Teenage girls low iodine levels put 'future babies at risk Two thirds of teenage girls have low iodine levels putting the health of their future children at risk, doctors warn. A study of more than 700 British schoolgirls found almost 70 per cent were deficient in iodine, which is key to brain development in the womb. The deficiency may not affect a girls own health, but can stunt the intelligence of any children she has. Researcher Mark Vanderpump believes teenage girls are so short of the mineral because they are not drinking enough milk. He warned: 'Iodine deficiency is one of the main preventable causes of mental impairment and studies show that if the mothers thyroid is underactive then the baby can be born with an IQ that is 10 to 15 points lower. When Dr Vanderpump measured iodine levels from 737 girls in their early teens from around the UK, he found that 69 per cent were classed as deficient by World Health Organisation standards. And 18 per cent were classed as having 'very low levels of iodine no more than half the recommended amount the Society for Endocrinologys annual conference heard. Teenage girls were studied because, as potential mothers-to-be, their iodine levels are seen as the most critical. The World Health Organisation is recommending that Britain add iodine to table salt. DMk