Moreover, the British National Health Service could save about £200 per child if pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers were given iodine supplements.
Iodine has a very important role in developing the child’s brain and whole nervous system, while it is still growing in the womb. Unfortunately, this mineral is not naturally produced in the body so, in order to benefit from these effects, the person must consume cereals, oily fish, shellfish, walnuts or certain dairy products.
Women should be aware of the fact that not getting enough iodine could lead to brain damage and delayed development in her child. Moreover, iodine deficiency has also been associated with miscarriage, thyroid dysfunction and physical impairment.
Even a mild iodine deficiency was associated with lower IQ, poorer academic performance and, consequently, lower access to well-paid jobs.
The researchers say that the lack of this important mineral in the pregnant woman’s diet is the number one cause of “preventable retardation worldwide.”
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that iodine deficiency is “a serious public health threat for two billion people”. Out of these, almost 250 million are children.
This is why WHO and the European Food Safety Authority recommend pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding to take iodine supplements on a daily basis, to make sure their babies get all the nutrients they need, in order to develop from the mental and physical point of view.
The study looked at the numbers and found that a higher IQ, which could help the person get a better education and job, would cost the public sector less to support him or her and it could bring about £4,500 for every child.
Other health experts support this theory:
“At present, no national guidance for iodine supplementation has been issued to pregnant women, even though pregnancy and lactation lead to increased iodine requirements,” said the report, which revealed that 67 percent of women living in the UK had a mild to moderate iodine deficiency.
The results of the study were published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Image Source: momtastic