Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Aug

It’s Shiny, But It’s Still a Scam

silvermanI got a question last week from reader Barbara about colloidal silver supplements. For the record, this alternative health remedy is both ineffective and unsafe. It’s the latter that concerns me most, of course. A lot of the things we do for health are ineffective (homeopathy for starters; glandulars are another). Others are actually dangerous (the fat-free diet trend of the 90s that’s contributed to our metabolic syndrome epidemic). Colloidal silver supplements fall into the dangerous category.

Colloidal – a term for suspension of micro particles in liquid – silver is purported to treat or cure everything from acne to leprosy to AIDS to cancer to, most commonly, infection. Colloidal silver is touted as an all-purpose anti-viral, anti-bacterial therapy. Of course, those diabolical scientists have suppressed the truth about colloidal silver’s benefits. It’s the “natural antibiotic”! Going further, evidently Americans are suffering from a massive silver deficiency epidemic.

silverbottle

In truth, colloidal silver supplementation has zero health benefits and carries substantial risks. For all the talk about widespread growing resistance to antibiotics (a public health concern I cautiously share), a run of antibiotics to treat an infection is far superior to colloidal silver both in terms of efficacy and safety. Of course, the goal here is to boost your immunity naturally through a good diet, prudent supplementation and regular exercise, but everyone gets sick now and then. Colloidal silver isn’t the answer. Regular intake will result in silver “ash” deposits that can and do show up in unfortunate places like the eyes, skin and organs – permanently. (This condition is called argyria. Click here to see a picture of a bad case – but be warned that it’s very disturbing.) Moreover, silver is not an essential nutrient required by the human body.

Further Reading:

Top 10 Health Scams (hoodia, cellulite cream and more)

Top 10 Most Worthless Drugs

Source:

Colloidal Silver Products Fact Sheet (NIH)

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Okay, no silver, but how about colloidal gold? Do they make a colloidal diamond supplement? Because I wouldn’t mind having glitter eyes.

    McFly wrote on August 16th, 2007
  2. It’s amazing how these things that do not just contain zero nutritional value, but actually have harmful ingredients in them, get passed off as being healthy and nutritional.
    McFly…glitter eyes do sound nice, I will admit.

    terry wrote on August 16th, 2007
  3. McFly,

    Ha! What about platinum?

    Sara wrote on August 16th, 2007
  4. Heavy Metal Supplements. Not the music, but the contents themselves. If your stomach is filled with metals, you will eat less, but weigh more.

    Not sure what this means, but I sure have shiny skin and a magnetic personality, err body.

    Oxybeles wrote on August 18th, 2007
  5. Colloidal Silver and other nutritional treatments are one thing, but how about the really wild stuff that’s out there right now?

    Examples for weight loss: Slim Slippers (control your weight by walking on magnets, with the aid of reflexology), caffeine tights(of all things), caffeine sun screens. You think nutritional supplements are often a “stretch?” I just wrote a blog piece on these alternative methods for weight loss. Incredible. Off the wall, and out of the ball park.

    Jack Payne wrote on October 4th, 2007
  6. I’ve been making & taking Coll Silver now for approx 2 years & haven’t been sick one day in that time. I’ve also made it for friends who’ve had great results similar to mine.

    Once the silver is produced it must be filtered to remove excess silver.

    Mark, the ammount of evidence that points towards silver being excellent for just about most things is fairly staggering. I’ve used it on warts, for dental hygiene in a gel. I’ve used it also on cysts & friends have used it too with quite outstanding results from either feelings of being better than they’ve been in a long time. A friend took a couple of litres & had a chest infection made well after 3 lots of antibiotics didn’t do a thing.

    No doubt you have a different slant on these things which I’m quite interested in hearing.

    Regards,

    Steve Martin.

