Prior to the advent of patentable and more profitable antibiotics, medicines containing silver were the most widely prescribed infection fighters by doctors and there were no fewer than 34 different approved prescription and over the counter medications which contained silver. Now, after the elimination of most large particle and silver nitrate products and after improved technology has made nano-sized particles that require far less parts per million, colloidal silver proponents claim that it is safer and more effective than ever. At the same time, however, it has become the subject of increasing attacks by mainstream medicine, which labels colloidal silver as a scam, as quackery and as a dangerous substance with no proven value.
When it is pointed out that colloidal and nano-silver are used by NASA, Potters for Peace, the Hong Kong Subway System, Cure-Aid, and major hospital burn units, the detractors often concede that perhaps it works externally; however, they maintain that when it is taken internally it is ineffective and it causes dangerous toxicity due to silver build-up. In a familiar refrain when it comes to silver and other alternatives to mainstream drugs, it is also claimed that colloidal silver taken internally has no “scientifically” proven benefits. One of the most widely publicized warnings is that colloidal silver causes people to turn blue due to a skin condition known as argyria.
Yet, the EPA says that 90-95% of ingested silver particles are eliminated from the body within two days and 99% are gone within a week (1). Furthermore, the bluest of the blue people, “Papa Smurf” Paul Karason was given a clean bill of health at Mount Sinai Hospital. (2) Karason, like the Montana senator who has bluish skin, did not actually take colloidal silver. Instead, he took large quantities of home-made ionic silver made with tap water and contaminated with salt for a prolonged period of time.
When it comes to scientific studies regarding the benefits of internal silver, in 2008 researchers in Hungary found specific silver receptors on human tissue – an indication that silver plays an important role in human health. (3) A joint study between the University of Texas and Mexico University published in the Journal of Nanotechnology showed that silver nano-particles of sizes 1-10nm attached to HIV-1 prevented the virus from bonding to host cells. (4)
Another study, conducted by the Department of Microbiology at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, and published in the prestigious Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, found that nano-silver was comparable in effectiveness to Amphotericin B, one of the most powerful prescription antifungal drugs known to man, which is often used intravenously to cure serious systemic fungal infections. The same study also found that nan-silver was superior to the well-known anti-fungal drug fluconazole (popularly known as Diflucan). (5)
In a recently completed study conducted by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Akron, Ohio, and presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, researchers infected a group of mice with the bacteria Pseudomona aeroginosa. Psuedomona aeroginosa is a common cause of bacterial pneumonia in humans, especially those on ventilators, those with cystic fibrosis or those with compromised immune systems. Once infected, all the mice then inhaled aerosolized nano-particles once per day. In half of the mice, these particles contained antimicrobial particles known as silver carbene complexes (SCCs).
Mice that inhaled the SCCs had significantly lower concentrations of bacteria in their lungs than mice inhaling placebo nano-particles. Most significantly, none of the mice in the SCC group died, while all the mice in the control group did. (6)
Perhaps most exciting is the results of recent year studies on colloidal silver and cancer. In a breast and colon cancer study published in 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research, researchers concluded that colloidal silver might be a potential alternative agent for breast cancer therapy.(7) Another study on Dalton’s lymphoma and ascites published that same year in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, researchers confirmed the anti-tumor properties of silver nanoparticles and suggested that silver could be a cost-effective alternative in the treatment of cancer and angiogenesis.(9)
In 2012 British researchers at Leeds University compared silver to the popular chemotherapy drug Cisplatin and found that silver could kill breast and colon cancer cells more effectively than chemotherapy without the nausea, hair loss and other side effects of the chemotherapy drug.(9)
Were all those doctors who prescribed silver products and the scientists who conducted the studies liars, scammers or quacks? Or could it be that mainstream medicine and its advocates are attacking colloidal silver because it represents a huge threat to billions in profits from patented drugs which are more expensive, less safe and often less effective?
Meanwhile, millions of people around the world are taking colloidal silver and reporting cures and success against pneumonia, staph, candida, MRSA, Chrohn’s, Lyme, the H1N1 flu, and much more.
1. The Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Risk Information Program (IRIS), Silver; CASRN 7440-22-4
3. The Crusador – interview with Dr. Eric Rentz, circa June 2008
7. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 16;29:148. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-29-148.