Colloidal Silver: Harmful to the Human Body?

“Contrary to statements that all forms of silver are cumulative once they enter body tissues and that very little is excreted, silver is actively metabolized in the human body and a large part eliminated eventually via the liver, urine and hair…

…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, 59, 60

Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge

Is colloidal silver harmful to the human body?

Let’s be frank: There’s not a single nutritional supplement on the face of the earth that can’t cause some kind of harm to the human body when used in excess.

  • Vitamin A taken to excess can, over time, cause muscle pain, fatigue, irritability, depression, schizophrenia, fever, liver damage and anemia.
  • Calcium taken to excess can, over time, result in kidney malfunction, calcification of soft tissue within the body, cellular toxicity, impaired immune function and even result in heart attack.
  • Iron taken to excess can, over time, result in cirrhosis of the liver and heart failure.

I could go on and on through every supplement. They can all be “dangerous” to human health at some dosage level, but can be extremely beneficial to human health when used at normal, sane dosage levels.

The trick, obviously, is to get the right dosage level, and not venture into excessive levels.

Colloidal Silver’s Safety

Colloidal silver is no different. It’s considered to be safe and amazingly beneficial when used in moderation.

As Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., of the famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State says about colloidal silver and its safety:

“Silver belongs to the family of metals that also includes copper and gold (both of which can also have numerous health benefits when they’re used properly).

One of the primary concerns people tend to have about using these metals is the risk that they’ll accumulate in the body and lead to heavy metal toxicity.

But if you have plenty of antioxidants in your diet, such as selenium, vitamin E, and amino acids like N-acetyl cysteine, you’re safe from any harmful effects from this family of metals. Germs, however, are not.”

Dr. Wright is considered to be one of the best and brightest. And because I use colloidal silver regularly, I always make sure my daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement contains those particular antioxidant nutrients he recommends.

According to researchers Drake and Hazelwood, in the study “Exposure-Related Health Effects of Silver and Silver Compounds: A Review” (see earlier link for full study):

“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 (Furst and Schlauder, 1978).”

And according to the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program:

“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.”

Everything Is a Poison…

Well, all of that’s nice to know. But we always have to remember that at some dosage levels, everything is a poison. As the ancient physician Paracelcus used to teach:

“Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” — Paracelsus PA (1493-1541)

In other words, there’s no substance on the face of the earth that’s not harmful at some dosage level.

We know, for example that sugar is absolutely vital to human health in normal usage. After all, the human brain runs chiefly on the sugar known as glucose. But we also know that excessive use of sugar can lead to rotting teeth, diabetes, coma and even death.

We know, for example, that salt is absolutely critical to human health. Indeed, the human body literally cannot function without it for a single day. But we also know that excessive use of salt can lead to high blood pressure and stroke.

The point being, if excessive usage of sugar and salt can become problematic over time, so can excessive usage of a natural substance like colloidal silver.

While colloidal silver is not considered to be particularly toxic even at high levels of usage and accumulation in the human body, it can cause a condition known as argyria, in which silver particles become trapped in the skin and eventually begin to tarnish when exposed to sunlight, staining the skin gray or even blue.

Colloidal Silver and Argyria:
How Much Is Excessive?

So how much colloidal silver is considered to be so excessive it can cause argyria?

Well, in public interviews the so-called “Colloidal Silver Blue Man,” Paul Karason, claimed he was orally ingesting 10 ounces of colloidal silver, oftentimes twice a day. That’s a total of 20 ounces a day.

What’s more, he was making his colloidal silver with a crude, homemade device that produced very high concentrations of silver probably somewhere around 50 to 100 ppm or higher.

He was also using salt to increase the rate of production and the concentration, which means he was producing a silver chloride solution instead of a typical ionic colloidal silver solution like you’ll find in most health food stores.

And according to his public interviews, he apparently did this for 10 straight years before turning blue!

Most people, by comparison, use only about a teaspoonful to an ounce of 10 ppm colloidal silver a day. (Sometimes more, for very short periods of time if feeling under the weather or fighting an active infection.)

So the “Colloidal Silver Blue Man” was taking more than 20 times the normal daily recommended mineral supplement dosage, and five to 10 times (or more) the normal concentration. And he did so daily for 10 years before turning blue. It seems this was not just excessive use, but obsessive use.

The point is, he was an argyria victim waiting to happen. And it was all because he cast aside moderation and common-sense, and decided to use wildly excessive amounts of colloidal silver daily, for years on end. There are just some people like that out there.

Colloidal Silver Usage Worldwide

Today, an estimated 10 million people in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico use colloidal silver responsibly as a nutritional supplement. Millions more throughout Europe and Asia use it.

A government-approved colloidal silver product called Microdyn is used regularly throughout Mexico and other developing nations to help keep residents safe from contaminated drinking water. (Learn more here.)

