Clinical Studies and Reports on the Antimicrobial Qualities of Colloidal Silver

The following PDF documents consist of a variety of clinical studies and independent research reports on the antimicrobial qualities of colloidal silver-related products including silver ions, silver compounds, silver nanoparticles, nanosilver compounds, silver-impregnated and silver-coated products, and many other forms of silver being used in a wide variety of ways, but almost all for the purpose of benefitting from the powerful antimicrobial qualities of silver itself.

These studies and reports are supplied for informational purposes only, and should not be construed in any way as providing medical advice or guidance. They cover a wide range of data on silver, including some surprising findings and discoveries regarding silver’s powerful antimicrobial, infection-fighting and disinfectant qualities.

These studies and reports are compiled here with the intent of giving the reader or researcher a general understanding of the many uses of antimicrobial silver, from a variety of viewpoints, both clinical and personal. The studies are not meant to convey efficacy of any particular colloidal silver product.

Because research into antimicrobial silver is ongoing, and because opinions and conclusions tend to vary depending upon the factors involved in different studies, these studies and reports should be considered merely as a starting point for your own research, and not be considered the final word on silver and its many antimicrobial, infection-fighting or disinfectant benefits.

Note to Publishers and Authors: If you feel any of these PDF files are on this site in violation of copyright, please inform me immediately by email, at, or at the phone number at the bottom of this page. These PDF files have been garnered from a variety of internet sources where they were found posted with no restrictions. They are here under fair use, and for non-commercial informational purposes only.

Nanosilver Heals Inflammation from Contact Dermatitis

According to a study published in the journal Nanomedicine, in 2008, titled “Anti-inflammatory activity of nanocrystalline silver in a porcine contact dermatitis model,” researchers found that when dermatitis was induced in animals (i.e., pigs) the redness and swelling returned to near-normal after 72 hours of treatment with nanosilver, while groups treated with saline or with 0.5% silver nitrate (a caustic chemical compound of silver) remained inflamed. According to the researchers, “These results demonstrate that nanocrystalline silver had a direct anti-inflammatory effect in the porcine contact dermatitis model that improved the overall outcome of the healing process,” and that “nanocrystalline silver may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity and improvement in healing.”

Anti-Inflammatory Effect Of Topical Nanocrystalline Silver Cream On Allergic Contact Dermatitis In A Guinea Pig Model

This clinical study, published in May 2004 in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, demonstrated that a topical nanosilver cream was used to heal allergic contact dermatitis induced in guinea pigs via application of a chemical organic compound called dinitrochlorobenzene. The researchers wrote, “Dermatitis was induced with dinitrochlorobenzene and treated with different concentrations of nanocrystalline silver, medium and high potency steroids, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, or appropriate vehicles once daily for 5 days. Erythema was evaluated daily (on a score of 0 to 4, from absent to very severe) and histopathology of the skin biopsies was evaluated after 5 days of treatment.” In other words, the researchers used a chemical organic compound to cause dermatitis on the guinea pigs. Then they treated the condition on the guinea pigs with nanosilver, as well as with topical steroid drugs normally used to treat dermatitis, and with two different topical immunosuppressant drugs frequently used in the treatment of stubborn cases of atopic dermatitis (eczema). The researchers further wrote, “Prior to treatment, the average scores of erythema in all the groups were in the range of 3(+) to 4(+). In the no treatment and vehicles groups these scores remained at about this level for the subsequent 5 days of the study. Nanocrystalline silver reduced erythema within 1 day of treatment in a concentration-dependent manner with significant reduction at silver concentrations of 0.5% and 1% (P < 0.05) and this reduction progressed throughout the study period.” This means the “no treatment” groups saw no healing of the dermatitis at all, over a five day period. But within only one day of treatment with the nanosilver cream, “significant reduction” of the redness and swelling (erythema) that characterizes atopic dermatitis were observed on the guinea pigs. The researchers concluded, “Steroids and immunosuppressants produced similar decreases in erythema, with no significant differences compared to 0.5% and 1% nanocrystalline silver.In skin biopsies scored for degree of inflammatory response, effects of treatments mirrored erythema results. This study suggests that nanocrystalline silver cream may have therapeutic potential for topical treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.” In other words, the researchers discovered that the nanosilver cream worked just as well as the topical steroids normally used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, and even as well as the topical immunosuppressant treatments used in stubborn cases of atopic dermatitis. This is very important news, of course, because the known side effects of topical steroids (including weakened immunity) and topical immunosuppressant drugs (including inducement of skin cancers) can be devastating. Topical use of silver, by comparison, has relatively few side effects.

