Pregnant and lactating women should supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin that contains 150 mcg of iodine, according to a recent article published in Natural Medicine Journal, authored by three scientists at the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
This science-based recommendation is supported by the American Thyroid Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American Pediatric Association.
According to the scientific paper’s lead author, Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN, “Scientific evidence supports iodine’s role in healthy brain development in utero and during early childhood, however, many U.S. adult women of childbearing age may be iodine-deficient, putting their unborn children at risk for irreversible brain damage and other neurological abnormalities.”
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggests that iodine intake has decreased dramatically over the past several decades, with the percentage of women of childbearing age with iodine deficiency rising from four to 15 percent from 2005 to 2008. Ensuring sufficient iodine intake in this population is an important public health goal in the U.S.
This past January, CRN released recommended guidelines for the dietary supplement industry urging manufacturers to include a daily serving of at least 150 mcg of iodine in all multivitamin/mineral supplements intended for pregnant and lactating women in the U.S.
Health care providers play a key role in helping prevent iodine deficiency in pregnant and lactating women. Says Dr. MacKay, “We urge clinicians to support public health efforts to ensure adequate iodine intake in pregnancy and lactation by urging that any prenatal dietary supplement product they recommend contains a daily serving of at least 150 mcg of iodine.”
The paper published in Natural Medicine Journal underscores that healthy growth and development of fetuses and breastfed infants are dependent on sufficient maternal intake of iodine.
The paper, titled “Iodine Supplementation During Pregnancy and Lactation,” was co-authored by Dr. MacKay; Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN; and Haiuyen Nguyen, associate director, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN.
CRN member companies are expected to be in compliance with the CRN recommended guidelines for iodine quantity in multivitamin/mineral supplements for pregnancy and lactation within 12 months of the Jan. 27, 2015, release date.
The iodine guidelines are just one of a suite of proactive, science-based guidelines CRN developed as part of its self-regulatory initiatives. CRN also has recommended guidelines for: labeling and formulation of melatonin-containing dietary supplements for sleep support; caffeine-containing dietary supplements; labeling of protein in dietary supplements and functional food; and best practices for enzyme dietary supplement products and safety considerations for dosage recommendations and labeling.