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Iodine may be key to proper brain development

Natural nutrient could hold the key to baby geniuses

We all want our children to be little geniuses — and not just smart alecks. Whether you’ve played music to your child in the womb or spent hours reading him books, I’m betting you pulled out all the stops to stimulate your newborn’s noodle.

But if you’re serious about raising the next Einstein or Newton, Mother Nature has a trick up her sleeve — and you’re going to have to roll up YOUR sleeve to take advantage of it.

A new study out of Australia has a powerful recommendation for expecting moms — head right over to your doctor’s office, stick out that arm (or head to the bathroom, if he does urine tests), and get your iodine levels checked. Making sure your levels are balanced could be the best thing you can do to supercharge your baby’s brain.

Researchers analyzed the iodine levels of pregnant women and followed up a decade later when their children were nine years old. The women who were even slightly iodine deficient had children who performed, on average, below the national mean on standardized education tests. Meanwhile, the kids whose moms had sufficient iodine levels scored at or above national averages.

Now, the role of iodine in brain development is no secret. For years we’ve known that iodine plays a key role in motor, cognitive, and auditory development. But this is the first study that shows that even a modest iodine deficiency could be bad for your baby’s developing brain.

The secret isn’t to load up on iodine — it’s to get your levels right. You can find plenty of iodine in milk, certain fish and vegetables, and in iodized salt. It’s an essential nutrient that your body can’t make itself. You need to get it from your diet.

So if you are an expecting mom — or if you know one — it’s time to get those iodine levels checked. Work with your doctor to optimize your levels and who knows? You might be raising the next Nobel Prize winner before you know it!

P.S. Did you know iodine is also a promising breast cancer treatment? Get the scoop from Dr. Wright in one of his Q&A sessions with readers.


Moms’ iodine levels tied to kids’ poor test scores: (