The Importance of Iodine in Pregnancy: What is Iodine?
Iodine in pregnancy is important, but what is iodine?
Iodine is a mineral our body uses to make thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones, in turn, are essential for metabolism and other functions, such as temperature regulation and muscle contraction. People who don’t get enough iodine may experience goiter and hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones).
The average daily recommended amount of iodine for adults is 150 micrograms. For pregnant women, however, the iodine requirement significantly increases to 220 micrograms.
The Importance of Iodine in Pregnancy
Pregnant women have increased iodine requirement because the baby uses thyroid hormones for their bone and brain development.
Reports indicate that the lack of iodine in a pregnant woman’s diet is associated with stillbirths, miscarriages, preterm birth, and congenital abnormalities. Severe iodine deficiency could also lead to hearing, speech, and growth problems, as well as intellectual disabilities.
According to the American Thyroid Association, iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of intellectual disabilities across the globe. They also added that even mild iodine insufficiency could result in low intelligence in kids.