More Questions and Answers about Colloidal Silver

Q. What does “Colloidal” mean?The word “Colloidal” refers to something which has such a small particle size that when it is suspended (not dissolved) in a liquid medium (such as water) the particles neither sink to the bottom nor float to the top. The particles are also “ionic”, which means that all the particles have the same molecular charge, so they repel each other. In the case of Colloidal Silver (CS), the particles are as small as 1/7,000th the size of a red blood cell, which makes them very easy to assimilate.

What about purity? How long does Colloidal Silver last?

Colloidal Silver doesn’t “spoil” like most other supplements do. Since no organisms can live in CS, nothing can make it “spoil”. When CS is made using the low-voltage method, over a period of time some of the silver ions lose their charge and are attracted to other nearby ions, where they clump or “aggregate” together. When this happens, the CS begins to change color as the silver particles become large enough to refract light.

Depending upon the batch -how long it was “brewed”, what kind of “starter” was used, what level voltage and current was used, what type of purified water was used, etc. – the CS may acquire a color ranging from colourless to light yellow to dark gold, or even a grayish cloudiness. None of this effects the efficacy of CS. Even were the CS to reach a color of dark brown or purple, it would not be toxic, though it is believed by many that it is less assimilable.

So, CS is never toxic or dangerous?

CS must be made using water which is free from all minerals or contaminants; otherwise, while it is being made, the silver ions may join with other minerals in the water to form various silver salts, or compounds (like silver-nitrate, or silver-chloride). Some of these compounds are thought to be toxic to the human body. Generally, the best form of water is steam distilled or de-ionized water.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Poison Control Center reports no toxicity listing for Colloidal Silver; it is therefore considered harmless in any concentration. However all of the silver salts are identified as toxic, although the only adverse effect noted is Argyria. Therefore the concern is with silver salts not Colloidal Silver.

What about Argyria, the “blue skin” disease?

The reality is that there is not a single recorded case anywhere of anyone developing Argyria from the use of Colloidal Silver. What few cases are on record involve the extended use over long periods of time of enormous quantities of silver salts, meaning silver joined with other, sometimes toxic, substances (like silver-nitrate). No amount of Colloidal Silver has ever been shown to cause Argyria.

The Director of the Life Sciences Division at John Hopkins University, made the following comments:

“We recently completed an extensive review of the scientific literature on the safety of silver, especially as it relates to its one known potential side effect, namely, Argyria. Argyia is an irreversible discoloration of the pigment (skin) caused by excessive silver intake or chronic exposure to silver by certain tissues. The amount of silver required to develop Argyria is estimated to be 3.8 grams per day.”

“By comparison standard 10 ppm colloidal silver contains silver in amounts equaling less than 1 milligram of silver (1,000 micrograms = 1 milligram; 1,000 milligrams – 1 gram), which therefore represents an amount approximately 1/500th to 1/1000th of the amount of silver considered to be a risk in the development of Argyria. Most cases of Argyria reported in the medical literature over the last 100 years involved chronic intravenous or intramuscular use of the silver preparations, most often involving a silver drug prescribed by physicians which in most cases contained silver nitrate.”

“Other cases of Argyria reported in the medical literature involve application of silver preparations used for many months or years in the treatment of the eye or vagina for certain diseases. We could not locate a single case of orally consumed colloidal silver manufactured in the last 25 years causing Argyria in our review of the literature. This is probably due to the low levels of silver contained in such preparations, since only very small amounts of silver are needed for its antiseptic effect.”

“Humans consume approximately 100 micrograms of silver every day in the diet. Additional amounts within this range would be considered safe by all reasonable estimates, especially if the amount needed to develop Argyria would be equivalent of 380,000 micrograms (or 3.8 grams) of silver a day. As for the efficacy of silver preparations, we found considerable scientific evidence published over the last 75 years that a number of silver compounds can be effective germicidal (antiseptic) agents against several hundred pathogenic organisms.”

What is the best ppm to use? How much CS is needed?

The letters, ppm, stand for Parts Per Million. Based upon reports from Health Professionals all over the world, the presence of silver ions in almost any ppm is beneficial to the human body.

In 1996, Dr. I. H. Tipton reported in the journal, “Health Physics”, that the ideal daily intake of silver was 50-100 mcg. He believes silver to be an important trace mineral used by the body like chromium and selenium. Dr. Paul Farber reported, “Information about how much silver may have been in our ancestors diet is speculative; however, given the authoritative report by our own government some 60 years ago there is reason to believe that supplementing the body’s intake of silver makes sense. One tsp of 10 PPM colloidal silver .001 to .004 particle size contains approximately 50 mcg (millionths of a gram). Therefore two teaspoons would contain an equivalent level to that found in the USA food supply of more than 60 years ago.

It could be argued that the amount taken to reach a level equal to our pre-industrialized ancestors could even be more than double that figure.” Remarkable results have been reported with ppm levels as low as .3 ppm. That’s one third of 1 ppm! Some CS producers claim to make their product as high as 1000 ppm, using 10,000 volts of electricity. But the beneficial effect appears to be consistently positive, whatever the ppm or quantities of CS consumed. Some people experience benefits ingesting as little as 1/4 teaspoon per day, while others settle on 1 to 2 ounces or more per day.

What happens if I take too much? Can I overdose?

The only negative effect reported by CS users is a phenomenon called the “Herxheimer effect”, named after doctor Karl Herxheimer (who identified this phenomenon). Sometimes, when a person starts off for the first time ingesting a large amount of CS, the CS is so efficient at killing pathogens in the body that the body cannot adequately dispose of the dead pathogens through the normal eliminative organs, and it resorts to the secondary ones, the lungs, sinuses and skin. Or the CS user may experience diarrhea, as the body tries to flush itself out.

In that case, one merely needs to reduce or temporarily stop the CS until the healing crisis is over, and then start taking smaller amounts of CS. A new European Union Drinking Water Standard in draft form has removed any limitations on silver in drinking water following the World Health Organization’s “Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality” which states, “It is unnecessary to recommend any health-based guidelines for silver as it is not hazardous to human health.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Poison Control Center, CS is considered harmless. Dr. Samuel Etris, a senior consultant at the Silver Institute, says there has never been any allergenic, toxic or carcinogenic reactions to CS. The U.S. Government’s Center for Disease Control confirmed that fact in 1995.

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