    Steve wrote on January 14th, 2008
  7. I Agree With Steve On This. I’ve Used It For A Severe Candida Outbreak That My Doctor Told Me I Would Have To Go On Anti-fungal To Gain Back Control Of The Situation. It Only Took A Week Before It Was Cleared Up Using Colloidal Silver. I Also Have A Good Friend Who Has Been Taking It For Over 10 Years And Hasn’t Been Sick To This Day. My Friend Started Using Colloidal Silver When All Else Failed To Help His Hepatitis C Situation As It Took 6 Months Using Colloidal Silver To Come Back HCV Negative. To This Day He Has Tested Negative For A Disease That Landed Him In The Hospital In Severe Condition. I Believe Everybody Should Reevaluate The Colloidal Silver Topic A Little More. I’m Not Saying It’s A Cure All, But I’m Certain For Some People It Works Very Well.

    Billy Lee wrote on August 19th, 2008
  8. I personally had leprosy for over a year, no doctor believed there was leprosy in the united states and it was at the stage where my finger tips were about to fall off, my nerves were being to be exposed and enlarged, skin completely red, dull numbness of my skin no sense of touch, muscles atrophing, deformity in my hands and feet, every symtom of leprosy you can think of, lesions all over my body,

    then I started taking colloidal silver and it completely cured every single one of my symtoms, I am clean from leprosy praise God. it is not a scam.

    Mike Dahn wrote on October 9th, 2008
    • Hi Mike
      I know a friend whose brother got Leprosy
      Can you please details of how much colloidal silver you took and which brand.
      Thanks

      Hashim wrote on July 9th, 2009
  9. Personally i fap with a special silver formula. it works great! I have used it over 9000 times.
    oh and also, tits or GTFO.

    Al Peterson wrote on November 14th, 2008
    • Memebot be gone! Raptor Jesus will deal with them.

      Ginger wrote on December 18th, 2009
  10. I put it in my eye for pink eye. It killed the pink eye bug as fast as a prescription I had recieved previously from the doctor when I had pink eye. I’m not sure if it could do the same thing if you drink colloidal silver.

    Jason Kelley wrote on February 10th, 2009
  11. I’ve also had an eye infection that has cleared up when CS has been sprayed in it – after only a few days.

    A friend had a severe gum infection & had to have Panadol Forte to relieve the pain. She used some gel that I made with CS & it was all gone on the 2nd night. She used it on the 3rd night, as well, just to be sure.

    My son is taking it orally at present for his pimples so I’ll mail back in a week or so with a report.

    Agyria is caused by Silver Nitrate or Silver Salts & not colloidal / ionic silver.

    Steve

    Steve wrote on February 10th, 2009
    • To be true, colloidal silver DOES cause agyria, but only if you drink 10 cups a day for 10 years, which is how the people that have it, got it! You CANNOT get agyria from salts.

      Jiggy wrote on March 27th, 2011
  12. The suspected antibiotic properties *might* make it something worthwhile to use on your outsides on a short term basis…but are these people proposing you drink it? Yeah, i think you’d want to proceed with caution, to say the least. For the leprosy that the other poster mentioned…controlled studies would be helpful. There are other treatments for Hansen’s Disease/leprosy that might be less toxic. But as a second or third line of treatment…controlled studies would be essential.

    Karin wrote on May 16th, 2009
    • Due your due diligence, there’s been a staggering amount of controlled studies both in the US and in Europe. This blogger “Mark” clearly did none of his due diligence and has passed along awful and inaccurate information.

      Don’t use salts in your production. Dont use tap water or salts, distilled water only. People telling you to use salts have clearly not looked into the chemistry behind it.

      If your silver solution is clear, you have ionic silver (equally excellent for external wounds and eyes ears nose throat, not great for ingestion (unless you’re combating food poisoning, which is a stomach specific ailment) because the effectiveness dies when the silver ions meet the choloride in your stomach, creating silver chloride.) Drink colloidal silver (amber in color) because it’s actual silver particles, not silver ions, and will pass through without a problem.

      Both Ionic silver (clear) and colloidal silver (amber) are forms of silver you absolutely want to use, just know what you’re targeting.

      Whoever calls colloidal or ionic silver is a complete fraud or woefully ill informed, such as the author of this post.

      In it’s 3,000 year recorded history, the number of agyria cases is under 500. That’s statistically the equivalent of zero.

