Iodine is an important micronutrient that is needed in limited amounts every day. Having enough iodine is vital for everyone, but particularly for women during and after pregnancy. This is because women and infants are more prone to iodine-deficient disorders.

Although most mothers know the importance of nutrition in pregnancy, many do not know the importance of iodine that is required for the growth of a baby's brain in the womb. The best way to prevent problems due to iodine deficiency and to get one's daily nutritional needs is to eat an adequate amount of iodized salt from your daily diet.

Women's iodine needs increase dramatically, particularly during pregnancy, to ensure adequate supply to the fetus. But many people are unknowingly deficient of this nutrient due to increased body demand for iodine in the early weeks of pregnancy.

This implies that additional iodine supplements could be required in high-risk communities to avoid iodine deficiency and related disorders. It is important that both pregnant and lactating mothers have their daily iodine needs (250 Fmcg)1.

Iodine for Vegetarians

Vegetarians find it difficult to get enough iodine in their diet, as iodine is typically present in dairy products, seafood, and eggs that are not part of their daily diet. Most people require an extra supply of iodine, as it is present in relatively limited quantities in daily vegetarian and vegan diets. There is an additional risk of iodine deficiency in the soil and, therefore, in the food extracted from it.

Iodizing salt has created a lifelong legacy of health and well-being for millions of people, including women and children. According to the Iodine Global Network (IGN), salt iodization has become more rampant over the last 30 years. Universal Salt Iodization (USI) has led to the saving of nearly 4 billion IQ points in India, for example, saving almost 280 million IQ points annually.

Consumption of iodized salt in moderation through our daily diet will help avoid miscarriages, stillbirths, and cretinism that can impair the physical and mental development of the baby while in the womb or shortly after birth.

The good news is that iodine deficiency can effectively be avoided at a low cost by incorporating good-quality iodized salt to the diet. Stores and supermarkets never run out of iodized salt, ensuring that all consumers have access to it.

Let's make a commitment and work towards the eradication of iodine deficiency to create a stable and intelligent nation.