Over the years I’ve been bombarded with questions about the claims being made against colloidal silver usage by MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and similar medical-related organizations.
I usually take the time to answer those questions individually. But frankly, it’s getting awfully hard to keep up with them since they’re asked so often. So I’ve written this rather lengthy article simply to put to rest some of the most egregious of the online claims against colloidal silver being regurgitated by MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other medical organizations like them.
These are my opinions, of course. But they’re based on over 20 years worth of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage (I’m author of the world’s #1 best-selling book on colloidal silver, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual), as well as by the countless clinical studies on colloidal silver I’ve read, and the countless testimonials I’ve received from long-time colloidal silver users (not to mention my own 20-plus years of colloidal silver usage).
Finally, please understand, I don’t feel any compunction about putting MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other medical organizations like them under the spotlight, especially concerning some of the dubious claims they’ve made against colloidal silver. So if you enjoy seeing the “big boys” get their rightful comeuppance, then let’s get started, and let the chips fall where they may…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and a small handful of other medical-related organizations routinely decry colloidal silver usage as being “unsafe,” “ineffective,” “unproven,” “potentially dangerous” and more.
Among the specific charges such medical organizations routinely make are these:
- Colloidal silver is not an essential mineral supplement.
- Colloidal silver has no known function in the body.
- Colloidal silver products that are marketed for medical purposes are now considered “misbranded” under the law.
- Colloidal silver is not considered safe or effective for any of the health claims that manufacturers make.
- No sound scientific studies to evaluate health claims made about colloidal silver have been published in reputable medical journals.
- The Food and Drug Administration has taken action against some manufacturers of colloidal silver products for making unproven health claims.
- Colloidal silver can build up in your body’s tissues over months or years. Most commonly, this results in argyria, a blue-gray discoloration of skin, eyes, internal organs, nails and gums.
- Excessive doses of colloidal silver can cause possibly irreversible serious health problems, including kidney damage and neurological problems such as seizures.
- When taken orally, colloidal silver can wreak havoc on proteins.
- Colloidal silver usage can make other medicines less effective.
- For pregnant women, colloidal silver poses risks to the unborn child, as fetal abnormalities may develop due to its use.
What’s more, those charges have been spread all over the internet (in articles such as this one and this one and this one), usually by people who are either well-meaning and believe everything orthodox medicine tells them, or by people who appear to have an underlying agenda in disparaging colloidal silver and working to scare people away from trying it.
Finally, it’s important to note that these charges are in reality just FDA “talking points” on colloidal silver that are being regurgitated by MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other medical-related sites who repeat them online, ad nauseum. Some of these claims are even outdated FDA talking points that the FDA itself no longer uses due to them being thoroughly debunked.
So let’s examine these scary “talking points” one at a time, and see what we can learn about them. I’ll tell you in advance what we’ll discover. Almost every one of those “talking points” are indeed true. But they’re purposely utilized out-of-context, in a deceptive manner designed specifically to frighten people away from even thinking about colloidal silver usage. Let me show you what I mean…
- Claim #1: Colloidal silver is not an essential mineral supplement.
TRUE. Colloidal silver is not an essential mineral supplement, in the same manner as, say, the mineral calcium, which is essential to the building of strong bones and teeth, or the mineral sodium, which is needed by the body for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
But here’s the proper context the purveyors of this statement always leave out: There are thousands of natural health products ingested by people every single day that are not “essential” to human biological function. They’re extremely helpful, but not “essential.”
For example, the mineral lithium is not an “essential” mineral, either, yet doctors prescribe hundreds of thousands of doses of it every year for mood stabilization, depression, bipolar disorder and more. And natural health enthusiasts who suffer from mood problems also take small amounts of lithium as a mineral supplement, for the same purposes. Indeed, if you Google “mineral supplements with lithium” you’ll find 430,000 web pages about it. That’s representative of a lot of lithium mineral supplement usage.
Likewise, the mineral vanadium is not an “essential” mineral. But it’s often used by people with diabetes, low blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart disease, tuberculosis or even water retention. Indeed, numerous medical studies on vanadium’s effectiveness exist, with titles like, “The Role Of Vanadium In The Management Of Diabetes.” WebMD even admits that “There is some evidence that vanadium might act like insulin, or help to increase the effects of insulin.”
Again, vanadium is not considered by medical science to be an “essential” mineral. The body doesn’t need it to perform any function. But that doesn’t stop it from being an astonishingly helpful mineral in terms of improvements to the health and well-being of those who take it.
The mineral gold is also not an “essential” mineral, yet it’s been prescribed for decades by doctors for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. The mineral gold is also used by natural health enthusiasts, in the colloidal form, for improved immunity, mental focus, mood and memory. It’s also been used by alcoholics to help mitigate alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Again, gold is not in the least bit “essential” to human biological function, but it’s been demonstrated to be extremely helpful to many people.