Both Gold and Silver Nanoparticles Kill Colon Cancer Cells In Vitro

In this clinical study, titled “In Vitro Anticancer Activity of Au, Ag Nanoparticles Synthesized Using Commelina nudiflora L. Aqueous Extract Against HCT-116 Colon Cancer Cells,” published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research in March 2016, researchers tested both gold and silver nanoparticles against HCT-116 colon cancer cells, and found that both types of nanoparticles demonstrated “reduced cell viability and increased cytotoxicity at concentrations of 200 ppm and 100 ppm respectively.” In other words, colon cancer cells began to die when exposed to gold nanoparticles at 200 ppm and silver nanoparticles at 100 ppm. The researchers concluded “Overall, these findings have proved that the synthesized gold and silver nanoparticles could be potent anti-colon cancer drugs.”

Topical Nanocrystalline Silver Cream Suppresses Inflammatory Cytokines And Induces Apoptosis Of Inflammatory Cells In A Murine Model Of Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This clinical study was published in June 2005 in the British Journal of Dermatology. In this study, researchers induced dermatitis in mice using a chemical called dinitrofluorobenzene. Then they tried three treatment options: A nanosilver cream, tacrolimus ointment (an immunesuppressant drug normally reserved for treating stubborn cases of dermatitis), and a “high potency steroid” (which are often used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of dermatitis). The researchers wrote: “Significant reductions of ear swelling, erythema and histopathological inflammation in mice ears were observed after 4 days of treatment with 1% nanocrystalline silver cream, tacrolimus ointment or a high potency steroid with no significant difference among them.” In other words, the nanosilver cream worked just as well as the strongest prescription dermatitis medicines out there. This is very good news, considering the fact that the prescription steroid treatments and well as the prescription immunosuppressant drug tacrolimus can cause a host of side effects, whereas nanosilver cream is relatively benign by comparison. The researchers concluded, “This study demonstrates that nanocrystalline silver inhibits allergic contact dermatitis in mice, similar to steroid and tacrolimus. Nanocrystalline silver suppresses the expression of TNF-alpha and IL-12 and induces apoptosis of inflammatory cells; mechanisms by which nanocrystalline silver may exert its anti-inflammatory effects.” In short, the silver stopped the inflammatory response that characterizes dermatitis, and even caused inflammatory cells to die so healing could take place.

Potential Of Colloidal Or Silver Nanoparticles To Reduce The Growth Of B16F10 Melanoma Tumors

In this clinical study, published in the African Journal of Microbiology Research in March 2013, the researchers noted, “Previously, we reported the cytotoxic effect of colloidal silver on MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. However, there is scarce information on its antitumor potential. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-tumoral activity of colloidal silver or silver nanoparticles in a B16F10 melanoma mice model.” In other words, they induced skin cancer tumors in mice, and then treated them with differing concentrations of colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles. First, they tested both colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles in vitro (i.e., in the test tube) and found them to be effective at stopping the spread of melanoma cancer cells. Then, they tested both colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles on mice in which melanoma cancer tumors had been induced. They found that by injecting the silver subcutaneously (i.e., under the skin) “melanoma tumor growth was significantly decreased.” The researchers concluded, “Our results suggest that colloidal silver or silver nanoparticles could be useful as an antiproliferative drug, inducing an impairment of tumoral growth.” In other words, both colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles were found to impair the growth of melanoma tumors.

Nanosilver Kills Food-Borne Pathogens at Low Concentrations

According to this clinical study published in the International Food Resource Journal in 2011, titled, “A study on the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration of Nano Colloidal Silver on food-borne pathogens,” researchers found that “Nano colloidal silver can be a potential antimicrobial agent due to its low cost of production and high effectiveness in antimicrobial properties, which may find wide applications in various food industries to address food safety issues…Ten different concentration of Nano Colloidal Silver were tested against Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhi, Vibrio cholera, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus…” The researchers discovered that the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen was inhibited by colloidal silver at 24.58 ppm concentration, while Salmonell typhi and Staphylococcus aureus were inhibited at 23.75 ppm and 13.85 ppm concentrations respectively. Other pathogens, including E. coli, were inhibited at between 10.63 and 7.71 ppm concentrations of colloidal silver. The researchers further concluded: “The antibacterial form of silver is the ions. Minute sub-particles [of nanosilver – ED] continuously emit a sufficient number of positively charged ions. These destroy the enzymes of the bacteria, destabilize the cell membrane, the cell plasma or the cell wall and prevent their reproduction. The bacteria do not survive this concentrated attack.” The researchers also concluded that “The results…indicated that Nano Colloidal Silver’s antibacterial effect is independent of acquisition of resistance by the bacteria against antibiotic drugs and thus be a potential antimicrobial agent to be used.” In other words, the nanosilver worked even against food poisoning pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotic drugs.

