What Is Povidone Iodine and How Is It Different From Nascent Iodine?

Written by Nikki Lyn Pugh

Reading Time: 5 minutes

You probably know that iodine is a must-have for hormonal health and the health of your entire body. But you may still be confused about the different types of iodine and what they can do. To help you determine the best type of iodine supplement for your needs, let’s dive into two common types of iodine – povidone iodine and nascent iodine – and discuss the difference between them.

What Is Povidone Iodine Solution?

Remember that bright yellowish-brown stuff your mom or the school nurse used to slather on your arm or knee whenever you got a cut? It stained your skin for days but putting the “yellow stuff” on prevented you from getting an infection! That’s because povidone iodine is effective at killing a wide range of harmful and pathogenic microorganisms.

Povidone iodine is sometimes known commercially as Betadine or Aerodine and it can come as povidone iodine solution, povidone iodine ointment, or as a powder [1].

Iodine Tinctures Contain Alcohol

It is different than iodine tincture, often called weak iodine solution, though. Although both are used as antiseptics, povidone iodine does not contain alcohol as tincture of iodine does.

Sometimes individuals will choose to use tincture of iodine instead of povidone iodine when time is of the essence because the alcohol in it makes the solution dry quickly. It is also used for sanitation. In most other commercial settings, however, povidone iodine is used.

Common Uses of Povidone Iodine

Povidone iodine is one of the oldest man-made antiseptics for the skin and has been around since the mid-1950s. It is also used in some shampoos, vegetable washes, soaps, dyes, and some eyewashes. It is commonly used as a disinfectant by surgeons to prevent infections and as an antibacterial by dentists [2].

Don’t Swallow Povidone Iodine!

Povidone iodine is always used externally (never ingested) and is made up mostly of iodine and povidone. Povidone is a synthetic, highly dissolvable substance used to transport and carry other medicinals. A container of povidone iodine usually contains about 10% iodine and 90% povidone.

You can get topical povidone iodine solution at most drug stores and pharmacies. Povidone iodine is tolerated by most people, although side effects do exist for some individuals and in some cases. Certain people may be allergic to povidone iodine and can develop a rash or experience other side effects. Also, according to studies, using povidone iodine in large quantities can result in kidney issues, high serum blood sugar levels, and other serious side effects [3].

Some Povidone Iodine Will be Absorbed Through the Skin

Of course, povidone iodine is still iodine and your skin is one of your biggest organs. The iodine in povidone iodine will absorb into your bloodstream to some extent. This is something to keep in mind for people who have been advised by their doctor not to ingest iodine or pregnant women [4].

How is Povidone Iodine Different From Nascent Iodine?

While povidone iodine is used externally only, nascent iodine can be used both externally and internally. It is sometimes called monatomic, atomic iodine, or just simply “atomidine.” According to many experts, it is also the best form of iodine supplement out there today.

You may have heard of potassium iodide or iodine obtained from kelp or from other sources. Unlike these products, nascent iodine does not need a carrier mineral. Thus it does not require extra energy from the body to be “converted” into a useable substance.

“Nascent” means “coming into being.” This form of iodine is incomplete at the atomic level (and thus waiting to “come into being”), but this is by no means is a bad thing. It simply means that it contains an odd number of electrons and carries an electromagnetic charge.

So what does all this translate to for your health? Simply put, nascent iodine is many times more absorbable than other kinds of iodine. It works quickly in the body but is also safe and requires less energy to do its job. When it comes to the thyroid and endocrine health, taking nascent iodine as an internal supplement can help your endocrine system stay in more consistent balance. This is beneficial for your hormones as well!

Nascent Iodine Has Been in Use Longer Than Povidone Iodine

Another difference between nascent and povidone iodine is that the nascent form of iodine has actually been around a lot longer. It was the “go-to” form of pre and post-surgery antiseptic iodine used by surgeons from when it was first developed in the 1920s until the reign of pharmaceutical companies began in earnest a few decades later.

iodine supplementation

Nascent iodine can still be used in all the external ways that povidone iodine and tincture of iodine can be used. Because it is not made using synthetic substances and manufacturing practices and does not contain alcohol, nascent iodine is less likely to cause a reaction.

When used internally, it can be both safe and extremely effective at:

  • fighting infections
  • raising immune system function
  • balancing hormones
  • helping the thyroid
  • helping to maintain cardiovascular health
  • increasing brain health
  • and so much more [5]

Experts also claim that it contains chelating properties and is able to remove both heavy metals and toxic halides such as chlorine, fluoride, and bromide from the body [6].

When choosing an iodine supplement why not choose an “all-in-one” that is safe, effective and fast working for your health? Add Organixx all-organic, cleanly produced nascent iodine supplement to your toolbox for both internal and external use… and you will be well-prepared for whatever cut, scrape, or health challenge comes your way!


When your organs are working hard to detoxify, you want the purest form of iodine possible to help them work more efficiently. It only makes sense to use an organic form that’s totally natural and free of chemicals. Organixx Iodine is one of the only formulas that is USDA Certified Organic. It’s a pure, nascent form of iodine which your thyroid can use immediately.

Organixx Organic Iodine
Nikki Lyn Pugh
Nikki Lyn Pugh, MFA, INHC is a natural health researcher and writer. She is also an integrative nutritional health coach specializing in autoimmune conditions, chronic stress, and energy medicine. She loves to inspire people to become empowered with their health through education and gentle guidance. Nikki lives and works in Cottonwood, AZ, with her bunny "Mr. Dot."

