What Is Actually is Colloidal Silver?


Nature’s Anti-biotic

Overview

Colloidal silver is a commercially sold product that contains microscopic flakes of pure silver. Usually the flakes are suspended in demineralized water or another liquid.

Colloidal silver is often touted as an antibacterial agent and a topical wound dressing. Some people claim it can cure a cold faster, heal the body better, and even treat cancer or HIV. f

But does colloidal silver really strengthen your immune system? Is it actually safe for everyday use? Keep reading if you’re considering using colloidal silver.

Is colloidal silver safe?

Colloidal silver is a popular product in holistic health circles. But in 1999 (and again 10 years later), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release stating that there was no evidence to suggest a clear health benefit for colloidal silver. Rather, there’s evidence of some risks associated with using colloidal silver.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that people taking colloidal silver may be actually risking their long-term health for a product that doesn’t improve immunity or promote healing.

Clinical trials are ongoing into the use of colloidal silver, as well as the use of “negatively charged silver nanoparticles.” It could be possible that the medical community reverses their opinion at some point.

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Myths about colloidal silver

One of the biggest and most pervasive myths about colloidal silver is that it is unsafe to use. The threat of a rare skin condition known as “argyria,” is the most widely known side effect of over-ingesting silver. Argyria is characterized by a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is often permanent. No doubt, no one wants to be blue for the rest of their lives, but the likelihood of developing this condition is vastly overstated. Some make it seem like taking colloidal silver just a handful of times is all it will take for you to turn permanently blue, but the truth is that you’d be have to consume an awful lot of silver for that to happen.

As Ready Nutrition reports, you’d have to consume at least 900 milligrams of silver over the course of one year to develop argyria — a statement based on the lowest amount of silver found to cause the condition in adults.


Risks and complications of colloidal silver

The use of silver taken by mouth can’t be recommended. Over time, colloidal silver can build up in the tissues of your body and give your mucous membranes and skin a grayish appearance. This is a symptom of a condition called argyria.

Agyria isn’t reversible. Argyria by itself isn’t dangerous, and is defined as being “medically benign.” Of course, any skin discoloration isn’t exactly a welcome side effect. Colloidal silver also interferes with your body’s absorption of certain drugs. These include antibiotics and thyroid deficiency medication.

If you’re prescribed an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, taking colloidal silver might prevent that prescription from working effectively. That means taking silver would actually keep you feeling sick for longer.

Nursing and pregnant women who try colloidal silver as an alternative to some cold and flu drugs should keep in mind that no trial has ever proven colloidal silver to be safe for a developing baby. When things aren’t proven safe, they can’t be recommended for use.

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Health benefits of colloidal silver

This doesn’t seem like a lot — until you account for the typical recommended dose of colloidal silver (just one teaspoon). Ready Nutrition estimates that a person would have to take 48 times the normal daily dose for adults every day for a year in order to consume the minimum amount of silver linked to argyria.

Further, while argyria is undoubtedly not a desirable condition to have, it has not been linked to any other adverse health effects. As sources explain:

No pathologic changes or inflammatory reactions have been shown to result from the silver deposition in the dermis or argyria. In fact, in one case of argyria, medical researchers Hill and Pillsbury stated back in 1939, “The ordinary clinical use of colloidal silver compounds practically never gives rise to any gross untoward effect other than argyria.”  

As with all things, too much can be a serious problem. It’s always best to speak with your naturopath or other chosen health professional before taking any new supplements — especially if you have a preexisting health condition, are on medication, or are already taking other supplements.

There’ve been some benefits from applying silver ointments to the skin. Health claims of colloidal silver include:

  • antimicrobial properties
  • help heal skin wounds
  • possible treatment for acne
  • aid in conjunctivitis treatment in newborns

Colloidal silver products claim that it’s an antimicrobial, germ-fighting agent. At least one clinical study indicates that this claim can’t be proven.

Colloidal silver is also claimed to promote healing of skin wounds. According to one study, silver-containing wound dressings are a more effective barrier against infection than other products that make similar claims. The NIH also supports the idea that colloidal silver can be an effective wound dressing.

Colloidal silver is an ingredient in some acne treatments and cosmetics. It’s also sometimes used in an eye drop formula to prevent conjunctivitis in newborns.

As long as colloidal silver is used topically and in small amounts, it doesn’t pose a great risk of argyria.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that most people are already exposed to silver every day in their environment. Silver isn’t a vitamin or mineral that naturally occurs in the body. You don’t need to make sure you’re getting an adequate dose of silver or do anything to make up for not being exposed to it. A dosing reference chart created by the EPA suggests that your daily silver exposure — topical, oral, or environmental — shouldn’t exceed 5 micrograms per every kilogram you weigh. Colloidal silver’s most common commercial form is as a liquid tincture. Most health food stores carry it. It can also be bought as a powder to apply to your skin. Some people even make their own colloidal silver at home, using a special machine.

Conclusion….

Colloidal silver is a classic example of anecdotal evidence that differs drastically from research. Always remember that colloidal silver isn’t a product that’s regulated by the FDA. Companies that claim that colloidal silver is a miracle cure for diseases such as cancer and HIV are doing so without any clinical proof. There are many other safe options for staying healthy, preventing disease, and getting better from illness.

If you decide you’d like to try colloidal silver, check to make sure that it won’t interact with any prescriptions you’re taking. Consider topical use first. Never exceed the dosing recommendations put forward by the EPA.

If you experience side effects at any point, such as nausea or skin discoloration, stop using colloidal silver immediately.



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