Colloidal silver is the term used to describe tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. In other words, it is a suspension of silver particles in a liquid.
It’s a popular alternative therapy and an ancient remedy that was once used to treat bacterial, viral and fungal infection ranging from common cold to cancer. Before modern antibiotics were developed, colloidal silver was used as an all-purpose remedy for various infections and illnesses.
Recently, it has experienced a revival in popularity with some claiming it can replace antibiotics or other medical therapies to treat bacterial, viral and fungal infections. However, the use of colloidal silver is controversial and has been linked to serious side effects. The size of the silver particles can vary, but some are so tiny that they are referred to as “nanoparticles.” This means that they are less than 100 nm in size and invisible to the naked eye. A normal filtering process would not remove them.
How Does Colloidal Silver Work?
It’s unknown exactly how colloidal silver works. However, it is said to have broad antibacterial and antiseptic effects when taken orally or placed on a wound. It is suggested that it attaches to proteins on the cell walls of bacteria, damaging their cell membranes. This allows silver ions to pass into the cells, where they can interfere with the bacterial metabolic processes and damage its DNA, leading to the cell’s death. Silver ions are released from the silver particles when they come into contact with moisture, such as body fluids. They are considered to be the “biologically active” part of colloidal silver that gives it its medicinal properties. However, it’s worth noting that colloidal silver products are not standardized.
Potential health benefits & Side effects:
Colloidal silver is claimed to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. However, there is currently no evidence that colloidal silver has any of these health benefits. The biggest risk associated with chronic exposure to colloidal silver is argyria. Argyria is a condition that turns the skin a blue grey colour due to a build-up of silver metal particles in the body and skin. Silver deposits can also occur in the intestines, liver, kidneys and other organs. If you use it frequently on an open wound, you may experience localized argyria due to a build-up of silver in the surrounding tissue.
These particles may more easily pass into your cells and possibly cross the blood-brain barrier, they are considered a probable health risk. Applying colloidal silver to your skin is considered less risky than ingesting it. However, if the solution contains very small nanoparticles, you may absorb these through your skin. Additionally, silver has no function in your body and no known benefits when taken orally. Considering the risks and lack of proven benefits, using colloidal silver products is probably not a good idea.