Pregnancy Research: How much iodine is best?

Pregnancy Research: How much iodine is best?

Iodine is an important nutrient for baby’s brain and nervous system development. Since 2009, iodine has been added to some of our food and pregnant women are also advised to take a supplement containing iodine. 
 
However, recent population studies suggest that consuming too much iodine during pregnancy may have a similar result as not consuming enough, resulting in lower developmental scores in children.
 
This research study is led by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council Medical Research Future Fund. The study is currently recruiting women less than 13 weeks pregnant to be involved.
 
SAHMRI is collaborating with Mater Mothers’ Hospital, as well as other institutions nationwide, to determine the optimal amount of iodine needed during pregnancy for baby’s development.
 
Obstetrician and Principal Investigator of the study at Mater Mothers’ Hospital Dr Huda Safa, says “this study aims to answer a very important question for our mothers and babies. The results could change our recommendations related to iodine supplementation during pregnancy.”
 
Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator of the study, Dr Karen Best said that this study is the first of its kind and will help provide important evidence to pinpoint just how much iodine women should be taking during pregnancy.
 
“Women who get enough iodine from the food they eat may not need the amount of iodine that is contained in common prenatal supplements. More is not always better, it’s all about finding the right amount,” Dr Best said. 
 
The outcomes of this research will be evaluated through cognitive development assessments of children when they reach 24 months of age.
 
Iodine intake can begin making an impact from early pregnancy, so women must be less than 13 weeks of pregnancy to be eligible for the study. They must also complete a 10-minute iodine food frequency questionnaire to ensure they are meeting the recommended intake. 
 
More information
Please click here for more information about the study.

 

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