Is Colloidal Silver More Efficient Than Silver Nitrate?

The answer to this question can be quite complicated, even a bit technical.

The Short Answer

In a nutshell, colloidal silver is not more efficient than silver nitrate. Silver salt forms ions a bit faster, so if time is a factor, silver nitrate is more efficient; however, this does not really translate to a significant health benefit, since silver nitrates can and do cause a lot of damage. In every way, colloidal silver is the best form of silver administration for the greatest, safest antibacterial effect in the human body.

The Long Answer

For a clearer picture of colloidal silver versus silver salts, imagine that you live in the suburbs of Los Angeles and wish to travel downtown. You might ask yourself, “Would a space shuttle or a car be more efficient to get me there?”

Truthfully, a space shuttle would be more efficient from a time perspective, but in every other way, it would be impractical, if not entirely dangerous. If you took a space shuttle to downtown L.A., you would definitely overshoot your destination, waste a great deal of fuel and resources, and do a lot of irreparable damage to the environment in the process. In many ways, silver salts (usually nitrates) are similar to that space shuttle, while colloidal silver can be viewed as that reliable, much safer, less extreme automobile.

Face the Facts, Folks

Even chemists are unaware of many technical details about colloidal silver.  

Silver particles (colloidal silver), especially the coated variety, function as a reservoir of silver ions. These are released from the particles into the body, until a saturation concentration for the metal (silver) is achieved. Imagine a ball made of 200 to 300 atoms of silver, releasing 1 to 2 ions periodically. The released ions will have no problem penetrating the ball coating, and in the process, they will be protected from oxidation by the coating, so no damage is done in the meantime. Particles will move slowly through the reticulo-endothelial system (tissues) and slowly and constantly release the silver ions responsible for the antibacterial effect.

The particles are gentle, nonreactive, and chemically inert; they do no damage to the surrounding tissues. The concentration of equilibrium of silver ions is established gently, over a period of hours. Nothing is excessive, and the concentration of silver necessary to destroy bacteria is too low to spawn any harmful side effects—a major benefit of coated silver particles. For even more added benefit, the pH of our colloidal silver is a gentle 8 to 8.5, thus alkalinizing the body, a benefit we already discussed.

On the other side, silver salts (silver nitrate) are much more violent, liberating a mass exodus of silver ions—far more than necessary to kill harmful bacteria at a rate literally trillions of times more (ten to the twelfth power) than colloidal particles. Silver nitrate has no practical equilibrium concentration. In other words, it dissolves up to a 1:1 ratio within the solvent, while silver particles have an equilibrium concentration of 1 to the minus 1012 to 1013. This difference is trillions of times in order of magnitude, and it is major overkill. The concentration of silver needed to kill bacteria is so small that there are more than enough ions liberated from silver particles to get the job done.

The concentration of equilibrium of silver particles effectively ensures that nothing higher than that concentration and no great excess of silver ions is dissolved. Thus, the number of silver ions are effectively limited in the solution or the body, no matter how much more metallic silver you add. This concentration of equilibrium of ions from silver particles is very, very low, but it is still way over the limit of concentration necessary to kill microorganisms and bacteria. You really don’t need more than what colloidal silver can provide, and you cannot overdose with the right kind of colloidal silver!

It would be absolutely impossible to reduce the amount of silver nitrate dissolved to obtain the same safe concentration as from silver particles. Why? Because the limit of measuring silver nitrate is one milligram, but even that would be over a billion times more than necessary to garner antibacterial effect. Again, it begs repeating that there is great risk of overshoot and harmful physical effects when using silver salts.

Salts instantly dissolve in the body. This is very excessive, up to a trillion times more ionic invasion than necessary. Released in the body, this very chemically reactive type of silver can precipitate (settle into organs) and will attach to proteins, amino acids, carboxyl groups, and other components, blocking enzymes, modifying protein structures, and changing receptors. It may even block or damage DNA, which is made of amino acids.

For example, if silver nitrate comes in contact with Vitamin C, the reaction causes silver ascorbate to be deposited in the tissues rather than eliminated. Silver salts also react with copper-containing proteins and distort the surface, thus modifying the behavior of these essential proteins within the body.

Not only are there adverse effects, but some are irreversible. The silver from salts attaches permanently to proteins and tissues, causing the infamous argyria, a graying or blue discoloration. Other side effects and problems can occur when organs and skin are overloaded with silver. Silver salts also oxidize very rapidly to silver oxide, which is even more reactive and dangerous to tissues. In short, silver salts are dangerous because they are not eliminated; instead, they are deposited in the tissues, where they can do much damage.

Also, when ingested, silver nitrate is instantly dissociated to silver and nitrate. This, coupled with an abundance of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, results in silver chloride. The silver chloride molecule is very stable, but it does not dissociate well enough to provide ions for an antibacterial effect. Moreover, if there is an overabundance of hydrochloric acid in the stomach as compared to the amount of silver ingested, which is usually the case, molecules of one silver ion connected to two or three chloride ions form complex ions that are very stable; in other words, there will be no antibacterial activity. This is similar to the burning of the environment from the space shuttle engine, and once it happens, nothing can be used there anymore.

Another major concern is that nitrates can change to nitrites, a possible cancer-producing agent. The dose needs to be high for this to occur; however, silver salts are so reactive that they de-naturate and change proteins and DNA. This can trigger autoimmune reactions and even cancer. This high reactivity can result in the formation of free radicals, which can lead to cancer, albeit through a different mechanism.

Last but definitely not least, silver nitrates entail chemically acid hydrolysis. In other words, the moment you ingest silver nitrate, the chemical reaction itself produces acid. This reaction of dissociating nitrate salts instantly drops the pH by several points, thus acidifying the body. As we know from the alkaline-versus-acid concept, acidic foods and chemicals are disease- and cancer-producing, while alkalinizing agents are disease- and cancer-healing. It is always in your body’s best interest to be alkalinized, and this is yet another reason silver salts should be avoided: They are cancer-producing through three to four mechanisms.

In addition to the above, you never know how many silver ions are inactivated through different mechanisms like attachments to proteins, combining with chloride and other ions, etc

These are some serious considerations when comparing silver salts (nitrate) to colloidal silver, especially coated. Excess overshooting, free radicals, protein modification, being stuck in the body, argyria, other side effects, organ blockage, and acidifying the body are the risks involved. All things considered, this is far too high a price to pay to see results a few minutes or hours earlier!

With all these factors in mind, your perfect vehicle for gentle, effective antimicrobial effect with minimal problems and side effects is coated colloidal silver.

It is also advisable to note that all of the above are valid in the case of coated gold nanoparticles as well, although to a different degree, since gold is more stable and the gold dissociation coefficient is several orders of magnitude lower. Overall, the comparison of particles versus salts is the same, except for the fact that gold will not dissolve or react in the stomach as silver does.

“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”