Milk Alternatives Without Iodine are Inferior to the Real Thing1 year ago
Posted on Oct 13, 2017, 11 a.m.
British Journal of Nutrition state that drinks billed as a milk alternative contain no Iodine which is essential to thyroid growth and health
It’s amazing that developers keep trying to improve on all-natural products that have sustained us for millennia. A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition state that drinks billed as a milk alternative contain no Iodine which is essential to thyroid growth and health. The milk-alternative samples were analyzed at LGC, the UK's National Measurement Laboratory for chemical and bio-measurement.
Researchers from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom looked at 47 Milk Alternatives such as soya, almond, coconut, oat, rice, hazelnut and hemp and discovered they did not have adequate levels of iodine compared to cows’ milk. In fact, they found concentration levels at about 2% of that found in cows' milk. In the first study of its kind researchers discovered that Cows' milk and dairy products are the main source of iodine in the UK diet
Iodine is required to make thyroid hormones, and is essential for normal fetal brain development. during pregnancy. the University of Surrey in previous research demonstrated that low iodine status during pregnancy is linked to lower IQ and reading scores in their children (up to 9 years of age).
"Many people are unaware of the need for this vital dietary mineral and it is important that people who consume milk-alternative drinks realize that they will not be replacing the iodine from cows' milk which is the main UK source of iodine. This is particularly important for pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy.” Said Margaret Rayman, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey. She commented further that "A glass of a milk-alternative drink would only provide around 2 mcg of iodine which is a very small proportion of the adult recommended iodine intake of 150 mcg/day. In pregnancy, that recommendation goes up to 200 mcg/day."
Dr Sarah Bath, Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Surrey and registered dietitian, said: "Milk-alternative drinks are increasingly being used as a replacement for cows' milk for a number of reasons that obviously include allergy or intolerance to cows' milk. Worryingly, most milk-alternative drinks are not fortified with iodine and their iodine content is very low. If avoiding milk and dairy products, consumers need to ensure that they have iodine from other dietary sources, where possible. More information on good iodine sources such as white fish can be found in the British Dietetic Association Iodine Food Fact Sheet. If considering taking an iodine supplement, they should avoid kelp which can provide excessive amounts of iodine."
Dr Sarah Hill, Science Leader in Inorganic Analysis at LGC said: "Reliable methods to test food samples for minerals, such as iodine, are invaluable to nutrition research. As a metrology institute, one of our key missions is the provision of reference methods and materials that underpin validation of field laboratory measurements. This ensures that high quality data are generated to support researchers in these important studies."
British Journal of Nutrition, University of Surrey
Journal Reference: Sarah C. Bath, Sarah Hill, Heidi Goenaga Infante, Sarah Elghul, Carolina J. Nezianya, Margaret P. Rayman. Iodine concentration of milk-alternative drinks available in the UK in comparison with cows’ milk. British Journal of Nutrition, 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114517002136
American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Nutrition. Clinical Report—Diagnosis and Prevention of Iron Deficiency and Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Infants and Young Children (0 –3 Years of Age). Pediatrics 2010 Nov;126.
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