Iodine in Pregnancy

Importance in Pregnancy

Iodine during pregnancy is essential in order to prevent complications in fetal development; however, according to the Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population (LARN), the evaluation and dietary correction of iodine intake must necessarily be carried out in the pre-pregnancy period. Otherwise, similarly to the deficiency of the gestational period, the pre-pregnancy deficiency can favor:

  • abortion
  • increase in peri-natal mortality
  • congenital anomalies
  • neurological alterations
  • mental deficiency

It seems that these complications, linked to iodine deficiency during pregnancy (especially in the first two trimesters) and its poor intake in the pre-pregnancy period, can be easily prevented by guaranteeing only 1 mcg/kg of body weight/day; however, estimating the average gestational weight reached in Italy, a similar intake would hardly cover even just 40-50% of the recommended daily ration.
Ultimately, in order to prevent complications on the fetus induced by hypo-iodine malnutrition in the pregnant woman, it is advisable to verify that the pre-pregnancy iodine intake reaches 150mcg/day and that the iodine intake during pregnancy (especially in first two quarters) is equal to 175 mcgr/day.


  • Medicines during pregnancy – Emily King – pp. 183-1
  • Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population (LARN) – Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU) – page 175:179.


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