Study finds too little iodine could impair fertility

A new study of 467 American women who were trying to get pregnant has found that women with moderate to severe iodine deficiency were nearly half as likely to get pregnant as women with normal levels of the mineral.

The findings, published in the journal Human Reproduction, also revealed that nearly 22 percent of the women were mildly deficient, about 21 percent were moderately deficient, and 1.7 percent were severely deficient. The moderately and severely deficient women were 46 percent less likely to get pregnant. And women with mildly deficient iodine levels had a slightly harder time getting pregnant, according to lead researchers led by Dr. James Mills of the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Iodine, which helps regulate metabolism is found naturally in seafood, iodized salt, dairy products, and some fruits and vegetables. “Iodine requirements increase during pregnancy, and the fetus depends on this mineral to make thyroid hormone and to ensure normal brain development,” Mills said. “Women who are thinking of becoming pregnant may need more iodine.”

Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs while trying to get pregnant.

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