The Rate Of Iodine Is In Borderline, Among Young American Women Of Childbearing

April 6, 2012 6:10 PM EDT
a pregnant woman
a pregnant woman (Photo: Flickr / molly_darling)

Young American women of childbearing are very close to iodine deficiency, according to a new report released this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Iodine is an essential trace element for life, the element commonly needed by living organisms. Iodine functions to compose the thyroid hormones thyroxine. Thyroid hormones act on gene transcription to regulate the basal metabolic rate.

People in areas where there is little iodine in the diet, remote inland areas where no marine foods are available are exposed to hypothyroidism, symptoms of extreme fatigue, mental slowing, depression, weight gain, and low basal body temperatures.

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Iodine deficiency also can cause mental retardation, primarily among hypothyroidic babies or young children. Even though by adding iodine to table salt and wealthier nations could cure iodine deficiency, iodine deficiency is still remained a serious public health problem in the developing world.

Seaweed including kelp, nori, kombu, and wakame is one of the richest food sources of dietary iodine. Other good food sources include seafood, dairy products, grains and eggs. Also, dairy products and grain products contribute iodine to a diet.

Pregnant women who do not take enough dairy products can be exposed at the risk of iodine deficiency.

In addition, CDC reported that several higher deficiency rates were found in some groups. They say, not only emphasizing the borderline iodine levels in childbearing age women, Vitamin D deficiency is much higher in black Americans, and iron deficiency is higher among preschool Mexican-American children and non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American women of childbearing age.

Vitamin D has recently been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, memory loss and several types of cancer. On the contrary, a diet deficient in vitamin D causes osteomalacia (or rickets), which is a softening of the bones. Being exposed to the sun less and overweight or obesity are blamed for its deficiency.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common of the nutritional deficiencies. The symptoms of iron deficiency are iron deficiency anemia, fatigue, hair loss, irritability, weakness attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and so on. As to iron, as well as intake, absorption is important. Caffeine in coffee, tannin in green tea, and calcium in milk hinder its absorption.


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