Silver-Coated Textiles Reduce Staphylococcus aureus Colonization in Patients with Atopic Eczema

The study was published in the clinical journal Dermatology, 2003, 207, p 15–21. In the study, the researchers state that topical infection with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can sometimes be a contributing factor to eczema. The researchers studied 15 patients with atopic eczema and colonization with the Staph pathogen. They found that wearing clothing that has nanosilver embedded in the fabric resulted in lower Staph counts on the skin of the patients, and coincided with clinical improvement of the eczema itself. The researchers concluded, “A highly significant decrease in S. aureus colonization could be seen on the site covered by the silver-coated textile already 2 days after initiation lasting until the end of the treatment. Seven days after cessation, S. aureus density remained significantly lower compared to baseline. In addition, significantly lower numbers of S. aureus were observed on the silver-coated textile site in comparison to cotton at the end of treatment as well as at the time point of control. Clinical improvement correlated with the reduction of S. aureus colonization.” This is obviously very interesting information for victims of eczema/dermatitis. It implies, by extension, that topical use of colloidal silver, or a good colloidal silver gel or cream, might help heal bacteria-induced eczema (non-allergic dermatitis) by killing the bacteria that contribute to the skin condition.

Antibacterial and Anticancer Activity of Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized from Cynodon dactylon Leaf Extract

In this clinical study, published in the Journal of Academia and Industrial Research (JAIR) in May 2015, researchers synthesized silver nanoparticles using Cynodon dactylon leaf extract, and then tested it against the HEpG-2 line of liver cancer cells, as well as against pathogenic microbes such as against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus lutues and Salmonella typhimurium. Not only did the silver nanoparticles kill the pathogens, but in the cancer cells study they “showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against HEpG-2 cells.” In other words, cancer cell life decreased proportionate to the concentration of silver being applied, with 1,000 ppm silver nanoparticles reducing cell viability by an astonishing 80% whereas 15.6 ppm silver nanoparticles reduced cell viability by only 11%. The researchers concluded, “Biosynthesized silver nanoparticles showed excellent antimicrobial activity and possessed considerable cytotoxic effect against HEpG-2…further studies are needed to fully characterize the toxicity and the mechanisms involved with the antimicrobial and anticancer activity of these particles.”

Silver as Antibacterial Toward Listeria monocytogenes

In this study titled, “Silver as Antibacterial Toward Listeria monocytogenes,” published in Frontiers in Microbiology, in March 2016, researchers from the Department of Food Safety at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie in Legnaro, Italy wrote: “Listeria monocytogenes is a serious food-borne pathogen that can contaminate food during processing and can grow during food shelf-life. New types of safe and effective food contact materials embedding antimicrobial agents, like silver, can play an important role in the food industry…In this context, the development of new types of safe and effective food contact materials able to extend the shelf life of food products or to prevent cross contamination is of great interest. Among different chemicals with antimicrobial activity, silver is considered as a good candidate, as it is known to exert antimicrobial properties toward both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.” In the study, 20 different strains of Listeria monocytogens were tested. The researchers concluded that the silver was effective against all 20 strains: “This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of silver in ionic and nano form as antimicrobial toward a panel of L. monocytogenes isolates. The results obtained showed that both chemical forms of silver exerted antimicrobial activity and should, therefore, be considered as suitable to be used as biocide against L. monocytogenes…The relation between the sensitivity assay and the amount of ions at the tested time points, in both cases (AgNPs and AgNO3) suggests that ions are the more effective elements exerting antibacterial activity…Our study suggests that L. monocytogenes is sensitive to silver and that the efficacy is linked to ionic release. We speculate that silver-based food contact materials could play a useful role in the food industry, perhaps to reduce surface contamination, or eventually, to prolong shelf life.” In short, the researchers urged members of the food processing industry to look into using colloidal silver as an effective biocide against the Listeria monocytogenes food-poisoning pathogen.

Colloidal Silver And Chitosan Stabilized Silver Nanoparticles On Mcf-7 And Hepg2

In this clinical study, published in the European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, researchers tested the anti-cancer properties of colloidal silver and silver nanoparticles stabilized by chitosan. According to the study authors, “The present study was aimed to investigate the in vitro cytotoxicity effect of colloidal silver and chitosan stabilized silver nanoparticles against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and liver cancer cells (HepG2) towards the development of anticancer drugs.” Results: The silver treatments demonstrated “cytotoxic effect against MCF-7 and HepG2 cell lines.” The study authors concluded, “There was an immediate induction of cellular damage in terms of loss of cell membrane integrity, oxidative stress and apoptosis were found in the cell which treated with colloidal silver and chitosan stabilized silver nanoparticles.” In other words, both forms of silver caused liver and breast cancer cells to self-destruct.

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