Nanosilver Will Make You Blind and Stupid Claim Swedish Researchers
(Opinion) Swedish researchers are now claiming to have demonstrated that nanosilver from commercial products (or even from bottled colloidal silver products) can leach into human brain and eye cells and damage them, causing blindness and brain damage.
Of course, what they don’t tell the public is that their new research contradicts all of the major studies on the cell-protective benefits of antimicrobial silver going back to the 1970s. It also contradicts the fact that no cases of blindness or brain damage from exposure to normal levels of silver have ever been reported in over 120 years.
What’s more, it’s important to note that the Swedish study was conducted solely as test-tube research, using cell line cultures from 7-week old aborted fetal tissues that were artificially kept alive in a chemical growth medium. No real-life animal or human testing was done, and therefore none of the body’s normal protective mechanisms were available to the cells during the course of the study.
Here’s my take on how utterly flawed the new Swedish clinical research is, and how truly disingenuous and sensationalistic the conclusions being drawn by the Swedish researchers are…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
The European press is claiming – quite hysterically – that the use of nanosilver in commercial products such as sports clothing, silver-infused stockings or even bottled colloidal silver from your local health food store – will “make you go blind” and “can damage the brain in humans.”
These sensationalistic claims are based on two new Swedish clinical studies (see here and here) conducted at Lund University in Sweden, one of which claims to have demonstrated that silver nanoparticles are toxic to developing nerve cells from the brain, and one of which claims to have demonstrated that silver nanoparticles are toxic to nerve cells in the retina of the eye.
“I think it’s insane to take the silver,” says one of the study authors, Fredrik Johansson, in a University of Lund press release. He continues by saying:
“The body spreads silver nanoparticles and ions through the blood. They take to the central nervous system, the growth of cells deteriorate as the studies show…. it is clear that our human cells are negatively affected by silver nanoparticles and silver ions.”
Make Me Laugh
Of course, I had to chuckle a bit after reading the above quote. It reminded me of the old TV game show called Make Me Laugh, in which a comedian would stand in front of a contestant and say all kinds of silly things in order to invoke laughter.
Johansson’s statement certainly made me laugh. After, all, I’ve been using colloidal silver almost daily for nearly 20 years. And at age 60, I recently passed a comprehensive vision tests at my doctor’s office, which was conducted during a recent executive physical.
Sure, I have some of the normal vision problems of any 60 year old journalist who’s been staring at a computer screen for ten or twelve hours a day for the past 21 years. I have to wear reading glasses to see the fine print in some documents. But I don’t need eye glasses for driving, or for other regular daily activities.
Nevertheless, reading through the wild and quite feverish claims against silver coming from the authors of these two new Swedish studies, you’d certainly think I should be completely blind from taking my daily dose of colloidal silver every day over the past 20 years. At the very least, I should be exhibiting major brain and nervous system damage if the Swedish researcher’s claims against silver were actually true.
So the above quote from Swedish researcher Fredrick Johansson struck me as being little more than rank sensationalism and histrionics, rather than a true, science-based conclusion. It’s very disconcerting to see researchers make such unsubstantiated claims. And that’s what led me to take a closer look at these two new Swedish studies.
What You’re Not Being Told
What people are not being told is that the findings from these two new studies completely contradict numerous other clinical studies which have shown no harm whatsoever to human or animal cells from exposure to normal levels of silver.
Indeed, quite the contrary, many clinical studies have even found nanosilver to be both cell-protective, and quite beneficial to cell growth, as well. For example:
- The new Swedish studies contradict the long-standing clinical work of Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D., who repeatedly found no damage to human cells whatsoever when dispersing electrically-generated silver ions directly into the cells and tissues of living human beings. Instead, he found only cell-protective qualities, leading to rapid healing of damaged tissues (see clinical study, here).
- The new Swedish studies contradict the work of clinical researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona (Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neurosciences), who also recently demonstrated that nanosilver has dramatic cell-protective effects (see info on clinical study, here), particularly on cells damaged by alcohol.
- The new Swedish studies also contradict the work of clinical researchers from Hindu University in Varanasi, India, who found that “nanoparticles do not confer any lytic [i.e., cell-damaging – ED] effect on platelets,” but instead, prevented blood cells from excessive clotting (see info on this study, here).
- What’s more, the two new Swedish studies contradict the work of clinical researchers who use silver as a photographic stain in fish embryos so they can better track and document changes in the developing embryo. Yet the fish are not born blind or brain-damaged, even though they’re exposed to silver from embryo to birth (see here).
And finally, the two new Swedish studies contradict the work of animal researchers who have found that silver in its elemental form as well as in its ionic form can be used as an effective preservative and disinfectant for boar sperm, which is used in artificial insemination of breeding sows.
In other words, small amounts of silver are added to the boar sperm, which allows it to remain viable for longer periods of time before being used to artificially inseminate a sow (female boar).