Article Summary

  • Two common types of iodine are povidone iodine and nascent iodine.

  • Povidone iodine is sometimes known commercially as Betadine or Aerodine and it can come as povidone iodine solution, povidone iodine ointment, or as a powder.

  • Povidone iodine is effective at killing a wide range of harmful and pathogenic microorganisms and is always used externally (never ingested).

  • Nascent iodine can be used both externally and internally. It is sometimes called monatomic, atomic iodine, or just simply “atomidine.”

  • Nascent iodine is many times more absorbable than other kinds of iodine. It works quickly in the body but is also safe and requires less energy to do its job.

  • When used internally, nascent iodine can be both safe and extremely effective at fighting infections, raising immune system function, balancing hormones, helping the thyroid, helping to maintain cardiovascular health, increasing brain health, and more.

  • Look for a quality source of organic nascent iodine such as Organixx Organic Iodine for both internal and external uses.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Love this product. In the past l was told to take iodine w selenium and tyrosine. Do you follow this proposal?

    • Hi Victoria, thank you for your question.

      Our Organixx Iodine is a stand-alone iodine supplement that helps support healthy thyroid function. You should always consult your healthcare practitioner prior to taking any new dietary supplement, like the Organixx Iodine.

      Please feel free to visit this page to learn more about the ingredients, health benefits, and what our customers say about this product:

      https://shop.organixx.com/collections/all-products/products/iodine

      We hope this helps.

      Thank you and we wish you a lovely day!

    • Definitely make sure you are well supplied in the selenium department! Taking iodine (or even kelp powder) when deficient in selenium can lead to thyroid nodules! I would not purchase from a company who does not want to give you indications such as these.

  2. I have hypothyroid, and I’m taking Armour Thyroid supposedly to keep my TSH in balance. Can you take nascent iodine
    when taking thyroid medication? I was taking nascent iodine, with the Armour Thyroid, and I ended up having to increase
    my thyroid medication dosage. Can you tell me if the iodine interferes with the medication, and since Nascent Ioidine is
    good for the thyroid, can it eventually correct the hypothyroid to the point that you don’t have to take thyroid medication.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Linda, we appreciate your interest in our USDA Organic Iodine from Organixx.

      When taking other medications, it is always best to check with your trusted healthcare professional first. If you decide to try Organixx Iodine, we suggest taking it 4 hours apart from other medications to avoid any contradictions.

      With this, we recommend a consultation with your trusted medical specialist to help you determine if the Organixx Iodine will be beneficial for you and your health needs.

      Please feel free to use this ingredient label as a reference: https://organixx.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Organixx-iodine-Mar-16-2020-label-300dpi.png.

      You may also visit this page to learn more about the health benefits and what our customers say about the Organixx Iodine: https://shop.organixx.com/collections/all-products/products/iodine.

      We hope you find this informative.

      Thank you and we wish you a lovely weekend!

  3. My wife has a draining tube fixed in her abdomen to relieve fluid build-up in a tumor while on chemo.
    I’ve been looking for an antiseptic solution to “paint” the area with to prevent any infection . . . I was thinking of Lugols Solution . . . but I remember that stings like hell!
    It seems from your write-up that your nascent iodine will do the job without the sting . . . but what is the carrier solution? Some form of glycerine or sugar?
    PS: I’ve been using iodine supplementation for 30 years (Lugols) but switched to your Nascent iodine recently.

    • Hi Roger, thank you for your feedback and for choosing the Organixx Iodine.

      Below is an edited response to answer your question.

      The carrier solution of our Organixx Iodine is an organic vegetable glycerin. It is a plant-based gylcerin, which should be more gentle on your wife’s skin.

      With this, it is always best to check with your trusted healthcare professional if you have more questions about the individual use of the Organixx Iodine.

      We hope this helps. We wish you and your wife the best in your wellness journey!

  4. Considering this for my 5- and 13-year-old grandsons, the older of whom has dental amalgams due to the state health-care dentists in WA state. What dosage is safe for a 45# child and a 125# pubescent boy?

    • Hi Shirley, thank you for your question and interest.

      Organixx Nascent Iodine contains no alcohol and is a type of iodine that can be used both internally and externally. Giving it to your children should be at your own discretion in consultation with your trusted healthcare professional.

      With that said, if your child has a medical condition and is on medication, we do suggest consulting with a trusted healthcare professional so they can help determine whether giving Organixx Iodine to your child would be appropriate for their personal health needs and if so what serving recommendation would be best suited for them.

      You may refer to the following page where you will find the ingredient label, product details, customer reviews, and more: https://shop.organixx.com/products/iodine

      We hope this helps and wish you & yours a happy & healthy day!

  5. I have heard and read about using povidone iodine in a nebulizer and was wondering if nascent iodine could be used instead and get the same protection. (The mix for 10% povidone is 1% in water, or 2 Tablespoons in an 8 ounce glass of water.)

    • Hi Cristi, That is an interesting question. I have never heard of using a nebulizer in that way. Very interesting. We do not recommend putting anything into a nebulizer except what your doctor orders. However, generally speaking the article did mention that nascent iodine can still be used in all the external ways that povidone iodine and tincture of iodine can be used. Because it is not made using synthetic substances and manufacturing practices and does not contain alcohol, nascent iodine is less likely to cause a reaction. I hope you find this information helpful. Thank you for being here with us. Have a wonderful day!

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