This has led to its inclusion in certain healthcare products, such as wound dressings, creams, and medical equipment (7, 11, 13).
The body might absorb less antibiotics from colloidal silver. Some antibiotics may be less effective if colloidal silver is taken with them. Coloidal silver can interact with some antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin(Cipro), Penetrex (enoxacin), norfloxacin [Chibroxin Noroxin], sparfloxacin (“Zagam”), trovafloxacin (“Trovan”) and grepafloxacin “Raxar”).
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.
It is still not clear how colloidal silver works. It is believed that silver can bind with bacteria cells, damaging their DNA and causing cell death.
Colloid silver supplement manufacturers often claim that their products can fight infection, boost immunity, and treat cancer.
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.
Due to the potential risks of ingesting colloidal Silver, it has not been proven effective as an antibacterial treatment for humans (12).
Silver builds up in the body when it is taken by mouth. This can cause a blue-gray discoloration in your skin, eyes and gums over a period of months or years. This is called argyria by doctors (ahr JIR-eh). This is usually permanent. High doses of colloidal Silver can sometimes cause seizures or organ damage.
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.
The way in which commercially available colloidal solutions are made can be very different.
Colloidal silver can also interact with prescription medications, such as penicillamine (Cuprimine or Depen), quinolone antibiotics (Tetracycline) and levothyroxine. (Unithroid Levoxyl, Synthroid).
Even so, colloidal silver never left the drugstore shelves. In 1999 the FDA declared that over-the-counter products containing colloidal silver ingredients were “misbranded” and “not generally recognized as safe,” banning its sale as an OTC drug. But in practice that just means it sits on a different shelf in the pharmacy, as a supplement now instead of a medication.
It is important to note that not all colloidal silver products can be used in the same way and could have dangerous side effects.
The body might absorb less tetracycline antibiotics if it is supplemented with colloidal silver. The effectiveness of tetracycline anti-biotics could be decreased if you take colloidal silver along with it. This interaction can be avoided by taking colloidal silver 2 hours or 4 hours prior to or after taking tetracyclines. There are a few tetracyclines that can be used, including minocycline and declomycin (Declomycin), as well as tetracycline and Achromycin.
Fast forward to 2013, when Gwyneth Paltrow came on Dr. Oz's show to talk about how she keeps herself and her family happy and healthy. Colloidal silver was one of her four wellness tips—she said she regularly sprays it under her tongue and on airplane seats to keep viruses away. "This has a ton of data behind it," Oz agreed, having apparently forgotten the blue man he doubted. Oz told Paltrow he uses colloidal silver as a daily throat spray, and so do his kids. "This was the first antibiotic," he said.
Numerous studies have shown that silver nanoparticles can be used to kill viruses (13).
There have not been any solid scientific studies that evaluated these health claims published in respected medical journals. The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration have taken legal action against numerous companies in the United States for making unproven claims about health.
But the colloidal silver solutions were problematic too. It’s very difficult to control or analyze how much of the silver is ionized, so a patient has no way of knowing how much active silver they’re ingesting or applying—rendering it either useless or, on the other extreme, so potent it results in argyria. So colloidal silver was mostly abandoned by the medical establishment, which moved on to safer and more effective applications of silver, such as in wound dressings or as an infection-fighting additive to joint replacements. Recent tests of modern colloidal silver products found they had no significant antimicrobial properties and left most bacteria unscathed (even after six minutes).
The amount of nanoparticles present in a colloid solution may vary. A recent study showed that colloidal silver was ineffective in killing viruses even under test-tube conditions (9).
Colloidal silver products consist of small silver particles suspended in liquid. This is the same metal that's used in silverware, dental fillings, and jewelry.
Blossom—who has a very different media diet—also keeps colloidal silver handy. She mostly uses it for cuts and scrapes on herself and her dog. “It works incredibly effectively and quickly,” she says. “I've been using it for years.” Like Javier, she thinks the most important thing she can do for her health isn’t to heed the FDA’s warnings but to trust her instincts and her own research. “I don’t subscribe to what the FDA says, nor do I subscribe to what the medical community says, generally,” Blossom says. “I don’t think they are pure in their intentions.”