Does Colloidal Silver Cause Epileptic Seizures?
Several orthodox medical websites make the claim that colloidal silver usage can cause epileptic seizures.
These claims are generally extrapolated from a report published in a 2004 issue of the journal Neurology, which described the case of an elderly man who developed myoclonic status epilepticus, or a state of prolonged seizure, after taking colloidal silver daily for four months.
According to this report, the man had high silver levels in his blood and cerebrospinal fluid. He became comatose and died about five months later. The authors concluded that silver supplements can result in irreversible neurologic toxicity.
But what’s the truth about this single report of neurological damage from colloidal silver usage? You might be surprised to learn that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Here’s what orthodox medical websites won’t tell you…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
I wrote about this topic a month ago, in a lengthy article debunking some of the myths and misconceptions about colloidal silver being promulgated online.
However, because I still get questions about the single clinical study claiming that colloidal silver usage can cause epileptic seizures, I thought it would be good to cover the topic in an article of its own.
Some orthodox medical websites ominously warn that colloidal silver usage can cause epileptic seizures, and therefore should never be used.
They insinuate that seizures are a normal risk of colloidal silver usage. But where do they get this erroneous idea?
Generally, the only evidence they cite is from a single clinical report published in the journal Neurology in 2004, regarding a single elderly individual.
In this clinical report, an elderly gentleman who apparently used colloidal silver for four months developed “myoclonic status epilepticus” (i.e., uncontrollable epileptic seizures) and afterwards progressed into a coma and died.
But as is often the case with negative reports of colloidal silver usage, there’s much more to the story than initially meets the eye. And when the facts are unveiled, online scare stories such as this one begin to unravel.
So let’s take a look at what really happened…
And Now for the Other Side of the Story
Most of the online scare stories start out stating that the man was “generally healthy” before his colloidal silver usage began and the seizures started.
Indeed, the actual medical report says he was “a previously healthy 71 year old retired office worker.”
But when you read further, you find out he had been suffering from stage B adenocarcinoma of the prostate (i.e., also known as prostate cancer). And he’d been treating himself with a variety of natural supplements.
In other words, he most definitely was not “previously healthy,” and colloidal silver was not the only supplement he’d been taking. For example, he was also taking PC-SPES, a dietary supplement later recalled by the FDA due to contamination with prescription drugs.
Nevertheless, according to the actual clinical report, the gentleman had discontinued taking his nutritional supplements altogether – including the colloidal silver – and began following the doctor’s recommended treatment plan for his prostate cancer.
Now here’s where the case gets interesting:
According to the report, his doctors then gave him three months worth of treatment with a drug called bicalutamide that helps stop the body’s production of male hormones (on the theory that high male hormone levels can fuel certain cancers).
Here are just some of the known side effects of treatment with bicalutamide, according to Drugs.com:
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blood in the urine
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- cough or hoarseness
- cough producing mucus
- difficult or labored breathing
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- fever or chills
- lower back or side pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pounding in the ears
- rapid weight gain
- runny nose
- shortness of breath
- slow or fast heartbeat
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- tightness in the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble with swallowing
- unusual weight gain or loss
- voice changes
- Abnormal growth filled with fluid or semisolid material
- ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
- arm, back, or jaw pain
- bleeding from the rectum or bloody stools
- bloody nose
- burning while urinating
- burning, tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- change in bowel habits
- chest pain or discomfort
- chest tightness or heaviness
- decrease in frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- decreased vision
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- difficulty with swallowing or eating
- dilated neck veins
- dry mouth
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- irregular breathing
- joint stiffness or swelling
- loss of appetite
- lump or swelling in the abdomen
- no blood pressure or pulse
- noisy breathing
- pain in the neck
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- painful blisters on trunk of the body
- persistent non-healing sore
- rapid, shallow breathing
- reddish patch or irritated area
- sensation of pins and needles
- shiny bump
- stabbing pain
- stomach discomfort
- stopping of heart
- sunken eyes
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- unexplained weight loss
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
- white, yellow or waxy scar-like area
- wrinkled skin
- yellow skin or eyes
- Incidence not known
- Hives or welts
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- redness of the skin
- skin rash
Bicalutamide is also known to have nervous system side effects, including “dizziness, paresthesia, and insomnia.” Paresthesia, of course, is caused by damage to peripheral nerves. Isn’t that interesting?
What’s more, the drug bicalutamide is also known to cause disturbed sleep patterns, and there’s a known medical association with disturbed sleep patterns and myoclonus seizures.