      Based on this authors misinformation about this highly documented and researched topic, he should lose any and all respect of his naive readership.

      I am embarrassed for this pseudo-intellectual.

      Alex Rainsford wrote on March 15th, 2014
  13. whoever is calling CS completely dangerous is a liar. pure and simple. i know CS works for an extremely large number of health problems, knowing myself first hand. so, you can believe me who found out for myself or…you can believe the liar at the top of this web page who don’t know sh*t from fat meat about it. right! i see he’s trying to flog a ‘all about me’ book!

    rick hawthorne wrote on August 5th, 2009
  14. I personally was DEAD for two, no THREE weeks and a single DROP of CS that accidentally spilled NEAR me not only brought me back to life but gave me smooth shiny skin, helped me lose seventy pounds AND helped me earn money in the stock market.
    Of course your results may differ. I look forward to READING YOUR RESULTS STRAIGHT FROM YOUR MIND! Yes, CS can do that, too.

    Roger Rabbit wrote on August 14th, 2009
    • Sarcasm is a defense mechanism for people who have nothing of intelligence or substance to contribute so they use sarcasm to deflect their own inadequacies onto others.

      Rick wrote on November 19th, 2009
      • No, it’s for people that think the other person is stupid and not worth actually engaging. Which appears to be true in this case.

        Happy argyria.

        Ginger wrote on December 18th, 2009
  15. I have plans on producing the finest CS (Colloidal Silver) possible.
    Being as my nature is that of a perfectionist,
    so second best is not an option for me in this quest.

    In my research on this i have run into many kind of brick walls and crossroad….
    some road signs says DEAD END some looks to say MAYBE THIS WAY…

    In frustration i have to remind myself that disinformation is out there,
    fear is still being used to manipulate the public no doubt about that….

    Now it would be great to get more in to deep on this.

    I am seeking outside expertise and feedback to insure that only the highest quality product is created.

    Namaste…
    Frank

    Frank Andersen wrote on August 18th, 2009
  16. These days I put 10 or 12 drops of Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) in a litre bottle of C.S. This is believed to make the particles smaller & enhance the ability of the C.S. to do it’s job.

    Steve wrote on December 18th, 2009
  17. this Mark guy is a quacking duck all the way to timbuktoo!!!!

    Jon wrote on January 22nd, 2010
  18. You could not be ore wrong about silver water. Of course using too much is unwise, but used correctly it is a life saver. Silver water is currently being out into bandages and pajamas in hospitals for staph infection, and bandages for burn victims. As it cannot be patented, it is not used in pure form. It is about money. Have a yeast infection? Use silver water, it will be gone almost instantly. Staph? A hospital will let you die before they will let you have an ounce of it pure to save you. A friend of mine came to my house, after being sent to the hospital by work as he was covered in staph. They gave him a prescription for antibiotics. He asked me what he should do, I took him to a local health food store and grabbed silver water. I told him to take it for three days. It was all over his body. He came back to see me in three days, it was gone. My dog got salmonella. This would be a big deal if I used pharma vet cures. I used silver water, he slept and farted for an hour, it was gone. Would you let a loved one die of staph or grab some silver water and save them. Try looking up the only thing proven to work against tetanus. Silver water. I wonder how many people you will harm with this article. Of course it should be used wisely, like many medications. Use it yourself before you lead others astray.If you were laying in a hospital bed, covered in sores antibiotics cannot heal, would you take some and live, or die to prove your very incorrect point. It cleans out bacteria so quickly you do not need to take it long enough to do damage. Incorrect usage does not imply it does not work, this article alone insures I will trust no information from this site cheers and good bye.

    Trish wrote on February 7th, 2010
  19. You can’t just say CS works because a couple people say it works, i mean the sum of any two even numbers is even, 14 and 6 are even and 14+6 = 20, so it must be true for all cases :S.

    maybe if they run tests and 85%+ of people are cured from aids and STI, and everyother problem under the sun then yes you can back it.

