Supplement does kill germs but turns some people blue — what’s up?!!
Do an Internet search for this natural, wide spectrum germ killer — and you’ll have 64,000 web pages to peruse… with plenty of conflicting information! We also get a lot of letters from readers asking us to write about it. Apparently a lot of people are taking it. So here goes: The story of a good idea. . .but I’m not sure it’s a great one. . .
Rediscovery of Lost Vitamin Stuns Medical World
This lost vitamin kept our ancestors disease-free for thousands of years, but until recently was unknown to scientists. New research has finally revealed the true identity of the “lost vitamin” that has the power to prevent and treat bone loss, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. It’s been called nature’s “missing link to a disease-free life”.
Click here to get all the details.
Many natural health practitioners recommend this remedy as an alternative to antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal drugs. It treats a VERY wide range of illnesses and conditions, including serious ones. A lot of people take it without a doctor’s direction and also give it to their loved ones, pets, farm animals and horses.
I’m talking about colloidal silver. In a very real sense, it is becoming the “peoples’ germ-killer”.
So, what’s the hoopla about?
The “new” ancient tool to fight deadly microbes…
Colloidal silver is non-toxic to your cells, but reportedly lethal to more than 650 disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and molds… including dreaded microbes like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA staph infections), Streptococcus pneumonia, Salmonella Arizona, and anthrax.
Ty Bollinger, author of Cancer: Step Outside the Box states that taking colloidal silver (CS) daily is like gaining a “second immune system”.
It also seems like a possible answer to the overuse of antibiotic drugs and the alarming increase in drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Known before the time of Christ…
Silver’s powerful germ killing properties have been known for centuries. It’s an accepted fact that even the ancient Greeks realized its medicinal value.
In ancient societies, the wealthy used silver containers for liquid storage, silver utensils and plates for eating, and silver cups for drinking. From what we know (admittedly not a lot), the families who used all this silver apparently suffered less sickness and fewer infections than poor folk who couldn’t afford the precious metal. The rich were healthier than peasants who ate with earthenware, metal dishes and utensils.
Warren Jefferson’s book Colloidal Silver Today: The All Natural, Wide-Spectrum Germ Killer notes that the ancients applied silver rods to open wounds to fight infection.
Ayurvedic medicine used silver to rejuvenate the body and to cure liver disorders and infectious diseases.
‘Big Pharma’ even produced it —
before scientists discovered antibiotics…
One hundred years ago, before sulfa drugs and antibiotics were discovered, CS was considered a “high-tech” germ fighter.
Most doctor offices carried it in their medicine cabinets to treat scores of infections like gonorrhea, tonsillitis, whooping cough, typhoid, and more.
It was used:
1. Orally (taken by mouth)
2. As a throat gargle
3. By intravenous injection
4. As eye drops
5. Applied topically to the skin
When you consider what commercial drug companies have turned into, it’s interesting to learn that Albert Searle, founder of Merck’s predecessor company, was an avid researcher and proponent of CS in the early 1900s.1
He reported his findings in his book The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease, and published in the British Medical Journal and Lancet — saying CS has “…the advantage of being rapidly fatal to the parasites — both bacterial and otherwise — without any toxic action on the host”. (page 75)
In 1914, Henry Crookes conducted in vitro lab experiments and found that one part in 2000 killed B. tuberculosis in 4 minutes, and Streptococci and other pathogens in three or four minutes. He said, “I know of no microbe that is not killed in laboratory experiments in six minutes.” [Emphasis mine]
If it’s that good, why didn’t they use it?
This is where I begin to have a few doubts about the colloidal silver story. Tuberculosis was the scourge of mankind before antiobiotics were introduced in the 1940s. I believe it was the number one killer. Being contagious, it wiped out whole families, and it was often a slow lingering death that dragged out for years, with families succumbing one member at a time over a period of decades. If a simple answer like silver was not only available but well-known, it would have created a sensation. Please note this was long before the FDA and big drug companies were around to block access to natural treatments.
Syphilis was another worldwide health problem until the dawn of antibiotics. The only widely-accepted treatment involved mercury, a deadly poison. I have the same question: why didn’t they use silver?
