Viewpoint: Iodine deficiency during pregnancy could impact intellect of babies


Professor Andrew Weeks: “A good diet is extremely important in pregnancy”

Researchers at the Universities of Surrey and Bristol have found that mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy could reduce the IQ of some babies.

Professor Andrew Weeks, from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Translational Medicine, commented: “A good diet is extremely important in pregnancy. We have known for years about how major dietary deficiencies in pregnancies can affect babies, but we now understand that even small changes also have an effect.

“This study shows how subtle changes in iodine intake can have long-lasting effects on childhood development and IQ. The same is true with iron. Pregnant women should remember that their baby is made up of what they eat in pregnancy.”

Dr Mark Turner, from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, said: “This study suggests that further research is needed to signpost women towards a healthy diet and that policy interventions are needed to ensure that all women in the UK have access to the food they need during pregnancy.”

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