The Importance of Iodine in Pregnancy: Low Iodine Levels in Pregnant Women
While iodine in pregnancy is essential, pregnant women don’t always get enough of it.
A small pilot study invited 47 pregnant participants: 31 had a vegan or plant-based diet, while the other 26 consumed meat. The researchers then compared their iodine levels and noted that those under the vegan/plant-based diet had 44ug/L of iodine, and those who ate meat had 64 ug/L.
However none of the participants met the World Health Organizations’ recommendation of 100 ug/L.
Even more worrying is that women from both groups who used pink Himalayan salts instead of iodized salt had severely low iodine levels, averaging only 23 ug/L.
The researchers pointed out that preference for Himalayan salts is a concern, along with the choice to have a plant-based diet since it may be void of seafood, a natural source of iodine.
The Importance of Iodine in Pregnancy: Where to Get Iodine
Now that we know more about the importance of iodine in pregnancy, let’s cover where you could get it.
You can get iodine through the consumption of:
- Seafood. These include tuna, shrimp, and cod.
- Milk. This also includes other dairy products.
- Iodized salt. Before you decide to change your salts from iodized to other types (Koshe, Himalayan, etc.), remember that many do not contain enough iodine. Talk to your doctor first before switching salts.
Finally, discuss with your doctor how you can have a healthy, balanced diet while you’re pregnant. To ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need, they might recommend a meal plan for you and give you supplementation.
Women in Their Reproductive Years Also Need Adequate Iodine Intake
Iodine in pregnancy is important, but it’s also worth noting that adequate iodine levels are crucial even before a woman conceives.
A local study mentioned that women of childbearing age with severe iodine deficiency might need a longer time to conceive.
The study researchers concluded that in the Philippines, “pockets of [iodine deficiency] among women of childbearing age exist.” The key measures to rectify the problem are information dissemination and the use of iodized salt.
What’s the importance of iodine in pregnancy? Experts say it’s crucial for the baby’s overall development, since it affects the production of thyroid hormones. Pregnant women should ensure they are getting enough iodine throughout their pregnancy.
Learn more about Pregnancy Problems here.