The PoppiE Study

Iodine supplementation in pregnancy to improve early childhood neurodevelopment: How much is enough?
The PoppiE Study
Project Status: In progress
Project administered by: The University of Adelaide

Getting the right amount of iodine in pregnancy is important for baby’s brain and nervous system development.

Since 2009, iodine has been added to some of our food and pregnant women are also advised to take a supplement containing iodine. Recent population studies indicate that women who get enough iodine from the food they eat may not need the amount of iodine that is contained in common prenatal supplements. These studies suggest that taking too much iodine in pregnancy had a similar effect as not getting enough, and resulted in lower developmental scores in children.

SAHMRI is working with colleagues around Australia to find out the optimal level of iodine supplementation for pregnant women who already have an adequate iodine intake from the food that they eat.

Please note: The PoppiE Study successfully completed recruitment in November 2023 and is no longer enrolling participants.


Can you help us find out the ideal amount of iodine needed in pregnancy for baby’s brain development?

We will supply 754 pregnant women from around Australia with prenatal supplements to take during pregnancy. Half of the supplements will contain the common amount of iodine found in prenatal supplements in Australia and the other half will contain a reduced amount of iodine. We will only include women who already have an adequate intake of iodine from their diet which we will assess by an ‘iodine food frequency questionnaire’.

Once the babies in the PoppiE trial reach 2 years of age, they will receive an in-depth developmental assessment at a clinic near to their home or one of our participating research centres. We will compare the results of these assessments between the ‘standard iodine supplement’ and ‘low iodine supplement’ groups.

The PoppiE Study is being led by Dr Karen Best.

It is being managed by SAHMRI in South Australia and we are working closely with our research colleagues around Australia. Your baby’s 24-month developmental assessment may be completed at one of our study centres:

  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia
  • Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia
  • Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Queensland
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria
  • Royal North Shore Hospital, New South Wales
  • Telethon Kids Institute, Western Australia
  • Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory

Funding and ethics

The PoppiE Study is funded by the Australian Government, Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF).

This study has been reviewed and approved by Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) Ethics Committee

Get in touch

Call the PoppiE team on 0428 642 471 or contact us via the form below

This project is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund