The type of milk you drink could affect your baby’s intelligence. At least that’s what a recent study out of the U.K. suggests, claiming that organic varieties leave our little ones at a deficit, even well before they begin drinking the stuff. Researchers say that organic milk contains far less iodine than its conventional counterparts – as much as a third less. But why does it matter? Because iodine is essential to healthy brain development in the womb. A decrease in this key mineral today could mean trouble in the classroom down the line.
The study, published this spring in the journal Food Chemistry, focused on pregnant women drinking skim, two percent and whole milk purchased at four unnamed grocery stores in the U.K. The study concluded that, where iodine levels are concerned, non-organic milks are the right choice for pregnant women. But let us remind you that there are many more factors at play here. Are you an organic-milk-drinking mom-to-be? Never fear – here’s why this new report shouldn’t matter:
Let’s debunk it
Professor Ian Givens, author of the study, told the Daily Mail that his research could have ‘serious implications for public health.’ If ignored, his findings could later unveil lowered IQ levels for future generations. But all of this worrisome talk has an easy solution. Givens states that expectant moms could continue to drink organic milk without harm to developing babies – if they consumed an extra half-pint to up their iodine levels. Seems like a simple fix to us.
In response to the report, the organic milk industry reminded the public of the many benefits of organic dairy: Many consumers choose organic milk products for the extra boost of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, not to mention the lack of growth hormones and antibiotics. While milk is chock full of nutrients, the medicines administered to the cows may be harmful to our health. Purchasing dairy that’s “certified organic” ensures no drugs were used in the growth or care of the cows – meaning nothing gets passed on to you.
The bottom line
Don’t let this scary headline fool you. While Givens devoted his time and efforts to raising the public image of conventional dairy, consuming additional portions of organic milk is just as safe and healthful – if not more so – than its non-organic counterpart. Do your baby’s body good and continue drinking organic milk, increasing your consumption by a half-pint, resting assured you won’t be affecting your baby’s IQ later on in life.