My Take on Colloidal Silver
So a question has been raised about Colloidal Silver, and I have once again been asked about my opinion on it. This post is a conversational response – it’s not some technical entry. I’m merely responding to questions and statements posed in another thread about the topic, and I am doing so as requested. I wish to empower my readers with some information instead of disinformation. As always, you should do your research and come to your own conclusions. Question everything – including me. What follows will be a mixture of what was provided in the book, things written before in other posts, some items found in my research, and some current thoughts. It is not to be copied or distributed without consent, and it should be known that some of it is copyrighted. Let’s get the legal out of the way.
The information presented in this post is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I cannot and do not give you medical advice. The information contained in this post is presented in summary form only and is intended to provide broad consumer understanding and knowledge. The information should not be considered complete, and it should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation, or advice of your physician or other health care provider. I do not recommend the self-management of health problems. Information obtained through this group or by using the posts is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, call or see your physician or other healthcare provider promptly. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.
First, let me start with “Blue Man.” Do you ever wonder why you see the same guy when people are warning you of the supposed dangers of colloidal? Paul Karason has been made famous because he looked like a Smurf. The FDA loved this and has run with it ever since, using him as a poster child for why people should avoid making their own CS or getting it from someone who does. “You don’t want to turn blue, do you?” But here is the deal. Paul made the mistake of adding (salt) to his distilled water as a catalyst to reduce the production time of his CS. He was lazy and added salt to the process.
Not only is this wrong (because by doing so, he was not making CS; he was making something entirely different), but Paul was consuming extremely high doses at REALLY high concentrations of the wrong stuff. All of which is not suggested. He turned blue because he was irresponsible… but that was it.
He ended up with a condition known as Argyria, a skin condition characterized by bluish-grey to slate-grey staining of the skin and mucous membranes caused by the deposition of silver particles in the skin. This is how Paul ended up blue. To date, this is the biggest possible side effect known to be associated with silver… that is, of course, unless you have a silver allergy, but that is a different discussion. Regardless, when it comes to consumption of CS, argyria occurs ONLY in extremely high doses and with complete misuse.
The idea that silver doesn’t serve any real purpose is ridiculous. Let’s examine a highly successful product on the market now called Curad Silver Solution Antimicrobial Gel. On the side of the package it comes in, it says, “acts as a barrier to MRSA and lasts up to three days.” The ingredients are basically gel components and “silver at 55ppm“. It is essentially a colloidal silver gel. Now… considering laws against false advertising and the fact that they have been around for quite some time… you need to understand that their claim is true. This means it works better than its antibiotic cream counterparts, which cannot boast the same claim. Consider this clue number one in a long list of many.
You also need to be aware that there is a lot of mis and disinformation, so be sure to do your own research and see reality for what it is. Much of this “confusion” comes from the FDA and the AMA… probably because this stuff can be made so easily, and it takes money away from corporations, but I digress.
Understand that since the suggested adult daily dosage on most commercial colloidal silver products is about one teaspoon daily, this means that an individual would have to consume nearly 48 times the normal adult dosage every day for a year to reach the lowest level of silver intake ever known to cause argyria in an adult. EPA standards for the amount of silver that can be safely consumed in drinking water is .005 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (EPA RED document page 2, 4th paragraph). This means that a normal-sized adult could safely consume approximately one ounce (6 tsp) of 10ppm colloidal silver every day for a 72-year lifespan and still be within the safe limits as defined by the EPA. So as you can see, the math lends well to the idea that if you use it “correctly,” you’ll be just fine.
Yes, colloidal silver may kill friendly bacteria in the digestive tract – but only part of it. However, it is also killing fungus and yeast too. But here is the kicker – most of the contents are absorbed in the small intestine, so it doesn’t do a fraction of the damage that some people suggest. Regardless, many people take probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus bulgaricus, yogurt, etc., to replace friendly intestinal flora. This is a good idea; I use kefir. But… you should be doing this anyway, and this is especially true if you are taking anything that can potentially disrupt your flora.
So ask me the question: “Would you respond to the studies that say there is absolutely no scientific evidence supporting it as a valid treatment?“
According to an entry in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (JLME), and supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, about 90 percent of all new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 30 years are little or no more effective for patients than existing drugs. Can you respond to that?
The bar for “safe” is equally low, and over the past 30 years, approved drugs have caused an epidemic of harmful side effects, even when properly prescribed. Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier. One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm. This is the opposite of what people want or expect from the FDA. Can you respond to that?
Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. Deaths and hospitalizations from overdosing, errors, or recreational drug use would increase this total. American patients also suffer from about 80 million mild side effects yearly, such as aches and pains, digestive discomforts, sleepiness, or mild dizziness. Can you respond to that?
