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What is Colloidal Silver?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 02 August 2014
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Colloidal silver is a suspension of tiny silver particles in water; a solid dispersed throughout a liquid base in this manner is known in chemistry as a colloid. It has a long history of use in the medical world, where it has been used as a topical antiseptic and internally as an antibiotic to treat many complaints and to boost immune health. This substance is currently designated as a supplement rather than a medication by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it has been known to cause a rare but irreversible condition known as argyria.

Colloidal silver was frequently prescribed in past decades, both internally and externally, but it waned in popularity as a result of the introduction of more effective antibiotics. It is also used to keep water potable, or drinkable by humans, for extended periods of time, as well as to treat burns. Silver nitrate is administered to the eyes of newborns to prevent gonorrhea or chlamydia from being transmitted via the mother.

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In addition to the appearance of more effective medications on the market, argyria cases were partially responsible for the decline in use of colloidal silver. People with argyria develop blue-grey skin, usually through ingesting significant amounts of colloidal silver, but sometimes on areas that have been treated topically. Though the condition is rare and not associated with any other complications or increased mortality, it can be devastating. People with argyria are often heavily discriminated against and can have difficulty finding and keeping jobs or being accepted in society.

Despite the health risks associated with colloidal silver, the product has once again become popular as an alternative remedy and immune booster. Since it is designated as a supplement, however, it is not heavily regulated by the FDA, and some products may be little more than purified water. There is no strong evidence to support the benefits claimed for colloidal silver supplements, but the risks are undoubtedly real. Make sure to research thoroughly the pros and cons of any dietary supplement you are considering and to discuss any regimen changes with your doctor beforehand.

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Discuss this Article

ZipLine
Post 3

Colloidal silver has antibacterial, antimicrobial properties. But colloidal silver and antibiotics cannot be taken together because they interact negatively.

bluedolphin
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I take colloidal silver several times a week to avoid getting sick. I have a poor immune system because I have a very stressful job. I used to get sick all the time before I started taking colloidal silver. Colloidal silver works like antibiotics, without the many side effects of antibiotics.

I agree with you that there are different quality colloidal silver products on the market. But if you purchase a good one, you won't have any problems. Argyria is only a risk at extremely high doses but you won't find colloidal silver products that are that potent.

It's a good idea to take a break from colloidal silver every once in a while to avoid build-up in the system and that's what I do. There are times when I don't take it for a month or two months.

ddljohn
Post 1

Colloidal silver is a controversial remedy. I've heard many different opinions of it. Some people say that it's an effective antiseptic that's harmless if used at right doses and for short periods of time. Other people say that it has not been proven to be effective and that it's dangerous to take it in any amount. Also, it's hard to know which colloidal silver products on the market are really colloidal silver.

I've been tempted to buy and try colloidal silver water a few times, but I'm still undecided as to whether it's really safe and effective.

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