When ingested, colloidal silver has the potential to cause toxicity and, in rare cases, death. Moreover, there remains little evidence that silver exerts the same antimicrobial properties when internalized.
Colloidal silver also interferes with your body’s absorption of certain drugs. These include antibiotics and thyroid deficiency medication.
However, many things can kill fungi in a lab, and this doesn’t mean that colloidal silver can treat fungal infections in humans.
Manufacturers of colloidal silver often broadly claim that their products are capable of stimulating the immune system and helping the body heal itself. Proponents believe that the supplement can aid in wound healing, improve skin disorders, and either prevent or treat diseases like flu, pneumonia, herpes, eye infections, shingles, cancer, and AIDS.
Nursing and pregnant women who try colloidal silver as an alternative to some cold and flu drugs should keep in mind that no trial has ever proven colloidal silver to be safe for a developing baby. When things aren’t proven safe, they can’t be recommended for use.
At the moment, there is little evidence to support the claim that colloidal silver is a reliable topical antifungal agent.
Silver had been used in medicine for centuries, touted as a cure-all for everything from tuberculosis and arthritis to herpes and cancer. Even today, many alternative practitioners believe that colloidal silver offers health benefits by supporting immune function and preventing or treating infections, both common and severe.
There have been some benefits from applying silver-containing ointments to the skin. Health claims of topical silver include:
Argyria is a condition that turns the skin a blue-gray color due to a buildup of silver metal particles in the body and skin. Silver deposits can also occur in the intestines, liver, kidneys and other organs (16).
Many of these claims have been supported by test tube studies in which colloidal silver has been shown to exert powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. What the studies fail to show is what happens outside of the test tube.
Colloidal silver is also claimed to promote healing of skin wounds. According to a 2007 study, silver-containing wound dressings are a more effective barrier against infection than other products that make similar claims.
Additionally, no studies have investigated the effects of ingesting colloidal silver on fungal infections in humans.
Despite claims to the contrary, colloidal silver has no known function in the body. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled in 1999 that these colloidal silver products were neither safe nor effective and sued a number of manufacturers over false health claims.
If you’re prescribed an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, taking colloidal silver might prevent that prescription from working effectively. That means taking silver would actually keep you feeling sick for longer.
However, the environmental and health risks of silver nanoparticles are not well understood, and ingesting colloidal silver is considered unsafe.
While many colloidal silver products were removed from drugstore shelves following the FDA ruling, they have since been rebranded as dietary supplements or homeopathic remedies, neither of which require FDA approval.
Topical colloidal silver products claim to be antimicrobial, germ-fighting agents. At least one clinical study indicates that this claim may be questionable. Other studies show some promise when silver nanoparticles are incorporated into bandages and dressings for wounds.
It’s present in very tiny amounts in drinking water, the food supply and even the air you breathe.
Marketed as a remedy for a range of health problems, colloidal silver is a solution of tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid base. It's typically taken orally, but some products are sprayed, applied to the skin, or injected into a vein.
Colloidal silver is an ingredient in some acne treatments and cosmetics. It’s also sometimes used in an eye drop formula to prevent conjunctivitis in newborns.
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.