    “All teenagers are bad drivers, i know a teenager who are bad drivers so all of them must be bad”

    James wrote on June 21st, 2010
    • No but just because the FDA hasn’t authorised it or because it hasn’t been tested doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. People use tea tree oil to sooth spots and heal scratches…has it undergone months of medical testing alongside acne/spot treatments? No….does this mean it is dangerous and will turn you into a tree? …NO!

      elby wrote on February 28th, 2012
  20. This discussion brought CS to my attention, huge THANKS for it!
    Result: will always try it (won’t harm me if i try several days or couple weeks) before paying horrendous sums for too very often ineffective medicine/treatment which always will harm me for sure as a side effect.
    Cheers!

    Garry wrote on July 12th, 2010
  21. Best thing to do is to buy a CS maker. I ordered mine from here…http://www.colloidalsilver.com.au/
    That way you won’t be having to rush off to the chemist & you’ll save bucket loads in the end.

    Make a gel out of it too!

    As long as you are making ionic / colloidal silver then it’s as safe as houses; you’re not going to take too much of it. Drink lots of water to flush the baddies away. Use it in a nebulizer, drink it, put it in a nasal spray bottle, have a spray bottle handy to spray on your face when it’s hot (in the car). The list goes on & on.

    All the best

    Steve.

    Steve wrote on July 12th, 2010
  22. Completely wrong about silver being a scam, sure you must be one of those types of persons that thinks only FDA approved medicines (which have killed more people than any colloidal silver, in fact colloidal silver has never killed anyone at all) are the way to go.

    For you info, it was silver that stopped the Bubonic Plague.

    Colloidal silver has been documented in medicinal books as being effective to kill viral infections since 1914.

    No its not a scam, its only gullible sheeple, I mean people that think its a scam.

    Colloidal Silver has never been safer as it is today.

    Colloidal Silver Atom….they are extremely effective, especially when they are 3000 PPM.

    Colloidsilverwrks wrote on December 1st, 2010
  23. I’ve used and will always use Colloidal Silver and homoeopathic remedies for both myself and my dogs. In moderation and when I need them and, used properly, they’re safer and cheaper than using drugs and chemicals. No-one’s turning blue here.

    I’m wondering if the naysayers here have actually tried them or are just going blindly along with Conventional Wisdom!

    I currently have a bandaid on a finger I accidently sliced on a file pin yesterday, which is impregnated with silver – my nicks and cuts always used to get slightly infected but not if I use these bandaids. No disinfectants or ointments; just wash and slap on a silver bandaid. Brilliant!

    I’ll try something if I think it has potential. If it doesn’t work for me, it’s out the door.

    GirlinOz wrote on January 4th, 2011
    • Huge coincidence! Just got an email from a supplement site (yes, they’re flogging their products but I checked and this was reported in the media back in October):

      “Promising new research on the use of silver has emerged which may provide a potential cure for the common cold.

      The discovery was made by a team at the University of Ghent in Belgium. Professor Willy Verstraete, a microbiologist, discovered a method of attaching nanoparticles of silver to harmless bacteria called Lactobacillus fermentum. This bacteria, often found in probiotic yoghurts, when grown in a solution of silver ions, then excretes tiny particles of silver which stud the outside of the cells.

      Researchers tested the silver-impregnated bacteria against norovirus, which causes winter vomiting outbreaks, and found they leave the virus unable to cause infections. The researchers believe the same technique could help to combat other viruses, including influenza and those responsible for causing the common cold.

      Scientists said the silver-studded bacteria could be incorporated into nasal sprays, water filters or hand washes to prevent the spread of viruses.”

      GirlinOz wrote on January 4th, 2011
  24. It seems this blog post was counter productive. Looks like I’m going to have to try some Colloidal Silver.

