Next up: Global Pandemic Of Antibiotic Resistance. Will Colloidal Silver save us?

By | September 21, 2008

Vital components of modern medicine such as major surgery, organ transplantation, and cancer chemotherapy will be threatened if antibiotic resistance is not tackled urgently, warn experts on bmj.com.

A concerted global response is needed to address rising rates of bacterial resistance caused by the use and abuse of antibiotics or “we will return to the pre-antibiotic era”, write Professor Otto Cars and colleagues in an editorial.

All antibiotic use “uses up” some of the effectiveness of that antibiotic, diminishing the ability to use it in the future, write the authors, and antibiotics can no longer be considered as a renewable source.

They point out that existing antibiotics are losing their effect at an alarming pace, while the development of new antibiotics is declining. More than a dozen new classes of antibiotics were developed between 1930 and 1970, but only two new classes have been developed since then. – sd

We may need to go back to some of our old ways. There was tetracycline in ancient beer, but bacteria have developed resistance.

Classes of antibiotics include aminoglycosides, ansamycins, carbacephem, carbapenems, cephalosporins, glycopeptides, macrolides, monobactams, penicillins, polypeptides, quinolones, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines, along with others.

What about Colloidal Silver? This is from Nature.com:

Silver, together with copper, is commonly used to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth in chicken farms and in postharvest cleaning of oysters. Silver is used to sterilize recycled water aboard the MIR space station and on the NASA space shuttle. Popular home water purification units in the United States contain silverized activated carbon filters along with ion-exchange resins. In Mexico, Microdyn (colloidal silver in gelatin) is sold in supermarkets to disinfect salad vegetables and drinking water. A quick surf on the Internet shows that silver is offered by several companies in different forms, and marketed as a health food additive–“Nature’s alternative to antibiotics”–although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA; Rockville, MD) has proposed that over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver or silver salts are not generally recognized as safe or effective for internal or external use and are frequently misbranded. – October 1998 Volume 16 Number 10 p888

Ag (silver) is generally without adverse effects for humans, and argyria (irreversible discoloration of the skin resulting from subepithelial silver deposits) is rare and mostly of cosmetic concern. – wiley.com

Colloidal silver is reported to kill bacteria via the oligodynamic effect by inhibiting the expression of enzymes and other proteins essential to ATP production.  – asm

In at least one case the blue skin (argyria) did go away when a boy stopped taking colloidal silver.

An 11-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis reported a bluish skin color after he began ingesting a colloidal silver solution to facilitate mucus clearance. Serum silver level was elevated to more than twice the upper limit of normal. This finding is highly suggestive of argyria, a typically permanent discoloration of the skin due to dermal silver deposits. In this child, however, the discoloration was transient and the silver level normalized when the therapy was discontinued. – pediatrics

Dangers (Correlation or causation? What was the daily dose he ingested!?)

The authors report a case of a 71-year-old man who developed myoclonic status epilepticus and coma after daily ingestion of colloidal silver for 4 months resulting in high levels of silver in plasma, erythrocytes, and CSF. Despite plasmapheresis, he remained in a persistent vegetative state until his death 5.5 months later. Silver products can cause irreversible neurologic toxicity associated with poor outcome. – nih

Toxicology. The RfD is “an estimate of the maximum amount of daily silver exposure to the human population that is not associated with any appreciable deleterious effects over a lifetime.

Current RfD for oral silver exposure is 5 micrograms per kg per day. When consumed in relatively smaller quantities, no pathologic changes or inflammatory reactions other than argyria have been shown to result from silver deposition [6].

In other words, a 170 lb person ( 77 kg) could safely eat 385 micrograms of silver per day. That’s 0.385 milligrams (mg).

Make sure you understand the difference between micrograms, milligrams and grams. One milligram contains 1000 micrograms. One gram contains 1000 milligrams, or one million micrograms. An error could kill you.

Those who use colloidal silver as a daily mineral supplement generally take about one tablespoon (~15 ml) of 5 ppm colloidal silver daily ( about 75 micrograms of silver ). Taking colloidal silver in these small amounts on a daily basis is generally felt to be an illness preventative measure with no associated risks from use. – silvermed

What level turns your skin blue or grey? For one man, the amount was 607.5 milligrams per day for 10 months. ( That’s 607,500 micrograms per day, over 1,550 times the RfD safe dose. )

He “…ingested approximately 16 ounces (32 tablespoonfuls) (~ 450 ml) of 450 ppm ( 202.5 milligrams ) colloidal silver three times a day for 10 months. He reported improvement in his arthritis; however, he discontinued the treatment when his skin began to turn gray.” – cdlib

We know that argyria has been produced in adults who were given 900 mg of silver orally over a period of one year (1). There are also cases in the literature where 6.0 grams of silver nitrate administered orally and 6.3 grams of silver arsphenamine administered intramuscularly were known to produce argyria. (1) Another study estimated the minimal oral dose for producing argyria to be 25 to 50 grams taken over a 6 month period. (62) A single fatal dose is estimated to be 10 grams, although recovery from larger doses has been reported. (Note: this 10 gram figure is for silver nitrate which is many times more toxic than colloidal silver) (56). – clspress

However, too much silver can kill you or cause nerve and other real damage.

