Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy Impacts Children’s Brain Development

Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy Impacts Children’s Brain Development

By  Dr. Edward F. Group

Guest Writer for  Wake Up World

You probably know that pregnant women are encouraged to take additional vitamins and minerals for the sake of their baby’s development. Folic acid, calcium, and iron have long been considered the holy trinity of prenatal wellness. But here’s one you may not be so familiar with: iodine.

Iodine is Necessary for Good Health

Though its health benefits have long been known, new research is now indicating that iodine deficiency in pregnant women can have significant negative effects on unborn children’s brain development.

Iodine is an important mineral necessary for making thyroid hormones — the hormones that regulate growth and development. According to the National Institutes of Health, thyroid hormones, and thus iodine, are also necessary for adequate bone and brain development from pregnancy through infancy.[1]

New Findings Suggest Many Pregnant Women Are Deficient

According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), approximately one third of pregnant women are at least mildly deficient in iodine.[2]  This deficiency can be dangerous to the unborn baby and could negatively affect the child’s metabolism, leading to impairments in his or her motor skill and cognitive functions and, sometimes, irreversible mental damage. According to the journal Nutrients, “Iodine deficiency can be defined as the world’s greatest single cause of preventable brain damage.”[3]

The Rise of Supplements

Inspired by the findings of this study, news sources that have historically discouraged supplement use, such as Reuters and AAP’s own Pediatrics journal, are now encouraging pregnant and nursing women to take iodine supplements.[4]  They suggest that pregnant and nursing women ingest at least 290 micrograms of iodine each day.

Pediatricians maintain that women should only use supplements in addition to, not as replacements for, an iodine-rich diet. AAP still recommends that pregnant and nursing women ingest iodine naturally as much as possible. However, the primary sources of dietary iodine — dairy, seafood, and iodized salt — may not be appropriate for everyone, including vegans and those who wish to avoid hormone additives, toxic metals, and other chemicals found in those food sources; making supplemental iodine even more important.

By simply adding nascent iodine, the best form of supplemental iodine, to their prenatal care routines, pregnant women will have one less nutritional need to worry about. Be aware that, like everything, there is an upper limit to how much iodine you should consume and no point in consuming more than your body needs.[5]

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

Updated September 2014

Article References:

  1. National Institutes of Health. Iodine: Fact Sheet for Consumers. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact Sheet. June 24, 2011.
  2. Council on Environmental Health. Iodine Deficiency, Pollutant Chemicals, and the Thyroid: New Information on an Old Problem. Pediatrics. Vol. 133 No. 6 June 1, 2014. pp. 1163-1166. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-0900.
  3. Paolo Ghirri, Sara Lunardi, and Antonio Boldrini. Iodine Supplementation in the Newborn. Nutrients. January 2014; 6(1): 382-390.
  4. Andrew M. Seaman. Pregnant women should take iodide supplement: docs. Reuters. May 26, 2014.
  5. Kara J. Connelly, MD, Bruce A. Boston, MD, Elizabeth N. Pearce, MD, David Sesser, David Snyder, MD, Lewis E. Braverman, MD, Sam Pino, Stephen H. LaFranchi, MD. Congenital Hypothyroidism Caused by Excess Prenatal Maternal Iodine Ingestion. The Journal of Pediatrics. Volume 161, Issue 4, Pages 760-762, October 2012.

Previous articles by Dr. Group:

About the author:

dr-edward-group-iiiDr. Edward F. Group  (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM)  founded  Global Healing Center  in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

 


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