

However, Thornburg suggests that the iodine supplement intake depends on the amount of iodide ingested through food.

The combined recommended level for pregnant and lactating women should be between 290-1100 micrograms per day, mainly in the form of potassium iodide

Iodine intake for women:

The WHO and the UNICEF and the international council for the control of Iodine deficiency disorders (ICCIDD) have recommended that the intake for women is between 110 micrograms – 150 micrograms.

Foods such as seafood, dairy products, fruits and vegetables along with human breast milk and infant formulas contain the required level of iodine for the normal development of the brain and thyroid hormones.