What's The Deal With Colloidal Silver?

What's The Deal With Colloidal Silver?

After you’ve delved into the world of silver bullion, you might happen across a few websites selling some variation of colloidal silver. This is when silver is broken down into small particles inside a water solution, and oftentimes will be advertised as a disinfectant or health product of some kind. However, ingesting silver can have negative side effects, and peer-reviewed research shows no beneficial reason to consume this for health reasons.

Before we make any conclusions though, let’s go over some of the hype about colloidal silver. 

Silver as An Antimicrobial 

Colloidal silver does show some beneficial effects when it comes to reduction of microbial growth. Although, these seem to have a larger effect on gram-negative bacteria versus gram-positive bacteria. The easiest way to describe the difference between these two is that gram-positive bacteria have a much thicker cell wall. So does colloidal silver have any antimicrobial properties? Yes. Does this translate to being able to inhibit the growth of all bacteria? No. Is it being investigated as an alternative to antibiotics? No. 

There are certainly other cleaning products that you can use that are shown to be more efficacious at reducing household bacteria than using an overpriced colloidal silver product. To lend the argument against using silver as an antimicrobial for everyday use, colloidal silver is not standardized. This means that you don’t know the exact concentration of the product you’re using is the same across the board. 

Colloidal Silver Taken Orally 

This is the one that really gets to me. I can rationalize why some people might use not so honest sales practices over a good deal of products, but I cannot agree with those who infer colloidal silver should be ingested. The body has no natural way of dealing with the element of silver in its digestive tract, and as a consequence it can lead to buildup of silver particulate in various tissues. In fact, for those who have consumed silver for decades, this can lead to a condition called Argyria. This is a permanent appearance of a bluish tinge on your skin due to the buildup of silver. There are treatments for this condition, but they don’t seem all too fun. If you’re down for naturopathy, I have absolutely nothing against your beliefs, but don’t put your own health at risk by consuming heavy metals.

Why Is It So Popular? 

I don’t have an obvious answer to this question. My best guess would be that it has been used historically in wound dressings in the past, and silver does still have a place in modern medicine. In fact 1/5 of the cost of all wound dressings in the UK are due to silver being used to inhibit infectious growth. However, these preparations of silver are done under the direction of trained physicians who know when it’s use is indicated. They never suggest ingesting silver as a means to treat an infection. If you rationally think this out, how could you target the area of infection by drinking colloidal silver? It deposits itself in various tissues and does not target the infected area.

It's important that you stay safe, if you want to use an alternative therapy, talk to your physician about it’s safety first. Physicians are held accountable by professional regulatory schools, whereas someone on the internet might not be. Especially if they're using loopholes to sell you the product. 

The TLDR of this article: don’t drink silver in any form. If you know someone that does - have a discussion with them. Do this without attacking their core beliefs. Let them know that their safety is your number 1 concern, not whether you’re right or wrong. The free market works, and if individuals stop purchasing these products then sellers won’t attempt to make a profit off of them anymore. I rarely take a stand on specific products, but when they have a direct impact on the health of individuals it’s definitely something that I stand against. Stay informed, stay stacking, and stay safe. 

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