What's more, people routinely ingest medications that are not “essential," as well. Let’s be honest here: Is the antibiotic drug penicillin “essential” to any kind of human biological function whatsoever? Of course not. Yet, as you likely know, the supposed medical experts at Mayo Clinic and WebMD would not hesitate to prescribe and administer penicillin (or some other antibiotic drug) to someone who has an infection, in spite of the fact that it’s not “essential” to the human body.
Likewise, Motrin (i.e., the most popular brand of the pain reliever ibuprofen) is not “essential” to human biological function. But doctors have no problem prescribing it because it works wonders for stopping pain.
Multitudes of foods we eat are not “essential” either. Fritos certainly aren’t “essential.” Neither are Pop Tarts. Grape juice isn’t “essential” to the function of the human body, either. Neither is milk. Neither is toast (though I’d argue that French toast should be essential, especially when smothered in organic Maple syrup J).
Are you beginning to get an idea of how ridiculous this charge against colloidal silver usage is?
Don’t you think it’s supremely hypocritical for MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other medical organizations to rail against the use of colloidal silver, claiming that silver is not an “essential” mineral, yet they have no problem whatsoever with people taking prescription antibiotic drugs, or other drugs, none of which are “essential” to human biological function, either?
So much for this old canard about silver not being an “essential” mineral.
The claim is nothing more than a clever but thoroughly hypocritical and disingenuous scare tactic used by MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other online organizations like them to make colloidal silver usage appear to be outside the normal purview of mineral supplementation, when in reality, it’s just another useful mineral like all of the others.
- Claim #2: Colloidal silver has no known function in the body.
TRUE. But this is just a thinly veiled variation of the above disingenuous tactic. When scientists say silver has "no known function" in the body, they mean it doesn't perform a specific biological function, such as keeping the heart beating, or helping the liver excrete toxins, or triggering the production of digestive juices, etc.
But what they fail to point out is that silver is a regular part of the dietary intake of almost every human being on planet earth. As Dartmouth University has pointed out:
"Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet. Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.
Is silver harmful to humans? Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects."
-- Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program
What’s more, silver does kill pathogens, as hundreds of clinical studies have repeatedly demonstrated (see here) and as millions of colloidal silver users who have witnessed their infections disappear after taking colloidal silver can attest (see hundreds of in-depth colloidal silver testimonials, here).
Silver has also been empirically and clinically demonstrated to relieve inflammation, reduce pain and even increase the rate of healing of cuts, burns, bites, various types of skin outbreaks (including acne, MRSA boils) and much more.
So my answer to the charge by groups like MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them who claim that “colloidal silver has no known function in the body” is this: So what? Toothpaste has “no known function in the human body,” either. But we use it every day because it helps us keep our teeth clean. Likewise, gingerbread has “no known function in the human body,” either. But it’s absolutely delightful and thoroughly satisfying to eat.
Once again, we see that this common charge against colloidal silver usage has no legs to stand on – it’s just another hypocritical and extremely disingenuous scare tactic designed to make colloidal silver usage appear to be dubious, when in reality millions of people around the world find it astonishingly effective against infections and other health issues. What’s more, hundreds of clinical studies have demonstrated colloidal silver to be effective against a plethora of pathogenic microorganisms, including many of the so-called “super-pathogens” that have become impervious to modern antibiotic drugs.
MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other online organizations like them appear to be simply banking on the ignorance of their readers as a means of trying to scare them away from colloidal silver usage. And quite frankly, that disingenuous tactic should make their readers mad as hornets.
- Claim #3: Colloidal silver products that are marketed for medical purposes are now considered “misbranded” under the law.
TRUE. But that's the FDA's problem. Silver has been in use for medical purposes for well over two millennia. For example, Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” taught that silver aided skin and tissue repair. Indeed, around 400 B.C. in his treatise “On Ulcers,” he listed silver, in powder form, as a primary treatment for ulcerations of the skin.
Likewise, Pliny, the Elder, in his great work, Natural History (78 A.D.), reported in Book II, Section XXXV, that the “residue of silver... has healing properties as an ingredient in plasters, being extremely effective in causing wounds to close up..."
The ancient Chinese ground up silver, put it into water, and had sick people drink it in order to cure infections and disease.
Zooming ahead in history to 1919, we find Alfred Searle stating, in his ground-breaking book “The Use of Colloids in Health and Disease”:
“Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results...it has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to parasites without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin."
And coming forward in time to the 1990’s we find Dr. Joseph Weissman, M.D., board certified immunologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California Medical School saying:
“Today, many antibiotics are losing the battle with germs. Fortunately, the best germ killer, which was discovered over 2,000 years ago, is finally getting the proper attention from medical science - natural silver. I sincerely recommend that everyone have electrically generated colloidal silver in their home as an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal agent."
