A recent report from the BBC has not claimed that a mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in your child having a lower IQ!
I think of iodine in a similar way to B vitamins – it is needed for lots of biological functions. However, iodine is particularly important for your thyroid health, which is responsible for the production of a number of hormones. This means that a lack of iodine will result in poor hormone production.
But this isn’t really new! The link between infant brain function and iodine is well documented and researched, and severe deficiency of iodine in pregnant women stunts brain and body development their children. Despite the fact that this isn’t old news, I think the media coverage on this topic is a good thing, because iodine is often over looked as a nutrient, so I am hoping that people will think more about their iodine consumption.
So – how do you increase your iodine consumption?
Recommendations from the news article say pregnant women increase fish consumption, but I would disagree, as fish (particularly fish like cod) are high in toxins such as methylmercury, PCBs and ditoxins, which all damage the developing brain of the foetus. If you know that your fish is very low in these chemicals, then yes, fish (and most seafood) is very high in iodine so eat up! But if you don’t know, I would be careful how much you eat.
Safer options are potato skins, eggs, and milk. You can even get salt fortified with iodine, which is great, but it doesn’t mean you should increase your salt intake just because it has iodine in it.
You can see the BBC report here.
Image courtesy of gozalewis