The present systematic review examines the benefits and harms of supplementation with iodine, alone or in combination with other vitamins and minerals, for women in the preconceptional, pregnancy or postpartum period on their and their children’s outcomes.
The review included eleven randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials, involving over 2700 women.
Findings showed benefits of iodine supplementation on indicators of iodine intake and thyroid function, better mental development in children and a lower likelihood of cretinism, an irreversible condition of severely delayed mental and physical development. However, women consuming supplements also reported more frequently experiencing nausea and vomiting. Overall, the benefits of iodine supplementation seem to outweigh the side effects, but authors acknowledge that poor quality of evidence and limited number of trials makes it difficult to draw stronger conclusions