In most developed countries, iodine intake is sufficiently managed with table salt intake. Table salt is fortified with iodine as there are no natural source of iodine in the typical western diet. Researchers in the United Kingdom recently addressed the possibility that iodine deficiency could contribute to neurodevelopmental problems in offspring.
The United Kingdom does not offer iodine fortified table salt as often as the United States in local stores. The majority of iodine intake comes from dairy sources like milk, but a recent switch from traditional to organic milk could be cause for concern. Organic milk contains about 40% less iodine than non-organic milk. This means women are consuming less iodine. Mild to moderate deficiencies were noted in pregnant women in Surrey – but the problem may not be contained to this city or region.
Based upon the results of the study performed by researchers in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Department at the University of Surrey, iodine intake and levels should be monitored during pregnancy. Low iodine intake may be associated with lower reading scores and lower IQ.
Source: Bath SC, Rayman MP. Iodine deficiency in the UK: an overlooked cause of impaired neurodevelopment? Proc Nutr Soc. 2013 May;72(2):226-35. doi: 10.1017/S0029665113001006.