So if silver negatively affects the brain and eyes of developing animals, you’d think by now the swine breeders would have noticed a lot of blind and mentally defective piglets being born. But no. It’s just not the case. (See more on the use of silver to preserve boar sperm, here.)
The bottom line is that numerous clinical studies have demonstrated silver’s protective effects on cells – including sensitive cells such as sperm cells and developing fish embryos.
Yet amazingly, the two new Swedish studies (both of which were conducted by basically the same research team) contradict the positive findings of virtually all of those previous studies.
So how could the Swedish researchers have arrived at conclusions that contradict the work of so many other silver researchers?
Turns out, the foundational ideas behind the two new Swedish were flawed from the very beginning. And of course, whenever the foundation is flawed, so the results will be flawed, as well.
For example, one of the foundational claims the Swedish researchers make is that nanosilver can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and harm brain cells. This, of course, is simply not true.
Even Britain’s top expert on the medical use of nanosilver, Alan B.G. Lansdown, author of “Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use,” has admitted there is no evidence that silver, used in normal amounts, can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, stating:
“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
In other words, when the studies claiming silver passes the blood-brain barrier are properly examined and parsed, what’s found is that the body’s protective mechanisms designed to prevent harm to the brain and nervous system from outside substances actually work quite well.
The silver, far from actually breaching the blood-brain barrier or the cerebrospinal fluid barrier, becomes trapped and bound by lysosomal vacuoles (i.e., cell organelles that contain special enzymes needed for breaking down biomolecules and cellular debris).
Once the silver particles are trapped and prevented from reaching the blood-brain barrier or the cerebrospinal fluid barrier, the body then works to break down the trapped silver and eliminate it.
So contrary to the wishful thinking of the Swedish researchers, nanosilver is not deposited into brain tissue, nor is it the cause of neurological issues. It does not cross the blood-brain barrier to effect brain cells, nor does it cross the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier to affect nerve cells.
This basically makes the results of the two new Swedish studies null and void, since they’re based on the idea that silver can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and make its way into the brain, negatively affecting developing neural cells as well as damaging developing retinal cells.
The authors of the two new Swedish studies apparently didn’t know that silver has never been proven to cross the blood-brain barrier. Or, perhaps they chose to leave that critical information out of their study so they could more effectively scare the bejabbers out of the general public.
Based on the over-the-top, scare-mongering press releases being issued to the news media by the Swedish researchers, I’d have to say the second option above is the correct one. But let’s take a closer look at another of the foundational assertions of these two new Swedish studies:
Cell Death, or Cell Proliferation?
The authors of the new Swedish studies also claim exposure to nanosilver can lead to cell death. But as Lansdown has pointed out in “Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use,” far from causing cell death, nanosilver actually promotes the proliferation and maturation of cells – particularly in wounds.
Yes, silver has long been known to stimulate cell growth, not cause cell death. In fact, Lansdown points out that:
“Topically applied silver was shown to induce and bind metallothioneins I and II in the cytosol of metabolically active cells in the wound margin.
Increased metallothioneins in metabolically active cells favours the uptake of trace metals including zinc and copper, which in turn promote RNA and DNA synthetases leading to cell proliferation and maturation.
There is clinical and experimental evidence to show that topical application of dilute silver nitrate, silver sulfadiazine and the various sustained silver-release wound dressings to acute and chronic skin wounds promotes healing…
…Other metabolic changes seen in the skin following topical silver application include induction of epidermal growth factor (EGF), a critical factor in the wound healing cascade.”
— Silver in Healthcare: Its Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use, by Alan B. G. Lansdown, pg. 61
In other words, rather than damaging or killing cells, nanosilver used in normal amounts actually promotes healing of wounds by causing healthy new cells to proliferate and mature, thereby causing wounds to heal faster and more efficiently.
The Swedish researchers even contradict the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program, which found that silver ingested within normal amounts was not toxic to humans.
According to the researchers behind the Toxic Metals Research Program at Dartmouth:
“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.”
Claims with No Substance
What’s more, the study authors make the following spurious claim regarding the cell line used in their two new studies:
“The cell line can be regarded as model of a developing brain, since the cells originate from forebrain tissue, obtained from one 7-week (post-conception) human embryo and are grown as a so-called neurosphere culture.”
In other words, the Swedish researchers are claiming that a single cell line from the brain tissue of a 7-week old aborted baby, can serve in research as a model for a developing brain.
Yet as one independent researcher pointed out after reviewing the first of the two Swedish studies, “If it’s a cell line, then by definition it’s a single type of cell and therefore cannot under any circumstances be considered a valid ‘model for a developing brain.'”
Indeed, there are multitudes more cell types than just retinal neural cells involved in brain development and growth. Plus, in real-life brain development, there’s also the germinal matrix, which includes a variety of cell types, plus a network of arteries, veins and capillaries feeding those cells.
