Colloidal Silver

So yesterday I’m at my parent’s place, talking to my sister and her boyfriend (total altworld groupies) and the subject of antibiotics comes up. The boyfriend mentions that he takes colloidal silver and it’s great. Not knowing what it is, I just smile and nod. He offers to loan me some literature. I say I’ll just google it.

And google it I did.

Here are some interesting facts about colloidal silver:

  1. It has been shown to have dubious if any efficacy against disease (despite claims it is effective against HIV/ AIDS, cancer, and just about every other disease known to man including the common cold).
  2. The amount of silver actually contained has been shown to vary from 15.2% to 124% greater than that printed on the label (what is this ‘dosage accuracy’ you speak of?).
  3. The FDA have concluded that the risk of taking colloidal silver exceeds any unsubstatiated benefit.
  4. On September 17, 1999 the FDA issued a rule banning the claim that colloidal silver or silver salt products are effective in the treatment of disease. They can however still be sold as a nutritional supplement (supplements don’t need to be useful, they only need to supplement, and since we don’t generally ingest silver, any silver is supplemental).
  5. In 2000 the FDA issued warnings to more than 20 companies still advertising colloidal silver as a therepeutic product. Several subsequently required court actions to cease and desist with their claims. The FDA was successful in all counts in obtaining such actions.
  6. Peddlars of colloidal silver products not only make dubious claims about its efficacy, they also claim it has no side effects. This is not true. Continual exposure to colloidal silver products causes a condition called argyria where your skin turns irreversably grey. See an in depth medical report on the subject here. See a victim’s website here. More pictures here.

So it’s been shown to have dubious efficacy, claims of it having efficacy have been banned by the FDA, and it has permanently deforming side effects.

Sure, see me rushing out to buy it right now. No really. I’m going. Because I want to look like this:

4 Responses to “Colloidal Silver”

  1. yeah, there’s a picture of him on the rotten.com link. Scary. Vote for the undead candidate.

  2. A Libertarian (a minor political party in the USA) political candidate in Montana (a very rural agricultural stae in the USA) actually turned blue from ingesting a bit too much colloidal silver:

    http://www.billingsgazette.com/newdex.php?display=rednews/2002/10/03/build/local/72-candidate.inc

    He is now referred to as the “Smurf” candidate. Smurfs are little blue cartoon characters.

  3. I see that your facts about colloidal silver were taken from Stephen Barrett, MD. It’s not very common for those in the “medical industry” to advocate any type of alternative therapy. I’m sure you know why — $$$$$ — haha. I found your page on google while I was doing some research myself. Seems that Mr. Barrett is not a medical doctor afterall. He is a psychiatrist. Well, he was until he gave up his license. Hmmm? Don’t know what that was all about. His wife is a practicing physician, though.

    No, I don’t sell the stuff or anything. Someone recommended it to me and I’m just doing some research – checking out everything that I can find. I was extremely surprised to learn of the condition argyria. Yikes! Seems it is caused when the silver is ingested at 10,000 ppm and around there for as little as weeks at a time. The product I was looking into is 10 ppm. People try to make it at home, too. What’s up with that? Anyways, I found an interesting page at http://www.argyria.info/ you can check out. BTW did your sister’s boyfriend have any unusual hue to his complexion. Just checking! God bless, Lisa S.

  4. Unless the qualifications for practicing psychiatry have changed in the last couple of days, I believe you still require an MD before specialising in psychiatry. You may be thinking of psychology, for which one needs a PhD. Also, he did not ‘give up’ his license, he retired from psychiatry in the 1980s to move into the field of Health Education and consumer awareness. He now spends his time educating people about medical fraud and quackery, serves as vice-president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, and is a scientific advisor on the American Council of Science and Health, as well as operating 22 health-related websites. He has written 50 books on the subject and more than 2000 articles and essays.

    Given his 20+ years of experience in consumer awareness, I actually can’t think of anyone whose opinion i would trust more when it comes to alternative medicine.

    And no, the boyfriend doesn’t have a grey hue yet, but we are watching closely🙂

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