The Dangers of Colloidal Silver
It makes my blood curl every single time I see a ‘so called health advocate’ promote colloidal silver. And worse yet, seeing colloidal silver in the health food isles makes me cringe and shutter. Unfortunately, people are too quick to believe the cure-all claims of this dangerous supplement.
In my opinion, colloidal silver does as much damage to your health as lead or other heavy metals. In truth, the body cannot eliminate any type of metal from your body and it will accumulate in the vital organs. In effect, it will cause immune dysfunction and extreme damage to your vital organs.
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According to WebMD, colloidal silver products used for medical purposes are now considered “misbranded” under FDA law (1999). However, it is still used as a dietary supplement and as a homeopathic remedy.
WebMD also states that colloidal silver is likely unsafe if injected intravenously (by IV), taken orally or applied to the skin. This is because the silver gets deposited in vital organs such as the kidney, liver, skin, brain, spleen and muscles. The accumulated toxin can cause serious damage.
Taking colloidal silver can also lead to permanent bluish skin discoloration (argyria). As well, it can stimulate melanin production plus it discolors the skin if it has been exposed to the sun. As well, WebMD states that raised levels of silver in pregnant woman have been connected to abnormal development of the face, ears and neck of their babies.
Mayo Clinic Newsflash
According to the Mayo Clinic, colloidal silver is not considered effective or safe. In addition, the Mayo Clinic states that colloidal silver is not an essential mineral and has no known purpose in the body. Although, colloidal silver manufacturers claim that it is a ‘cure all’, there are no scientific studies to back it up. In fact, the FDA took action against some manufacturers of colloidal silver products for making unproven health claims.
Although it is not certain how much colloidal silver may be harmful, it can build up in your body’s vital organ over months or years. The most common side effects are argyria which is a blue-gray discoloration of the skin, eyes, gums, nails and internal organs. With excessive doses, colloidal silver can possibly cause serious irreversible health problems such as kidney damage and neurological problems like seizures. Additionally, colloidal silver products may interact with medications like tetracycline, penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), quinolone antibiotics and thyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid).
What is Colloidal Silver?
Colloidal silver is a suspension of miniscule particles of silver, generally in water. Basically, it is small bits of silver in a colloidal mixture. Colloidal silver is available in many countries as a homeopathic remedy and dietary supplement.
The extensive “cure-all” claims include the following:
- Scarlet fever
- Lyme disease
- Bubonic plague
- Yeast infections
- Stomach ulcers
- Parasites (ringworm, malaria)
- Viruses (HIV/AIDS, shingles, herpes, pneumonia, warts)
Colloidal silver is also used for lung problems such as bronchitis and emphysema; skin conditions including eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, impetigo, and cradle cap; inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), bladder (cystitis), colon (colitis), prostate (prostatitis), appendix (appendicitis), nose (rhinitis), sinuses (sinusitis) and tonsils (tonsillitis).
Other uses of colloidal silver include treatment for lupus, diabetes, cancer, leukemia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, gum disease, trench foot, allergies like hat fever, and prevention of the flu, common cold and H1N1 (swine) flu. Colloidal silver is also applied to the skin for certain conditions such as acne, fungal infections, burns, eye infections, skin infections and staph (Staphylococcus).
The Most Horrifying: Some women take colloidal silver during pregnancy to assist the baby’s growth and development.
Safer and more Effective Products
One of the biggest colloidal silver health claims is its antibiotic properties. Even Hippocrates discussed how sliver was good for wound care. In the early 20th century before the discovery of antibiotics, doctors used silver to lower the risk of infection, as eye drops to treat ophthalmic issues and as a topical for health problems like epilepsy, tropical sprue and the common cold.
Generally, colloidal silver was used as a disinfectant and germicide. Once modern antibiotics were developed (1940), the use of colloidal silver basically diminished. However, silver sulfadiazine (SSD) was established in 1968 (a compound that contains silver and the antibiotic sodium sulfadiazine).
What is more, people were unaware that vitamin C was important for the immune system. And since there were no known antibiotics, colloidal silver was considered a life saver.
But there are far safer and more effective products other than colloidal silver that can be used as a natural antibiotic and to support the immune system. There are also safe natural antibiotics and antifungal agents that have health promoting properties. For instance, people who take vitamin C on a regular basis rarely get sick. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Natural Antibiotics: Garlic, Echinacea , Pau D’Arco , Andrographis , Green Tea Extract, Turmeric Extract , Oil of Oregano and Olive Leaf Extract .
- Cancer Fighting: Both turmeric extract and green tea extract are said to be powerful chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. In fact, it is said that these herbs can cause cancer cells to self-destruct. Additionally, turmeric and green tea extract are powerful anti-inflammatories.
- Bacteria Fighting: Olive leaf extract and oregano oil have been said to effectively destroy pathogenic bacteria, fungus’s, viruses and protozoa such as malaria. The herbs are also known to help treat infections like AIDS.
Pieces of silver: photo credit: Silver sprues via photopin (license)
Echinacea: photo credit: Purple Coneflower via photopin (license)
Colloidal silver water splash: Stylish Ranch Girl
People with argyria: Documenting Reality
Raw silver: Images of Chemical Elements