Iodine is a trace mineral abundantly found in sea vegetables (seaweeds). This means that only small amounts are essential in the human diet. These amounts are measured in units called mcg or micrograms. It’s so small you can’t see it with the naked eye.
Almost 33% of pregnant women have a dietary iodine deficiency. This was reported by the Academy of Pediatrics Council on May 26, 2014. Since the 1990’s, primarily due to the popularity of non-iodized salts in convenience foods, our intake of iodine has fallen substantially in the United States. Thyroid gland requires iodine to make thyroid hormone.
Without enough maternal iodine, fetal brain development maybe hindered resulting in a child that is mentally disabled.
Women of child-bearing years should consume 220 mcg daily of iodine in the diet. This figure shoots up to 290 mcg in a breast-feeding mom.
Iodine is also found in iodized salt, fish, dairy products (milk, eggs, yogurt, etc.), and fruits/vegetables. Some cheeses like mozzarella are also high amounts of this trace mineral.
It’s recommended that a mother-to-be take a supplement containing 150 mcg per dose of iodine. Be careful to go over the list of nutrients in the prenatal preparation because some do not contain any iodine. If the health care professional deems that the women’s diet already has enough iodine then that would be preferred over a supplement. Getting enough nutrients from real foods if possible is always better than depending on pills.
Caution because too much iodine can also cause problems. Excesses may result in nausea, vomiting, goiter, rashes and possible cancer.
Make sure you speak with your pharmacist concerning any questions about interactions your medications may have with iodine supplements.
Again, a quality dietary intake with wide variety of foods is always a better way to go than taking any supplement(s). There are many other essential nutrients that the mother-to-be will require to help ensure a healthy baby. Good nutritional planning in conjunction with a nutritional specialist is the way to allow Mother Nature to handle all your dietary needs.
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