But FDA regulations state that any substance not approved by the FDA as a "drug" cannot be claimed to have even a single medical or health benefit, or they’re considered to be “misbranded.” Not one health or medical claim can be made for nutritional supplements. No internal healing benefits can be mentioned in product advertising. And no topical healing benefits, either. Nothing.
Thus, for example, high-dose vitamin C cannot be claimed in advertising to help heal colds or flu, even though tens of millions of people around the world use it for exactly that same purpose, and often to good effect. The fact that the FDA won't allow high-dose vitamin C to be sold as a cold and flu relieving remedy doesn't make it any less valuable for the relief of colds and flu. The FDA is simply saying that since vitamin C is not an approved “drug,” medical claims for it cannot be made by people selling it.
It’s the same with colloidal silver and thousands upon thousands of other nutritional supplements. The FDA won't allow health or medical claims to be made for them, even though that's exactly why people use them. Although the empirical evidence shows these supplements aide the body against a plethora of health and medical issues, if you say so in your advertising for a nutritional supplement the FDA can shut you down for violating their regulations which are obviously designed to protect drug company profits.
So, once again, we see the same disingenuous tactic being played out by MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other online organizations like them. They state a basic truth (i.e., “silver products that are marketed for medical purposes are now considered ‘misbranded’ under the law”), but then try to twist that truth to sound as if it’s something that applies uniquely to colloidal silver.
In reality, by FDA regulations, this applies to ALL nutritional supplements. If you label a nutritional supplement with a health or medical claim (i.e., “Vitamin C cures colds”) then your product is considered “misbranded” by the FDA.
MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them disingenuously attempt to apply that FDA regulation solely to colloidal silver, in an attempt to make gullible readers believe silver has somehow been singled out by the FDA for this special treatment.
Again, this should make readers of those websites mad as hornets for being so deceptively manipulated by these so-called “trustworthy” sources of medical information. And it should certainly call into question the obvious agenda-driven ethics of MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them who continually parrot these disingenuous claims.
- Claim #4: Colloidal silver is not considered safe or effective for any of the health or medical claims that manufacturers make.
TRUE. But again, this is simply another variation of the same, tired old canards listed above. It's a game of semantics designed to scare people away from colloidal silver usage. And it's very insincere, not to mention purposefully deceitful.
I’ll repeat: By FDA decree, you can't say any nutritional supplement on the face of the earth is "safe and effective” for health or medical claims. It’s just not allowed. Nutritional supplements – including colloidal silver -- can only be labeled as GRAS, which stands for “generally regarded as safe” for ingestion as a supplement to one’s daily nutritional intake.
But you cannot say a nutritional supplement is “safe and effective” for medical claims, such as “vitamin C stops colds and flu” or “colloidal silver stops infections.” Again, this goes for all nutritional supplements, not just colloidal silver. And that’s what makes the claim by MayoClinical.com, WebMD.com and others like them that “colloidal silver is not considered safe or effective for any health or medical claims” so disingenuous. They never point out that this is true for all supplements. They attempt to make it appear that it’s only true for colloidal silver.
Nevertheless, let’s take a brief moment to examine the issue of colloidal silver safety:
For the last five years in a row, the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System – which is the largest annual database in the United States covering substances that have harmed people -- have found ZERO deaths for colloidal silver.
Compare that the 106,000 deaths each and every year in the U.S. alone attributed to properly prescribed and properly taken prescription drugs (ref: Dr. Barbara Starfield; Journal of the American Medical Association; “Is U.S. Health Really the Best in the World?”), and it really starts putting things into perspective, doesn’t it?
In the same amount of time that there have been ZERO deaths attributed to colloidal silver (i.e., the past five years), there have been a whopping 530,000 deaths in the U.S. from properly prescribed and properly used prescription drugs. And there have been millions more deaths from prescription drugs, worldwide.
Indeed, prescription drugs are now the third leading cause of death in men, women and children, behind heart disease and cancer (ref: Dr. Peter Gotzsche, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, considered to be the world's leading expert on clinical studies of pharmaceutical drugs). But you won’t see orthodox medical websites like WebMD.com or MayoClinic.com admitting this. Instead, they’re too busy putting up web pages denigrating colloidal silver usage, claiming it to be “unsafe,” and trying to scare people away from even thinking about trying it.
Here’s my challenge: Go to MayoClinic.com or WebMD.com, and see how many articles you can find about prescription drugs. Then check each article to see if these organizations are honest enough to emphasize that “These prescription drugs are known to cause over 106,000 deaths of American men, women and children per year, or one million, sixty thousand deaths every decade, and are now considered to be the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.”
You won’t find any such notice, of course. That’s because these two “trusted sources” of medical information (and others like them) appear to have an underlying agenda, which is to promote Big Pharma’s prescription drugs while denigrating safe, natural nutritional supplements like colloidal silver.
