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Guidance on Iodine Issued for Pregnant, Lactating Women

Women should take adequate iodide supplements, avoid exposure to environmental pollutants

Guidance on Iodine Issued for Pregnant, Lactating Women

WEDNESDAY, May 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant and lactating women should be encouraged to take supplements with adequate iodide content, and avoid exposure to specific environmental pollutants, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement published online May 26 in Pediatrics.

Walter J. Rogan, M.D., and colleagues on the AAP Council on Environmental Health discuss iodine deficiency, specifically in relation to pregnant and lactating women.

The authors note that iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women can interfere with normal brain development in offspring and increases vulnerability to the effects of specific environmental pollutants. Pregnant and lactating women should take a supplement with adequate iodide, although only about 10 percent do so; some supplements do not contain enough iodide and are labeled inaccurately. Pregnant and lactating women should be encouraged to take a supplement with adequate iodide and use iodized table salt. Furthermore, the AAP recommends that pregnant and lactating women avoid exposure to excess nitrate (from contaminated well water) and thiocyanate (in cigarette smoke).

"The Environmental Protection Agency should proceed with appropriate regulation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should address the mislabeling of the iodine content of prenatal/lactation supplements," the authors write.

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