There’s also metalloproteins that protect and stimulate neuronal cells inside of developing brains, and help them reach full, long-term potentiation. And there’s much more, to boot.
So, of course, you can’t duplicate the brain’s germinal matrix in a test tube. Nor in a test tube can you have arteries, veins and capillaries bring blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the cells. And you won’t find in a test tube any of the metalloproteins and other substances the body uses to help protect and stimulate cell growth.
So to claim that a single cell type being kept artificially alive in a test tube is even remotely the equivalent of a ‘developing brain’ is ludicrous at face value.
Again, when the very foundation of a study is shaky, quite inevitably so are the results.
The Problem with Neurospheres
The Swedish researchers used neurospheres in this study, which are essentially free-floating clusters of neural stem cells taken from aborted fetus tissue. They claim these neurospheres allow them to “model” a 3D neural system under development.
But as other independent researchers have pointed out, the use of neurospheres in test tubes is not a good model for a 3D neural system under development, because
a.) no other types of brain cells are present,
b.) there’s no blood supply to the cells and tissues, and
c.) there’s no protective matrix
In other words, brain cells don’t develop in a vacuum. In a live body, there’s a variety of different types of cells growing and interacting with each other, and a complex variety of biological processes taking place that, once again, simply cannot be duplicated in a test tube.
So for the Swedish researchers to claim these retinal cell neurospheres – clusters of neural stem cells taken from an aborted baby’s brain – are a good test tube “model” for a developing neural system is disingenuous at best, and purposefully deceptive at worst.
What’s more, previous studies have shown that when neurospheres are used in test tube studies, cells have been demonstrated to die in larger neurospheres simply due to the size of the neurosphere, with no other external factors involved.
Indeed, previous studies have demonstrated that while smaller neurospheres are more stable and the cells stay alive longer, it’s quite typical in larger neurospheres for cell death to start taking place at the very core of the neurosphere where cells are more highly concentrated and competition for oxygen and nutrients is at its highest.
This is a basic problem for these two new Swedish studies. Larger neurospheres tend to trigger cell death simply because of their size and the more dense concentration of cells involved, even when there are no outside factors involved such as the addition of nanosilver.
And as the Swedish researchers admit if you carefully read both of their studies, the much-trumpeted cell death they documented was indeed found at the very core of the larger neurospheres, and not the smaller neurospheres.
So did the addition of nanosilver actually cause the cell death in the larger neurospheres, even though it didn’t negatively affect the cells in the smaller neurospheres? How could that be? Why would silver be toxic to cells in larger neurospheres, but not toxic to cells in smaller neurospheres?
Or was the cell death noted by the researchers simply a normal part of what happens when you place larger neurospheres into a test tube environment in which the cells are very concentrated and food and oxygen less available?
The researchers don’t even ask those basic questions, but instead, in knee-jerk fashion, blame the silver for the cell death they noted.
So where did the Swedish researchers go wrong? It appears, first and foremost, that their biggest mistake was in doing in vitro test tube cell culture studies rather than in vivo live animal or human studies.
Test Tube Studies v/s Real-Life Studies
It’s critical to reiterate that the new Swedish studies were conducted as test-tube studies, and not live studies.
Of course, in a laboratory test tube that’s full of clusters of retinal cells from the fore-brains of aborted babies, you can’t even come close to
duplicating the complex biological reactions that take place within living cells in a living body.
So in reality, the new Swedish studies prove absolutely nothing.
After all, our eye cells, brain cells and all other bodily cells don’t live inside of a test tube, nor are they kept alive by artificial means. Instead, they live inside one of the most complex biological systems known – the human body – in which very specific protective biological mechanisms exist.
These are mechanisms which can’t possibly exist inside of a test tube, but only in a living body.
Indeed, by using the test-tube study method, the researchers manage to effectively by-pass – or perhaps better stated, eliminate – these protective biological mechanisms that allow the human body to utilize silver for its profound healing qualities, while preventing the silver from causing any damage to cells, tissues and organs.
By eliminating the protective biological mechanisms, the researchers gain the ability to demonstrate their preconceived results, even though such results would never take place inside a living human (or animal) body exposed to normal amounts of silver.
So while the Swedish researchers tout their new studies as being akin to a cautionary tale, claiming that mere contact with silver particles from commercial products can result in risk of blindness, I’d have to classify their studies as something closer to science fiction.
Indeed, they’re taking a science-fiction scenario (i.e., living cells from an aborted fetus being kept artificially alive in a test tube) and proclaiming their studies demonstrate potential harm to an actual biological entity, such as a living animal or human being.
Of course, the researchers could have used live animals in their nanosilver study, as other researchers have done (see, for example, here and here).