And now for the clincher: According to FactMed.com, there have been two reports of Bicalutamide causing (drum roll, please) epileptic seizures! They write:
“Between January 2004 and October 2012, 2 individuals taking BICALUTAMIDE reported EPILEPSY to the FDA.
A total of 1638 BICALUTAMIDE drug adverse event reaction reports were made with the FDA during this time period.
Often the FDA only receives reports of the most critical and severe cases; these numbers may therefore underrepresent the complication rate of the medication.”
What’s more, other anti-androgenic drugs have also been linked to epileptic seizures. According to Wikipedia, the Phase 1 clinical trial into one such anti-androgenic drug had to be terminated “because of an epileptic seizure in a patient.”
Wikipedia writes that this “led to findings that several anti-androgens produce off-target antagonist binding to GABA-A receptors” which can result in seizures.
The FDA wrote more about that here, in an Office Director Decisional Memo, stating that a particular anti-androgenic drug caused a “dose-dependent increase in the risk of seizure.”
But it doesn’t end there, of course.
After the three months of treatment with Bicalutamide which cripples the body’s production of male hormones and can cause numerous side effects including rare cases of seizure and damage to peripheral nerves, the patient’s doctors then had him undergo an intensive regimen of 35 cycles (!!!) of radiation therapy over a period of seven weeks.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line to this whole sordid story that’s being used to discredit colloidal silver usage:
The elderly gentleman’s seizures began directly after the completion of the drug treatment and radiation therapy. That was three months after the patient had already stopped using colloidal silver and other supplements. Can we say “Hmm”?
That certainly begs the question: Why did colloidal silver get blamed, when the elderly gentleman actually developed his epileptic seizures only a few weeks after undergoing the doctor’s Bicalutamide drug treatment program and the intensive radiation therapy?
This was nearly a quarter of a year after he’d discontinued the use of colloidal silver and other supplements!
If “silver toxicity” were the cause of his seizures, you’d think it would have triggered the seizures when the patient’s blood levels of silver were at their highest, rather than nearly three months later when they were likely significantly lower.
As you know, radiation therapy and the drugs used to help treat cancers, like Bicalutamide tend to wipe the body out, dramatically reducing the body’s immune defenses and causing all sorts of potentially serious side effects. That’s indisputable.
Yet the man’s past use of colloidal silver was blamed for his seizures, and not the intensive and potentially side effect-laden medical treatment that took place shortly before the seizures actually started.
And the Nightmare Continues
Now it gets worse: After the elderly gentleman was treated by his doctors with Bicalutamide, and after his seizures started, the doctors apparently put him on another drug – Propofol – the drug involved in Michael Jackson’s death.
Why would they do this? I have no idea.
Two years earlier the Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgical Psychiatry (2002: 73:86-95) had published a study in which doctors from the Mayo Clinic noted that Propofol did indeed work against the symptoms of myoclonus seizures.
However, nearly a quarter of the patients treated with it slipped into a vegetative state and died in comas. Isn’t that interesting? This elderly gentleman from the clinical report also went into a vegetative state and died in a coma after use of this prescribed drug.
By blaming the man’s death on colloidal silver, could the doctors have been trying to divert attention away from the fact that they gave the elderly gentleman such toxic drugs and treatments over a three month period?
I don’t know. But it certainly sounds suspicious to me. Regardless, the patient outcome for that particular drug (i.e, Propofol), when used for the treatment of myoclonus seizures is very frequently death.
A friend of mine who works as a pharmaceutical company researcher wrote to me about this particular case:
“From the medical literature, in 31 patients treated with Propofol used in refractory status epilepticus, there was a 23% mortality rate, although the deaths were attributed to other causes rather than being attributed to the drug.
One could also say that in cases of status epilepticus treated with Propofol, almost one in four patients die. So the odds for this gentleman surviving his treatment weren’t very good to begin with.” (See study here.)
My pharmaceutical researcher friend also wrote:
“In the past, other common prescription drugs have been known to have triggered myoclonic status epilepticus, including ‘cephalosporin-type antibiotic drugs which can induce a neurotoxic syndrome with encephalopathy and non-rhythmic, stimulus-sensitive myoclonus.'”
The elderly gentleman’s actual death, by the way, was later attributed to pneumonia, which occurred while he was still in the coma, five and a half months after the seizures began, and a full eight months after discontinuing colloidal silver usage.
What Other Experts Say
Taken together, all of this has led many commentators on this particular case to come to the conclusion that the patient’s previous use of colloidal silver likely had nothing to do with his myoclonic status epilepticus seizures, nor his subsequent death.
Indeed, some would posit that a more likely trigger for the seizures would have been the doctor-prescribed drugs and the intensive radiation treatments and subsequent side effects, including the mental, physical and emotional stress of trying to avoid dying from the prostate cancer.
