by Christtiane Northrup


How does iodine affect the health of the child?

Iodine deficiency can cause stillbirths
Iodine deficiency affects young and old

Did you know that iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardation in children? And despite the concerted effort by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and The International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) iodine deficiency is on the rise, especially in women of childbearing age.

In fact, approximately one-third of all pregnant women in the U.S. are iodine deficient, according to the June 2014 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). For women not of childbearing age, about 13 percent are deficient, and even more are mildly deficient.

Iodine supports thyroid function in both infants, children, and adults. It is also critical for neurological function as well as fetal and infant brain development. In adults, a deficiency in this crucial nutrient has also been linked to breast cancer, thyroid disease, fatigue, depression, breast tenderness, and more. In pregnant women, iodine deficiency has been linked to miscarriage and stillbirth.

And just recently, researchers determined that iodine provides protection from environmental toxins in both mother and baby when the mother’s iodine levels are in the healthy range. Exposure to certain toxins can create permanent neurological damage and effect brain development as well.

Explaining the Declining Trend

The drop in average iodine levels  began in the 1970s. And since then these levels have declined to about half of what they were. Experts cite a number of reasons for lower iodine levels despite the availability of iodized salt.

Less iodine in the soil (which means less in the food which is grown in it).
Breadmakers stopped including iodate conditioners when making bread.
People consume fewer eggs and fish, both good sources of iodine, due to concerns about ingesting cholesterol or mercury.

Today people consume the majority of their salt intake from processed foods, which are not iodized. Another powerful reason that so many are iodine deficient is the fact that chlorine and fluoride in the water supply actually interfere with iodine absorption and metabolism. Many people believe they are “allergic” to iodine because they experience a rash when they begin supplementing with it. But this reaction is far more likely to be a detox reaction from the release of excess bromide, chloride and fluoride from the system, resulting from the restoration of healthy iodine levels.

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Issue 16


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