Another quick set of factoids regarding colloidal silver’s safety:
· Colloidal silver is sold in every health food store in America. It’s also sold online by such notable drug store chains as Walmart pharmacies, CVS Pharmacy, and Walgreen’s, which are three of the four largest drug store chains in the U.S.
· DrugStore.com also carries colloidal silver. And of course, Amazon.com, one of the world’s largest sellers with revenues of $107 billion annually, sells a plethora of different colloidal silver products in the U.S. and worldwide.
· What’s more, if you type “colloidal silver for sale” into a Google search engine, you’ll get well over 3 million web page results.
You have to admit, that’s representative of a lot of colloidal silver sales. Indeed, it’s been estimated that there are some 10 million active colloidal silver users throughout North America alone. And of course, the vast majority of the people using colloidal silver are doing so in order to avoid having to use prescription antibiotic drugs.
But…according to the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System, in relation to colloidal silver usage, there were only a meager 18 adverse reactions reported in 2015 (the 2016 figures won't be available until January 2018) – this, out of the millions of bottles of colloidal silver sold in the U.S. every year, and millions more doses made by people with their own colloidal silver generators.
To put those 18 paltry adverse reactions into perspective, the same report tells us there were 34 adverse reactions caused by artists paints…64 adverse reactions caused by ink (from pens)… 31 adverse reactions caused by rubbing alcohol…263 adverse reactions caused by bleach…41 adverse reactions caused by dishwashing detergents …269 adverse reactions caused by hair coloring agents…1,951 adverse reactions caused by pesticides and rodenticides…39 adverse reactions to soil (yes, as in dirt)...and a whopping 458 adverse reactions caused by caffeine.
So according to the report, dirt is actually twice as dangerous (in terms of adverse reactions) than colloidal silver. And caffeine is a whopping 25 times more dangerous than colloidal silver.
If you’d prefer to compare apples to apples (more or less) from the report, looking at things that people put directly into their mouths, there were 338 adverse reactions to capsicum peppers (i.e., red peppers)…666 adverse reactions to “other food products” …69 adverse reactions to food additives…143 adverse reactions caused by dental care products…and 35 adverse reactions caused by mouthwashes.
So with only a mere 18 adverse reactions to colloidal silver in the entire year, out of the millions of doses taken, colloidal silver is safer than all of those products, as well.
Furthermore, there were 2,833 adverse reactions to anti-depressant drugs…1,031 adverse reactions to antihistamines…1,201 adverse reactions to decongestants…2,641 adverse reactions to antibiotic drugs…and 1,582 adverse reactions to cardiovascular drugs... 326 adverse reactions to acetaminophen (i.e., pain-killers like Tylenol)…a combined total of 215 adverse reactions to aspirin…and 559 adverse reactions to ibuprofen (i.e., pain-killers like Motrin).
So, based on these figures from the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System, colloidal silver, with only 18 adverse events reported, is far safer to use than any of those substances, as well.
Finally, in terms of nutritional supplements and related products, there were 253 adverse reactions to “miscellaneous essential oils” (making colloidal silver 14 times safer than essential oils). There were also 34 adverse reactions to the amino acid creatine…46 adverse reactions to “other amino acids”…226 adverse reactions to “single ingredient botanicals” (i.e., herbs)…92 adverse reactions to the nutritional supplement melatonin…116 adverse reactions to magnesium and magnesium salts…96 adverse reactions to zinc and zinc salts…69 adverse reactions to “other single ingredient dietary supplements”…and 117 adverse reactions to energy drinks.
Finally, there were a whopping 972 adverse reactions to vitamins of all categories combined (both adult and pediatric vitamins, including individual vitamins and multi-vitamins in liquid, capsule and pill form).
Wow. This makes taking vitamins – yes, vitamins -- a whopping 54 times more dangerous than taking colloidal silver.
(I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out there were ZERO deaths reported for virtually every category of nutritional supplementation, including vitamins and including colloidal silver – this, in spite of the fact that literally billions of doses of these supplements are taken every single year in the U.S.. So the adverse events data mentioned above is actually ridiculously low, when taken in context. Again, this makes nutritional supplements, as a whole, astonishingly safe when compared to the massive 106,000 deaths per year attributed to properly prescribed and properly used prescription drugs).
Based on these figures, and based on the empirical evidence of millions upon millions of people worldwide who use colloidal silver, it’s clear that colloidal silver usage is indeed "safe” and “effective” for a number of natural health and healing purposes. But the FDA simply won’t allow manufacturers to say so, which gives organizations like MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others the right to make dubious statements like, “Colloidal silver is not considered safe or effective for any of the health or medical claims that manufacturers make.”
What’s more, the clinical evidence from the early 1900’s to this very day demonstrates colloidal silver to be both safe and effective, as well (again, see over 100 clinical studies, here). But legally, which is to say, under FDA regulations, a colloidal silver manufacturer can't make such a claim in spite of 100 years worth of empirical and clinical evidence to the contrary.
