Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation - United States and Canada: Recommendations of the American Thyroid Association

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • DV Becker
  • LE Braverman
  • F Delange
  • JT Dunn
  • JG Hollowell
  • SH Lamm
  • ML Mitchell
  • E Pearce
  • J Robbins
  • JF Rovet

Colleges, School and Institutes


The fetus is totally dependent in early pregnancy on maternal thyroxine for normal brain development. Adequate maternal dietary intake of iodine during pregnancy is essential for maternal thyroxine production and later for thyroid function in the fetus. If iodine insufficiency leads to inadequate production of thyroid hormones and hypothyroidism during pregnancy, then irreversible fetal brain damage can result. In the United States, the median urinary iodine (UI) was 168 mu g/L in 2001-2002, well within the range of normal established by the World Health Organization (WHO), but whereas the UI of pregnant women (173 mu g/L; 95% CI 75-229 mu g/L) was within the range recommended by WHO (150-249 mu g/L), the lower 95% CI was less than 150 mu g/L. Therefore, until additional physiologic data are available to make a better judgment, the American Thyroid Association recommends that women receive 150 mu g iodine supplements daily during pregnancy and lactation and that all prenatal vitamin/mineral preparations contain 150 mu g of iodine.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-951
Number of pages3
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006