Iodine deficiency linked to poor spelling

1 May 2013

Pregnant women should take iodine supplements to improve their children’s literacy and spelling skills, according to new healthcare research.

Scientists say expectant mothers can prevent neurological problems by consuming foods rich in iodine, like strawberries, oranges, apples, grapes, ice cream, eggs, salmon, lamb, beef and cheddar cheese. The research, conducted by the University of Tasmania, showed that children who were exposed to inadequate amounts of iodine in the womb scored lower on literacy tests. Spelling skills were particularly impaired.

Dr Kristen Hynes, a lead investigator, said: “Our research found children may continue to experience the effects of insufficient iodine for years after birth.”

Researchers believe impaired literacy is caused by damaged auditory pathways and working memory. Math skills were not affected by iodine deficiency.

By taking the appropriate supplements and having regular ultrasound scans to monitor babies’ development, expectant mothers can help to prevent significant neurological damage from occurring.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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