What Is Nascent Iodine? Benefits, Safety, and Quality

Dr. Group
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Last Updated on
An individual is running. Nascent iodine helps maintain a optimal level of iodine in the body.

For nearly a century, nascent iodine has been regarded as a more effective form of this essential mineral compared to other dietary iodine forms, such as potassium iodide.

What Is Nascent Iodine?

Nascent iodine is a supplemental form of iodine. Iodine is an essential mineral that the body requires for normal function because we do not produce it on our own.[1] The high energy state of nascent iodine makes it a popular iodine supplement, compared to forms where the iodine bonds with potassium or sodium. A defining characteristic of nascent iodine is that it is atomic, with an incomplete number of electrons, which gives it a negative electromagnetic charge. For this reason, nascent iodine is sometimes referred to as atomic iodine, monatomic iodine, or atomidine.

The best nascent iodine supplements use plant-based glycerin (glycerol) with no impurities or unnecessary ingredients. Avoid nascent iodine in alcohol; not only are ethanol alcohol solvents typically made from genetically modified (GMO) corn, they also physiologically stress the body.

Why Is Iodine Important?

The body cannot function properly without iodine, yet it cannot produce iodine on its own.[2, 3] In the body, the thyroid gland uses iodine to produce the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine), which affect metabolism, brain development, and immune health. Despite the need, many people do not get enough of this vital mineral, even in developed regions like North America and Europe. Deficiencies are even more common in pregnant women, who require extra iodine for the proper development of the unborn child.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 1 billion people across the globe are at risk for iodine deficiency.[3] This is especially important for expecting mothers,[4, 5, 6] who tend to be at exceptionally high risk. Because so many people fail to consume sufficient levels of iodine through diet alone, iodine supplementation can be crucial in filling the gaps between their needs and intake. If you do not eat seaweed or seafood, or if you avoid dairy, you are at a higher risk of iodine deficiency.

What’s the Difference Between Nascent and Other Forms of Iodine?

Iodine is an element that, in nature, occurs as I2 or two iodine molecules together. A single iodine molecule is called iodide, which is an anion or negatively charged ion. When iodide is placed together with positively charged sodium or potassium ions, it bonds to form sodium iodide or potassium iodide, which are common supplements. When you buy a nascent iodine supplement, it is the negatively charged iodine ion, typically suspended in a solution. Although the various molecules in a nascent iodine solution interact in your body in a myriad of ways, the body seamlessly absorbs this pure form of iodine.

Most forms of iodine become iodide in the digestive tract, but because nascent iodine is already in an iodide form, it is more readily and quickly utilized.

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What is Nascent Iodine?

Length: 2 minutes

How Nascent Iodine Works

Nascent iodine can help maintain optimal levels of iodine in the body. This is particularly important for the thyroid gland, which relies on iodine for the production of critical hormones, T3 and T4. These thyroid hormones are responsible for things like metabolism,[7] brain development, and function[8] and even the body’s ability to produce energy.[9] Because nascent iodine is absorbed and utilized more readily than common dietary forms of iodine, it is easier for the thyroid to maintain homeostasis. In other words, it will have the appropriate amount of iodine to carry out its basic physiological processes.

Health Benefits of Nascent Iodine

As a high-energy, electromagnetically-charged, pure form of iodine, nascent iodine is readily absorbed by the body and taken up by the thyroid gland. Nascent iodine fulfills all the health benefits that any dietary or supplementary iodine offers — supporting the thyroid, breast health, brain and bone development, and metabolism — but in a more efficient, readily absorbed form. Below are some of the benefits of nascent iodine and how it supports wellness.

Slows the Uptake of Goitrogenic Halogens

Goitrogens are environmental, dietary, or medicinal toxins that are known to disrupt the thyroid’s ability to function normally. Goitrogens prevent the thyroid from taking up iodine — which of course is essential to produce thyroid hormones.[10] The cell-damaging halogens bromine,[11] chlorine,[12] and fluorine are all chemically similar to iodine, and as a result, are readily taken up by the thyroid unless you ensure you are consuming enough iodine to saturate the thyroid.[13] Nascent iodine can aid in detoxification by eliminating these halogens from the body, and by slowing the body’s uptake of these potentially toxic halogens by keeping the thyroid saturated with what it needs, iodine.

Goitrogens are found in some grains (especially bread, which is high in bromine), cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, but also kale, cassava, coconut, and soy. Other dietary source[14] like sports drinks, sodas, and processed vegetable oils may also contain goitrogens.[15]

Helps Weight Loss

Because of mild or even severe iodine deficiency, some people have reduced energy and lower metabolism, which leads to weight gain. Iodine deficiency is sometimes connected with hypothyroidism, which is the underperformance of the thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, the over-functioning of the gland (which causes weight loss). Find out if you are iodine-deficient, and then boosting your iodine levels to help balance out your hormone levels, stimulate normal metabolism and improve endocrine gland functioning.

Supports Mental Wellness

The developing fetus requires adequate iodine for proper growth. In fact, iodine deficiency is the number one cause of preventable mental disabilities around the world. Iodine continues to support brain function during childhood when the brain is rapidly growing, and throughout your life — improving mood, reducing brain fog, and balancing hormones that help you stay positive and healthy.

Boosts Immunity & Resists Harmful Organisms

Medical practitioners have used Iodine as an antiseptic for hundreds of years. It is applied topically on the skin to help wounds heal without developing infections, and taken to improve health and deter the growth of pathogens and harmful organisms. It also acts as an antioxidant, scavenging or counteracting the effects of free radicals that can otherwise cause oxidative cell damage. In these ways, iodine boosts the immune system.