    TickTock wrote on January 14th, 2011
  25. Wow, this subject is really amazing to me. I am about to graduate and receive my BScN in nursing. It is ironic that I am moving away from medicine and realizing that I have been more ill from antibiotics than my actual illnesses. One thing that I really don’t understand is that the ‘medical field’ is trying to discredit using silver as a natural remedy for illnesses. Meanwhile, I have used many dressings on people that are infused with silver in order to decrease the growth of bacteria and harmful pathogens. These dressings are even used on people with MRSA. I even have some non-adhesive foam dressing that is infused with Ag (called Biatain Ag).These dressings are provided by the hospital and I did not go to any health food store to buy them. Silver IS used in the medical field, not just by homeopaths and naturopaths. So why is it that they are trying to discredit the use of silver as a solution?
    Also, anyone who has learned the proper way to do research knows that this is a biased claim and can be considered ‘garbage’. Their is no evidence to support his claim of silver having ‘substantial risks’. Actually he goes into detail explaining the one risk this actually has. He also states that is it something that WILL happen if you take this on a regular basis. This couldn’t be more false, as I do not have any grey or blue friends. This can happen if you are taking extreme amounts and not following directions. However, even water is dangerous in extreme amounts. Our body depends on a delicate balance of everything (homeostasis).
    The last sentence was a tricky one and made me laugh. Yes he is right when he states that silver in not and essential nutrient. However, our body does have silver in it naturally and does depend on silver for certain cellular metabolic functioning. Nice try buddy, but this myth was just busted!!!! I am not saying that colloidal silver does benefit everything it claims to, since their is very slim proper, unbiased research to support this, I am stating that the article above is a bunch of bull :) Also, the picture in the article is really shocking and tries to make his claim stand out to the reader. Their is a big difference between ashen grey (which is what older smokers can look like, and you see everyday) and the robot man that is spray painted in this picture.

    Sasha wrote on March 17th, 2011
    • EVERY mineral on planet earth can also be found in the human body (and in the same proportions!)

      Jiggy wrote on March 27th, 2011
  26. Well, people used to put a silver coin in their wells to prevent bacteria from thriving in the water, they used to put in in water reserves on ships to keep the water free of bacteria, they STILL use it in babies eyes to prevent infection right after birth. It is antibacterial, but some people for some reason don’t want you to know this!

    Jiggy wrote on March 27th, 2011
    • Silver dishes, silver ‘silverware’; whooda thunkit?

      Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Silver is used in water filters to kill viruses. Buncha witchcraft, huh?

      Kenny wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  27. I have heard of breast cancer being cured by directly injecting colloidal GOLD right into the center of the mass! Colloidal gold is also used on burn patients IN HOSPITALS to prevent infection; it’s the ONLY thing that prevents it!

    Jiggy wrote on March 27th, 2011
  28. And, for the person who mentioned colloidal diamonds: That is ONLY used when the person is in tip-top shape and has zero medical issues. Diamond ENHANCES the present condition of the person. It also enhances supplements.

    Jiggy wrote on March 27th, 2011
  29. Colloidal Silver was used extensively prior to the 1940′s in which the pharmaceutical companies abandoned it to new antibiotics.

    People who discredit what they do not understand need to carefully do their homework before they start calling everything a scam.

    They are most likely paid bashers that belong to some kind of Big Pharma Trade Association.

    Perfectmus wrote on March 30th, 2011
  30. I’ve been using if for 2.5 years now. I’ve been on allergy meds for 15 years prior ending with Xyrtec and Flonase and I still got sinus infections at least 3 times a year. An accidental overdose of SineAid basically turned me into a hermit because the headaches are so great without a decongestant that I would stay indoors to try to avoid getting sick. I haven’t taken Xyrtec or Flonase in the last 2.5 years since I started using silver and I have not had one sinus infection in that time. I only spray it in my nose when I feel the sickness coming on. If this is psychosomatic then guess what, I’ll still keep on with it. Not having sinus infections for 2.5 years is fantastic!!!! I hike again and I camp again during the high pollen days. I researched and with the FDA trying to ban it…I make my own now. Something that works this well, no way I’m letting go of it.

    Mike C. wrote on April 19th, 2011
    • Mike, quitting commercial wheat products took care of my sinus problems. I’m currently experimenting with yeast bread and organic flour. I don’t think grains are a constructive food source but my quest for knowledge keeps me experimenting.

      Kenny wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  31. Also…NASA uses nano silver in their water filtration systems. It just takes a bit of research.

