AAP issues update on iodine deficiency and associated pollutants

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1. Iodine deficiency is common in the United States, and can lead to impairment in neurological development in the fetal and childhood periods.

2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pregnant and lactating women take supplements with iodide, use iodized table salt for cooking, and avoid environmental pollutants that can interfere with iodine uptake.

Study Rundown: Adequate intake of iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormone, which is subsequently critical in fetal and childhood neurological development. This AAP policy statement provides a national update on information regarding iodine deficiency and environmental pollutants that can competitively interfere with the body’s ability to take up and utilize iodine. National guidelines suggest pregnant and lactating women have 290 μg iodide daily, which equates to 150 μg iodide supplementation alongside dietary intake. This update reports that only 15-20% of prenatal supplements have any iodide, and even so, those supplements oftentimes include less than the suggested dosage. Alongside iodide supplementation, pregnant and lactating mothers are urged to use iodized table salt for cooking. Environmental pollutants, such as nitrates (in contaminated water sources) and thiocyanate (in cigarette smoke) should be avoided. On a policy level, advocacy efforts are suggested to target proper labeling of vitamin supplements by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as Environmental Protection Agency examination of perchlorate, a substance which also interferes with iodine transport and may be a substantial water pollutant. Iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating mothers is both common and preventable in the United States; this policy statement provides guidelines towards that goal.

Click to read the study, published today in Pediatrics

Relevant Reading: Update of Newborn Screening and Therapy for Congenital Hypothyroidism

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