Did you know that iodine deficiency is the leading global cause of preventable brain damage?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports iodine deficiency is a worldwide problem affecting two billion people, including almost three hundred million children.
Australian and New Zealand women are severely deficient in iodine, putting our future children at risk of a variety of mental and physical disorders. Iodine is crucial in pregnancy for the proper development of the brain and nervous system of the fetus.
Moderate to severe iodine deficiency in pregnant women can result in fetal loss or irreversible brain damage. This brain damage includes a range of neuro-developmental disorders from loss of IQ to neurological cretinism in the most extreme form. Even mild iodine deficiency in utero or during infancy may cause similar but more subtle neuro-developmental disorders.
The Australian Thyroid Foundation (ATF) has an important health message: “Get Smart - Protect Your Baby’s Brain”. The ATF strongly advocate iodine supplementation in pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent mental disorders and brain damage in your baby. They state that seafood, bread, dairy and iodised salt intake cannot possibly cover the daily intake of iodine in women during childbearing.
According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC) the RDI for iodine in adults and children is 150 micrograms a day. The WHO recommends 250 micrograms per day in pregnancy and lactation and suggests supplementation for these women to ensure their needs are met.
Something so simple as supplementing with iodine can prevent several serious mental disorders in your baby. With our soil so deficient in this mineral and endemic deficiency seen in our population as a result, this is an example where supplementation is strongly recommended by all healthcare professionals. Especially in child bearing years.
Have you taken your iodine supplement today?
References available on request