I’d have no problem with MayoClinic.com or WebMD.com or anyone else for that matter making the claim that colloidal silver is not considered “safe or effective for any of the health or medical claims that manufacturers make,” if they’d simply put it into proper context by admitting that this is an FDA regulation, and not a clinically proven fact. Or, if they’d admit that tens of millions of people worldwide use colloidal silver for a wide variety of health issues, without ever experiencing any safety issues. Or even if they’d just admit that each year there are far fewer adverse reactions to colloidal silver than there are to, say, red peppers or toothpaste.
But they won’t do admit those simple truths, because their apparent underlying agenda is to scare people away from colloidal silver usage.
If they had some kind of legitimate claim against colloidal silver, such as “one in every five people who use colloidal silver die after taking it,” or “one in every ten people who use colloidal silver develop soft bones,” or “one in every 20 people taking colloidal silver end up getting migraine headaches,” or anything at all, then they’d have reason to warn people away from it. But they have no such legitimate reasons. So they use these disingenuous semantic games to carry out their agenda, banking on their readers to be ignorant. Shame on them for treating their readers so shabbily.
- Claim #5: No sound scientific studies to evaluate health claims made about colloidal silver have been published in reputable medical journals.
TRUE. But once again, please notice how utterly disingenuously that statement is worded. “No sound scientific studies to evaluate the health claims made about colloidal silver have been published in reputable medical journals.”
That’s a very clever way of putting it. After all, if the medical community wanted to do clinical studies evaluating health claims made about colloidal silver, they most certainly could. But they don’t want to do such studies. Why? Because if the studies document those claims to be true – which they undoubtedly would in many cases -- more people will stop using prescription antibiotic drugs and start using safe, natural (and relatively less expensive) colloidal silver instead.
But this doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean there have never been any sound scientific studies on colloidal silver and other forms of antimicrobial silver published. In reality, there are tons of them. They just weren’t conducted on nutritional supplement claims for colloidal silver. Instead, they were conducted by bona-fide medical researchers looking into the possibility of using colloidal silver as a drug.
In fact, if you don’t believe me, you can view over 100 different clinical studies on the infection-fighting, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties of colloidal silver and other forms of antimicrobial silver, here. And those 100-plus studies are just the tip of the iceberg of the clinical studies on colloidal silver that are available online if you care to search for them.
So you can see, once again, that MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them who make the above types of claims are being very disingenuous with their readers. It’s all about the semantics.
Yes, it’s true that there have been “no sound scientific studies to evaluable the health claims made about colloidal silver” published in reputable medical journals. But what they fail to tell you is that there have been hundreds of clinical studies conducted on colloidal silver to evaluate its potential use as a drug – not just against bacteria, but against viruses, and fungus and inflammation and even against cancer. And the vast majority of those hundreds of studies have turned out positive.
Again, you can examine over 100 of these studies, here. And you can read articles about many more such clinical studies, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
What’s more, over the past 10 years medical science has also been studying antimicrobial silver with an eye toward adding silver to their existing prescription antibiotic drugs. That’s because their antibiotic drugs have become so ineffective against drug-resistant super-pathogens they need to find something to add to them to boost their effectiveness. And silver appears to be their top choice. For example, see these two articles about two such recent clinical studies:
You can also watch, right here, a BBC (British Broadcasting Company) interview with a University researcher and professor who claims that adding silver to existing antibiotic drugs in order to help boost their effectiveness against drug-resistant super-pathogens will be a reality within the next five years.
And you might want to check out what clinical researchers from around the world have been saying about colloidal silver and other forms of antimicrobial silver, in the eye-opening article Worldwide Praise for Colloidal Silver from Clinical Researchers.
Why doesn’t MayoClinic.com or WebMD.com or any of the other colloidal silver naysayers tell you about any of these fascinating studies and clinical developments regarding colloidal silver and other forms of antimicrobial silver? Well, it wouldn’t fit their anti-colloidal silver narrative, would it?
One more important point: In spite of the claim by naysayers that colloidal silver has never been proven to work in the human body, it’s important to note that silver is already widely used by medical science inside the human body, in medical implants. And it’s used specifically to stop infections inside the body. See for example:
So yes, I love it when people claim colloidal silver has no clinically proven effectiveness inside the human body, and imply that it’s dangerous to ingest even in small amounts.
If that's true, then why do surgeons use silver coatings in their medical implants such as knee and hip replacements, where it continuously releases silver ions inside the body for decades at a time? Obviously, it's to keep pathogens from colonizing the implant and causing post-surgical internal infections at the implant site. Duh.
But MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other colloidal silver naysayers won’t tell you this. They either want you to believe that silver doesn’t work inside the human body at all, or that it only works when used by medical science and not when used by regular people.
