Colloidal silver is a popular supplement choice among people who want to boost their immune system function or treat certain ailments. However, because colloidal silver is bio-active, it is important to make sure it is being consumed safely. Below is some information to help you understand what colloidal silver is, how it works, and whether it is safe to consume.
What is colloidal silver?
Colloidal silver is a liquid solution that contains small particles of silver.  These particles may vary in size, with many being too small to see with the naked eye. In the past, colloidal silver has been used for a wide range of purposes, including the treatment of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It has also been used for disinfecting and sanitation purposes. In fact, prior to the development of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used widely for infection control within the field of medicine.
In modern times, more people have been looking for alternatives to mainstream medical approaches to treating and preventing disease. As a result of this trend, colloidal silver has become more popular as a supplement. If you choose to take colloidal silver, you may apply it directly to your skin, or it may be taken orally. It is available in a variety of forms and concentrations. Because the quality and effectiveness of colloidal silver supplements can vary so considerably, it is important to research your options carefully before purchasing any colloidal silver product.
Is colloidal silver effective?
Researchers and scientists have spent many years investigating the effectiveness of colloidal silver for various purposes, and this research is ongoing. However, the results of the research performed with regard to colloidal silver has been mixed. For example, studies have generally supported colloidal silver’s antibacterial properties. According to this research, colloidal silver supplements work by invading the membrane of each bacterium and altering its function. Colloidal silver research has also provided evidence of antiviral properties. Studies have explored colloidal silver’s ability to combat specific viruses, as well as viruses in general. Some people also believe colloidal silver can facilitate the healing of wounds.
It is important to note that the FDA has not approved colloidal silver for the treatment of any disease or condition. For this reason, it is unlikely that a doctor will recommend taking colloidal silver as treatment. Likewise, colloidal silver supplement manufacturers are not permitted to make any claims related to the disease.
Is colloidal silver safe to use?
As with any treatment, it is advisable to be informed about any negative side effects that might be associated with taking colloidal silver. Colloidal and nanosilver have been in the limelight in recent years. As a result, there is an accumulation of solid, scientific research to consider.
In general, silver is relatively nontoxic to mammalian cells. Most humans today are exposed daily to very low levels of silver from food and drinking water and, to a smaller extent, even from the air we breathe. While some people take colloidal silver only when they believe they need it for a specific purpose, others will drink it every day.
In addition, the dose taken by different consumers can vary considerably. Thus, while some people may be wondering if colloidal silver is safe when taken in a low dosage for a limited period of time, others may be wondering if it is appropriate when used everyday.
If taken properly, colloidal silver can generally be used safely. However, there are still risks associated with the use of colloidal silver. The risk of complications will increase when certain supplements are used and/or when colloidal silver is taken in a larger dosage.
The estimated fatal dose of AgNO3 for humans is 1.4×105μg/kg−1. However, most of this data was extrapolated from studies on animals and extended to humans, a process that is inherently prone to errors.
Some risks of taking colloidal silver include:
- Argyria. A rare but serious side effect of taking colloidal silver in large dosages is argyria, which occurs when particles of silver build-up in the body. This can lead to a bluish tint of the skin, as well as organ damage. Argyria is sometimes irreversible.
- Drug interference. Colloidal silver may interfere with certain medications by changing the way your body absorbs them. Examples include thyroid medicine and antibiotics.
- Organ damage. When silver particles build up in organs, organ damage can be the result. After exposure and absorption, silver nanoparticles are transported by the bloodstream. If these are the wrong size or shape, silver can accumulate in organs and tissues such as the liver, skin, kidney, spleen, heart, lung, olfactory bulb, corneas, gingival mucous membranes, brain, and testes. Silver also can re-precipitate in these organs – ions reduced to metallic silver and nanoparticles can occur. It should also be noted that mostly bigger, asymmetrical shapes of silver nanoparticles can cause toxic effects such as inflammation, cell activation, or depletion of glutathione levels in association with mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS production. AgNPs may interact with sulfur containing proteins and enzymes (such as thioredoxin peroxidase, thioredoxin, superoxide dismutase protein, and glutathione, the most sensitive indicator of the cell to silver toxicity) and at least partially deactivate them. Free radical accumulation can also initiate an inflammatory response.
- Other problems. For some people, colloidal silver may also cause stomach problems, headaches, neurological issues or an allergic reaction. The risk of side effects increases with higher dosages.
The overwhelming majority of reliable clinical research shows that responsible, appropriate colloidal silver treatments are nontoxic or otherwise harmful to the human body.
What is very important to note in the above conclusion are two words: “responsible” and “appropriate.” Irresponsible and inappropriate colloidal silver treatments, on the other hand, do harbor the potential for damage to the human body.
