Otago University (O-U) researchers have shown that iodine supplementation to correct the mild deficiency common in children improves their performance in cognitive tests. Fish and seafood are rich sources of iodine.
Principal Investigator and O-U nutritionist
O-U researchers in nutrition and psychology undertook a 28-week trial involving 184 Dunedin children aged between 10 and 13.
The children, who were found to be mildly iodine deficient at the outset, were randomly assigned to groups which either received daily iodine tablets or a placebo.
By the trial’s end, the researchers found that the children taking the iodine supplement had achieved adequate iodine status, while the placebo group remained mildly deficient.
“In the initial round of cognitive testing, there were no significant differences between the two groups’ scores. When tested again at the end of the trial, in two sub-tests measuring perceptual reasoning, the iodine group showed a significantly improved performance relative to the placebo group,” Skeaff said.
The findings have been published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.