They also won’t tell you there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the silver ions released from silver-coated medical implants inside the body and the silver ions in a bottle of colloidal silver. Silver ions are silver ions. And if they work to kill pathogens inside the human body when they’re being leached into tissues from silver-coated medical implants, then they work inside the human body when someone drinks colloidal silver.
Indeed, clinical studies on silver’s effectiveness against pathogens began in the early 1900's and continue to this very day. And hundreds more clinical studies demonstrating colloidal silver’s effectiveness against specific pathogens – such as antibiotic-resistant superbugs – are published every decade. For example, see brief excerpts from three new clinical studies proving colloidal silver to be effective against drug-resistant superbugs, here:
So again, this is another example of semantic word-games being played by organizations like MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them, with the apparent purpose of scaring people away from even thinking about trying safe, natural colloidal silver.
In summary, the colloidal silver naysayers continuously claim there are "no sound scientific studies published in reputable journals to evaluate health claims made about colloidal silver." But that's only true if you're talking about the nutritional supplement. If you're talking about attempts by clinical researchers to use colloidal silver and other forms of antimicrobial silver as a "drug," then there are a plethora of studies (again, see 100 such studies, here).
- Claim #6: The Food and Drug Administration has taken action against some manufacturers of colloidal silver products for making unproven health claims.
TRUE. But again, that’s just a disingenuous re-wording of the previous two claims.
The fact that the FDA has seen fit to "take action" against colloidal silver sellers who violated FDA regulations against making health claims for their products by discussing the empirical and clinical evidence for silver's effectiveness against infectious microorganisms, does not in any way invalidate the evidence. It just means the FDA is flexing its regulatory muscles and enforcing its regulatory policies, right or wrong.
- Claim #7: Colloidal silver can build up in your body’s tissues over months or years. Most commonly, this results in argyria, a blue-gray discoloration of skin, eyes, internal organs, nails and gums.
TRUE. However, once again, it’s a very disingenuous use of the truth. First of all, the term “most commonly” insinuates that argyric skin-staining is a common-place side effect of colloidal silver usage. But it’s not. Not even remotely.
Again, there are estimated to be some ten million colloidal silver users in North America alone, and tens of millions more, worldwide. Yet there are only one or two people every few years who end up with argyria. Why is that? It’s because they used colloidal silver abusively and excessively. Argyria does not occur from regular common-sense colloidal silver usage, which is why tens of millions of people have used it regularly for decades without any side effects whatsoever.
To take the very tiny handful of examples of argyric skin-staining caused by abusive and excessive colloidal silver usage (about one or two cases per year) and try to make that sound as if it’s the norm, when there are in reality tens of millions of colloidal silver users worldwide who have never experienced a single negative side effect, is very deceitful.
I’ll repeat once more what Dartmouth University had to say about human intake of silver in their studies on various minerals and metals, which were conducted to determine which minerals and metals were harmful and which weren’t. It’s important to understand what the Dartmouth University team of researchers found, because MayoClinic.com and WebMD.com would have you believe the polar opposite:
"Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet. Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body. Is silver harmful to humans? Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects."
-- Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program
So there you have it. Under normal circumstances, 99% of silver intake is “readily excreted from the body.” That’s because the body has developed a very effective mechanism for utilizing and afterwards excreting silver. So argyria is very rare, and only occurs when someone’s colloidal silver usage is egregiously excessive for long periods of time.
It’s only when abusive levels of colloidal silver are ingested, regularly, over many months or years on end, that the body’s mechanism for utilizing and afterwards eliminating silver can become overwhelmed. And at that point the body begins to store any excess silver in the tissues and organs. Then, it gradually pushes the excess silver out to the skin where it can tarnish upon exposure to sunlight, causing the tattoo-like blue-gray skin-staining known as argyria.
To give you a very specific example, whereas a normal dosage of 10 ppm strength colloidal silver is considered to be between a teaspoonful to an ounce a day depending upon one’s body weight, the famous “colloidal silver blue man,” Paul Karason, admits he was taking up to 20 ounces of highly concentrated colloidal silver every day for an astonishing ten years before he turned as blue as a smurf.
This is what I mean by disingenuous use of the truth. It’s absolutely true that colloidal silver intake can cause the blue-gray skin-staining known as argyria. But what MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them always seem to neglect to mention is that you have to willfully overdose yourself on it, daily, for months and years on end, before that can happen.
Additionaly, MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others always neglect to inform their readers that tens of millions of people around the world take colloidal silver regularly, with no negative effects whatsoever. They just don’t overdose themselves on it.
As our mothers always taught us, “Moderation in all things.” It’s so simple, even a child can understand it, but apparently not the brilliant medical minds at MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and other organizations like them who are so quick to spread these tired old canards about colloidal silver usage.
- Claim #8: Rarely, excessive doses of colloidal silver can cause possibly irreversible serious health problems, including kidney damage and neurological problems such as seizures.
