TVNZ/NZPA: Iodine deficiency stunts intelligence

Otago researchers have shown, for the first time, that increasing the amount of iodine in a child’s diet in order to correct the mild deficiency common to New Zealanders can measurably improve their perceptual reasoning (intelligence).

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Mild iodine deficiency has been an increasing problem in New Zealand over the past two decades and may be preventing children from attaining their full intellectual potential, said researcher Sheila Skeaff.

“”Parents should also consider giving children who do not eat commercial breads an iodine-containing multimineral supplement,” she said today.”

“Skeaff, principal investigator at the university’s department of human nutrition, said that moderate to severe deficiency of iodine was well-known for its sometimes disastrous effects on children’s brain development, which could include cretinism.

“But it had previously been thought that being only mildly iodine deficient had no significant consequences for thinking capacity.

“”Our findings challenge this assumption,” she said.

“”They also show that the new era of mandatory fortification of most bread with iodised salt is a good move … which may reap even greater benefits than initially thought.””