Nascent Iodine History

Nascent iodine has been used since the 1920’s. Before the dramatic uptick in the use of antibiotics and pharmaceuticals, nascent iodine was used to support health and wellness in several ways. For one, iodine can be used topically to support skin tissue and has been shown to kill infection-causing bacteria.[16, 17] Nascent iodine was a popular choice for this. Iodine has also shown some ability to combat harmful organisms[18] and infections,[19] including urinary-tract disturbances[20] and respiratory infections.[21] Iodine can also support normal blood pressure levels[22] and has even been used in dentistry as an antiseptic.[23]

Is Nascent Iodine Safe?

Yes, nascent iodine is safe for most people. If you have thyroid conditions or other health ailments, please check with your healthcare provider before determining your iodine dosage. Although iodine side effects are rare, some people report minor concerns including a metallic taste in the mouth, a burning sensation, nausea, headache, or diarrhea. Iodine is safe for pregnant women and essential for the development of the unborn child. Pregnant and nursing women need to increase their dose of iodine to ensure enough for themselves as well as their child.

When you buy a supplement, pay careful attention to the ingredients in tap water, household cleaners, hygiene products, and even skincare and cosmetics. These are common sources of toxic chemical ingredients, many of which can prevent the thyroid from functioning properly.

The Best Nascent Iodine Supplement

I highly recommend using Detoxadine® on a regular basis. Detoxadine is a vegan-friendly, deep-earth sourced nascent iodine created to help your body maintain its iodine balance. It’s manufactured with a unique transformative bio-elemental matrix using a revolutionary process and contains nano-colloidal nascent iodine. Iodine deficiency can be a serious issue, but nascent iodine supplementation can support the body’s use of this essential trace mineral.

Points to Remember

Iodine fulfills a vital function in the body yet must be obtained from outside sources such as seafood, seaweed or iodine supplements. Nascent iodine is a highly-energized, pure form of iodine ions that is readily absorbed by the body. The thyroid gland takes up nascent iodine where it creates thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Iodine is also taken up in breast tissue.

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Watch an In-Depth Video on Everything You Need to Know About Iodine

Length: 61 minutes

References (23)
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  2. Chung HR. "Iodine and thyroid function." Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2014;19(1),8-12.
  3. Ahad F, Ganie SA. "Iodine, Iodine metabolism and Iodine deficiency disorders revisited." Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2010;14(1),13-17.
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  5. Sardana D, et al. "Thyroid hormones in pregnancy and preeclampsia." Journal of the Turkish German Gynecological Association. 2009;10(3):168-171.
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. "Iodine Fact Sheet for Consumers." Last updated February 17, 2016.
  7. Brent GA. "Mechanisms of thyroid hormone action." The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2012;122(9):3035-3043. doi:10.1172/JCI60047.
  8. Schroeder AC, Privalsky ML. "Thyroid Hormones, T3 and T4, in the Brain." Frontiers in Endocrinology. 2014;5:40. doi:10.3389/fendo.2014.00040.
  9. Eales JG, Maclatchy DL. "The relationship between T3 production and energy balance in salmonids and other teleosts." Fish Physiol Biochem. 1989 Jun;7(1-6):289-93. doi: 10.1007/BF00004719.
  10. Gaitan E. "Goitrogens." Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Aug;2(3):683-702.
  11. Pavelka S. "Metabolism of bromide and its interference with the metabolism of iodine." Physiol Res. 2004;53 Suppl 1:S81-90.
  12. Ohno S, et al. "Relationship among iodine, bromine and chlorine concentrations in cow's milk in Japan." Radioisotopes. 1989 Jun;38(6):279-81.
  13. Zhao W, et al. "Long-term Effects of Various Iodine and Fluorine Doses on the Thyroid and Fluorosis in Mice." Endocr Regul. 1998 Jun;32(2):63-70.
  14. Dolan LC, et al. "Naturally Occurring Food Toxins." Toxins. 2010;2(9):2289-2332. doi:10.3390/toxins2092289.
  15. Gaitan E. "Goitrogens in food and water." Annu Rev Nutr. 1990;10:21-39.
  16. Derry DM. "Successful human scar regeneration by topical iodine: a case report: an interim (3.5 year) summary." Med Hypotheses. 2009 May;72(5):553-61. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.11.038. Epub 2009 Jan 24.
  17. PubMed Health. "Iodine (Topical route)."
  18. Kim CH, Yoon TY. "[Action of several chemicals on the parasites eggs and larvae in Korean Pickle(Kimchi)]." Kisaengchunghak Chapchi. 1966 Aug;4(1):47-51.
  19. Reichman DE, Greenberg JA. "Reducing Surgical Site Infections: A Review." Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009;2(4):212-221.
  20. van den Broek PJ, et al. "Bladder irrigation with povidone-iodine in prevention of urinary-tract infections associated with intermittent urethral catheterisation." Lancet. 1985 Mar 9;1(8428):563-5.
  21. Nagatake T, et al. "Prevention of respiratory infections by povidone-iodine gargle." Dermatology 2002;204 Suppl 1:32-6.
  22. Menon VU, et al. "Iodine status and its correlations with age, blood pressure, and thyroid volume in South Indian women above 35 years of age (Amrita Thyroid Survey)." Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011;15(4):309-315. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.85584.
  23. Harlan AW. "Dental Review: Devoted to the Advancement of Dentistry, Volume 7.", (Chicago: H.D. Justi and Son, 1893), 452.

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