Iodine Deficiency May Impair Fertility

Women with moderate to severe iodine deficiency may have a more difficult time conceiving, suggests an observational study by researchers from the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Iodine deficiency is common in the US population and in pregnant women specifically. The study included 467 women who were trying to become pregnant between 2005 and 2009. It found that 44.3% had urine iodine-creatine ratios of less than 50 μg/g. Compared with women with normal iodine levels or mild iodine deficiency, women with iodine-creatine ratios lower than 50 μg/g had a 46% lower chance of becoming pregnant in any menstrual cycle. Women with milder iodine deficiencies of between 50 and 99 μg/g also took longer to conceive than women with sufficient iodine levels, but the difference wasn’t statistically significant.
“Our findings suggest that women who are thinking of becoming pregnant may need more iodine,” said lead author James L. Mills, MD, a senior investigator at NICHD in a statement. “Iodine requirements increase during pregnancy, and the fetus depends on this mineral to make thyroid hormone and to ensure normal brain development.”
Low iodine levels cause hypothyroidism, which is linked to infertility, according to Mills and his coauthors. They suggest that more research is needed to determine if the US and European countries should try to increase iodine intake in women of childbearing age. In the meantime, the NICHD suggests that women consult their physician or health care professionals before changing their diet or taking supplements to increase iodine levels.
At Botanica Medica our Naturopaths are well aware of the importance of good iron levels and the effect it can have on your life both physically and mentally. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, it can be a good idea to seek some pre-conception advice from one of our naturopaths. They come across lots of interesting studies and are always updating their knowledge. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our Naturopaths call Botanica Medica on 8271-1827 today. They are only to happy to share the knowledge they have gained through their studies and patient outcomes, and get you feeling better. Botanica Medica is located at 97 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood and appointments are available Monday to Saturday including some after hours.
Bridget Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2018;319(8):760. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1291
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