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Make Sure Iodine is in Your Prenatal

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Although severe iodine deficiency was eradicated in the United States almost a century in the past after the introduction of iodized salt, iodine consumption has declined in current many years. “Public health efforts to limit salt intake to decrease cardiovascular risk, in conjunction with increasing use of kosher salt and sea salt (neither of which contain iodine),” might in half be in charge. Not including salt to foods is a great factor, as sodium is thought-about the second leading dietary killer in the world (second only to not eating sufficient fruit), however in case you do add desk salt, be certain that it’s iodized. “It is a myth (often also false advertising) that ‘natural’ sea salt contains significant amounts of iodine.”

Fruits and vegetables provide iodine, however the quantities can range relying on the place it’s grown and the way a lot iodine is in the soil. Because iodine is notably necessary for fetal brain improvement, there’s a suggestion that “all US women who are pregnant, lactating, or even planning a pregnancy should ingest dietary supplements containing 150 mcg of potassium iodide per day,” which I talk about in my video Iodine Supplements Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

Is there proof they’re not getting enough? We’d wish to see urine ranges over 150 mcg/L in pregnant women, but in the United States, pregnant women solely average about 125 mcg/L. For example, a current survey in New York City showed only about half of pregnant women have been making the reduce.

Don’t most pregnant women take prenatal vitamins, although? Only about half of prenatal multivitamins include any iodine at all, and so solely about one in 5 pregnant women in the United States are following the suggestions of the American Thyroid Association to take a day by day iodine complement, specifically in the form of potassium iodide slightly than seaweed, as the levels in seaweed are topic to natural variability. Though the iodine content material was as a lot as 90 % off in a number of the potassium iodide prenatal supplements, the kelp dietary supplements different even wider, off by as much as 170 %.

Now, the American Thyroid Association admits it doesn’t have proof that the present borderline insufficiency ranges are resulting in undesirable outcomes and so its rationale that each one pregnant women take iodine dietary supplements is a bit tenuous. Until such knowledge are available, although, it figures higher protected than sorry.

A randomized, placebo-controlled, interventional trial would reply the question once and for all, but the present evidence for iodine supplementation during pregnancy is so convincing that it will be thought-about unethical to randomize pregnant women to a placebo.

When it involves adequate iodine consumption during pregnancy, I’d advocate: Just do it.


Women eating plant-based diets might discover this video of particular significance: Pregnant Vegans at Risk for Iodine Deficiency.

This isn’t to say sea greens aren’t good for you in their very own right. See Which Seaweed Is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer?.

For more movies on having a healthy pregnancy, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you possibly can subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my stay, year-in-review shows:




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