Pregnant moms might not be eating enough iodine rich foods that are crucial for the full development of their babies IQ, says study. Some examples of these are fish, milk and cheese.
Iodine is essential in the production of thyroid hormones that is crucial for normal brain development. Mild iodine deficiency is linked to poor intelligence in later childhood and severe iodine deficiency causes brain damage to the developing baby.
According to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatric, processed food is partly to blame for the increase in incidents of iodine deficiency. This is because, though processed food is often salty, the salt used is not iodized.
It is recommended by the World Health Organization that pregnant get 250 micrograms of iodine in their diet daily.
In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers have found that about one-third of pregnant women in the US are iodine-deficient. Only about 15% of them were taking vitamin supplements containing iodine.
A survey from the UK found that even though the majority of women knew of the general nutritional recommendations for pregnant women, only 12% were aware of the recommended iodine intake.
“Women aren’t receiving the message about the importance of iodine in pregnancy, meaning they cannot make informed choices to ensure they get the amount they require,” said Dr. Emilie Combet, lead researched in the University of Glasgow study.
Clinical nutrition manager Erin Corrigan agreed. “I don’t think it’s on the top of the list for women for nutrients,” she told HealthDay.
Talk to a medical professional if you think you aren’t getting enough iodine in your diet as well.
Sources: May 26, 2015. "Pregnant women damaging IQ of babies by not eating enough fish, milk and cheese". mirror.co.uk May 26, 2015. "Iodine Deficiency Common in Pregnancy, Docs Warn". webmd.com