Simply put, colloids are extremely minute particles suspended in water, with a positive electrical charge. The smaller the particles, the more effective they appear to be. Some manufacturers claim a long shelf life, while distributors of units that make CS as needed claim that freshness is important and that solutions weaken with time. There is enough contradictory information available to maintain a state of confusion regarding CS, its uses, potency and safety, for some time.
CS does not attack bacteria directly, but rather deactivates enzymes responsible for the multiplication and metabolism of anaerobic organisms especially. Microbes cannot mutate into silver-resistant forms, as happens with conventional antibiotics. CS acts as a catalyst and is not consumed in the process; it is known to be successful against more than 650 illness-causing microorganisms.
Colloidal silver is commonly recommended in acute and chronic recurrent infections for short term use (7-10 days). When atomized and inhaled through a mister, colloidal silver can be sprayed into the nose or throat as a disinfecting throat gargle.
Claims are made for benefits in the following conditions:
Acne*, allergies, arthritis – some types*, athletes foot*, bad breath, bladder infections, cystitis*, bleeding gums, boils*, burns*, candida*, canker sores, chronic fatigue, colds, colitis*, conjunctivitis*, cornea injury*, cystitis, dandruff, dermatitis, diabetes*, diarrhea*, digestive aid, diphtheria, dysentery, ear infections*, eczema – various locations*, fibrositis, flu*, gastritis, gingivitis, gonorrhea*, gum recession, halitosis, hay fever*, hemorrhoids*, hepatitis, herpes, impetigo*, keratitis, leprosy, lupus, Lyme disease, lymphangitis*, malaria, Meniere's disease*, meningitis*, moles, ophthalmology, parvo virus*, pleurisy, pneumonia, prostate enlargement, pruritus – anal and other, psoriasis and skin rashes*, rheumatism, rhinitis*, ringworm*, rosacea, seborrhea, sepsis – infection*, shingles*, sinusitis*, skin cancer, sore throat, staph infections*, strep infections*, syphilis, tonsillitis*, tooth decay delay, toxemia, trench foot, tuberculosis, typhoid, ulcers*, Vincent's angina*, warts*, whooping cough*, yeast infections*.
* Documented uses. There are other uses not contained in this list, and uses listed here may be substantiated but not noted so in this list.
Colloidal Silver should be used temporarily rather than continuously. Some doctors recommend that after using colloidal silver for an extended internal treatment period you should take steps to remove the silver from your system. Approaches include taking homeopathic silver (Argentum Nitricum), EDTA chelation, or homeopathic DMPS.
Products have varied in concentration from less than 10ppm to 500ppm. Professional suppliers often offer products in the 25ppm range with a suggested dose of 25 drops (0.75cc) under the tongue 4 times per day. This dose provides about 75mcg (0.075mg; about 13 of these doses equals 1mg.)
A 1ppm concentration is the same as 1mg per liter – for example 10ppm CS contains 10mg of silver in one liter of liquid; one teaspoon of 10ppm CS contains 50mcg of silver.
CS is claimed to be non-toxic, non-addicting, and to have no known side-effects. Unlike silver nitrate, CS can be used safely as a supplement. Drug interactions and allergic reactions are unknown. One review emphasizes the "lack of established effectiveness and potential toxicity of these products." ["Silver products for medical indications: risk-benefit assessment." by Fung MC, Bowen DL, J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1996;34(1): pp.119-26]
Roger Altman, Eng.Sc.D., in an experimental fashion, consumed 2.34mg of silver daily for several months then measured the total silver excreted from his body over a 24 hour period. He concluded that silver is excreted easily from the body, primarily in the urine.
He also ran a measurement of silver elimination for 100 days following the cessation of silver intake. Initially, most of the silver was eliminated through the urine. He noted that increasing water intake increased silver elimination through the urine. After approximately the first month, silver elimination was greater through the feces than through the urine. He estimated that by the 100 day mark nearly all of the accumulated silver had been eliminated from his tissues.
This may explain why there has been, at the time of writing, just one case of argyria (a permanent blue-gray discoloration of the skin and deep tissues) reported of an individual using low dosage CS. ["Argyria following the use of dietary supplements containing colloidal silver protein." by Gulbranson SH, Hud JA, Hansen RC, Cutis 2000 Nov;66(5): pp.373-4]
Despite claims of no toxicity, and that it is "impossible" for silver in this form to accumulate in the body, caution is advised when taking large doses for extended periods of time. The indiscriminate use of silver solutions (apparently always in a form other than CS) has resulted in cases of argyria. The FDA has issued a Final Rule declaring that all over-the-counter (OTC) drug products containing colloidal silver or silver salts are not recognized as safe and effective and are misbranded. This ruling came into force on September 16, 1999.
It has been claimed that colloidal silver has helped to eradicate this infection.
The germicidal properties of silver combined with the high particle surface area of a colloid enhances the body's natural defense against infections and viruses such as Hepatitis. However, more research into the safety and effectiveness of Colloidal Silver is needed.
Colloidal silver is believed to increase the effectiveness of Serenoa Repens.