For many years, healthcare professionals have known that various nutrients play vital roles in the development of a fetus during pregnancy (ex. Folic Acid to prevent spina bifida). Several recent reports have stressed the importance of iodine in brain development and the need for many women to supplement to receive adequate amounts.
About one-third of women in the United States are mildly iodine deficient. This is due to our high intake of processed foods which usually contain salt that isn’t iodized, leading to a deficiency. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive should take a prenatal vitamin that contains the recommended amount of 220 to 290 mcg/day of iodine. You can also change your diet to foods that are rich in iodine to help get this amount. Dairy products, certain meats, eggs, seafood, etc. all are rich in iodine.
Be aware that you should avoid seafood that is high in mercury content. It is also important not to get too much iodine (over 1100mcg per day) as this can have negative effects on both the mother and baby’s thyroids.
Looking for a good prenatal vitamin over the counter? Check out One A Day Women’s Prenatal 1, Centrum Specialist Prenatal, or Similac Prenatal Vitamin. These all contain the recommended amounts of nutrients and iodine.
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Your Family Pharmacist,