Children whose mother had insufficient iodine intake during pregnancy have poor literacy rates, finds Tasmanian study. Tasmanian scientists have requested all expectant females to include iodine supplements. Iodine is important for proper neurological development of the baby and its deficiency in pregnancy is hence harmful.
About ten years back, at the Royal Hobart Hospital, the experts from the Menzies Research Institute assessed levels of iodine in the blood samples of around 200 expectant mothers. The scientists observed that 70 percent of the mothers were deficient in trace elements. When standardized literacy tests were given to evaluate their level of literacy, the results showed that children of iodine deficient mothers were poor in their spellings.
AdvertisementDr. Kristen Hynes mentioned, "What we've found was in literacy, particularly in spelling, the children whose mother had insufficient iodine performed about ten percent worse." Dr. Hynes was of the opinion that baby's neurological development can be adversely affected by mild deficiency of iodine during pregnancy. She added, "During pregnancy women require about 50 per cent more iodine in their diet and although we've now got mandatory fortification of bread across Australia this is not going to be enough."
Professor Ian Hay of the University of Tasmania stated that the development issues arising due to iodine deficiency cannot be cured by giving supplements during childhood years. Professor Hay said, "This is a major international study because it gives us a better understanding about why some students in our classrooms are having educational difficulties that aren't related to the teacher."
A recent study conducted by Tanzanian scientists showed that the children who were not given sufficient iodine in mother's womb had a low level of literacy as compared to their peers. The study was published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). Iodine is essential for the growth and development of the brain. Iodine is a trace element and is required in small amount so even a slight deficiency of iodine can adversely affect baby's neurological growth and development.
Pregnant women should strictly adopt public health guidelines and include dietary supplements including iodine in their daily diet.