Iodine is an important element which is needed for thyroid hormone (thyroxine (T4 )& triiodothyronine (T3)). Every cell in the body depends on thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. Iodine is derived from some of the food we eat. Insufficient iodine in the body will affect the making of thyroid hormone. Lack of iodine in pregnancy is attributed to the increased numbers of mentally retarded infants and children. It can also lead to the enlargements of thyroid- goiter.

The emergence of iodized salt has almost eliminated the goiter sysmptom; but even at that, iodine deficiency still remains a vital public health issues globally. It is approximated that 40% of the world’s population stand the risk of iodine deficiency.

Apart from causing mental retardation, iodine deficiency in pregnancy can cause miscarriages, stillbirth, preterm delivery and congenital abnormalities in babies. The children’s development can also be affected with loss of speech and hearing. In worst cases, the children suffer from permanent brain damage (cretinism), deaf mutism, spasticity. A mild lack of iodine in pregnancy can reduce the intelligence of the child.

There is also problems associated with taking too much iodine especially for people who have thyroid problems; nodules,hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disease. A change in location where there is iodine deficiency, to a region where there is surplus can also be problematic as the thyroid had become used to a low intake. This might cause an iodine induced hyperthyroidism.

The following are the recommended iodine for the body noting that one tea spoon of iodine contains 400ug:

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Male & female per day – 150ug

Pregnant women per day – 290ug

Breast feeding woman per day -290ug

American Thyroid Association has recommended the intake of multivitamin containing 150ug per day for both pregnant women and breastfeeding women in U.S. We also do the same here.

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