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.
Dr. Kristen Hynes
mentioned, "What we've found was in literacy, particularly in spelling,
the children whose mother had insufficient iodine performed about ten percent
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.