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Low Iodine Intake During Pregnancy Leads to Lower IQ in Babies: Study

Iodine can be a real decider of how your kids turn out to be in the future, vouches a new study.

Researchers from University of Birmingham discovered in a new study that those women who consume iodine supplements pre and during pregnancy are likely to have kids with better IQ levels.


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For the study, the research team examined a modeled study on the disparity between the usefulness of iodine supplementation on expense and no supplementation in pregnant women in the United Kingdom.

Utilizing figures from a methodical review of researches that were previously published and expert outlook, the team demonstrated the direct health care savings from consuming iodine as well as cost savings of the society from the perspective of profits achieved from extra IQ points in children.

The authors transformed the effects of iodine supplementation during pregnancy on fostering brains into IQ points, and estimated that the advantages are equivalent to 1.22 IQ points in a single child. The cost savings for a pregnant mother is 199 Euros as per the National Health Service (NHS) and 4476 Euros for the entire society.

Iodine, which is not developed by the body through natural process, has to be taken from outside by consuming foods such as seafood, supplements and dairy, containing iodine. The report explained that acute lack of iodine during pregnancy could trigger considerable mental damage and cease the pace of development among kids, which in turn leads to a lower IQ and eventually lower educational achievement and income capability.

In contrast to the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Food Safety that suggested pregnant women to consume iodine supplements, nothing of that sort has been prescribed in the UK albeit the country reporting a large-scale iodine deficiency.

Kate Jolly who is the co-author of the study said that lack of iodine in pregnant women is still the foremost reason of “preventable retardation” globally, and that a little deficit in pregnancy could also lead to children possessing lower IQs.

“It’s time for all women living in iodine deficient countries without universal supplementation of iodine, who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy to be advised to take a daily supplement containing iodine,” she stressed.

The authors also explained that as enrichment of food couldn’t eradicate the problem of iodine deficit in pregnancy, alone their findings make the case strong to implement the need for iodine supplementation pre and during pregnancy and during breastfeeding as well, “in mild-to-moderate iodine deficient countries.”

The authors emphasized that with nearly 1.9 billion individuals and 241 million school-going kids who are aged 6-12 years old dwells in the 32 most iodine deficit nations, supplementation of iodine during pregnancy could be very significant.

The study has been published in the journal “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology Journal”.

According to Science Direct, iodine deficiency during pregnancy can also involve maternal and fetal goiter, neonatal hypothyroidism, cretinism (stunted physical as well as mental growth), and elevated pregnancy loss and new born as well.

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