Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
Do you know that iodine is fundamental for the in-telligence of the next generation?
Davao Doctors Hospital’s pediatric gastroen-terologist Ameleen Bangayan,MD said iodine is one of the most important elements required by a developing fetus because of its effect on brain development.
She said while the link between iodine and goiter – the most visible effect of severe iodine deficiency – has been known since the early 20th century, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that the links between iodine and fetal cognitive development began to be understood.
Dr. Bangayan said iodine is the least expensive nutrient wherein an average IQ is 13 points higher.
Universal salt iodiza-tion is the most practical strategy to reduce iodine deficiency globally. However, don’t increase the consumption of salt; use iodized salt, the medical expert explained.
Based on the State of the World’s Children, UNICEF in 1998, the underlying causes behind vitamin and mineral deficiencies are due to low content of vitamins and minerals in food, inade-quate care of mothers and children and lack of access to adequate health services, clean water and good sanitation. Among the immediate causes are inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals and diseases that cause the loss of or increase the need for vitamins and minerals.
Many lives are impaired annually because of the iodine deficiency disorder. About 38 million newborns are at risk for this condition, 18 million babies born mentally impaired and 350,000 children become blind due to vitamin A deficiency.
Dr. Bangayan said having inadequate vitamin and mineral is like a life cycle: as a baby, there’s low birth weight, higher mortality rate, impaired mental development and increased risk of chronic disease; as a child, you become stunted, reduced mental capacity, frequent infections, inadequate growth catch up, reduced productivity and higher mortality rate; in adolescent stage, growth is also stunted, reduced mental capacity, fatigue and increased vulnerability to infection; once preg-nant, the woman is at risked for increased mortality, increased perinatal complications and reduced productivity; as an adult, he or she has reduced productivity, poor socioeconomic status and malnourished; and as an elderly, there’s increased morbidity like osteoporosis, mental impairment, etc. and also there’s increased mortality related to inade-quate vitamin and mineral status.
The pediatric gastro-enterologist asked the participants during the recent pediatric sympo-sium in this city, “Where and when are we going to start the change?”
She teasingly added that some pediatricians may be suffering from this condition because of short stature. Then the crowd laughed at her joke.
Indeed, everyone should address this concern on lack of vitamin and minerals because it will lead to certain disorders or diseases that are actually preventable and treatable. With this, you can visit your preferred pediatrician for proper health treatment.
HEALTHWATCHING: Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160