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Colloidal Silver - Yay or Nay?

 
gardener
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Hey Permies!

I've been using a new tooth paste that is made locally and one of the ingredients is colloidal silver. A quick google search of colloidal silver results in a bombardment or warnings and risks. A quick google scholar search leaves me with a giant "?".

Silver has a long and intriguing history as an antibiotic in human health care. It has been developed for use in water purification, wound care, bone prostheses, reconstructive orthopaedic surgery, cardiac devices, catheters and surgical appliances. Advancing biotechnology has enabled incorporation of ionizable silver into fabrics for clinical use to reduce the risk of nosocomial infections and for personal hygiene. The antimicrobial action of silver or silver compounds is proportional to the bioactive silver ion (Ag+) released and its availability to interact with bacterial or fungal cell membranes. Silver metal and inorganic silver compounds ionize in the presence of water, body fluids or tissue exudates. The silver ion is biologically active and readily interacts with proteins, amino acid residues, free anions and receptors on mammalian and eukaryotic cell membranes. Bacterial (and probably fungal) sensitivity to silver is genetically determined and relates to the levels of intracellular silver uptake and its ability to interact and irreversibly denature key enzyme systems. Silver exhibits low toxicity in the human body, and minimal risk is expected due to clinical exposure by inhalation, ingestion, dermal application or through the urological or haematogenous route. Chronic ingestion or inhalation of silver preparations (especially colloidal silver) can lead to deposition of silver metal/silver sulphide particles in the skin (argyria), eye (argyrosis) and other organs. These are not life-threatening conditions but cosmetically undesirable. Silver is absorbed into the human body and enters the systemic circulation as a protein complex to be eliminated by the liver and kidneys. Silver metabolism is modulated by induction and binding to metallothioneins. This complex mitigates the cellular toxicity of silver and contributes to tissue repair. Silver allergy is a known contra-indication for using silver in medical devices or antibiotic textiles.


Biofunctional Textiles and the Skin
Editor(s): Hipler, U.-C. (Jena)
Elsner, P. (Jena)

Background: Legitimate medicinal use of silver-containing products has dramatically diminished over the last several decades. Recently, however, some manufacturers have begun to enthusiastically promote oral colloidal silver proteins as mineral supplements and for prevention and treatment of many diseases. Indiscriminate use of silver products can lead to toxicity such as argyria. Objective: To assist health care professionals in a risk versus benefit assessment of over-the-counter silver-containing products, we herein examine the following issues: historical uses, chemistry, pharmacology, clinical toxicology, case reports of adverse events in the literature, and the recent promotion of over-the-counter silver products. Other sources of silver exposure (including environmental and dietary) and EPA exposure staruiards are discussed. A list of currently available silver products is provided for easy reference and screening. Conclusions: We emphasize the lack of established effectiveness and potential toxicity of these products.


Clincical Toxicology
Silver Products for Medical Indications: Risk-Benefit Assessment
Man C. Fung &Debra L. Bowen

Safe, not safe, safe, not safe? I'm putting it on my gums, I'm questioning my tooth paste now.

I'm no means against to personal anecdotes about the use; however, anyone seen a meta analysis on the topic?
 
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I think i would try damn near anything else first.   I've read forum stuff about it for years and while it works great for many, there are a few who have trouble.  Including turning blue.
 
pollinator
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Definite "nay."  No apparent health benefits plus the whole turning blue thing, which is medically benign but irreversible.

 
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Let's say it's very effective and safe; why put it on your teeth? Oral health depends in a healthy balance of bacteria. Colloidal silver is obviously designed to destroy bacteria. Doesn't make sense to me.

I brush with clay. Love it.
 
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I know of no supporting peer reviewed research.  That said, I own a bottle.
 
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How strange!

Had someone come to my door to purchase some of my things, and he told me that he has just about a colloidal silver making machine for hundreds of dollars, his brother apparently used it to cure a bad back and cronic headaches...

Did I quick bit of searching and yes it has been shown in studies to do good things, and bad.

The blue thing is kind of interesting. Bit only in a mad scientist way.

I would vote nay
 
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I've done extensive research into colloidal silver, to the point of being in touch a few years ago with scientists at various universities all over the world about it who are (were) doing experiments with the use of it. I don't know about using it in toothpaste, but I certainly have a bottle or two of it always on hand as part of my emergency arsenal of supplies, right next to grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil, and oil of oregano. I've also used colloidal silver over the last 20 years for my children as well as for my animals whenever the need arose, including straight in the eyes when necessary, with amazing successes. The man that is so famous on the internet for turning blue had taken colloidal silver in its ionic form daily for many years. I don't think that is how colloidal silver is meant to be used. It is not supposed to be a preventative to be taken daily from all I have read, but to be taken should something come up that would warrant its use. If I had toothpaste with it in it I would finish the tube, but not buy it again.
 
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Colloidal silver is easily made at home.  

I used an old pickle jar.  I drilled two small holes in the lid inserted two rubber grommets and fed two wire through.  I attached alligator clips to the ends of the wires and attached a 1 oz silver ingot to each clip.  I then knotted the wires above the grommets to hold the wires at that height, which left the bottom 2/3 of the silver ingots suspended in "distilled" water.

After that you simply run a voltage through it and tiny particles of silver leave the silver ingots into the "distilled" water.

As for how much good it does as an antibacterial I really can't say.  In ancient times silver coins were dropped into water tanks to keep it from going bad, in pioneer days they would drop a silver coin in milk to keep from going bad etc.  I the early 20th century scientists would drop silver dimes in petri dishes to disinfect them.

Silver is non toxic to the human body, though large amounts build up and will eventually turn you into a smurf, no exaggeration at all, the condition is called argyria..  

