Iodine for the first 1000 days

Iodine for the first 1000 days

Iodine is an element that plays an important role in the function of a healthy thyroid gland. It is used for the production of thyroid hormones needed to meet the metabolic requirements of the body. It is especially important before and during pregnancy and lactation to ensure the development of the baby’s brain from conception until the first one thousand days of its life. Without iodine the growth of the child is slowed down and brain development cannot take place in the right way. Even mild iodine deficiency can lead to a lower IQ of 5-15 points.

After the first one thousand days the need for iodine goes down to a level that helps the thyroid to produce the hormones that the body needs.

IGN (formerly ICCIDD), WHO, and UNICEF recommend the following daily amounts:

  • age 0-5 years: 90 micrograms (mcg)/day;
  • age 6-12 years: 120 mcg;
  • older than 12 years: 150 mcg;
  • pregnant and lactating women: 250 mcg.

Childbearing age

Worldwide, sufficiency in the supply of iodine is important for women of childbearing age.
Iodine deficiency can make it more difficult to get pregnant and can be the cause for miscarriage.
Because the development of the brain begins days only after conception, it is important for the child to have sufficient iodine from the start.


During pregnancy the need of iodine is higher not only because the mother needs the iodine to produce thyroid hormones, but also the unborn child has  an even higher need for it to develop the brain and for its growth.


Because breastfeeding infants are dependent on milk as their sole source of nutrition, breastfeeding mothers should have enough iodine to meet both their children and their own iodine needs.