In Europe, colloidal silver is used in the drinking water supplies of thousands of cruise ships and cargo ships, to safely sterilize and disinfect the drinking water. In fact, according to the Jowa Group that makes the little devices for ships that add silver to the drinking water:

“Since its introduction in 1970, this unit has been installed in thousands of ships… sterilizing water with the help of silver is an old and well-tried method that goes all the way back to antiquity. It is completely harmless to humans and animals and the silver ions do not change the taste or smell of the water. This product, called Jowa AG-S, has made us world-famous in the shipping industry!”

Colloidal silver has even been used in the drinking water of both the NASA and Russian space flight programs, including on the original Space Shuttle. (Learn more here.)

So, colloidal silver usage is far more widespread worldwide than you might suspect. It’s even used in outer space.

And except in cases where people might have a rare but serious allergy to mineral silver, or in cases where people excessively and abusively use silver over long periods of time, it’s generally considered to be perfectly safe.

Nobody Wants to Turn Blue

Of course, nobody wants to “turn blue.” But nobody should want to develop diabetes or heart disease, either.

Yet, knowing that abusive use of sugar will cause such problems, some people do it anyway. Similarly, knowing that excessive use of salt can cause high blood pressure and stroke, some people do it anyway.

That’s exactly what’s happened with colloidal silver, in relation to argyria: Knowing that excessive daily intake of colloidal silver over long periods of time can cause argyria, some people have done it anyway.

Why? Well, I supposed it’s for the same reason some people abuse salt or sugar. They enjoy the temporary benefits of excess, and think they’re immune from the long-term consequences.

Follow the Directions

This is one reason why responsible colloidal silver vendors recommend people carefully follow the directions on the bottle when using commercial brands of colloidal silver.

Indeed, most reputable colloidal silver vendors recommend a teaspoonful of colloidal silver up to several times a day when being used daily, or up to an ounce several times a day for short periods of time when the body needs extra nutritional support to fight infection or disease.

Above all, don’t listen to idiots on the internet who say you can drink all of the colloidal silver you want for as long as you want without ever causing any harm – especially those who claim they sell a “special” kind of colloidal silver that “can’t cause argyria” no matter how much you use.

Sorry folks, there’s just no such thing. Just like there’s no such thing as a special kind of sugar that won’t rot your teeth if used to excess, or a special kind of whiskey that won’t get your drunk if you drink too much, there’s no special kind of silver that won’t cause argyria if used to excess.

Indeed, there’s no vitamin, no mineral…no herb…and no amino acid or other nutritional supplement that you can use to excess for long periods of time without suffering the consequences. So why would anyone think the same is not true for colloidal silver?

No One Knows

No one knows exactly why some people end up with argyria from taking larger amounts of colloidal silver over long periods of time, and why other people can take the same large amounts for long periods of time and not end up with argyria.

It’s a mystery. It’s been hypothesized that apparently some people just don’t process silver from their bodies as effectively as everybody else. Some researchers think low levels of dietary antioxidants are to blame.

But if you’re one of the unfortunate ones who overdo the colloidal silver intake and end up with argyria, it’s obviously no fun. Argyria is generally considered to be a permanent cosmetic skin condition.

A New Argyria Treatment

However, there are special laser treatments for it now, if the argyria is not too widespread over the body. It’s similar to tattoo removal laser treatments. Somewhat painful, I’m told, but apparently effective.

In the Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, I wrote briefly about Dr. Allison Vidimos, of the world-famous Cleveland Clinic, who apparently originated the idea of using laser treatment to remove argyria deposits in the skin, and lectures doctors about how to use the technique.

But there are other doctors using this technique. Here’s an excerpt from an online comment I recently received from a reader of the Colloidal Silver Secrets blog:

“”Well, eight years ago, I ingested colloidal silver more than my body could get rid of and I unhappily turned gray on my face because of it. Some people noticed it and some people didn’t. Anyway, here I am knowing I have what they call argyria.

“I’ve read that laser can really help minimize the gray or blue-colored skin caused by argyria on some individuals. I searched and found a doctor experienced in using the right kind of laser. Thank goodness he was willing to help me.

This doctor also removes tattoos which is kind of what argyria is, a tattooing of the skin from ingesting too much colloidal silver.

I found Dr. Steven Popkow MD in Los Angeles, California. He is a very gentle and understanding doctor which is so important when it comes to such a sensitive issue.

For those seeking help also, his business address is: Skin Laser Center, 12027 Venice Blvd., Suite B, Los Angeles, California 90066 The phone number is: (310) 915-8060.

I’ve had 2 treatments so far and yes it is quite painful but so worth it. I’ve got my original color back before I had argyria and I am completely thrilled.

