Colloidal silver is a supplement product that manufacturers claim has many benefits, from boosting the immune system to treating cancer. However, colloidal silver can be dangerous and may cause some serious side effects.
Colloidal silver is essentially tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. Historically, silver was used before the invention of antibiotics in the 1940s to treat bacterial infections. However, ingesting silver is not recommended as we truly don’t need silver for any of our bodies’ processes. There is no known scientific reason to ingest colloidal silver.
Silver can build up in your body over time and lead to a condition called argyria. Argyria describes a blue-grey discoloration of the skin that can become darker in sun exposure. This discoloration will not fade over time. Argyria is largely a cosmetic problem, though consuming silver can have other lasting effects on the body.
Colloidal silver toxicity can also cause kidney damage and neurological disorders, like seizures. It can also cause interactions with medications that may decrease their effectiveness. For example, some antibiotics may be less efficient if you consume too much silver.
Silver in Wound Care
While colloidal silver does not benefit us when consuming orally, there may be a benefit to using silver topically. In a 2005 study, silver-based products applied topically were shown to be anti-microbial. For this reason, they may be useful for treating infected wounds.
Silver dressings may be useful in keeping germs out of burns or open wounds. They act as a barrier against antibiotic-resistant organisms, like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). However, using enough silver to kill microbes in a wound may also kill other vital cells. More research is needed to test the efficacy of using silver in wound care.
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