Other well-known medical experts – including some who do not advocate colloidal silver usage – have been honest enough to point out what’s been known for decades: antimicrobial silver is generally not known to be toxic.
For example, as I pointed out earlier, Alan B.G. Lansdown, Britain’s top expert on the medical use of antimicrobial silver states:
“…there is very little substantive evidence that silver acts either as a cumulative poison in the human body like lead and mercury, or that it reaches toxic levels in any tissue. Silver does accumulate preferentially in the basement membrane region of the dermis, but no evidence has been seen to show that this is either life-threatening or a clinical manifestation of toxicity.”
– Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use, by Alan B. G. Lansdown, pg. 45
Dr. Lansdown, who holds a Ph.D and is a senior lecturer at the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in London, also states:
“Case reports have occasionally stated that silver is deposited in brain and neurological tissues and that it is a cause of certain neurological changes, but critical evaluation of these and other studies indicate that silver is not absorbed into neurological tissues but becomes bound in lysosomal vacuoles of the blood-brain barrier and in the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (SDF) barrier.”
– Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use, by Alan B. G. Lansdown, pg. 60
Finally, Professor Lansdown states without reservation:
“Silver does not enter neurological tissues and is not neurotoxic as has been supposed by several case studies.”
– Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use, by Alan B. G. Lansdown, pg. 253
What’s more, according to a study titled “Critical Observations on the Neurotoxicity of Silver,” published in Critical Review of Toxicology (2007;37:237-50):
“Although silver is metabolized throughout the soft tissues, available evidence from experimental animal studies and human clinical reports has failed to unequivocally establish that it enters tissues of the central nervous system or is a cause of neurotoxic damage…No evidence is available to demonstrate the toxic risk of silver to the peripheral nervous system…”
In other words, experts attest that in animal studies and human clinical reports there is no conclusive evidence that silver causes harm to the human nervous system or the brain.
And reports that silver can get past the blood-brain barrier or cerebrospinal fluid barrier have also been shown to be incorrect. According to the above-mentioned study, the silver is instead trapped in “basement membranes or collagen without toxic effect.”
Yes, the blood-brain barrier and cerebrospinal fluid barrier keep silver out of these sensitive areas of the body, just as they’re supposed to.
What’s more, according to researchers Drake and Hazelwood, in the study “Exposure-Related Health Effects of Silver and Silver Compounds: A Review”:
“Silver in any form is not thought to be toxic to the immune, cardiovascular, nervous, or reproductive systems (ATSDR, 1990) and is not considered to be carcinogenic (FurstandSchlauder, 1978).”
As an interesting aside, researchers point out that in India the native population consumes some 605,000 pounds of edible metallic silver foil per year in food.
That’s because they wrap certain foods in very thinly beaten silver foil, and the food is consumer foil and all.
What about the consequences of such egregious intake of silver? As stated in the journal Materials Research Innovations, Vol. 11, No. 1, (2007) pages 3-18, there are none:
“A recent paper by Das et al. provides the remarkable datum that some 275,000 kg [i.e., 605,000 pounds – ED] of edible metallic silver foil are consumed every year (in food) in India.
No known adverse health effects have ever been recorded. This epidemiological evidence that silver as a metal is not toxic in any way needs no further comment.
Further support for the obvious safety of consuming metallic silver (Ag0) is in the worldwide consumption of (so called) silver colloids, often made at home in primitive electrochemical cells by probably some millions of citizens, again with no ill effects.”
Indeed, people have safely been ingesting silver in small amounts for thousands of years. As the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program states:
“Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet.
Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.
Is silver harmful to humans?
Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects.”
Finally, as stated in an article titled “Nanosilver: Naughty or Nice?” published by the Society for Science & the Public:
“Jim Hutchison is a chemist and an expert in nanoparticles at the University of Oregon in Eugene…So far, Hutchison’s research suggests nanosilver and the silver ions it sheds probably aren’t harmful to people…
‘You can never prove every technology is going to be safe before you use it,’ he says. ‘But silver doesn’t seem to be toxic to us.’
In a 2011 study published in the journal ACS Nano, Hutchison’s team looked at silver jewelry and eating utensils under high-powered microscopes. They found the solid silver products were shedding nanoparticles.
‘This means nanosilver has been in contact with humans for a long, long time,’ he says. And that, he concludes, ‘should be reassuring, because those exposures don’t seem to have caused harm.’
…Ramune Reliene, a cancer researcher at State University of New York in Albany, says that studies do show that nanosilver can damage human cells. But those studies exposed cells to anywhere from 100 to 10,000 times more nanosilver than people currently encounter in the environment.
