A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition claims that breastfeeding mothers who consume larger amounts of iodine in their diets have smarter babies. Iodine is most traditionally found in milk, dairy products, and fish.
Studies have shown that women who drink organic milk receive less iodine in their diets. The new study shows a 42 percent increase in iodine for women who drink milk of the regular variety.
Researchers at Bristol and Surrey Universities teamed up to survey 1,040 pregnant women. Researchers found that two-thirds of those women were iodine deficient. Researchers then conducted IQ tests with the women’s children after birth and found that, the lower the iodine level, the lower the IQ and reading ability of the children.
According to lead researcher Margaret Rayman of the University of Surrey:
“Our results clearly show the importance of adequate iodine status during early pregnancy, and emphasise the risk that iodine deficiency can pose to the developing infant, even in a country classified as only mildly iodine deficient.”
While increased iodine is good for babies who breastfeed, researchers warn that products such as kelp supplements actually provide an “excessive level” of iodine and should therefore be avoided.
Along with their own research patients, the group also examined 14,000 mothers who enrolled in the “Children of the 90s’ Project” from 1991 through 1992. Children from that study have been followed since birth.
Researchers taking part in the study are so sure of the link that they have printed an iodine fact sheet, which is available via the University of Surrey and the British Dietetic Association websites.
This is not the first test to find a connection between iodine and IQ. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism also found that children with low iodine levels are more likely to score low on literacy tests.
Do you buy into the iodine and breastfeeding study?
Drink milk to increase child’s IQ, pregnant women told: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10072366/Drink-milk-to-increase-childs-IQ-pregnant-women-told.html
Breastfeeding and Iodine Levels Tied to IQ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Breastfeeding_a_baby.JPG