New Guidelines for Safe Usage of Colloidal Silver
The Silver Safety Committee has announced its creation of the Silver Safety Pyramid, which is designed to enable anyone to easily determine safe usage levels of any dietary supplement containing silver, typically referred to as ionic silver or colloidal silver.
The Silver Safety Committee consists of doctors, chemistry professors and world leaders in health-freedom advocacy.
According to Herbert Slavin, M.D., director of the Institute of Advanced Medicine in Lauderhill, Florida, and a member of the Committee:
“This is an area where confusion and concern developed needlessly. Few things in life are as cut-and-dried as the fact that silver is completely safe when used within normal limits. The U.S. government provides a very clear guideline for the safe oral intake of silver. We’ve simply provided an easy method for applying that guideline to the safe use of any silver supplement product.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a guideline called the Reference Dose (RfD) for safe limits on daily intake of silver. The EPA’s RfD guideline is specifically intended to keep a person’s intake of silver below the level that could possibly discolor the skin.
Says Jeffrey Blumer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Drug Research, the world’s largest clinical research center for pediatric drugs, and former director of the Greater Cleveland Poison Control Center:
“Common substances like table salt and aspirin are harmless with normal use, but excessive intake can become toxic and even life-threatening. With normal responsible usage, silver supplements are entirely harmless to humans.”
The Silver Safety Pyramid is based on the Committee’s Silver Safety Guideline, which recommends that a person’s intake of silver from dietary supplements be limited to 25 percent of the EPA’s recommended limit for total daily intake of silver.
It utilizes the Silver Safety Calculation, a simple mathematical formula that enables a person to easily determine how much to take of any silver- containing product to remain within the safety guidelines.
The EPA RfD guideline is expressed in terms of micrograms of silver. Virtually all silver supplements, on the other hand, are labeled in terms of parts per million (ppm), which is the concentration of silver in the water, not micrograms. With the Silver Safety Calculation, you just plug in your pounds of body weight and the ppm of silver in whatever silver supplement you’re using, and it calculates the appropriate limits for you.
The Silver Safety Calculation is simple enough: 12 times pounds divided by ppm equals drops per day.
The Silver Safety Pyramid provides guidelines for determining safe usage limits from three perspectives:
• Daily use
• Short-term use
• Entire lifetime
“This is useful information for everyone interested in using silver for health,” Dr. Baird added. “If people follow these guidelines, they can use silver supplements while remaining fully confident they are not exposing themselves to any risks whatsoever.”
The Committee’s website includes the Silver Safety Auto-Calculator, which automatically performs the math in the Silver Safety Pyramid for you. The site also has an Education & FAQ section, which helps clarify the meanings of terms like ppm, ionic silver, colloidal silver, and more.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
There are several types of silver products on the market. Some are healthy alternatives to antibiotics while others can be downright dangerous to your health.
Three Types of “Colloidal” Silver – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
According to a Commercial Product Report by silver-colloids.com, a site that provides detailed laboratory analyses of colloidal silver products, there are three distinctly different types of silver products on the market that are all labeled and sold as “colloidal” silver:
1. Ionic silver
2. Silver protein
3. True colloidal silver
This misrepresentation of colloidal silver by less scrupulous manufacturers has no doubt led to some of the more negative connotations to colloidal silver. When purchasing colloidal silver, it’s very important to make sure you’re getting true colloidal silver, because as you will see, the other two varieties of silver may do far more harm than good.
Since there are health risks involved if you select the wrong formula, I recommend you use colloidal silver only under the guidance and supervision of a qualified alternative health practitioner, who can help you select a high quality product.
Ionic silver solutions – Silver solutions are typically clear like water or have a slight yellow tint. The producers of ionic silver solutions will tell you that colloidal silver should look like clear water, but this is incorrect, so don’t be fooled. The term colloidal means particles, not ions.
To determine whether a solution is ionic silver, add regular table salt (sodium chloride) to it. If silver ions are present, then the chloride ions will combine with the silver ions and create a white, cloudy appearance. For more detailed instructions on how to do this, please see the Silver Colloids web site. http://www.silver-colloids.com/Reports/reports.html
Ionic silver is not entirely without merit, but since ionic silver products contain such a low percentage of silver particles, these products will not be as effective as true colloidal silver, which has a much greater particle surface area relative to the total silver content.
Ionic silver is still a strong anti-microbial, and can be effectively used in situations where chloride is NOT present. When chloride is present – such as inside your body – then what little silver particle is present in the solution will survive to produce benefit, but again, not nearly as effectively as a true colloidal solution.