With additional laser treatments, Dr. Popkow can treat the rest of the spots that get missed here and there.

I feel what Dr. Popkow charges is very reasonable. The cost is around $200 a treatment.

So, for the people on the west side of the United States, there is a doctor who helps with the discoloration of argyria and for those who live even further who might want to travel to see Dr. Popkow.

Today, I don’t have to walk around worried about who might be wondering why my face is gray because it’s not anymore.

I’m not a person that likes to hide, so I just went on living, but I feel the relief big time now thanks to Dr. Popkow. He has definitely changed my life for the better. The joy I feel is immeasurable.

I take chlorella every day to help chelate metals out of the body internally. The silver is not just in the skin so cleansing is very important. This is my journey and my BIG lesson and I hope that I may be of help somehow to others.”

The Precautionary Principle

So…the bottom line is, take your colloidal silver in moderation, and with a good, healthy dose of caution and common sense.

As thousands upon thousands of colloidal silver users can attest, it’s one of the most amazing healing substances on the face of the earth.

But like anything else, the cautionary principle should always prevail: Use it wisely. Don’t overdo it.

If you make your own colloidal silver with a high-quality colloidal silver generator like the new Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator from, you might want to consider following the patented “12-for-25″™ rule for determining your daily dosage levels, developed by our good friends at Invision International Health Solutions.

Their simple calculation helps you determine your optimal daily dosage level of colloidal silver-based upon your own body weight and the ppm (i.e., concentration) of the colloidal silver you’re making.

You can read more about the “12-for-25″™ rule in the FREE Colloidal Silver Safe Dosage Report, which describes this simple method for determining how much colloidal silver to use. Just click the link to go to a web page where you can order it for FREE, and it will be sent to you by return email at no cost.

Successful Judicious Usage

I’ve used colloidal silver successfully and without any harm whatsoever for over 17 years now.

So has my wife. My mom. My in-laws. Our kids. Other family members. My tax advisor. My chiropractor. My housekeeper. And tens of thousands and thousands of readers of my book, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual.

Indeed, as I mentioned above, there are estimated to be as many as 10 million colloidal silver users throughout Canada and the Americas. After all, virtually every well-stocked health food store in every city of the U.S. and Canada sells the stuff. And it’s sold all over the world, to boot!

What’s more, tens of thousands of people make their own colloidal silver with colloidal silver generators.

All of this has been going on for decades. And in this time, only a small handful of colloidal silver users who have abused the substance have experienced argyria.

Nevertheless, because argyria from excessive colloidal silver usage is very real, most wise people prefer to err on the side of caution, and use colloidal silver judiciously and with an abundance of common sense.

There’s no reason to be afraid of a tremendously beneficial substance like colloidal silver, just because some people have used it abusively. Used within the bounds of reason, colloidal silver can make a tremendous difference in your health and well-being.

Read how other people have used colloidal silver successfully, here.

Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick Signature
Steve Barwick, author
The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual

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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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[IMPORTANT NOTE AND DISCLAIMER: We are not doctors. We are distributors of electronic appliances and nutritional supplements. Therefore we cannot and do not offer medical advice. Please do not call with medical questions. If you have a medical problem, please see your licensed physician. Self-treatment is not recommended. The FDA has not evaluated the information contained on this web site. Products distributed by The Silver Edge are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Testimonials are the subjective experiences of our customers and are not intended to be construed as being prescriptive in nature, nor a guarantee that the usage methods described are safe, effective or reliable, nor a guarantee that your results will be the same; individual results may vary. Additionally, the contents of this web site are strictly for information purposes only, and should not in any way be construed as providing or attempting to provide medical advice. Information on this web site is derived from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee, express or implied, can be made regarding the accuracy or reliability of same. Therefore readers are encouraged to verify for themselves and to their own satisfaction the accuracy and reliability of all reports, recommendations, conclusions, comments, and opinions. The Silver Edge does not make any claims or promises as to health benefits accruing from the use of any product. There is plenty of publicly available independent documentation -- both pro and con -- regarding the uses and efficacy of colloidal silver and its long history in health and medicine. For a comprehensive overview, you may want to obtain a copy of The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual (547 pages, from Life & Health Research Group, LLC, 1-888-846-9029). Or see the link above to "Some Interesting Sources of Information on Colloidal Silver." Colloidal silver generators are electronic appliances designed to produce high-quality silver colloid. They are not medical devices. The Silver Edge specifically disclaims responsibility or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred by the reader as a result of the application of any information included on this web site, or as a result of the use or misuse of any electronic product or nutritional supplement. You are solely responsible for your health and nutrition choices. Anyone with additional information on colloidal silver is encouraged to write to The Silver Edge at the address directly below, so that it can be shared with others who may be interested.]