This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Iodine deficiency: Britain’s hidden nutrition crisis

Written by: | Published:

Foods such as fish and dairy products are rich in iodine, with seaweed being a particularly concentrated source

The negative health effects of iodine deficiency on health and human development are well documented.1,2,

The effects of mild to moderate deficiency, however, are less well known. Recent research has revealed that some UK populations are now mild to moderately iodine deficient3,4,5,6 and that this level of deficiency may come with risks to child cognitive development.7

This article looks at the importance of iodine sufficiency, particularly for pregnant women. It goes through the importance of iodine to our health, the effects of iodine deficiency and the more recent findings that the UK population is at risk of mild to moderate iodine deficiency with subsequent risks to foetal development.

What is iodine?

Iodine is a mineral, essential to human life. It is found in small amounts in the thyroid gland, and helps make thyroid hormones (thyroxine, T4 and triiodothyroxine, T3), which regulate growth and metabolism.8,9 In foetal life, thyroid hormones are required to ensure the development and growth of organs, particularly development of a baby’s brain before birth and during the critical period of the first two to three years.9

Iodine Cycle


Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.


What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.