The human body doesn't need silver. It's not an essential mineral, and it serves no biological function.
Some silver-containing ointments can be applied to the skin and have some health benefits. Topical silver has the following health benefits:
The theory is that in order to develop argyria you would need to consume silver compounds for a prolonged period. The exact amount and time period that could put you at risk are unknown (16).
Test tube studies have supported many of these claims. In tests, colloidal silver was shown to exert powerful antibacterial and antiviral effects. The studies do not show what happens beyond the test tube.
It doesn't pose any risk of argyria as long as it is applied topically in small quantities.
However, colloidal silver is unsafe because of the unknown environmental and health hazards.
Many colloidal silver products were taken off the shelves of drugstores following the FDA ruling. However, they are now rebranded as dietary supplement or homeopathic remedies.
Pregnant and nursing mothers who are considering colloidal silver as an option to other cold and flu medications should remember that there has never been a trial to prove it safe for their baby. If something isn't safe to use, it can't be recommended.
The antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of colloidal silver are claimed. There is no evidence to support the claims of colloidal silver's health benefits.
The body does not know what colloidal silver is, despite claims to the contrary. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ruled that colloidal silver products are neither safe nor effective in 1999 and sued several manufacturers for false claims of health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most people are already being exposed to silver every day from their environment.
If you are taking silver-containing food supplements or working in an area that is exposed to high amounts of silver, you're most at risk for developing argyria.
Colloidal silver can cause poisoning and even death if ingested. There is little evidence that silver has the same antimicrobial properties when it is internalized.
Some cosmetics and acne treatments use colloidal silver as an ingredient. It is sometimes used in eye drops to prevent conjunctivitis among newborns.
A lack of studies has also been done on the effects colloidal silver consumption on fungal infections in people.
Many colloidal silver manufacturers claim that their products can stimulate the immune system and help the body heal. The supplement is believed to aid in wound healing and improve skin conditions. It can also prevent or treat diseases such as flu, pneumonia, eye infections, shingles and AIDS.
The healing of skin injuries can also be promoted by colloidal silver. A 2007 study found that silver-containing wound dressings provide a better barrier to infection than other products with similar claims.
It is present in small amounts in water and food supplies, as well as in the air we breathe.
Silver toxicity is uncommon, but it can build up in the body over many months or years. According to research by Imperial College, London, this can cause severe disfigurement as well as potentially dangerous deposits in the liver and kidneys, muscle, brain, and spleen.
Topical colloidal-silver products claim to be germ-fighting and antimicrobial. This claim is supported by at least one clinical study. Some studies have shown promise for silver nanoparticles in dressings and bandages.
Argyria refers to a condition where the skin turns a blue-gray due to the buildup of silver metal particles. Silver deposits can also be found in the liver, kidneys, and other organs (16).