Iodine deficiency in pregnant women can substantially damage the fetal brain. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Iodine supplementation during pregnancy: a public health challenge.
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Nov;18(9):338-43. Epub 2007 Oct 24. PMID: 17962037
Iodine deficiency remains the most frequent cause worldwide, after starvation, of preventable mental retardation in children. It causes maternal hypothyroxinemia, which affects pregnant women even in apparently iodine-sufficient areas, and often goes unnoticed because L-thyroxine (T4) levels remain within the normal range, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is not increased. Even a mild hypothyroxinemia during pregnancy increases the risk of neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and experimental data clearly demonstrate that it damages the cortical cytoarchitecture of the fetal brain. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) recommends a supplement of 150 microg iodine/day during pregnancy and lactation, in addition to the use of iodized salt. We discuss the importance of iodine supplementation to ensure adequate T4 levels in all women who are considering conception and throughout pregnancy and lactation.