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Benefits of Iodine for Kids

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

We don’t hear a lot about iodine, despite how valuable it is! Growing kids need only a tiny amount of iodine every day, but not all of them are getting enough of it.

Iodine is important because it’s a vital component of thyroid hormones. Without getting too technical, it’s worth knowing that the thyroid’s job is to take iodine and convert it into thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are required for regulating most of the body’s daily functions, from brain function to motor development.

And iodine is central to the making of those hormones!

Iodine can’t be made in the body, so we must get it from food or supplements. Unfortunately, New Zealand soils are typically low in iodine, which means many of our locally grown foods are also low in this essential mineral.

When kids don’t get enough iodine, normal growth and development can be impaired. Iodine is especially important for brain development.

Benefits of Iodine

Supporting brain development

Iodine is especially critical in the early stages of life, when a child’s brain is developing very quickly. In fact, studies have shown that iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause lifelong impairment to a child’s brain.

This dependency on iodine continues as a child grows. During infancy and childhood, thyroid hormones regulate growth in the developing brain and contribute to healthy brain function. Even slight iodine deficiency can lead to below-average IQ in children, leading to poor school performance, reduced intellectual ability, and impaired work capacity. This can even progress to impaired brain function in adults.

Supporting normal growth

The thyroid plays a huge role in nearly every daily function in the human body, from childhood to adulthood. But it’s during childhood that we’re growing the most!

It’s quite simple: thyroid hormones control metabolism, growth, and development, and iodine is required for making thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones are responsible for ensuring the body uses nutrients properly. They help in breaking down protein, carbohydrates, and fats in the food we eat, which fuels energy production. They have a major impact on glucose metabolism, which means they’re involved in converting glucose (sugar) to fuel. These powerful hormones also help in producing protein, which is vital for healthy tissue growth and repair.

In other words, no kid should do without iodine!

How kids get iodine

In New Zealand, iodized table salt and many fortified foods contain iodine, including bread and some cereals. It’s also naturally present in eggs and some dairy products, and also in fish such as tuna, as well as seaweed, shrimp, and other seafood.

However, studies suggest that kids who are on restrictive diets - or are fussy eaters - could be at risk for low iodine levels.

That’s why we’ve added iodine to Noughty!

Noughty fizzy drinks are a fun, low-sugar option made especially for kids. Kids love the taste and parents love the added nutrients! Noughty contains 100% of the recommended daily intake for iodine, plus a heap of other healthy nutrients: calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin D. It’s the smart choice for growing minds and bodies!

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