A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children has revealed that Iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children’s mental development. The research published raises concerns that the Iodine status of pregnant women is a public health issue that needs to be addressed.
Iodine — which is consumed mainly via dairy products, fortified salt and seafood — is essential for producing the hormones made by the thyroid gland, which have a direct effect on fetal brain development.
The results of the study 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.
Researchers recommended that pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy should ensure adequate Iodine intake especially from good dietary sources including milk, dairy products and fish.