Iodine Recommended Daily in Multivitamin Prenatal Supplements

New guideline recommendations from The US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a dietary-supplement trade association, calls for iodine supplementation to be included in multivitamin/mineral supplements intended for pregnant and lactating women.

CRN, the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, developed these guidelines in response to recommendations from authoritative medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, and the American Thyroid Association. Guidelines suggest that pregnant and lactating women receive a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement containing 150 mcg of iodine.

“Scientific evidence shows that, similar to folic acid, adequate iodine is critical early in pregnancy when the fetal brain is growing rapidly,” says Duffy MacKay, ND, senior vice-president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “Currently, many U.S. women of childbearing age get insufficient dietary iodine, putting their children at risk for decreased cognitive function. CRN’s guidelines call on manufacturers of multivitamin/mineral supplements for pregnant and lactating women in the U.S. to provide the scientifically-backed amount of iodine that this population needs.”

Many women of childbearing age have mild iodine deficiency, which can have adverse effects on cognitive function in children. Pregnant women need more iodine than other women because of changes the body goes through when pregnant. Increased thyroid-hormone production, renal losses and fetal iodine requirements all require a sufficient iodine supply to keep mom and baby healthy. According to the CRN, only 15 – 20% of pregnant and lactating women take a supplement containing adequate iodine. “We commend the Council for Responsible Nutrition for stressing the importance of iodine for pregnant and lactating women in order to ensure normal brain development of the fetus and baby,” said Robert C. Smallridge, MD, president, American Thyroid Association.  “Our association strongly concurs that pregnant and lactating women should get 150 mcg of iodine daily from their multivitamin/mineral supplement.”

As with any medication or dietary supplement, too much of one thing can be dangerous. Doctors warn that taking more than 1,100 mcg of iodine per day is not recommended because this can increase the risk of thyroid dysfunction, particularly in pregnant and lactating women or those with a pre-existing thyroid disease. It’s important to read the bottle label and talk to your doctor before you start taking any medications or dietary supplements.

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