October 19, 2017
Colloidal Silver
Ask the Experts

Colloidal Silver

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Q: Is it beneficial—and safe—to take colloidal silver?

A: No on both counts. Colloidal silver is a suspension of fine silver particles, usually marketed as a liquid or as lozenges. Though it’s touted as a cure-all for everything from acne and arthritis to herpes and cancer, there’s no evidence it helps any condition. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of colloidal silver and silver salts in over-the-counter drugs in 1999, declaring them neither safe nor effective. Dietary supplements containing them can still be sold, however, if they don’t make medical claims. The government has taken action against many companies that do make such claims, but that hasn’t made the products go away.

Silver was used medicinally before less toxic drugs were developed. And there are still a few approved topical uses for it. But silver has no known function in the body.

It can, on the other hand, have side effects. The silver particles can accumulate in tissues and organs and turn your skin, nails and the whites of your eyes a harmless, but permanent, blue-gray color. Of more concern, colloidal silver can damage the kidneys and nervous system and have other serious effects; it may interfere with some medications, too. Don’t take colloidal silver or silver salts.

By the way: There’s also no credible evidence to back up the farfetched claims made for other “colloidal mineral” products, which typically include a mix of minerals, amino acids, enzymes and other substances.