And I am going to respond directly to the original question. Still, I write this to establish the point the FDA has its position, a position that the Mayo Clinic supports and is forced to adhere to, and one that has made its position on Colloidal Silver painfully obvious. Yet, at the same time, they have no moral high ground. If you trust what the FDA says or does, regardless of what I have provided or what I will below, then you need to reevaluate your reasoning skills.
What the question refers to is more than likely a statement by Brent A. Bauer, M.D. (Mayo Clinic Source) – he said that colloidal silver isn’t considered safe or effective for any of the health claims manufacturers make. He said that silver has no known purpose in the body, nor is it an essential mineral, as some sellers of silver products claim. I have seen health parrots repeat the same, and it’s ridiculous.
First, understand that his claim was not a “study“… it was a published opinion. HUGE difference. Studies are usually published in peer-reviewed journals, where I like to pull my FACTS from. I will say that he got at least one part right, though. Silver is not an essential mineral. But who cares? That is not in dispute. The question is whether or not it has a benefit. Well… it is a beneficial mineral, and facts support that.
Before I destroy the claim, though… let me be clear that I’m not here to defend a company that makes CS. I could care less, and that’s not the point. There are some dumb people out there who run businesses. Of course, there are some dumb consumers out there too, so I guess if you are dumb enough to buy a product you don’t know anything about, that is on you. We are talking about the product’s usefulness, and based on the number provided so far… CS is already looking much better than the FDA “safe” list.
Think about it… 11 people developed a TREATABLE condition because of silver, and this is why everyone should not use it? Well, let me use a little logic here. Using the numbers I have already provided, let’s up the stats. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. This is due primarily to the OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS prescribed by the very entity worried about blue skin. Are you getting my point here? 11 with blue skin vs. 23,000 dead, millions more with untreatable infections? By the way, if you had to choose, would you rather have blue skin for a little while or be dead forever? And even then, that’s not a fair question because the chances of you “turning blue” with responsible use are so much against the odds that it’s not even worth calculating.
Still, I’m sure there are quite a few doctors out there who are dumb enough to listen to propaganda regarding such health claims. But this is where I simply cannot handle the fear-mongering. Silver is used quite a bit in modern medicine with great results, IE: silver-coated urinary catheters and endotracheal breathing tubes, bandages, antibiotic ointments/wound care, silver nitrate eye drops, silver sulfadiazine or silver nanomaterials, water purification, bone prostheses, reconstructive orthopedic surgery, cardiac devices, other surgical appliances, etc. Guess what? These are all things used in or around the body with great effect. Seems pretty useful to me. And if it were unsafe, why would it continue to be used in such instances?
If it was not safe in the body, my next question would be exactly why the EPA set standards for the amount of silver that can be safely consumed in drinking water, saying it IS safe in the body. With that in mind, wrap your head around the idea that they said that is .005 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (EPA RED document page 2, 4th paragraph). Remember what I said earlier… basically, this means that a normal-sized adult could safely consume approximately one ounce (6 tsp) of 10ppm colloidal silver every day for a 72-year lifespan and still be within the safe limits as defined by the EPA. (Yes… this makes that doctor look like a fool… and the FDA/Mayo/Quack Watch/ etc.)
Want some contrasting studies and statements?
Yamanaka, Hara, and Kudo | November 2005 – “The present results indicate that one of the major bactericidal actions of the silver ion is caused by its interaction with the ribosome and subsequent suppression in the expression of enzymes and proteins essential to ATP production.”
Herbert Slavin, M.D. | September 2006 – “Ionic silver is increasingly being recognized for its broad-spectrum anti-microbial qualities and the fact that it presents virtually none of the side-effects related to antibiotics. Ionic silver is entirely non-toxic to the body. Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that some resistant strains of the disease cannot develop with ionic silver the way they will with antibiotics.”
- Roy, M. R. Hoover, A. S. Bhalla, T. Slawecki, S. Dey, W. Cao, J. Li | September 2006 – “These results are parallel to the many empirical observations made by physicians for the last 100 years on the use of metallic silver and water in various combinations for human health.”
In 2012, a study published in the journal Nanotoxicology found that silver nanoparticles, at reasonably high dosage levels, do not induce genotoxicity or abnormal signs of mortality. There was no oral or dermal toxicity. There was no acute eye or dermal irritation of corrosion and extremely low skin sensitization.
The Institute of Catalysis, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences found that Colloidal Silver preparations worked at destroying the smallpox virus.
Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, India; the Department of Metallurgy, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, India; the Department of Anatomy, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, India, and International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Balapur, India all found and agreed that silver Nanoparticles stop blood from clotting.
The Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2010 recognized the “Antitumor activity” of colloidal silver on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.
An International Journal of Nanomedicine Study confirms the antitumor properties of silver nanoparticles and suggests that they may be a cost-effective alternative in cancer treatment.
Numerous departments from Tsinghua University in China studied and confirmed the antibacterial effects of Silver Ions on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This was later confirmed by the Department of Microbiology and KRF Zoonotic Disease Priority Research Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management at the Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea… and this was published in the American Society for Microbiology Journal.
