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.
In the statement, Walter J. Rogan, MD, and colleagues on the AAP Council on Environmental Health discussed iodine deficiency, specifically in relation to pregnant and lactating women.
The researchers 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 15% do so, according to the statement. Additionally, some supplements do not contain enough iodide and are labeled inaccurately.
Consequently, the AAP recommends that pregnant and lactating women should be encouraged to take a supplement with adequate iodide and use iodized table salt. These recommendations are in line with the American Thyroid Association’s guidelines suggesting that pregnant and lactating women take supplements with adequate iodide.
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 researchers wrote.