POSSIBLY TRUE. But be sure to read the clever weasel words used in that claim, i.e., “rarely,” “excessive doses” and “possibly.” In other words, this claim has virtually nothing to do with normal colloidal silver usage. And even with “excessive doses,” it’s only a rare possibility that “kidney damage” and “neurological problems” can occur.
The short answer to this claim is this: If excessive doses of colloidal silver can possibly, in rare cases, cause “kidney damage” and “neurological problems such as seizures,” don’t take excessive doses. Pretty simple, right? Once again, even a child can understand it, intuitively. But the professional colloidal silver naysayers continue to use this claim as evidence that colloidal silver usage is unsafe.
So let’s take a short look at the actual evidence for these claims:
It’s true that colloidal silver has been blamed in a very tiny handful of human cases involving kidney damage and neurological problems. But upon closer examination of those cases, clinical research experts attest that while silver was blamed, there was no conclusive evidence for assigning the blame to silver.
According to Dr. Gary Connett, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2007:
"Case reports have described possible nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity, but these have not been substantiated by studies in animal models." (See J R Soc Med 2008: 101: S51–S52. DOI 10.1258/jrsm.2008.s18012.)
In other words, in case reports, doctors have speculated that excessive silver usage has caused harm to human kidneys and the human nervous system. But that speculation has not been proven to be true when silver is actually tested.
Silver given to animals during medical studies has shown no significant harm to the kidneys, liver or nervous system of the animals. Even the EPA admits that relatively high levels of silver given to pregnant rats by tube feeding (i.e., the silver was fed directly into the pregnant animals through a tube) resulted in “no systemic toxicity”. As the study authors concluded:
“In a developmental toxicity study of pregnant rats conducted in 2002 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), silver acetate was administered by gavage [tube-feeding – ED] on days 6-19 of gestation. No developmental effects were reported at doses up to 100 mg/kg…More importantly, the results from this study did not demonstrate an increased susceptibility of offspring, nor did it demonstrate systemic toxicity.”
-- Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 10, 2009 / Rules and Regulations
In short, there is no significant clinical evidence that silver harms the kidneys or the nervous system, or is otherwise toxic to bodily systems.
What’s more, the claim that colloidal silver can cause “neurological problems such as seizures” has also been largely debunked (see “Does Colloidal Silver Cause Seizures?”).
Indeed, according to a study titled "Critical Observations on the Neurotoxicity of Silver," published in Critical Review of Toxicology (2007;37:237-50):
"Although silver is metabolized throughout the soft tissues, available evidence from experimental animal studies and human clinical reports has failed to unequivocally establish that it enters tissues of the central nervous system or is a cause of neurotoxic damage...No evidence is available to demonstrate the toxic risk of silver to the peripheral nervous system... "
In other words, in animal studies and human clinical reports, there is no significant body of evidence that silver causes harm to the human nervous system.
Other well-known medical experts have been honest enough to point out what’s been known for decades: antimicrobial silver is generally not known to be toxic, nor harmful to organ function or nervous system function. For example, according to researchers Drake and Hazelwood, in the study “Exposure-Related Health Effects of Silver and Silver Compounds: A Review”:
“Silver in any form is not thought to be toxic to the immune, cardiovascular, nervous, or reproductive systems (ATSDR, 1990) and is not considered to be carcinogenic (Furst and Schlauder, 1978).”
The bottom line is that while excessive usage of any substance on the face of the earth can result in harm, the claim that “excessive doses of colloidal silver can cause possibly irreversible serious health problems…” is a very disingenuous tactic designed to scare people away from trying colloidal silver without giving reasonable context or perspective, i.e., without mentioning that tens of millions of people worldwide use colloidal silver regularly (in moderation) without experiencing any “irreversible serious health problems” whatsoever, but instead, only benefits.
- Claim #9: When taken orally, colloidal silver can also wreak havoc on proteins.
NOT DEMONSTRABLY TRUE. "Wreak havoc on proteins?" What exactly does that mean? And where's the documentation for this claim? Naturally, no documentation whatsoever is given by purveyors of this nonsense.
Silver does indeed cause cancer cells to be unable to use proteins correctly, thus causing them to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis. But that's a GOOD thing. And it’s the reason antimicrobial silver continues to be studied for its proven anti-cancer properties (see here, here, here, here and here).
What’s more, while silver has repeatedly been shown in clinical studies to kill cancer cells, it has also been shown in clinical studies to be protective of normal human cells (see here and here).
Silver can also kill germs by binding to and destroying specific internalized proteins they depend upon to reproduce. But again, that’s a GOOD thing.
So, all I can ask about this claim is “Where’s the beef?”
- Claim #10: Colloidal silver can make other medicines less effective.
NOT DEMONSTRABLY TRUE. Once again, I must ask, where's the documentation for this oft-made claim? Years ago, the FDA made the same claim in one of its online Consumer Alert Bulletins (which is probably where MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them originally got the claim). The FDA even named five or six specific prescription drugs that colloidal silver supposedly interfered with the absorption of.