    Mike C. wrote on April 19th, 2011
  32. Well, all you doubters, tut tut…

    I had the Super Flesh Eating MSRI bug that no one could cure, I was being eaten alive from the inside out and had only hours to live.

    While getting my last rights, the priest sprinkled some “holy water” over me, coincidentally he had accidentally put Colloidal Silver in by accident instead of holy water. Within minutes I was walking around and half an hour later I was down at the pub getting arse faced!

    It works!!! Why don’t all doctors use it?

    Cured from terminal MSRI flesh eating bug! wrote on June 22nd, 2011
  33. Will this thread NEVER DIE???!?!?!!

    Nazis! Great Big Nazis with atom bombs who vote Republican! They use CS! Yes, Hitler used CS.

    Now go crawl back into your yurts and await the second coming.

    Roger Rabbit wrote on July 7th, 2011
  34. Silver is used on serious burns to reduce scarring. There’s no doubt in my mind that medical effects of silver are real; however, I can’t find a place for it in my own life because no-one has done serious research about internal dosages for specific uses.
    The medico-scientific community has been negligent, and the enthusiasts and conspiracy nuts have taken up the slack. But this tells us nothing about silver itself.
    For internal use it is probably the nano-particles (about 5% of ordinary CS; most of the silver in CS is ionic, not colloidal at all) that are antiviral etc. They may have higher risks too. The bast research is around the properties of silver nano-particles, not the ionic CS that’s everywhere these days.

    George Henderson wrote on December 11th, 2011
  35. In order to regain some measure of credibility, I seriously suggest you NOT assume that it’s safe to just print whatever the NIH or FDA puts out. The chance of it being propaganda is always very high and any serious health-advocate should know this. There’s plenty of other reading you can do to thoroughly rebut the unexamined claim you make in this article. And, by the way, the (one and only) example of a “blue man” that the media always points to is that SAME one old guy who was showcased on 60 minutes years ago and who was OBVIOUSLY painted. Why was he painted blue? Ask yourself why. First, because the blue man thing doesn’t actually happen with colloidal silver; and secondly, because the medical/health establishment SERIOUSLY doesn’t want the masses learning the hundred and one uses of colloidal silver that would stop them buying or needing the toxic and costly products proffered by the enormous corporate intereste. Please get a clue, write your retraction and don’t be one of Them.

    Prahna wrote on April 12th, 2012
  36. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that colloidal silver has antibacterial properties and that it can can prevent a cut from getting infected. So what? You can buy a tube of antibacterial ointment for a couple of dollars.

    tkm wrote on April 23rd, 2012
  37. Really, Mark, I like this blog, very valuble.

    But, on this subject, ignorance. Just ignorance and superstition.

    You should be ashamed.

    Xiaoding wrote on May 28th, 2012
  38. thoughts from an infectious disease doctor over at Science Based Medicine:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/hi-ho-silver/

    Allen Murdoch wrote on May 28th, 2012
  39. I drank about two liters of CS (20PPM in distilled water) a week for months to cure my discoid eczema. I also nebulised it. 5 minutes a day three times a week in a professional grade nebuliser. Not a doctor in the world could help me and I was told it was chronic so I would have to be on all sorts of rubbish to “control” the symptoms. I have not had so much a a sneeze in nearly 3 years. I have being through hell because of this condition and I’m now back so I think I’m more qualified to comment on if it works or not Mark!

    Karl wrote on June 3rd, 2012
    • So, drinking and nebulizing CS cured your discoid eczema? How many months did it take?

      Michael D wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  40. I have been making and using my own colloidal silver for the past 12 years. I have never in that time suffered from flu or any serious infections. The rubbish about CS being disseminated by the FDA and its cohorts about CS is just that-pure BS.
    Their reasons are purely to protect Big Pharma.My wife, my friends, my dog, and my plants owe one hell of a lot to the properties of CS. I have not turned blue,grey, or purple. and am as healthy as I was when I was 30! I am 69 years old and will continue till I reach 100!CS is one of the best things I have ever “discovered” (Cape Town ZA)

    Tony G. Moen wrote on August 20th, 2012

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