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Home » Boxing Nutrition: Understanding Iodine and Iron

Boxing Nutrition: Understanding Iodine and Iron

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Dr. Philip Goglia, WBC Nutrition Committee Chairman is here with another boxing nutrition update to guide professional boxers.


Iodine is one of the most important minerals required by a fetus for brain and cognitive development, though the iodine content in most foods and beverages is low.

18 million babies are born mentally impaired because of maternal iodine deficiency and 38 million are born at risk of iodine deficiency9. Globally it is estimated that 2 billion people have insufficient iodine intake10.

Fortification of salt with iodine has been one of the most successful nutrition interventions to date–71% of global households have access to iodized salt11.

Salt iodization has led to an increase in IQ points and significant decline in the prevalence of iodine deficiency disorders, such as goiters.


Iron is an essential mineral critical for motor and cognitive development. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the consequences of iron deficiency.

Low hemoglobin concentration (anemia) affects 43% of children 5 years of age and 38% of pregnant women globally4

Anemia during pregnancy increases the risk of maternal and perinatal mortality and low birth weight. Maternal and neonatal deaths are a major cause of mortality, together causing between 2.5 million and 3.4 million deaths worldwide.

WHO recommends iron and folic acid supplements for reducing anemia and improving iron status among women of reproductive age.

Flour fortification with iron and folic acid is globally recognized as one of the most effective and low-cost micronutrient interventions.

Preventing iron deficiency helps improve children’s learning ability and cognitive development.