Silver is one of best antibacterials known to man, it binds to bacteria and macrophages and blocks their ability to respirate, because of this bacteria are unable to become immune to the silver making a pretty powerful tool.  My wife is paraplegic and commonly has open wounds that we often treat with "silvadine" which is a silver impregnated cream used on burn patients.  We have also used silver impregnated bandages and dressings over the years.  Now the stuff that we use is prescribed but you can also buy much of this stuff over the internet without a prescription.

We tried the colloidal silver to see if it would help to fight off the bone infection issues that my wife runs into over and over again.  Alas there is no way for the silver to be taken into bone tissue or into the infection pockets so does no good for her condition.  

While silver is non toxic to the human body, one must consider that it "is" toxic to many of the bacteria living within your body, killing off large amounts of bacteria indiscriminately does not seem the most wise thing to do  in my opinion...  Everything has it's uses and no doubt silver has it's uses, whether it is a cure all for the human body is arguable, but it does make a great general purpose antibacterial spray.

It also makes something called silver hydroxide if you feed your colloidal silver making setup too much electricity for too long a period.  The silver combines with the water to create a silvery rubber material floating on top of the water.  I took some of that silver hydroxide and mixed it with some aloe gel from one of our aloe plants and it made an inky black liquid.  The stuff made a great liquid bandage, it would dry into a black rubber in a few seconds after applied over a cut and then just stay there for a week or so.  It was water proof and quite tough, sealed the wound well and presumably helped fight off potential infection.
 
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Hey Annie thank you for the info....do you have any recommended sources of it??

have you tried to 'home-brew' it?

thanks!

i vote yay... but like Annie says make sure you have good product...the blue overdosed as well if my memory servs me
 
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I haven't looked much at the science either way. My grandma was super into colloidal silver for a while though. She made it herself and used on any human or animal she could get her hands on. I remember someone bringing up the blue skin thing and her saying it only happened if a person wasn't making it properly or was using way too much. For quite a while afterwards I fantasized about having blue skin. I find I'm still a little drawn to the idea, being reminded of the possibility thirty years later :D
 
Annie Collins
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Ben Gorski wrote:Hey Annie thank you for the info....do you have any recommended sources of it??

have you tried to 'home-brew' it?

thanks!

i vote yay... but like Annie says make sure you have good product...the blue overdosed as well if my memory servs me



From my research I have learned that it is difficult to make true colloidal silver at home. True colloidal silver is not the same as ionic silver. True colloidal silver is amber in color which comes from something to do with light refraction. Most home-made colloidal silver ends up being clear in color, indicating it is mostly ionic silver which is not nearly as effective as the amber colored colloidal silver. I tried to make amber colored colloidal silver at home and succeeded only once. It was fascinating, being that it required an extra step at the end (after the silver in water part with the current) that involved garlic and sunlight. There are other ways to make true colloidal silver, of course, but for the homemade version, it is difficult. Anyway, the whole thing was rather involved and complex and I haven't tried to make it since due to time-constraints. Now I buy it made by a company called Silver Wings. From what I have read, that company has been shown to have true colloidal silver which is quite amber in color, its depth of amber being dependent on what ppm strength it is. The higher the ppm, the deeper the amber color, of course, which makes sense. If I can find some of the links to the research to do with any of this in my bookmarks, I will share them here.
 
Toby Winston
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This is quite fascinating!
 
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I say yah! Colloidal silver is one thing I have used to prevent or clear infection for years.  I have found it very effective in warding off the seasonal colds, when everyone around the corner seems to be ill.  I used to buy it but now I have a simple home machine made by a local guy.  It is so handy and Im not one of those people who use it daily.  Only when exposed or in need of sanitizing.  There are other things I also use, such as herbs and mushrooms for immunity, etc.  I know folks who use it for cleaning and diffusing with their essential oils.  
 
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Yay. But, then, I'm all about researching everything, including brands, and not just taking much of anything, just as a long term precaution against random anything - particularly not in large doses, like the grey-blue guy. I don't think I've ever taken CS, orally. I've used it, only as-needed, in the case of infection (say a sinus infection, infected bite, sting, cuts, or puncture wounds), or illnesses of bacterial origin. But, it's an amazing roll in the first aid arsenal.
 
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I've been using it recently to topically treat a weird sore on the inside of my middle finger near the base.that I think is the result of working with biological teas while.wearing gloves. Its done a great job of stemming infection and promoting my skin healing. It's had a pronounced and noticeable effect several times in reducing redness and irritation of the wound.
I'm another fan of colloidal silver but toothpaste seems like an odd application
 
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Colloidal silver worked for me in clearing up an especially awful sinus infection. I laid off the edge of my bed, with my head hanging down, and let the colloidal silver sit in my nostrals for a couple of minutes. I did that twice a day, and the infection cleared up in about 3 days. It saved me a lot of money from not having to visit a doctor.
 
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I can see it for first aid, but I worry what effect everyday consumption would have on gut flora and septic systems. Not all microorganisms are bad.
 
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Safer than fluoride.

But that isn't saying much.
 
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completely safe in small doses and proper applications.

mostly safe even in medium doses and improper application.

questionable, but not too bad in ridiculously high doses and completely incorrect applications, which is frequent..

so basically enthusiastic yay. with a proper qualifier, it should be taken in extremely small doses. you do not need very much at all, tiny doses for a month or 3 max.

that said there's probably an extremely small amount in your toothpaste, and i think it's completely safe for you to use it, especially as not much is absorbed in that context, you spiut most of it. i believe this is an appropriate dose and appropriate use, as it will neutralize a lot of bacteria and germs...
 
R Scott
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I would have to see the ingredient list, but there is a strong possibility it is used as the preservative to prevent mold growth in the toothpaste. Any benefit to you is secondary, it is just the least toxic preservative they can use.
 
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