The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings to companies marketing colloidal silver products that make false claims of treating or preventing the coronavirus infection COVID-19 (15).
Colloid silver users may not experience side effects immediately. These concerns are more about the long-term effects of colloidal silver usage, as the particles slowly accumulate in tissues and organs.
It doesn't pose any risk of argyria as long as it is applied topically in small quantities.
Colloidal Silver is composed of silver particles suspended in liquid. Colloidal silver is often made at home using generators. It was common to use silver medicinals for treating disorders like epilepsy, menorrhea, or colds up until the mid-20th Century. Silver was gradually replaced by safer therapies over the past decade. It is not essential and serves no physiological function. It can cause protein denature by binding to the reactive groups.
A 2018 Iranian study concluded that silver nanoparticles in a topical cream could reduce inflammation and speed up skin's regrowth.
The body doesn't naturally produce silver, so it isn’t a vitamin and mineral. It doesn't matter if you don't have enough silver, or if you aren't getting enough.
It is believed to be an effective treatment for all kinds of infections and disease, including the common cold and cancer.
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.
The EPA has created a dosing reference chart that suggests that you shouldn't consume more than 5 micrograms of silver per kilogram. This applies to oral, topical and environmental.
Colloidal silver is not recommended for pregnant women because it can cause developmental abnormalities within the fetus (1).
However, this does not mean that silver has no health benefits. Colloidal silver can be applied topically to the skin to aid in healing and prevent infection.
The most popular commercial form of colloidal silver is a liquid tincture. It is available in most health food stores. You can also buy it as a powder for your skin. Some people make their own colloidal gold at home using a special machine.
Silver can bind to proteins and is unstable in suspension. Silver compounds are hemisilver-sulfides, which can inactivate enzymes. Silver can also bind amino, carboxyl and phosphate groups (1). Silver is found to accumulate in the livers of rats, and it binds with different tissues and basal cells. It also affects activities of glutathione and lactate peroxidase as well as the peroxidation and metabolism of membrane lipids ((4)).
This means that silver-containing products can be used in short-term treatment.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most people are already being exposed to silver every day from their environment.
A small study didn't find any benefits from a colloidal nasal spray for improving chronic rhinosinusitis recalcitrants (14). Silver compounds are still being used as antiseptics in external preparations. However, colloidal silver has been increasingly popular as an oral alternative to traditional medicine. While in vitro studies show antitumor properties (8), no human data supports oral colloidal silver. Despite lacking evidence, it has been promoted as a way to treat AIDS, cancer, and diabetes. The skin and mucous membranes can become silvery, leading to an irreversible condition known as argyria. It is characterised by bluish-gray or gray-black pigmentation. Other adverse effects include seizures (6). Colloidal silver should not be consumed by pregnant women as it can cause developmental abnormalities for the fetus (1).
Numerous studies have examined the effects of silver-containing dressings on wounds and skin ulcers. Many studies have shown that silver particles can be used to treat skin conditions such as diabetic ulcers, skin lesions, skin grafts and bed sores.
The classic example of anecdotal evidence that is vastly different from scientific research is colloidal silver. Remember that oral colloidal Silver is not a product that has been approved by the FDA.
Silver oral long-term can cause the skin to become bluish-gray/gray-black. It can also lead to seizures and kidney damage. It can harm the fetus, so pregnant women should avoid colloidal silver.
The human body doesn't need silver. It's not an essential mineral, and it serves no biological function.
Companies that claim colloidal silver can cure diseases like cancer and HIV without clinical evidence are lying. There are other safe ways to stay healthy, prevent disease and recover from illness.