Years ago, people that touted the health benefits of magic elixirs and potions were called snake oil peddlers. Now, we are confronted by a new generation of these shysters. Aided by technology, it seems as if not a day goes by that we are not bombarded with spam emails and commercials proclaiming the latest miracle cure for everything from erectile dysfunction to cancer. The latest of these sham elixirs comes in the form of colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is actually the same material that is used in making silver jewelry, the main difference is the minuscule particles of silver used in colloidal silver are suspended in a liquid to facilitate ingestion or injection.
Websites like www.colloidalsilver.com claim that a supplemental regimen including colloidal silver will result in a more beautiful and youthful physical appearance and prevent premature aging. While we would all like to believe that there is a magic “Fountain of Youth”, the Food and Drug Administration has taken exception to the many other health claims made by the companies that are selling colloidal silver supplements.
There are three types of products that are known as colloidal silver. They are true colloidal silver, silver protein, and ionic silver (of which most colloidal silver supplements are made). Manufacturers and distributors of colloidal silver products, like www.purestcolloids.com and www.colloidalsilver.com claim that their products have a plethora of health benefits. These implied benefits include treating HIV, cancer, and herpes, in addition to being an all-around booster for your immune system.
These health claims are based on the use of silver in archaic and antiquated medicine. There are no published studies indicating that colloidal silver is useful in the prevention or treatment of any disease or condition. It is for this reason that the Food and Drug Administration handed down a ruling stating that products containing colloidal silver are neither safe, nor effective in the prevention or treatment of any of the listed diseases or conditions.
As ineffective as colloidal silver may be against parasites, infection, cancer, fatigue, and AIDS, the side effects of the supplement are the really alarming part. The amount of colloidal silver has been shown to accumulate in the body over a period of time, resulting in a condition known as argyria, or a grayish skin discoloration. The effectiveness of antibiotics can be compromised by the use of colloidal silver supplements. In rare cases, seizures, nephritic complications, and rashes have been associated with the use of colloidal silver supplements.
As with all over the counter medications, discuss the risks and benefits with your primary care physician.