Nascent Iodine vs. Iodoral
Numerous questions have been raised about the differences between
Iodoral and Nascent Iodine. In early 2010, the question was posed to me
about which is better. Based on my clinical experience, I will
attempt to define the pros and cons of these two iodine products. Personally I like
both products for different reasons.
No Studies for direct comparison -
I have found no formal, or significant
informal, studies comparing these two products. The choice of which iodine product to use can be very personal. My hope is that the subtle differences discussed here will help you to make a decision.
High dose vs. Low dose -
All high dose
studies have been done using Iodoral or comparative formulations.
1) Proponents of Nascent Iodine
usually focus on low dose therapy and the claim of enhanced
bioavailability. Usually the only studies referenced to are those
used to establish the RDA recommendations.
2) Proponents of Lugol's solution or Iodoral usually focus on the benefits of high dose therapy and
the few open label studies and some impressive clinical experience documented by Dr. David Brownstein & Dr. George Flechas to back the position. These
benefits include the detoxification of halides and heavy metals.
Studies on Iodoral are clear.
On average nearly 99% of the dose is absorbed. The
absorption rate between the two products could be easily studied
with existing technology, but no such studies have yet been
conducted. In theory tough, they both should have near equal oral
absorption rates as iodine in all its natural forms is very well
Bioavailability is about
how much of a nutrient is available for use after absorption
compared to how much is not. I believe that the claim of increased
bioavailability of Nascent Iodine does have merit, and does make
sense from the scientific perspective of the molecular state of
Nascent iodine. In high doses of iodine, Nascent Iodine and Iodoral both perform well. Clinically, I have
seen faster symptomatic responses to Nascent Iodine, and more often than not with a lower dose. Upon occasion, Nascent will end up dosed similarly to the 50mg per
day evidenced by the research done by Iodoral proponents.
Proper Dosage -
The rational for dosage of iodine therapy differs based on one's
goal and Ideology.
1) The minimum needed to sustain life and prevent
goiter (ex. RDA of 1-2mg per day).
2) What is necessary for healthy maintenance
(12-12.5mg/day). This number is derived from demographic research
concerning iodine related disease incidence from cultures where
iodine content is high in the diet compared to cultures with low
dietary iodine. I don't think this level makes sense for everyone.
3) Overcoming competitive inhibition. The real
issues lie in pollutants that compete for iodine's place in the
body, known as competitive displacement or inhibition. Chemicals &
elements such as fluoride, bromide, other halides, mercury, lead,
and aluminum can displace iodine from it's place in the body.
The reverse is also true. Iodine can displace these substances if
sufficient quantities are present to get ahead of the curve. To
date, 50mg is to most common target dose that elicits this shift in
balance and begins the dumping of these toxic elements, restoring
symptomatic patients to better health.
Tolerance & Personal Experience -
Both products are well tolerated in most cases. Even patients with
iodine allergy will on average tolerate either product well. Cases
that react poorly to oral administration often benefit from transdermal
supplementation without reaction. I prefer
over simple iodine tincture for transdermal applications. I also
prefer Nascent iodine if there is a history of iodine sensitivity,
as it seems to produce less allergic reactions orally in my
has become a very popular product that often appears to be well studied, and I still
use it with a number of my clients. Its ease of administration is often a significant plus and is considered
the gold standard in high dose iodine therapy camp.
Which one should you choose -
have their own individual merits and selecting a product should be
based on your own unique situation and preferences. You should consult with an iodine literate professional when making the
decision to begin iodine therapy of any kind.
provides a simple tablet for high dose oral administration. Its benefits and potential complications are
well documented and iodine literate physicians have the most
experience dealing with Iodoral. While
excellent in sensitive cases where transdermal or very tight dosage
control is needed. After years of using Iodoral in my practice, Nascent Iodine has become my preferred choice. It does seem to improve symptoms faster, detoxify more gently and produce fewer side effects over all.
Transdermal Iodine -
Transdermal application of iodine is the most inefficient method
of delivery with only 1-4% of the total dose absorbed into
circulation. Iodine is a volatile element subject to evaporation at
typical room and body temperatures. 75-85% of transdermally applied
iodine is lost to evaporation. So if you go with transdermal
application, do so as a last choice. The application of a heavy
cream or Vaseline over the iodine patch may slow down the
evaporation and possibly increase absorption.