How to Reduce Risks. Two Rules to Avoid Toxicity
To avoid toxicity, colloidal silver users should pay attention to the following two rules .
Rule #1: Use professionally made colloidal silver products.
There are many seemingly well-documented articles about how you can make your own silver products and save money. At the moment, the only guaranteed safe colloidal silver products are those produced by experts, under strictly controlled conditions, in reputable laboratories. Any money saved by do-it-yourself (DIY) silver-making is not worth the risk to your health.
Professionally made colloidal silver products have many advantages:
- They do not include silver salts, which appear to overreact with body tissues and have been shown to have significantly higher toxicity for humans.
- They can and should contain coated particles. This issue will be discussed more than once on our website, but coated nanosilver particles operate in a time-released fashion, spreading the antimicrobial silver ions into the body in a slow, controlled manner. Uncoated nanosilver particles tend to clump together quickly, depositing in body tissues. This makes it very difficult for the body to eliminate them naturally.
- They are of the correct size and shape. Evidence shows that silver nanoparticles between 5 and 30nm can be handled easily and safely eliminated by the body. The shape of the particles should be symmetrical, as asymmetrical shapes appear to have a much greater potential for toxicity.
Rule #2: Get professional advice about dosages.
While results vary by individual, the general findings are that professionally made colloidal silver is safe, in small quantities. When talking about dosages, silver is measured in parts per million (PPM) or mg/L, which indicates how much silver is suspended in how much liquid.
What many people fail to realize is that, for example, 1mg can be suspended in a shot glass or a full bottle of water. These liquids will have very different ppms, because the same silver amount is dissolved in different amounts of water, but the effect in the body will be the same. Why is that? Because in both cases, 1mg of silver is ingested and suspended in the body fluids. The final body concentration of silver after ingestion will be the same number of ppm.
In short, do not confuse the PPM of the drinking bottle with the final ppm that will be established in the body. The ppm does not matter as much as the quantity of silver ingested.
“Please keep in mind that, due to the huge variety and inconsistency of the colloidal silver commercially available, the requirement and safety recommendations are likely flawed. Professionally made colloidal silver taken in the appropriate doses for your body is virtually nontoxic.”
If you want to use colloidal silver safely, it is important to exercise caution so you get the desired result without risking your health. One of the best ways to reduce the risks associated with colloidal silver supplements is to choose a coated silver supplement from a reputable manufacturer. Coated colloidal silver supplements have a coating on each nanoparticle to prevent the particles from clumping together, which ensures that your body will be able to process them properly. Coated colloidal silver is less likely to build up in your organs or cause complications like argyria.
When taking colloidal silver, it is important to use your supplement only as recommended by the manufacturer. Colloidal silver supplements vary according to their composition and strength, so it is important to read the label and make sure you are taking the proper dosage. If you experience any side effects, stop using the supplement and seek medical attention if necessary.
Coated Silver offers a superior product that can be considered one of the safest and best on the market. Our colloidal silver contains a high concentration of particles so you can get the dosage you need with less liquid. Our particles are also small and uniform in size. If you want all the benefits of colloidal silver supplements with as few risks as possible, contact us today.
- Bogdan Pascu, Adina Negrea, Mihaela Ciopec, Corneliu Mircea Davidescu, Petru Negrea, Vasile Gherman, and Narcis Duteanu. New Generation of Antibacterial Products Based on Colloidal Silver. Published 2020 Mar 29. doi: 10.3390/ma13071578
- Colloidal Silver. (n.d.). Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/colloidal-silver
- Dakal TC, Kumar A, Majumdar RS, Yadav V. Mechanistic Basis of Antimicrobial Actions of Silver Nanoparticles. Front Microbiol. 2016;7:1831. Published 2016 Nov 16. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.01831
- Galdiero S, Falanga A, Vitiello M, Cantisani M, Marra V, Galdiero M. Silver nanoparticles as potential antiviral agents. Molecules. 2011;16(10):8894-8918. Published 2011 Oct 24. doi:10.3390/molecules16108894
- Park S, Park HH, Kim SY, Kim SJ, Woo K, Ko G. Antiviral properties of silver nanoparticles on a magnetic hybrid colloid. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014;80(8):2343-2350. doi:10.1128/AEM.03427-13
- Pop, C. V. (n.d.). The Truth about Colloidal Silver and Gold.
- Savchenko, M. (n.d.). Colloidal Silver Benefits: Myth or Reality? Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://flo.health/health-articles/lifestyle/nutrition/is-colloidal-silver-safe
- Watson, K. (1984, September 28). What Is Colloidal Silver? Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/colloidal-silver