… if silver is administered in high doses, whether orally or intravenously, there is ample evidence of adverse effects including death. On the basis of animal experiments, many authors in the late nineteenth century determined that intravenous administration of inorganic silver has the most significant impact on the central nervous system (manifested as weakness and rigidity of the legs, loss of voluntary movements) and on the cardiac conduction system (abnormal conduction) [1].

Consumption of large doses of colloidal silver can result in coma, pleural edema, and hemolysis. Colloidal silver is also toxic to the bone marrow and may be associated with agranulocytosis. The toxic effects of inorganic silver ingested orally in large doses are very similar to any corrosive solution. Such ingestion can result in burning of the throat and epigastrium, leading to abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The patient often suffers convulsions and goes into shock. The single lethal dose of silver nitrate has been estimated to be 10 gm. Silver salts are more toxic than silver proteins or colloidal silver.

Furst and Schlauder studied the carcinogenic potential of silver and gold; they concluded that finely divided silver powder injected intramuscularly did not induce any form of cancer [10]. – cdlib.org

Effectiveness? Here are some actual studies.:

Challenge tests were performed on ten pathogens listed below. The testing was performed by EMSL Analytical, Inc. Microbiology Division. The tests were designed and conducted by Lori L. Daane, Ph.D., Director of Microbiology and Elizabeth Lewis Roberts, Ph.D., Microbiologist

I found it interesting that colloidal silver kills the bacteria which cause cavities among others according to Dr. Ron W. Leavitt, Ph.D. Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Biology at Brigham Young University. (Unconfirmed by me personally.) I wonder if a colloidal silver spray mouthwash would be a good idea?

Streptococcus mutans (A major cause dental plaque and tooth decay etc.) inhibited and killed @ 5 ppm. 2/3/99 BYU Report.

Streptococcus gordonii (Tooth decay, also implicated in infective endocarditis-an infection of the heart valves) inhibited and killed @ 5 ppm. BYU Report 2/12/99.- tfh

I tried rinsing with 1 ml of 15 ppm Colloidal Silver suspended in 10% Grain Alcohol and 70% Wild Oregano Oil, plus Deionized water and non-GMO Soy Lecithin. This formula is something I picked up from my local health food store. The result was a burning sensation until I finally decided to spit it out and rinse.  Where is a cheap home s. mutans test kit when I need it?

Conspiracy angle: Some believe that colloidal silver acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic to which bacteria can not become immune and that the FDA has demonized it to protect drug company multi-billion dollar annual antibiotic profits.

Bottom line: Silver can kill you if you use too much. Good scientific studies showing colloidal silver is effective are not easy to find.

5 thoughts on “Next up: Global Pandemic Of Antibiotic Resistance. Will Colloidal Silver save us?

  1. Beau

    The case above claiming that colloidal silver caused ‘myoclonic status epilepticus’ and ultimately the death of a 71 year old man is highly dubious. The man had prostate cancer and was attempting to treat himself with colloidal silver. But under doctors instructions he ceased taking colloidal silver and underwent 35 CYCLES of radiation therapy in 7 weeks. His seizures began a a month after the radiation therapy ceased, This was 3 MONTHS AFTER CEASING to take colloidal silver. Doctors then put him into a coma and he ultimately died of pneumonia. His doctors could find no obvious cause of death so they HYPOTHESIZED the patients condition was caused by the silver he ceased taking 5.5 months prior!

    The truth is there are no credible reports of colloidal silver causing death or any other life threatening side effects. Argyria (grey skin) caused by overdosing on bad colloidal silver is the only proven side effect.

  2. martin

    All that I have to say is that I have been using CS for the past 10 years, prior to that I would get bad colds, bronchitis, bronchial pneumonia at least once a year. I haven’t had one cold or even been sick since I started taking it. I am now 62 in perfect health with perfect teeth and feel like a 40 year old. This goes for my entire family. I would also like to bring to your attention that I am a construction worker that has many times cut, burned and hurt myself that would normally require medical attention, I just spray the wound, tape it and it heals no infection and more than anything no pain.

      1. Martin Schumann

        I take it whenever I feel that I need it, may be only once every two weeks or as much as an ounce per day. It all depends on what the problem is. I do know that it is my doctor in a bottle and that it cures everything and anything. Try it on a burn sometime you will be amazed at how fast it heals and how the pain just disappears. For instance, one time I was remodeling my house when my partner was on the roof and asked me to throw him the screw gun, I did and he missed it, $250 screw gun was about to become trash so I reached out to catch it and it bounced off my hand and stabbed me in the chest, slid down my ribs and tore a gash about three inches long while chipping out bone in the process. My family went nuts wanting to call 911; I won’t go to a doctor even though that was the worst pain that I have ever experienced. The gash was about one and half inches wide and to the bone, I cleaned it out with colloidal silver the pain quit immediately, I pushed it together and my son-in-law taped it together. Three days it was just a scar with no pain. I did have a problem about six months later a piece of bone worked its way to the surface and came out, but again a little CS and it healed.

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