ENTERTAINMENT

Do You Get Enough of the Nutrient That Boosts Your Brain?

London: When thinking about the nutrients that we need, iodine may not spring immediately to mind. Yet we are more likely to have a low intake of this crucial mineral
24 Aug 2015 12:12
Do You Get Enough of the Nutrient That Boosts Your Brain?
Human Brain

London: When thinking about the nutrients that we need, iodine may not spring immediately to mind.

Yet we are more likely to have a low intake of this crucial mineral than calcium or vitamin C.

The recommended daily amount is 150 micrograms (mcg) for adults, but most don’t manage this.

The average intake for women is 140mcg, with half getting less than 130mcg, and one in 40 as little as 48mcg or less, according to the Government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Men do a little better, but half still do not get their recommended daily intake.

Last week, a study in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology recommended that all pregnant women should be given iodine supplements as this could not only boost their babies’ cognitive development and IQ, but save the NHS millions – iodine is vital for the developing brain.

We also need iodine for the production of thyroid hormones – when iodine levels become critically low, this can cause a swelling in the neck known as a goitre.

Goitre used to be very common, but the problem was almost eradicated when iodine supplements for cows meant we could get it from dairy products.

However, iodine deficiency is on the rise again – possibly because more people are cutting out dairy, one of the best sources, from their diets (vegetarians and vegans are most at risk of deficiency).

Some experts say mild iodine deficiency in adults may lead to sluggishness, depression and weight problems.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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