Is ingesting colloidal silver helpful for any condition and is it safe to use? I'm seeing it promoted for many applications.
Colloidal silver (a solution with silver particles) has antiseptic (disinfectant) activity, and, for this reason, has been promoted for a wide number of uses, from treating sinus infections and ear infections to boosting the immune system. It has also been promoted to help treat diabetes, arthritis, thyroid conditions, and even cancer. However, there is no clinically-proven benefit for taking colloidal silver, and there are potential risks.
Long term use of colloidal silver can cause "blue man syndrome," or argyria, a permanent gray or blue discoloration of the skin. Rarely, chronic consumption of colloidal silver has been associated with the development of seizures; in one case, this led to coma and death (Mirsattari, Neurology 2004; Stepien, Ann Clin Biochem 2009).
Long-term use of an oral colloidal silver supplement is suspected to have caused bone marrow damage and contributed to the development of cancer of the blood and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia, or AML) in a 79-year-old man who had been taking this supplement for more than ten years. His blood silver level was found to be approximately five times the maximum normal level. The man died due to progressive respiratory failure (a complication of AML) and pulmonary embolism. His physicians at a UCLA Hematology-Oncology clinic noted that there is evidence that silver may cause changes in bone marrow and blood cells, and has been shown to promote tumor growth in laboratory studies. They also speculated that colloidal silver may have altered the "normal bacterial flora" in the man, making him more susceptible to respiratory infection (Keung, J Oncol Pharm Pract 2019).
Colloidal silver may cause fetal abnormalities if taken during pregnancy (Fung, J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1996).
In 1999, the FDA banned colloidal silver as an over-the-counter drug for internal as well as external use, stating that it was not generally recognized as safe and effective. Legally, however, it remains available as a dietary supplement.
Tests of 16 colloidal silver products in the U.S. found that, of the 13 that listed an amount of colloidal silver, ten did not contain within 20% of the listed amount -- three of which contained only 0.5% to 15% of what was listed. Taking the dose recommended on products would yield from 5.6 mcg and 961 mcg of silver per day — an enormous range. These were all far below the level associated with acute adverse effects but, as noted by the researchers, there are potential risks associated with chronic ingestion of even small amounts of silver, including changes the microbial balance in the gut, and possible toxicity to the lining of the small intestine. Some products also contained nanoparticles of silver, which, due to their small size, may be more toxic than larger silver particles to the cardiovascular system, and, if inhaled (as from a spray) may have inflammatory effects on tissue in the nose and lung (Rogers, Sci Total Environ 2018; Product names not listed).
The bottom line:
There is no clinical evidence that colloidal silver supplements effectively treat infections, diabetes, arthritis, thyroid conditions or cancer. Furthermore, colloidal silver can cause permanent blue discoloration of the skin, and, rarely, has been reported to cause seizures. Pregnant women should not use colloidal silver.
ABSTRACT from CONSUMER LABORATORIES March 2019
FOR information only...hope this information is helpful