Today, for the first time ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that pregnant women take iodine supplements. Iodine can generally be consumed naturally through products that contain iodized salt, but those have become less common recently because a greater number of foods are processed and don’t have that ingredient.
So, why are experts specifically recommending that women who are pregnant take iodine supplements? Iodine produces thyroid hormone, which is necessary to help a baby’s brain develop normally. According to the policy statement that was published in Pediatrics today, women who are pregnant or nursing should take iodine supplements, but only about 15 percent do so.
Such supplements are normally consumed in the form of either potassium iodide or sodium iodide. In addition to helping a baby’s brain develop properly, they are also believed to help a developing baby stay safeguarded from certain harmful environmental factors.
If you’re ready to start taking iodine supplements, look for a variety that contains at least 150 micrograms of iodide. Preferably, look for the potassium iodide variety. Furthermore, use iodized table salt to flavor the foods that you eat. By practicing both of those habits, the combined daily intake should range between 290-1,100 micrograms. Before it was determined that so many women aren’t getting enough iodine in their diets, the latter strategy alone was most commonly recommended during pregnancy.
The study released today warns that about one-third of women are iodine deficient, but there is no clear reason why such a small number of them choose to take supplements. One possibility is that they may not be aware that iodine is an important factor in the health of a baby’s brain, but hopefully, this new study will shed some light on that finding. Also, there are no symptoms associated with iodine deficiency. However, the problem is something a physician can verify with a urine analysis.
Folic acid, vitamin D and calcium have long been thought of as must-have dietary additions for women who are pregnant or thinking about having a child. Now, thanks to this new study about iodine supplements, there’s at least one more ingredient to look for on a prenatal vitamin bottle label.
Although iodine supplements were the main focus on the policy statement that came out today, it was not the only precautionary measure discussed in the text. In addition, pregnant women were advised to avoid excessive exposure to nitrates and cigarette smoke.
((This article is intended to report on the news surrounding the issue and should not be taken as an endorsement or medical advice. The Inquisitr encourages all our readers to consult proper medical professionals when making their health decisions))
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