Should iodine supplements be advised to pregnant women?

Iodine deficiency has been recognized as a major cause of hypothyroidism and adverse health consequences in both mothers and children. Iodine supplementation of mildly iodine-deficient pregnant women has been recommended worldwide; however, long-term benefit and safety of iodine supplementation in this population group is uncertain.

In this multi-center randomized controlled trial, either iodine supplementation or placebo has been administered to 323 pregnant women living in Bangalore, India, and to 516 pregnant women living in Bangkok, Thailand. Women were enrolled before teh 14th week of gestation. We measured urinary iodine concentration, thyroid volume and thyroid function of the mothers during pregnancy, at delivery and postpartum. Newborn thyroid volume, thyroid function indicators and urinary iodine concentration were measured with regular intervals up till 2 years of age. At 6 weeks, infant behaviour was assessed with the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scales. Cognitive and psychomotor performance was evaluated by the Bayleys Scale of Development at 1 and 2 years of age. Follow up measurements are performed at the age of 5-6 years with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence.


More research: International maternal and child nutrition