Prenatal Iodine Deficiency Leads to Poor Educational Outcomes 9 Years Later

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For nearly 100 years, it has been known that insufficient iodine levels can lead to lowered IQ levels in children. Australian researchers studied whether children born to mothers with mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy have poorer educational outcomes in elementary school as compared to peers whose mothers did not have mild gestational iodine deficiency. All of the children grew up in an “iodine-replete environment” – that means they had access to iodized salt and other dietary sources of iodine which are thought to maintain iodine sufficiency. The children were followed for nine years where they were assessed with standardized tests.

The researchers found that nine years later, as compared to children of mothers who did not have mild iodine deficiency in pregnancy, mildly iodine-deficient pregnant women’s children experienced significant reductions in spelling, grammar and English literacy. The authors summarized their findings by stating, “This study provides preliminary evidence that even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have long-term adverse impacts on fetal neurocognition that are not ameliorated by iodine sufficiency during childhood.” (J. Clin. Endcrin. and Metab. May, 2013. 98(5):1954-62)

Comment: Folks, this is another in a long list of studies which show that maternal iodine deficiency adversely affects their IQ of children. Iodine is a crucial substance needed for normal neurological and brain development of the fetus. Inadequate iodine intake of the mother can have long-term ramifications, as shown in this study.

This is an important study. It reiterates what I have been writing about – iodine deficiency is a present-day problem. At my office, we have now tested over 6,000 patients for their iodine levels. I can assure you that iodine deficiency is occurring at epidemic rates – over 96% of our patients have tested low in iodine. Most have tested for severely low iodine levels. Those are my statistics. The U.S. Government’s statistics from NHANES show that almost 60% of pregnancy-aged women are suffering from inadequate iodine intake. Iodine deficiency should be considered a national emergency.

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