Maybe some well-informed reader out there will see this and tell me. Meanwhile, I’ll speculate a bit: I suspect colloidal silver is probably a mild germ-killer but not powerful enough to overcome serious infections. I suspect it’s useful as an adjunct to other therapies, but it’s not a standalone answer to every killer microbe. Just guessing. . .
Antibiotics eclipsed the silver treatment
After the development of cheap sulfa drugs in 1938 (an early antibiotic), followed later by penicillin, colloidal silver fell out of favor. By 1970 the pharmaceutical companies stopped producing it, and “medical experts” de-listed it from medical reference books.
Today’s conventional doctors know very little about it. Those who’ve heard of it label it medical quackery and caution against its use. It’s politically incorrect to be associated with it.
Officially, the FDA ruled that CS is not useful for the treatment of disease, and can be sold as a dietary supplement only.
Unless you just started getting interested in alternative medicine yesterday, you know there’s no financial incentive for drug companies to research or market non-patentable substances like silver. So there’s a general lack of double blind studies. But there’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence suggesting that CS can heal.
There’s also some recent research…
Dr. Larry C. Ford, MD, working at UCLA Medical School during the 1980’s, documented over 650 different disease-causing pathogens that were “absolutely, positively, undoubtedly slaughtered in minutes” when exposed to small amounts of silver.2
That surely makes silver a great broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Recent studies show silver is effective against MRSA and other deadly antibiotic-resistant super-bugs…
1. Brigham-Young Clinical Study — Published in the journal Current Science in 2006, this study examined a number of antibiotic drugs that had been able to kill MDR (multiple drug resistant) pathogens like MRSA at one time but had lost the ability. The researchers found these drugs could be restored to full effectiveness against these deadly pathogens — but only if a liquid silver solution of colloidal silver was used in conjunction with the drug.3 This seems to support my notion that colloidal silver could be a useful adjunct to other treatments.
2. Iranian Clinical Study — Silver boosts effectiveness of antibiotic drugs against staph infections. The study showed that adding silver to vancomycin, amoxicillin and penicillin almost magically renewed their effectiveness against today’s most deadly pathogens, including MRSA. This also confirms the idea that CS might be more of an adjunct treatment that a standalone.
3. Taiwanese Clinical Study — Published in the journal Colloids Surface B Biointerfaces (2007), this study showed that colloidal silver by itself eradicates MRSA and also Pseudomonas aeruginosa, another deadly super-bug. This study demonstrated beyond doubt that silver could be applied to contact surfaces to stop colonies of MRSA super-bugs from forming.4 But disinfecting a basin or countertop is a long way from being effective in a human.
4. Czech Clinical Study — This Czech study, published in the prestigious Journal of Physical Chemistry B in 2006… demonstrated colloidal silver’s effectiveness against MRSA.
“…silver particles with a narrow size distribution with an average size of 25 nm, which showed high antimicrobial and bactericidal activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including highly multi-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” The study further demonstrated that very low concentrations of silver could be utilized to destroy MRSA, as long as the silver particles were very small, averaging 25 nm.5
What is colloidal silver?
The simple answer is “small silver particles suspended in water”.
Colloidal chemistry is the science of converting minerals or metals into particles sub-microscopic enough to be used by your cells.
By definition, colloids are particles that stay suspended without forming an ionic (dissolved) solution. They are tiny enough to defy gravity. From what we can learn, the best brands of colloidal silver use specially formulated water.
How does CS work?
Tiny silver particles electromagnetically attract sick (or dead) cells and draw them into your bloodstream. From there, your body eliminates them. CS also helps revitalize healthy cells.
Three types of “colloidal” silver
A website that provides lab analysis of colloidal silver (www.silver-colloids.com) reports three different types of silver — all of which have been called colloidal silver. Here’s help in deciphering the types.
1. Ionic silver. The majority of “colloidal silver” products fall into this category due to ease of manufacture and low production costs. They contain both silver ions and silver particles — in about a 90 to10 ratio.
Silver ions are produced by electrolysis and are sometimes called “dissolved” silver or “electro colloids”.
If your product is labeled accurately, it’s called ionic silver — not a true silver colloid. Colloidal particles, in sufficient concentration, absorb visible light causing the colloid to exhibit an “apparent color”. Silver ions don’t absorb visible light, and so are clear and colorless.
To tell if you have ionic silver, pour a little into a cup and add regular table salt (sodium chloride). If it turns white and cloudy, it’s ionic silver.
