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During the last 22 years, iodization of salt has prevented 20,000 goiter cases and increased the average children’s IQ by 6.
During the last 22 years, iodization of salt has prevented 20,000 goiter cases and increased the average children’s IQ by 6.

Expectant Mothers Have Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is particularly important during preconception and the first 16 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby’s brain, as during the period the fetus is entirely dependent on the mother for supply of iodine and thyroid hormone

Expectant Mothers Have Iodine Deficiency

Research conducted in 12 provinces by the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, indicates that pregnant women suffer from mild to moderate iodine deficiency.
Low level of the mineral during pregnancy can put the unborn child at risk of developing brain abnormalities, said Dr Hossein Delshad, head of the institute.
 “The average urinary level of iodine in pregnant women should be at least 150 microgram/liter; however the research results indicate the figure was 95 in pregnant women screened in the 12 provinces,” IRNA quoted him, as saying.
The recommended amount of iodine for pregnant women is 220 micrograms each day, and for breastfeeding women 290 micrograms.
It’s not necessary to get exactly 200-300 micrograms of iodine each day- women should strive to consume the recommended amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week. 
 Consumption of salts fortified with iodine is not enough to meet the needs of iodine deficiency in mothers-to-be and breastfeeding women. They should take iodine supplements to make up for the deficiency, said Delshad.
He urged all women to start using iodine-folic acid capsules three months before planning pregnancy. Last calendar year that ended in March, the institute launched its first product, iodine-folic acid supplements (iodofolic), in the domestic market. The cost of 4 packages of the supplement (each contains 30 capsules) is $1.
“Expectant women should take one capsule per day which contains 150 micrograms of iodine and 500 micrograms of folic acid,” he said.  
Low to moderate iodine deficiency is enough to put the fetus at risk of low IQ and brain abnormalities, while severe deficiency can lead to extreme disability known as cretinism.
“Iodine boosts brain development in the womb and iodine deficiency can cause learning disability in the child. Iodine is also essential for production of thyroid hormones which are important for healthy metabolism, growth, and development,” according to researchers at the institute which promotes the importance of minerals in diet and aims to ensure that mineral deficiencies are eliminated in the country.
Iodine is particularly important during preconception and the first 16 weeks of pregnancy to ensure the healthy development of the baby’s brain, as during the period the fetus is entirely dependent on the mother for supply of iodine and thyroid hormone.

 IDD Prevention
During the last 22 years, iodization of salt has prevented 20,000 goiter cases and increased the average children’s IQ by 6. However, the problem of iodine deficiency still persists among pregnant and breastfeeding women.
According to the institute, Iran is the only country in the Middle East that regularly monitors the population’s iodine levels for sustainable control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD).
Since 2000, the World Health Organization has recognized Iran as the only country in the region where IDD is under control.
Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of thyroid enlargement and goiter. Iodine deficiency disorders are the most important preventable cause of impaired development of the brain and subsequent mental retardation.
The average daily level of iodine intake recommended is 100 mg for children, 150 mg for adult men and women, and 200-250 mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women

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