Please be aware that most all “colloidal silver” generators sold for home use produce ionic silver solutions, and not true colloidal silver.
Potential Danger – Low. If you take ionic silver products according to the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, ionic silver will not cause argyria, a condition that causes your skin to turn blue-gray.
Silver protein – Silver protein products are the second most prevalent type of so-called colloidal silver products on the market. These products are a combination of metallic silver particles and a protein binder to keep the particles in suspension. One tip-off that it’s a silver protein product is if it claims to have high concentrations of colloidal silver (typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 ppm).
Of the three types of colloidal silver, silver protein products have the lowest particle surface area for a given silver concentration, making the silver inaccessible for safe and effective absorption by your body. Because of this, you want to avoid all silver protein products.
To find out whether you have a silver protein product rather than a true silver colloid, look for these characteristics:
• Foaming: When shaken, a silver protein product produces foam above the liquid that will persist for minutes after being shaken. This is probably the single most reliable indicator.
• Concentration: Silver protein products tend to have very high concentration values, typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 ppm.
• Color: The color ranges from light amber to almost black with an increasing concentration of silver.
Potential Danger – High. Due to the high concentration of large silver particles, silver protein products are known to cause argyria, which turns your skin blue-gray color.
True colloidal silver – True colloidal silver products are the least prevalent type of colloidal silver on the market due to the high cost of production. In true colloidal silver, the majority of the silver content is in the form of silver particles. True colloids will typically contain between 50 to 80 percent particles, while the balance will be silver ions.
Because of the high concentration of silver particles, true silver colloids are never clear like water. True colloidal silver with a sufficient concentration of particles does not look like water because silver particles – even very small particles – block light from passing through, making the liquid appear darker.
Potential Danger – None. Due to the very low concentration of ionic silver and small particle size, true silver colloids do not cause argyria.
What is Colloidal Silver Useful For?
Colloidal silver has been known as a remarkably effective natural antibiotic for centuries. But in the past several decades, research has shown colloidal silver can even eradicate antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA , the Avian Influenza (bird flu), and Human Corona virus (SARS).
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Robert O. Becker at Syracuse Medical University began his groundbreaking research into colloidal silver. He later concluded:
“What we have done was rediscover the fact that silver kills bacteria, a fact which had actually been known for centuries … All of the organisms we tested were sensitive to the electrically generated silver ion, including some that were resistant to all known antibiotics… In no case were any undesirable side effects of the silver treatment apparent.”
However, silver’s innate anti-microbial effect was actually common knowledge among doctors some 60 years before Becker’s time. In fact, in the early 1900’s Alfred Searle, founder of the global Searle Pharmaceutical Company, had already discovered that silver in its liquid colloidal form could kill even the most deadly of pathogens. In his book Colloids in Biology and Medicine, 1919, Searle wrote:
“Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results… it has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to microbes without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin.”
Unlike prescription antibiotic drugs, silver does not create resistance or immunity in pathogens killed by it.
Recent Research Espousing the Virtues of Colloidal Silver Over the past few years, several new studies have demonstrated the fact that silver is one of the most effective agents in the battle against MRSA and other deadly antibiotic-resistant super pathogens, including the:
1. Brigham-Young Clinical Study – This study, published in the journal Current Science in 2006, found that a number of the antibiotic drugs which had previously been able to kill MDR (multiple drug-resistant) pathogens such as MRSA could be restored to full efficacy against the deadly pathogens, but only if a liquid silver solution similar to colloidal silver was used in conjunction with the drug.
2. Iranian Clinical Study – This study also found that silver increases the effectiveness of antibiotic drugs against staph infections. The researchers concluded:
“The antibacterial activities of penicillin G, amoxicillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, and vancomycin were increased in the presence of silver nano-particles (Ag-NPs) against both test strains. The highest enhancing effects were observed for vancomycin, amoxicillin, and penicillin G against S. aureus.”
3. Taiwanese Clinical Study – Published in the journal Colloids Surface B Biointerfaces in 2007, this study demonstrated that colloidal silver, by itself, eradicates both MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, another deadly and extremely opportunistic superbug.
4. Czech Clinical Study – Likewise, this Czech study published in the prestigious Journal of Physical Chemistry B in 2006, also demonstrated that colloidal silver was a highly effective agent against MRSA:
“…silver particles with a narrow size distribution with an average size of 25 nm, which showed high antimicrobial and bactericidal activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including highly multi-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The study further demonstrated that very low concentrations of silver could be utilized to destroy MRSA, as long as the silver particles were very small, averaging 25 nm.”
[ Note: To look up your favorite brand, go to: http://www.silver-colloids.com/Reports/reports.html ]