You what?

Organic milk is less healthy than regular milk and could cause unborn babies to have lower IQs, a study suggests.

Compared with conventionally-produced milk, organic milk contains around one third less iodine which is essential for maintaining a strong metabolism.

Pregnant women who switch to organic thinking it will be healthier may also be putting the brain development of their unborn child at risk, experts have warned.

Iodine is known to be important for the healthy brain development of babies, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.

Previous research has shown that mothers-to-be who are iodine deficient during this critical time can give birth to children with reduced IQs.

Milk is the primary source of iodine in the UK diet and researchers from the University of Reading said the finding could have potentially serious health implications.

The danger of iodine lack, sure. Goitre in the woman and cretinism in the child. But where’s this milk thing come from? I thought we all got our iodine through our salt?

Or can’t they say that because salt is the very devil and we’re supposed to cut our intake?

35 comments on “You what?

  1. The reason iodine was added to salt is that it was a food additive regularly consumed by everyone. And the food junk scientists declared jihad on the evil salt with no evidence. Well here we are.

  2. I think the basic idea is to tell people they cannot feed their children normally, once achieved the inevitable deficiencies (e.g. in fat soluble vitamins) force parents to go to experts for fangled diet plans, and thus lots of power and money for the Public Health Crats.

    Born in 1966, I was a child in the 70s, and funnily enough a bog standard diet of ordinary food seemed to provide me and my peers with sufficient nutrition, without us all ballooning up into Eric Pickles either. And without even any superfoods.

  3. Pregnant women who switch to organic thinking it will be healthier may also be putting the brain development of their unborn child at risk, experts have warned.

    Any brain defects in the children of organic food nutjobs will mostly likely have been inherited.

  4. So anyone who is lactose intolerant or who just doesn’t drink much milk is missing out on lots of important iodine? Surely that’s the more important message, rather than worrying about people who merely swap between organic and inorganic milk.

    Unless it’s all bollocks, which seems more plausible.

  5. @Machiavelli

    Lovely comment in there from a health fascist: “the sad truth is that genetics do play a role and some smokers live to a ripe old age.”

    Sad…

    Yes, it’s a real shit that some smokers live to old age, thus daring to disprove the new theories of Tertiary Smoking!

  6. I get low blood pressure and migraines. Turns out the solution is more salt. Would any doctor ever tell me that? Even after I was admitted to A&E having collapsed due (I now know) to a lack of salt? Would they fuck.

    I’ve since discovered there are quite a lot of people like me, and they all say the same thing: you have to learn the treatment through the grapevine because no doctor will ever tell you. No doubt this qualifies it in the eyes of doctors as an old wive’s tale. Fucking quacks.

  7. Given that the average purchaser of organic milk is likely to be a Greenie, the low IQ of their offspring is more likely genetic.

  8. Serves ’em right for buying bloody organic milk in the first place.

    But can anyone explain to me why “compared with conventionally-produced milk, organic milk contains around one third less iodine”?

  9. I was advised by GP increase salt intake. Multiple times.
    Have a high salt diet these days – rrequired by my disabilities.

  10. Martin,

    Yes, a friend of mine has been told by her doctors to consume as much salt as possible. But you need to be a pretty extreme case before they’ll do that. And in her case, it was specialists, not her GP. (You should see her eating Marmite. Eeeeuuuchchh.)

    Ian,

    Depends. In my case, it certainly helps. So does chiropractic, but then there’s increasing evidence that a lot of migraine is related to muscle tension in the spine and neck and head. Sumatriptan drugs, for instance, developed for migraine, have turned out also to be very good for treating muscle tension.

    And what do athletes take salt for? To stop muscle cramping.

  11. I completed a few holiday jobs during university at our local electricity supplier in the nuclear power department. One of my projects involved reporting on radiation readings outside the fence. The health physics team I worked with were pretty cock a hoop at the time about a paper they had recently submitted concerning an anomalous high reading from milk from a control farm 40 km away from the plant. IIRC (this is many years ago), the upshot was the farm was organic and this resulted in more potassium 40 occurring in the cows diet which was measurable in the sample.

