The market’s awash in products claiming to be colloidal silver. Yes, I did say ‘claiming’ to be colloidal silver. True silver, as defined by the Colloidal Science Laboratory, is very different from the many products marketed as colloidal. True colloidal silver consists of silver nanoparticles. But how can you tell the difference, and is colloidal even safe? Here are 7 facts every silver newbie needs to know about colloidal silver’s safety, how to identify a true colloidal silver product, and why it’s imperative you use only true colloidal silver.
7 Facts about Colloidal Silver
Here are seven must-know facts about colloidal silver, with a bit of history thrown in here and there. Use these facts as a guide for choosing the best colloidal silver product, or as a general introduction for further research into the product:
#1: The International Space Station Uses Silver to Purify its Water
Hospitals have begun using filters containing silver to kill MRSA and other harmful organisms. Even the World Health Organization uses silver and colloidal silver in water filters to disinfect water in developing countries.  But in spite of this, the United Nations and most government health agencies around the world will tell you it doesn’t work and it’s not safe. The fact is colloidal silver is the least harmful metal to humans and one of the most protective.
#2: Kills Bacteria and Other Harmful Organisms
This is one reason why colloidal silver is used to disinfect water. Historically, silver was used to preserve milk. Settlers would drop a silver dollar in the milk jug to keep it from spoiling. Babies were fed with silver spoons because those that did were generally perceived to be healthier.
#3: Greeks and Romans Used Silver to Prevent Food Spoilage
Not only that, colloidal silver was used by physicians in the early part of the twentieth century. They stopped using it with the arrival of antibiotics. That’s when pharmaceutical companies got in on medical care, and that’s when silver and other common remedies became unpopular. They couldn’t be owned or patented, and they wouldn’t be as profitable. But money doesn’t change 2,000 years of facts or science.
#4: How Colloidal Silver Combats Harmful Organisms
A 2013 study of silver nanoparticles, the ones used in true colloidal silver products, examined the effect of the silver against a variety of microorganisms. The researchers found significant effect against common disease-causing bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Staphylococcus epidermidis.  Researchers from around the world are currently testing silver nanoparticles for dental use. One study found it helped prevent infection during root canals. 
An Australian study tested silver nanoparticles against strains of bacteria known to worsen rheumatoid arthritis. The study used a silver preparation in a human subject suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers found it was potent and offered long-lasting protection against inflammation associated with the bacteria. 
#5: How Does Silver Work Against These Organisms
When a silver atom encounters a bacterial organism, it binds to the cell and the silver gets absorbed through the cell wall. Once inside the organism, it stops certain essential metabolic functions. This supposedly kills the harmful organism. It’s important to note that silver does this to bacteria and other harmful organisms yet it does not have this effect on healthy human cells.
#6: Are All Colloidal Silver Products Really Colloidal?
As I mentioned, there are a lot of products on the market calling themselves colloidal silver. The term colloidal is used to describe two types of silver products: true colloidal silver and ionic silver solutions. The problem with ionic silver is it doesn’t make it through the digestive process. Colloidal silver is stable. It survives digestion and gets absorbed harmlessly into the bloodstream. True colloidal silver contains nanoparticles of silver suspended in a pure liquid solution. More than fifty-percent of the silver must be these silver particles. Having these nanoparticles increases the surface area of the silver present. This is important to the product’s effectiveness.
#7: How to Identify a True Colloid
The easiest way to tell a true colloid is by its color. A true colloidal silver solution contains silver particles that absorb light, so the silver solution will not be clear. These solutions also have a lower ppm than ionic silver solutions, or solutions containing other impurities.
Why You Should Only Use a True Colloid
Silver particles in a true colloid survive digestion and absorption in a way that keeps them active and effective against organisms. Also, a true colloid will never cause argyria, a common concern among people thinking about trying silver products. A true colloid has a smaller particle size.
Have you used Colloidal Silver? Share with us your experience!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Felipe Solsona, Juan Pablo Mendez. Water Disinfection. Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences. 2003.
Pokrowiecki R1, Zareba T2, Mielczarek A3, et al. Evaluation of biocidal properties of silver nanoparticles against cariogenic bacteria. Med Dosw Mikrobiol. 2013;65(3):197-206.
Abbaszadegan A1, Nabavizadeh M, Gholami A, et al. Positively charged imidazolium-based ionic liquid-protected silver nanoparticles: a promising disinfectant in root canal treatment. Int Endod J. 2014 Sep 2. doi: 10.1111/iej.12377.
Disaanayake DM1, Faoagali J, Laroo H, Hancock G, Whitehouse M.. Efficacy of some colloidal silver preparations and silver salts against Proteus bacteria, one possible cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammopharmacology. 2014 Apr;22(2):73-7. doi: 10.1007/s10787-013-0198-0.