WARNING - Colloidal Silver

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TerriM, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    I have never taken Colloidal Silver, but have a good friend with FM that does . . . during some other research I ran across this article and thought I would pass it on just in case . . . Terri

    Colloidal Silver:
    Risk Without Benefit
    Stephen Barrett, M.D.
    Colloidal silver is a suspension of submicroscopic metallic silver particles in a colloidal base. Long-term use of silver preparations can lead to argyria, a condition in which silver salts deposit in the skin, eyes, and internal organs, and the skin turns ashen-gray. Many cases of argyria occurred during the pre-antibiotic era when silver was a common ingredient in nosedrops. When the cause became apparent, doctors stopped recommending their use, and reputable manufacturers stopped producing them. The official drug guidebooks (United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary) have not listed colloidal silver products since 1975.

    Dubious Ads
    In recent years, silver-containing products have been marketed with unsubstantiated claims that they are effective against AIDS, cancer, infectious diseases, parasites, chronic fatigue, acne, warts, hemorrhoids, enlarged prostate, and many other diseases and conditions. Some marketers claim that colloidal silver is effective against hundreds of diseases.

    During 1998, a Florida-based multilevel company, stated:

    Our colloidal silver contains 99.99% pure silver particles suspended indefinitely in demineralized water that kills bacteria and viruses. It can be applied topically and/or absorbed into the blood stream sub-lingually (under the tongue), thereby avoiding the negative effects of traditional antibiotics that kill good bacteria in the lower digestive tract.

    An all natural antibiotic alternative in the purest form available. The presence of colloidal silver near a virus, fungi, bacterium or any other single celled pathogen disables its oxygen-metabolism enzyme, its chemical lung, so to say. The pathogens suffocates and dies, and is cleared out of the body by the immune, lymphatic and elimination systems.

    Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics which destroy beneficial enzymes, colloidal silver leaves these beneficial enzymes intact. Thus colloidal silver is absolutely safe for humans, reptiles, plants and all multi-celled living matter.

    It is impossible for single-celled germs to mutate into silver-resistant forms, as happens with conventional antibiotics. Also, colloidal silver cannot interact or interfere with other medicines being taken. Colloidal silver is truly a safe, natural remedy for many of mankind's ills. Colloidal silver can be taken indefinitely because the body does not develop a tolerance to it [1]

    Seasilver International, a California-based multilevel company, claims that American are suffering from "silver deficiency." Although silver is not an essential nutrient, product information posted on the company's Web site states:

    The depletion of minerals in our soil has left us deficient of silver, one of our most essential trace minerals, causing a drastic increase in immune system disorders in our society in the last decade. Research has taught us that all disease is allowed to manifest itself because of a weakened immune system. In over 20 years of worldwide research on Colloidal Silver, numerous interviews with government agencies, health care practitioners and their patients, no other nutrient, herb or drug (prescription or over-the-counter) is as safe and effective against all known forms of unfriendly virus, bacteria, and fungus. Additionally, while it is generally known that most antibiotics kill only perhaps 6 or 7 different disease organisms, reports have shown that Colloidal Silver has been used successfully in the treatment of over 650 diseases! Furthermore, strains of disease organisms fail to develop in the presence of Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver's greatest attribute is its unique ability to function as a superior second immune system in the body! [2]

    Critical Studies and Case Reports
    In 1995, an herbal distributor named Leslie Taylor tested nine commonly marketed colloidal silver products available at health-food stores and concluded:

    Two of the products were contaminated with microorganisms.
    The amount of silver suspended in solution varied from product to product and would gradually decrease over time.
    Only five products actually showed antibacterial activity in a laboratory test. To perform the test, she prepared a culture plate with Staphylococcus aureas bacteria, which can cause infections in humans. She then placed a drop from each product on the plate and used disks of two common antibiotics as controls. After eight hours of incubation, she found that bacterial growth had been inhibited around the antibiotics and four of the products.
    Of course, the fact that a product inhibits bacteria in a laboratory culture doesn't mean it is effective (or safe) in the human body. In fact, products that kill bacteria in the laboratory would be more likely to cause argyria because they contain more silver ions that are free to deposit in the user's skin.