NASA documented their use of the Silver Ionization Process for water purification on manned space flights.
In the Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009, the bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles against multidrug-resistant bacteria was documented.
Or how about in a 2012 study published in Letters in Applied Microbiology, Professor Henriques and her team looked at the use of different sizes of silver nanoparticles to determine their antifungal properties against Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. These two yeasts cause infections, including oral thrush and dental stomatitis, a painful infection affecting around seven out of ten denture wearers. Infections like these are particularly difficult to treat because the microorganisms involved form biofilms. Professor Henriques comments: “With the emergence of Candida infections which are frequently resistant to the traditional antifungal therapies, there is an increasing need for alternative approaches. So, silver nanoparticles appear to be a new potential strategy to combat these infections. As the nanoparticles are relatively stable in liquid medium they could be developed into a mouthwash solution in the near future.“
Or (once again) – it’s so useless that hospitals and medical supply companies make silver-coated urinary catheters and endotracheal breathing tubes, bandages, antibiotic ointments/wound care, silver nitrate eye drops, silver sulfadiazine or silver nanomaterials, water purification, bone prostheses, reconstructive orthopedic surgery, cardiac devices, other surgical appliances, etc.
I’m sure the naysayers are right, though. Maybe the FDA is right too! Be scared! Runaway! Take only the drugs they say are “safe,”… even though they have proven to be quite the opposite! Avoid the silver devil.
Keep in mind I’m not here to sell you something. I really could care less if you use it or not. I am just a guy trying to help out friends. You need to make up your mind on the subject, but for those who know me… you know I don’t come to the table with a half-cocked idea. I’m coming with a wealth of research and a decent amount of knowledge to back that up. It’s nothing to get nasty about.
Silver products are cheap to make and worth plenty. Perhaps this is why the FDA wants to scare you away from such products to buy high-priced death pills. Just a thought.
Let me reiterate the idea that even products such as “Curad Silver Solution” claim that they are your GUARD AGAINST MRSA! And all that is is silver at 55ppm in a gel base. Silver can kill horrible bacteria, deep-rooted fungi, and more. I don’t know about you… but it seems VERY useful to me. And yet… the FDA says, “stay away from silver and use our ineffective, deadly, and highly expensive drug!“
The truth is that silver exhibits low toxicity in the human body, and minimal risk is expected due to clinical exposure by inhalation, ingestion, and even dermal application, and it’s cheap to make. This is backed by numerous PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES, not to mention centuries of observation.
Regardless, here is my advice… do what is right for you. Do your research and make up your mind. If you consume it, don’t overdo it. In fact… don’t overdo anything.
It’s kind of like water. It’s usually great for you… but if you overdo it, it could be very bad. I’m not being sarcastic. Have you ever heard of dilutional hyponatremia? It’s a term that defines when someone consumes too much water and dies from it. Look it up. I’ve found 17 of these cases since 1991. So 17 people have died from drinking too much water, and 11 people have turned blue from CS. Should we avoid both?
All things in moderation, folks. My point is that finding 11 people who developed a treatable and ONLY aesthetic condition is not impressive, and it is not enough to scare me away from something I have seen work with my own eyes and body. The FDA’s body count and millions of untreatable patients are a LOT scarier if you ask me.
If one looks around, one can see that silver and silver nanoparticles are used as an antimicrobial in various industrial, food industry, healthcare, and domestic applications. It’s not useless.
Oh… and one more thing for the record… from all of my research… no cases of Argyria have EVER been linked to properly produced colloidal/ionic silver that was absent of salt and/or other additives. Do it right, and you should be fine.
But honestly, if you are apprehensive about taking or using CS, then try this… don’t use it. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I genuinely don’t care either way. There are plenty of herbs that are effective as well, so you can use those. However, I would ask that you be careful about scaring others about the use of CS because the facts do not support such a position. At the end of the day (like me), it may be their only option.
And I know some will be tempted to respond to this post with some crap about the bioaccumulation of CS. Well, don’t. Many things bioaccumulate, and I would MUCH rather it be something like CS than just about anything else that I can’t control, like polytetrafluoroethylene or brominated ﬂame retardants. If you’re worried about a little CS over these two gems… you have some serious research that needs to be done. If you’re not simply pissed off about polybrominated diphenyl ethers or perfluorinated compounds, but you want to get into an internet argument about the imaginary dangers of CS, you probably don’t belong in this conversation. I’m sorry… but it’s true.
So… these are my two cents… or whatever you think it’s worth.
Be sure to check out my article, titled “FUNGUS – A Few Things to Know.”
Dr. Robertson is a health researcher and educator, not a physician. The information provided here is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or service to you or any other individual. The information provided is for educational and anecdotal purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Dr. Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or additional information, services, or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.