…Also, the cells were in a Petri dish. A cell inside a living creature works differently than it does in some dish in the lab.
…Andrew Maynard, an environmental health scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is doing similar research into silver’s effects on the body. His team has not published their data yet, but they are willing to share some early findings.
Chief among them: Maynard says his group ‘saw virtually no ill effect’ of feeding mice very high levels of nanosilver for up to 28 days.”
The bottom line is that silver is generally not considered by experts to be toxic, even when used at relatively high levels.
However, the powerful anti-androgenic drug, Bicalutamide, which was
given to the elderly gentleman directly before he developed the myoclonic status epilepticus seizures, is indeed known to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect nervous system function.
As written in Wikipedia, “it appears that bicalutamide does indeed cross the blood-brain-barrier in humans and affect central function, as supported by potential side effects such as diminished sexual interest, fatigue, and depression.”
Based on the experts I’ve quoted above, and the fact that there’s no real evidence the elderly individual’s status epilepticus monoclonal seizures were indeed caused by colloidal silver, it would seem to me that the online orthodox medical websites peddling this story are simply trying to scare readers away from colloidal silver usage.
More importantly, it appears to me they’re purposely withholding important facts about the case (such as those you’ve read above) that would exonerate colloidal silver as the culprit.
Online orthodox medical websites tend to have a nasty habit of selectively touting only the most negative and scary accounts they can find about colloidal silver.
Simultaneously, they nearly always fail to point out that tens of millions of people worldwide use colloidal silver regularly without ever experiencing seizures, coma or any other side effects for that matter.
This selective touting of only the most frightening of stories is a very disingenuous tactic that’s frequently used to discredit colloidal silver.
It’s like showing the horrible aftermath of a car crash, with mangled bodies strewn all over the highway, and implying that this outcome is the norm for everyone who drives a car, when, in reality, most people drive cars, trucks or other vehicles their entire adult lives without ending up mangled in a car crash.
The bottom line is that there’s loads of doubt that colloidal silver was actually the culprit in the elderly gentleman’s development of epileptic seizures. And there’s serious evidence that it might have been the doctor-prescribed drugs, instead.
If you’d like to learn more about colloidal silver safety, see the following articles:
How to Make Your Own
Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver
Thankfully, today, high-quality colloidal silver – the world’s safest and most powerful natural germ-fighter – is available in just about every well-stocked health food store in the United States.
However, it’s often egregiously expensive, selling for as much as $20 to $30 for a tiny four-ounce bottle that might last a week at most.
However, owning a Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from The Silver Edge allows you to make your own high-quality colloidal silver for less than 36 cents a quart.
Compared to health food store prices for colloidal silver, your very first one-quart batch of micro-particle colloidal silver actually pays for the entire cost the generator.
Do you know of any other health product that literally pays for itself the very first time you use it?
Obviously, having the ability to make your own high-quality micro-particle colloidal silver for only a few pennies per quart is about as close as you’ll ever get to having “free” colloidal silver for the rest of your life, any time you or a family member, friend or loved one needs it.
And because the silver particles produced by this amazing breakthrough in colloidal silver-making technology are as low as .8 nm – a fraction of a single nanometer – their effectiveness against colonies of pathogenic microbes is astonishing.
Because of their extremely small size, the tiny, submicroscopic silver particles are up to 1,000 times more bioavailable than conventional silver particles. This means the human body is able to absorb 99-100% of the silver, send it throughout the body to kill pathogens, and then excrete it with ease, afterwards.
Plus, it’s now known that these tiny silver micro-particles are able to kill off entire colonies of pathogens with far greater effectiveness than conventional colloidal silver particles, because of the “zombie effect” described in this recent article about brand new research out of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Perhaps that’s why so many thousands upon thousands of people absolutely rave over the effectiveness of their homemade micro-particle colloidal silver, as you can see at this web page full of real-life colloidal silver success stories.
Discover How Easy It Is…
If you’d like to learn more about making your own high-quality colloidal silver for just pennies per quart, you can…
- Read how unbelievably simple it is to make your own high-quality colloidal silver for less than 36 cents a quart, here.
- Learn why the Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator is the world’s #1 best-selling colloidal silver generator, here.
- Find out how to save a whopping $100 on a brand new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator, here.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another insightful article on colloidal silver….
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual
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Colloidal Silver Secrets Group on Facebook
Make Your Own Colloidal Silver for Pennies
.999 Pure Silver Wire for Making Colloidal Silver
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Meet Steve Barwick
Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only, and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
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