    FDA laboratory studies have found that the amount of silver in some product samples has varied from 15.2% to 124% of the amount listed on the product labels. The amount of silver required to produce argyria is unknown. However, the FDA has concluded that the risk of using silver products exceeds any unsubstantiated benefit [3]. So far, seven cases of argyria related to silver products have been reported:

    A 56-year-old man who had sold and used colloidal silver for three years, developed blue/gray discoloration of his fingernails accompanied by a very high blood level of silver [4].
    A married couple who had three years of daily consumption of a drink prepared by administering an electrolytic charge to a bowl of water that contained a silver bar [5].
    Another couple had been taking a silver-containing "dietary supplement" prescribed by a naturopath [5].
    A mentally ill man who had been drinking silver-containing herbal tea for about 10 months [5].
    Stan Jones, Montana's Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, who reportedly started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics. He made his own concoction by electrically two silver wires in a glass of water [6].
    Enforcement Actions
    Between October 1993 and September 1994, the FDA issued warning letters to five colloidal silver marketers::

    Higher Education Library Publications (H.E.L.P.), of Springfield, Utah, was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was effective as a natural antibiotic and might be effective against cancer, genito-urinary diseases, tuberculosis, and AIDS.
    Nutrition, Inc., of Arvada, Colorado, was ordered to stop stating or implying that its Silvicidal, when administered orally or intravenously, was nontoxic, FDA-approved, and was a broad-spectrum antibiotic that killed bacteria and all virus and fungal infections. In addition, it was falsely claimed to be effective against a long list of specific diseases.
    Reseau International of Cincinnati, Ohio was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was a "natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory immune system stimulant" and that it was effective against cancer, staph, strep, influenza, general body infections, inflammation, impaired immune system, fungus toxicity, tonsillitis, Meniere's symptoms, whooping cough, shingles, syphilis, cholera, and malaria. The labeling also stated that colloidal silver could cause major growth stimulation of human tissues and can regenerate
    Silverado Inc., of Bountiful, Utah, was warned to stop making false claims that its colloidal silver product was effective as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent and that it could stimulate the immune system.
    Unic, of Carmichael, California, was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was effective against many diseases.burn-damaged tissue without scarring.
    In October 1996, the FDA proposed to ban the use of colloidal silver or silver salts in over-the-counter products [7]. A Final Rule banning such use was issued on August 17, 1999 and became effective September 16th. The rule applies to any nonprescription colloidal silver or silver salt product claimed to be effective in preventing or treating any disease [8]. Silver products can still be sold as "dietary supplements" provided that no health claims are made for them. During 2000, the FDA issued warnings to more than 20 companies whose Web sites were making illegal therapeutic claims for colloidal silver products.

    In May 2000, the Federal Court of Australia banned Vital Earth Company Pty Limited and its director Darryl John Jones from falsely representing that the colloidal silver produced by their "Vital Silver 3000 Zapper," "Vital Silver 2000 Automatic" and "Vital Silver 2000":

    Can kill all disease-causing bacteria, fungi and virus within six minutes of contact
    Has no harmful side effects; that colloidal silver could be used as an antibiotic for all the acquired diseases of active AIDS
    Is effective with more than 650 different pathogenic bacteria and virus types
    Has been used successfully against diseases including AIDS, cholera, diabetes, leprosy, leukemia, lupus, skin cancer, syphilis and whooping cough.
    The company was also ordered to pay AUS$9000 in costs and to provide refunds [9].

    In June 2001, the FTC obtained consent agreements with two companies:

    Robert C. Spencer and Lisa M. Spencer, doing business as Aaron Company (Palm Bay, Florida) Colloidal silver has been medically proven to kill over 650 disease-causing organisms in the body and is effective in curing diseases ranging from cancer and multiple sclerosis to HIV/AIDS [10].
    ForMor, Inc., doing business as ForMor International, and its president, Stan Gross (Birmingham, Alabama) agreed not to make unsubstantiated claims that colloidal silver is effective in treating over 650 infectious diseases, has no adverse side effects, and is effective against arthritis, blood poisoning, cancer, cholera, diphtheria, diabetes, dysentery, gonorrhea, herpes, influenza, leprosy, lupus, malaria, meningitis, rheumatism, shingles, staph infections, strep infections, syphilis, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and yeast infections [10].
    The company (Changes International) is no longer in the supplement business.
    Seasilver International Product Information, accessed October 12, 1998.
    Fung MC, Bowen DL. Silver products for medical indications: risk-benefit assessment. Journal of Toxicology and Clinical Toxicology 34:119-26, 1996.
    Gulbranson SH and others. Argyria following the use of dietary supplements containing colloidal silver protein. Cutis 66:373-374, 2000.
    Hori K and others. Believe it or not -- Silver still poisons! Veterinary and Human Toxicology 44(5):291-292, 2002.
    Blue Is the color of my candidate's skin. Associated Press, Oct 2, 2002
    Federal Register 61:53685-53688, 1996. (To access this document, search the 1996 volume for "colloidal silver.")
    FDA. Final rule: Over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts. Federal Register 64:44653-44658, 1999. Download PDF version
    Refunds for buyers of alternative therapy devices. News release, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission., May 5, 20
    "Operation Cure.All" wages new battle in ongoing war against Internet health fraud. FTC news release, June 14, 2001.
    For Further Information
    Rosemary Jacobs, an argyria victim, has made a detailed study of the colloidal silver marketplace and is willing to answer questions.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2003]
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    One would have to seriously abuse the colloidal silver to have the problems that the doomsayers talk about. Dr. Nicolson recommends it along with the ABX for mycoplasma infections. One of our members used it to clear a funus in her swimming pool when nothing else would work.

    A lot of the problems stemmed from the use of silver nitrate in medicine. There were some problems caused by its use. Colloidal silver is not the same thing. Colloidal silver is safe used at the prescribed amounts. If anyone is seriously considering using it, I would recommend buying a quality brand with the smallest silver particles. I would not try to make my own at home as it is more difficult to get the small particles.

    I've been using Colloidal Silver for more than a year and have yet to turn blue or gray.

    Love, Mikie
  3. Bellesmom

    Bellesmom New Member

    That I use it for my FMS/CFIDS!!! But she wrote down a website for me to "investigate" first. Well - I looked up a lot of info on it and it scared me to death. Why are people willing to take just anything or believe just anything when they are sick?

    This lady actually swears by the good results she has received from whatever form of colloidal silver she is taking. I don't know her but do wonder how many people are taken in by all the "snake oil" for sale out there.

  4. scottabir

    scottabir New Member

    I personally think colloidal silver is awesome! My cat has been battling ringworm for over a year and I just recently put her on colloidal silver 30ppm 1 tablespoon per day. She is FINALLY showing sign of healing!!! I have also used it topically on me with great success. I have done A LOT of research and I have found absolutely NO cases of anyone getting argyria from colloidal silver. There are many people who have been taking doses of up to 8 ounces per day with no side effects. I plan on starting a oral maintence dose next month after the company I buy mine from gets it back in stock.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    I don't know nothing about colloidal silver, but I know about Stephen Barrett, MD, that he claims that multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a psychosomatic disorder (read: is all in our head), so he's not high on my list of credible doctors or scientists.

    (Did you read the interesting article on MCS by M.Pall on this board? if nothing else it is scientific proof that MCS is not psychosomatic.)

  6. TerriM

    TerriM New Member

    Thanks everyone . . . as I said, I have never taken CS, but I just thought I'd post this just in case.

    Susanne . . . I don't know anything about this dr., but I'm glad you brought this to my attention. I have not read his article, but I have read the one on the homepage. I know MCS is not psychosomatic . . . I have a SEVERE hypersensitivity, which may not actually be MCS, but I understand how devastating that illness is . . . I can barely leave my house at this time due to reactions from all types of things including cell phones! I hate that people think our illnesses are psychosomatic . . . Vanderbilt has a mention on one of their websites of "The Psychosomatic Illnesses" referring to CFS, FM, MCS & GWS. I think it is one of their psychology websites . . . possibly child psychology. Anyway, thanks and I hope posting this didn't upset anyone . . . just like to throw things out there that I find . . . sometimes they may be very relevant. Terri
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You can find all kinds of info on the internet both pro and con on just about anything. That doesn't mean that something is snake oil if you find something negative about it. People have gotten results from using CS as it is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.

    Dr. Nicolson is a respected doc who has written many articles on this website. I respect his recommendations.

    If you have decided not to use the CS after weighing the pros and cons, that is fine, but that doesn't mean it is snake oil and it doesn't mean that others shouldn't decide for themselves what is OK to put into their bodies.

    Love, Mikie