Most of the machines for home-made CS produce ionic silver.
Ionic silver can be effective, according to our sources. It’s anti-microbial and works only when there’s no chloride present, making it a good topical. But your body’s internal chloride will minimize ionic silver’s benefit for you.
2. Silver Protein. The second most common type is a combination of metallic silver particles and protein binder that keeps particles suspended. Silver protein is poorly absorbed. Not recommended.
Is yours silver protein? Look for these characteristics:
a) Foaming — When shaken, the liquid produces foam that persists for several minutes (the most reliable indicator).
b) Concentration levels, if analyzed, will be very high, 30-20,000 ppm.
c) Color ranges from light amber to nearly black, depending on silver concentration.
3. True Colloidal Silver. This is the least common type due to high production costs. Silver particles constitute 50-80%; the rest are ions.
True silver colloids are never clear like water. Because the particles block light from passing through, the liquid looks darker.
The overall effectiveness of a silver colloid is based on its particle surface area, making that the single most important metric to compare.6
Particle size is critical, as it affects the colloid’s ability to interact with your cells. You also want to know how many parts of silver there are per million, if you want to run the formula below to see if the potion is safe. Did I just mention safety? Why, yes. Keep reading. . .
CS is famous for a certain nasty side effect
Colloidal silver is said to have NO negative side effect on your health. That’s a bit far-fetched.
Too much silver in your system can cause a harmless but ugly condition called “argyria”. This is a condition in which the skin turns blue or bluish-gray. Apparently it does no harm except to make you look ridiculous and more or less unfit to go out in public. Believe me, you don’t want this to happen to you.
More details in a moment, but my quick take is that colloidal silver is for short term or temporary use. As a daily supplement I think it’s a risky idea, to say the least.
There have been some highly-publicized cases of argyria caused by overuse of colloidal silver. One actually involved a man who ran for President on a third-party ticket. It’s something to be concerned about, but let’s try to keep a level head and focus on reliable, useful information, not sensational stories.
Apparently in America today, we’re more willing to tolerate carcinogens that destroy us from within than to take the tiny risk that a certain supplement might harm the way we look. Colloidal silver sounds to me like it has some merit as a treatment.
It shouldn’t be banned because a few people overuse it and harm themselves, any more than alcohol should be banned because a few people are alcoholic. It sounds to me like the people who turned blue didn’t exercise common sense.
Just because a little is good for you,
it doesn’t mean a lot is better
Colloidal silver is one of the most popular supplements today, said to be used by 10 million people just in North America. (Who’s counting? Don’t ask me.)
No one has ever died from it. And to my knowledge, there are no specific adverse events reported to the FDA, except for the handful of argyria cases — which were all caused by excessive daily CS use over long time periods.
So, how much is too much?
The EPA’s “safe” daily oral Reference Dose includes silver from all sources and aims at preventing argyria. So the most rational advice is to aim for 25% of EPA’s “safe” limit, just in case you’re ingesting silver elsewhere in your diet.
Invision International Health Solutions created a universal formula for getting the right dose, trademarked as their “12-for-25™ rule,” which you can read about here: www.silverfacts.com/safety.html
Basically, the formula is 12 times your body weight, divided by the colloidal silver ppm. Stick to that, and you should be fine. But again… I cannot guarantee how your body will respond to it. Everyone is different.
It’s a neat little formula, but it’s not all that easy to be sure how many parts per million you’re getting. As I already mentioned, two of the three types of colloidal silver on the market appear to give little or no health benefit and the third type — the one you want — is fairly rare because it’s expensive to make (yes, my friends, supplement companies like to make money and they’ve been known to cut corners.)
As I said, I believe CS shows great promise as a widespread germicide, but don’t go hog-wild and consume 12 oz. per day, unless you’re using it only intermittently and short-term to deter a cold, flu, infection, or the like. When it comes to taking it every day, I’ve got safe, effective immune-system boosters that don’t involve these risks.
Intrigued? Sources for further information:
5. Colloidal Silver Today: The All Natural, Wide-Spectrum Germ Killer by Warren Jefferson
I’d love to hear your stories about colloidal silver.
And meanwhile, a gas is found in many homes that causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year — second only to smoking tobacco! If you missed this story last week, scroll down and read it now.