Three distinctly different types of silver products exist in the marketplace that are all labeled “colloidal” silver, including ionic silver, silver protein and true colloidal silver. It is important for the consumer to know what to look for to avoid purchasing ineffective products, and especially to prevent potentially dangerous side effects. According to Herbert Slaven, M.D., director of the Institute of Advanced Medicine and a member of the Silver Safety Committee, “Few things in life are as cut and dried as the fact that silver is completely safe when used within normal limits.” Silver has potent antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries. Unlike prescription antibiotics, silver does not cause resistance to the bacteria.
According to a review by Dr. Joseph Mercola, recent studies have been conducted confirming the effectiveness of true colloidal silver in killing pathogens such as multiple drug resistant (MRSA), avian influenza (bird flu), human corona virus, pseudomonas and other gram negative and gram positive pathogens.
According to the Silver Safety Committee guidelines, a simple mathematical formula can determine how much to take of any silver-containing product on the market. The calculation is 12 times the number of pounds of body weight divided by parts per million (ppm) equals the total number of drops per day. The concentration represented as ppm is the same as milligrams per liter of water. The website SilverSafety.org automatically calculates this. The Silver Safety guidelines found there provide not only for daily short-term use, but also lifetime limits.
Ionic silver solution is typically clear, like water, or has a slightly yellow tint. The vast majority of products sold as colloidal silver are really ionic silver. They contain high amounts of silver ions, around 90 percent; but low amounts of silver particles, around 10 percent. Most colloidal silver generators for home use are really producers of ionic silver solutions. To determine if we have ionic silver, mix a pinch of table salt to it. If silver ions are present, the chlorine ions of sodium chloride (table salt) will combine with silver ions and form a white, cloudy solution.
Silver ions will combine with chloride ions to form silver chloride, but silver particles found in true colloidal silver do not. Ionic silver is an effective antimicrobial as long as it is used in a non-chloride environment. Inside the high-chloride environment of the human body, the silver particle in very low concentration and surface area will not produce a benefit.
In the cold and flu season, it just makes sense to choose more natural remedies. True colloidal silver is a safe alternative to antibiotics that often leave lasting damage to immune system health by killing off healthy flora.
Deborah Z. Bain, M.D., is a functional medicine pediatrician and owner of Healthy Kids Pediatrics, in Frisco. For more information, call 972-294-0808 or visit HealthyKidsPediatrics.com.