  12. Tim said: “But where’s this milk thing come from? I thought we all got our iodine through our salt?”

    I’ve never knowingly bought or eaten iodised salt. Can’t even recall seeing it on shelves in my local Morrisons. In the UK most salt is just salt and anti-caking agents AFAIK.

  13. There is a limit regarding my salt intake, it is higher than standard as advised by GP.

  14. The feeling of self-satisfaction from buying organic milk far outweighs any physical harm which may or may not happen to your child.

  15. BBC report from 2011.

    Researchers are warning iodine deficiency could be becoming endemic in the UK and are suggesting manufacturers should start adding it to table salt. A study involving more than 700 teenage girls at nine UK centres found more than two-thirds had a deficiency. Experts say the problem stems from children drinking less milk, which is a common source of iodine.

  16. Iodized salt is rather uncommon in the UK, because there’s no regulation to make it otherwise. We eliminated endemic goitre accidentally when iodine was found to be a useful dietary supplement for cows. Organic farmers don’t use the same supplements.

  17. One of my favor blogger from Canada, smalldeadanimals.com has a whole subsection on Organic. Or as she puts it, Organic is Latin for Growing in Pig Shig. Most third world agriculture product are technically organic, as they don’t have the money to actually buy fertilizer. This also mean they don’t have the money to certify their product are organic.

  18. I don’t normally eat much salt, I’m more sweet than savoury. I’ve had my bood pressure checked recently and it was normal (slightly above the ideal average). So I wonder if salt would help in my case.

  19. @IanB
    Give it a try. I don’t think it is possible to eat too much salt. (Unless you’re necking it by the pound) Whatever the medical profession say.
    I normally live in a hot climate. You sweat like a pig. I can drink 5 liters of water & only pee a teacup full all day. So you lose a lot of salt. So you eat a lot of salty food to make up for it. I suspect half of Spanish nosh is salt.
    Now there’s absolutely no way we’re balancing salt intake with salt output. Not within a country kilometer. I know it’s enough because I’ve had “too little salt” & the symptoms are similar to what’s been mentioned above. And not fun. But how much more than enough, heavens knows. Yet apparently the “Mediterranean Diet” is what you lot are being advised reduces the chance of heart problems. So we all must be getting rid of the surplus, somehow.

  20. IanB: Drinking seawater will upgrade your salt balance and it is cheap as well.

    It could also start a trend. The sooner the Guardian types are knocking back Gin and Seawaters 5 times a day the better.

  21. BNIS is right: give it a try. Next time you have a migraine, eat a pizza with extra anchovies. Worst case scenario is you’ve still got a migraine but you’ve just eaten a pizza.

  22. The problem is my migraines and neurological meltdowns tend to be triggered by low blood sugar, so at this rate I’ll end up living on nothing but white crystalline substances and turn into Russell Brand.

  23. Tim said: “But where’s this milk thing come from? I thought we all got our iodine through our salt?”

    Mostly comes from things grown in or on land with iodine in the soil – widespread, but not everywhere – so eat your vegetables!

    Iodine… and other salts, minerals and metals… in the soil are taken up by grass, eaten by cows and pass into the milk.

    It became the practice to add iodine to salt when people were involuntary ‘locavores’ because in some areas there was little iodine in the soil and thus it was absent from food grown in this soil, and so Humans were not getting it in their diet. This is why goitre… Derbyshire Neck… was often a regional complaint.

    Salt being universally consumed, it was easy to use it as a carrier for iodine supplement. Whether it is still a necessity given that food comes from all over the Planet, I suppose depends on what people have in their diets. Salt is usually always present.

    Why organic raised cows are deficient in iodine is not clear, since they are most likely to be grass fed, unless organic rules excludes grazing on land with iodine in the soil.

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