~ “I” is the symbol for the element Iodine. According to WHO, Iodine deficiency in foetal life and early childhood remains the single most important and preventable cause of mental retardation globally ~
Tata Salt in association with Hinduja Hospital, Khar, held an interactive session to emphasize on the importance of nutrition and Iodine, a micronutrient for overall health and development of a mother and her child.
Actor and Celebrity Mother– Soha Ali Khan along with newly turned mom – Bruna Abdullah shared their experiences on motherhood.
It’s a known fact the deficiency of Iodine can lead to a multitude of health disorders such as goitre, hypothyroidism, miscarriage, stillbirth, congenital anomalies, infant and neonatal mortality, and impaired growth. Iodine deficiency is also the leading cause of preventable mental retardation. It causes irreparable damage to the developing brain and is especially damaging during the early stages of pregnancy and in early childhood. It can cause a vast spectrum of mental disorders and loss of intellectual capacity.
Salt is known to be an effective micronutrient carrier, therefore making iodised food grade salt is one of the easiest ways of supplementing one’s diet with this vital nutrient.
Commenting on this, Soha Ali Khan, states, “Motherhood has brought along a lot of responsibilities for me. Being a mother for me means constantly worrying about holistic nutrition of my kids. . While we tend to pay attention to the well-known nutrients such as calcium, iron etc, we tend to skip Iodine the most often – whch is one of the essential nutrients required for pregnant mothers, as it is essential for healthy brain development of the foetus and young child.”
Bruna Abdullah, who recently delivered, notes, “It’s the most beautiful feeling to be a mother. It is also important to be a healthy mom for the right development of the kid. Therefore, one must eat right and know what is nutritious for the mother and the baby. Amongst other nutrients, I was asked by my gynaecologist to keep a check on my Iodine intake for meeting my recommended dietary allowance for Iodine, since mothers milk is the best source of Iodine for infants.”
Also present at the event were Dr. Ranjana Dhanu, Consultant, Gynecology and Obstetrics & Ms. Indrayani Pawar, Chief Dietician, who addressed the to-be moms and mothers on the overall nutritional requirements and importance of Iodine.
Ms. Indrayani Pawar, Chief Dietitian recommends, “A woman’s Iodine requirement increases substantially during pregnancy to ensure adequate supply to the foetus. Lack of Iodine intake may lead to initial signs of depression and other serious implications like miscarriage or neurological problems. Various food especially sea food, greek yoghurt and adequately iodised table salt etc. are good in Iodine and must be consumed by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to avoid health complications. Apart from pregnant women, lack of Iodine also hampers the productivity levels amongst working women. The ideal consumption of Iodine for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should be around 200 micrograms per day.”
Mr. Sagar Boke, Head of Marketing, Consumer Products Business, Tata Chemicals Ltd., further added, “We are committed towards catalysing the nation free of Iodine deficiency disorders, and making India healthy. Tata Salt played a key role in the iodisation movement in the country by launching India’s first branded Iodised salt. Tata Salt’s genesis was in serving a national need, and we are proud that we continue to stay true to our motto of ‘Desh ki Sehat, Desh ka Namak’. Through our range of offerings, we continue our efforts towards providing health-enabled salts to combat micronutrient deficiencies.”
The iodisation of salt is one of the best examples of public-private partnership. As a result of this initiative, 76.3% of Indian households are now consuming adequately iodised salt (as per India Iodine Survey 2018-19 by Nutrition International).