So I wrote the FDA and asked for the documentation of their claims. The FDA responded by telling me if I wanted to see their documentation, I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act request with them. So I did just that. And guess what?
The FDA wrote back admitting that they could find no such documentation anywhere in their vast files, as you can see for yourself in my previous article, FDA Admits: No Proof Colloidal Silver Interferes With Drug Absorption.
After the FDA failed to document their own claims that colloidal silver can interfere with the absorption of certain drugs, they then removed their Consumer Alert Bulletin from their website. Of course, online naysayers who rail against colloidal silver usage continue to promulgate this unproven charge, even though the FDA no longer does.
- Claim #11: For pregnant women, colloidal silver poses risks to the unborn child, as fetal abnormalities may develop due to its use.
NOT DEMONSTRABLY TRUE. Once again I must ask, where's the documentation for this claim? In reality, I can find only a single study from the 1970's in which researchers from Massachusetts found a cluster of children born with fetal abnormalities. And when they couldn't find a culprit to blame, they examined local drinking water sources and found extremely low levels of silver in the water.
The researchers then blamed the silver in the local drinking water, saying "After adjustment for confounding factors, the results suggested some association between maternal exposures to 0.001 mglL of silver in the drinking water (1/100 of the EPA standard) and some increase in fetal developmental anomalies (ear, face, and neck)."
That's hardly the stuff of a hard-and-fast case against silver. The results only "suggested some association" between the silver exposure and the small handful of birth abnormalities. But it was never proven. And apparently the problem has never again resurfaced, in spite of the fact that virtually everyone’s drinking water contains similar low levels of silver.
Again, as the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program concluded after examining silver ingestion in the human body: "Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet. Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body. Is silver harmful to humans? Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects.”
So I hope you can see why I’m skeptical about the claim that colloidal silver usage can cause fetal abnormalities in unborn children, especially when the purveyors of that claim have ZERO clinical evidence that it even remotely pertains to colloidal silver usage. This doesn’t mean that pregnant women shouldn’t be very careful about colloidal silver usage, of course, or usage of any other nutritional supplement for that matter. But it does beg the question of how far online colloidal silver naysayers are willing to go in order to tarnish the reputation of colloidal silver with unproven claims.
To Sum Up…
So, I hope I've addressed concerns anyone might have about the statements being made by online organizations such as MayoClinic.com, WebMD.com and others like them.
In my humble opinion, their claims are very disingenuous, and border on being willfully deceitful in some cases. They appear to be purposely designed to take advantage of people’s naiveté regarding FDA regulations regarding nutritional supplement claims, and regarding the difference between clinical research into nutritional supplement claims, and clinical research into drug claims.
What’s more, if you’re at all familiar with the MayoClinic.com web page on colloidal silver, as well as the WebMD.com web page on colloidal silver, you’ll know they’ve backed off on some of the most disingenuous and unproven of the above claims over the past few years.
Of course, the people who have regurgitated those claims all over the internet – claiming “Mayo Clinic says this…” or “WebMD says that…” haven’t bothered to remove them, even though some of the claims no longer appear on the MayoClinic.com website, the WebMD website.
On the Colloidal Silver Secrets Community on Facebook (which has over 23,000 colloidal silver users as members), I’m constantly bombarded by new members posting those claims as “evidence” that colloidal silver is “unsafe” and “unproven.”
Of course, I do my best to educate each individual. And now, with the proper perspective provided above, you too can see how disingenuous and misleading these long-running (but generally dubious or disingenuous) claims actually are.
Make Your Own Colloidal Silver for Pennies
Colloidal silver can be purchased at just about any local health food store, or through a number of online sources including Amazon.com.
However, it’s quite literally one of the most expensive and heavily marked-up nutritional supplements in existence.
Health food store owners, for example, often charge as much as $20-$30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle. Yet the cost to manufacture four ounces of colloidal silver is about 12 cents. Yes, I said twelve cents.
Of course, people are willing to pay through the nose for colloidal silver, since it’s safe and natural, and since empirical evidence and clinical evidence alike demonstrates that it works so well against germs, mold, fungus, and even viruses.
But thankfully, there’s no need to pay such exorbitant prices for colloidal silver, when you can make your own, quickly and easily, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, for about 36 cents a quart.
Yes, you can make it yourself for its actual cost, and altogether skip the sky-high mark-ups charged by health food stores!
Yes, you can make it yourself for its actual cost, and altogether skip the sky-high mark-ups charged by health food stores!
If you’re interested in learning how to make your own high-quality colloidal silver at home, for about 36 cents a quart, here are some additional short articles you might want to take a look at:
Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another insightful article on colloidal silver….
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only, and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
Copyright 2017 | Life & Health Research Group, LLC | PO Box 1239 | Peoria AZ 85380-1239 | All rights reserved.