Colloidal silver is a term for liquids containing tiny floating particles of silver. It is used for all kinds of anti-microbial and anti-viral effects.
Colloidal silver: Does it work? Yes, it does! Is it proven? Yes, it is!
Colloidal silver effectiveness is proven by literally thousands of studies over the last few decades and even longer. Check it out yourself if you don’t believe it. In fact, silver was effectively used for anti-microbial purposes since antiquity.
So why is colloidal silver having such a bad rap? Because most colloidal silver providers and manufacturers are amateurs disguised as “experts”. They use inferior and mostly dangerous products, never proven to be safe. The amount of internet fake claims, misinformation, and confusion about what can and cannot be possible with colloidal silver is just staggering.
On top of this staggering amount of misinformation and unproven claims, the FDA safety studies on “colloidal silver” were done in 1950, at the time without adequate scientific analysis and most likely on ionic silver. You definitely cannot extrapolate results from ionic silver to colloidal silver. These are two absolutely different products.
Various toxicity studies were mostly performed in bad faith by university researchers. You see, in order to show spectacular findings and be published, researchers were biased to show toxicity, therefore repeatedly using inferior products in extremely high doses, so high that no one would ever ingest in real life. At this kind of high doses even water would be shown to be toxic.
There is a generalized confusion on the market regarding silver, colloidal silver, silver hydrosol, and ionic silver.
Colloidal silver is a very stable dispersion of small silver particles (less than ~100 nm) in a liquid, most often water. These silver particles are balls made of lots of silver atoms, hundreds or thousands of atoms in a ball. These balls are not dissolved in water they just float in water. It is the same concept of snowflakes which are not balls, but are made of thousands of molecules of water; they are not dissolved in the air they just float in the air.
Ionic silver (clear and transparent silver) is like atoms in water and like water molecules in the air (like fog). Colloidal particles are much bigger. Colloidal particles release electrically charged atoms occasionally (ions). So ionic silver solutions contain a deluge of ions whereas colloidal silver delivers a gentle, slow release of ions. Colloidal silver acts as a “reservoir” of ions. Why is it better to have a slow release of ions? Because a deluge of ions is like a huge deployed army, they are extremely reactive and unstable, burns tissues denatures proteins, and modifies DNA. Colloidal silver by the other hand is delivering just a small commando that is way more than enough to handle all the intruders. Why deploy an army when a small commando is enough?
The confusion is justified: A majority of what is sold as colloidal silver on the market is not colloidal.
On top of it, ionic silver is not safe, protein silver is not safe and uncoated colloidal silver is not safe. The other kind of silver is the so-called hydrosol” which technically should be colloidal silver but the products marketed as hydrosols sell ionic silver. It’s even hard to follow this!
Ionic silver is not that safe to ingest unless you take it very diluted and in small quantities, which is what most suppliers recommend. It is not safe because is caustic, burning tissues, it also clings to cells, changes and denatures proteins, distorts DNA, and is overwhelming to the body.
Colloidal silver is not very safe because if not coated particles clump generating bigger particles which cannot pass through the body. They also attach to a lesser extent to cells and proteins changing their structure.
So what color is colloidal silver? Colloidal silver is always colored. Always! Due to particles scattering and absorbing light, silver colloids (also called sols or hydrosols) are typically yellow. The more concentrated the solution, the more intense the color getting into dark brown. Products that are clear and not colored either do not contain colloidal silver or the concentration is extremely low. Silver hydrosol is just another name for colloidal silver. If you don’t believe me just check the definition of “hydrosol” on Wikipedia. Therefore a true hydrosol needs to be colored. If it’s not colored, then it’s just ionic silver (not colloidal, or hydrosol).
People ask if you can have silver particles smaller than 1 nm. Not commercially on this planet, you can’t! An atom is 0.3 nm so in order to have 0.8 – 1nm particles you need to have clusters of just a few atoms, so chemically unstable that it is an impossibility to exist. Spectroscopy and other tests also do not show their existence.
How can you tell if the silver solution contains particles or not? In other words, how can you tell is a liquid is colloidal silver? You can easily find out if a liquid contains microparticles (is colloidal) by shining a laser pointer beam through it. If particles are present inside, the laser beam will become very brightly visible (this is called the Tyndall effect). It is like the snowflake effect when turning on the high beam of your car. If the laser beam is not visible, no particles are present and the liquid contains no colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver particle shape is usually spherical but they can also be like platelets. The dimensions may vary from ~2 nm to 100 nm. Spherical, round particles are safe, but platelet like or spiky particles are not. Bigger particles are not safe no matter the shape.
If silver particles are too small, they tend to aggregate (clump) making the dispersion unstable. Because bigger particles settle to the bottom, they create problems with long term storage. If they are too big (above ~ 35- 40nm) they tend to be trapped in various body tissues and organs (like in a sieve). The organs most susceptible are the liver and spleen. The silver particles’ optimum size for ingestion is 10-20 nm.
The size and shape of silver particles affect the antibacterial effect only in a minor way. Smaller particles have slightly higher surface energy (low curvature) which allows a slightly faster shedding of the silver ions responsible for the antimicrobial effects. For a similar size, shape plays a minor impact on how rapidly the needed silver ions concentration is attained.
So by what mechanism is the antimicrobial effect achieved? The silver ion interacts with the sulfur-containing functional groups in the molecules of bacteria blocking metabolic pathways and reproduction mechanisms. They also block the sulfur molecules on the external spikes of viruses, thus blocking their entrance in the cells, therefore, their replication.
Colloidal silver works very well for nonbacterial agents too, like viruses, parasites, or funguses. Many studies and experiments show without a doubt that they do work as well on these infectious agents.
People ask all the time how can you make colloidal silver. It is easy. A battery and silver wires are all you need. But, please, do NOT use homemade colloidal silver for drinking. It is not recommended to drink because the silver particles may clump together and cling to tissues. They form larger particles and get trapped in different organs. This is when people become grey. All people having this problem used home-made colloidal silver. No person had this problem when ingesting professionally made coated silver.
You may wonder what is the right concentration (or ppm) of colloidal silver in order to have the antibacterial and antiviral effect. Let’s make clear that the ppm you ingest is not relevant. You can dilute silver in a cup or in a bucket. If you drink both, it’s the same amount. It is the final concentration in blood and bodily fluids that counts. There is no clear proven number on this matter. It is believed by me based on extensive research that a concentration of 2-3 ppm in the blood should be more than enough for antibacterial concentration. Some viral studies showed great effect at 40 ppm in vitro but in the body, you do not need speed, you need safety and gentleness.
In terms of safety, coated colloidal silver versus uncoated colloidal silver is a world apart.