But that would have caused problems for the Swedish researchers because most in vivo clinical studies (i.e., real-life, live animal studies) have clearly demonstrated that silver when used at normal levels is not at all harmful to cells, tissues, or organs in living beings.
In fact, in most animal studies I’ve seen, no harm could be found when nanosilver has been given to animals at normal levels. And in most cases, the researchers have found there was no harm whatsoever even at egregiously high levels of nanosilver.
But the Swedish researchers used a test tube “model” for their study, rather than a live animal study, giving them (in my opinion) the ability to produce whatever results they wanted.
Live Animal Studies
Show No Harm from Silver
For example, previous studies on live animals, in which nanosilver’s effects on the eyes of the test animals were specifically studied, have found zero significant harm, even when astonishingly high concentrations of nanosilver were used.
In one such clinical study, published in June 2011 in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, researchers concluded:
“In acute eye irritation and corrosion study, no mortality and toxic signs were observed when various doses of colloidal silver nanoparticles were instilled in guinea pig eyes during 72 hr observation period.
However, the instillation of silver nanoparticles at 5,000 ppm produced transient eye irritation during early 24 hr observation time.”
In other words, using normal amounts of nanosilver in the eyes of guinea pigs, the researchers found no toxic signs whatsoever. Zero. Zip. Nada.
But when the researchers instilled a whopping 5,000 ppm colloidal silver nanoparticles directly into the eyes of the poor little critters, some minor, temporary eye irritation was noted. Nevertheless, the irritation was “transient,” disappearing after 48 hours!
By the way, the 5,000 ppm nanosilver used in the mouse’s eyes would be the equivalent of 350,000 ppm for a typical 155 lb person. Of course, no one is going to use 5,000 ppm colloidal silver in their eyes, much less 350,000 ppm.
And in a lifetime of handling consumer products that have been impregnated with antimicrobial silver, one would never absorb 5,000 ppm worth of silver into their bodies, much less 350,000 ppm.
Even when people drink colloidal silver health products, most prefer much smaller fractional concentrations, such as 5 ppm, 10 ppm or maybe even 20 ppm.
But the point being this: In live animal studies, even when preposterously high concentrations of silver were placed into the animal’s eyes each day, the worst effect noted by the researchers was some minor, transient eye irritation.
In another animal study, researchers using 2,000 ppm nanosilver on live rats (i.e., the equivalent of 140,000 ppm for a normal, adult human) found similar results. According to the study authors, “In acute oral and dermal toxicity tests using rats, none of the rats showed any abnormal signs or mortality at a dose level of ~ 2000 mg/kg.”
What’s more, the study authors found NO signs of acute eye or dermal irritation or corrosion when the 2,000 ppm silver nanoparticles were tested in the eyes and on the skin of the animals.
So once again, we see that even when egregiously high levels of silver were given to animals, there were no signs of toxicity, eye damage, brain damage, tissue abnormality or of any other damage, for that matter.
Even when the Environmental Protection Agency studied silver’s effects on pregnant rats that were being tube-fed a caustic form of silver known as silver acetate, they couldn’t find any lasting harm to the animals.
“In a developmental toxicity study of pregnant rats conducted in 2002 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), silver acetate was administered by gavage [tube-feeding – ED] on days 6-19 of gestation.
No developmental effects were reported at doses up to 100 mg/kg…
…More importantly, the results from this study did not demonstrate an increased susceptibility of offspring, nor did it demonstrate systemic toxicity.”
— Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 10, 2009 / Rules and Regulations
So, silver didn’t appear to harm the development of baby rats – or cause them to be born blind, or born with brain damage – even though the silver was being tube-fed directly into the mother rats for 13 days during gestation.
The bottom line is that the new Swedish study pretty much contradicts all of the major studies conducted on nanosilver to date, the vast majority of which have demonstrated silver to be not only harmless to human and animal cells under normal use, but indeed, protective of cells in many ways.
No Commercial Nanosilver Products
Used in the two Swedish Studies…
In the University of Lund press releases which accompany these two new Swedish studies, the researchers try to tie commercial nanosilver products (such as silver-impregnated sports clothing, or silver-impregnated wash rags, or even colloidal silver products) to their study results, even though their studies were never conducted using such commercial nanosilver products nor has anyone ever proven these products to be harmful.
In other words, the researchers are now using their test-tube studies to make the claim that the use of commercial nanosilver products could lead to blindness. Yet they didn’t conduct their studies using any of the silver-impregnated commercial products they now claim are potentially harmful.
Example: If researchers want to test the idea that silver-impregnated stockings (which help diabetics avoid infected foot and ankle sores) can potentially leach enough silver into the body to damage retinal cells and cause blindness, why not put a pair of silver-impregnated stockings into a cage with some test mice, and leave it there for 30 to 60 days, before checking the mice for eye damage?
The mice would have daily contact with the silver-impregnated stockings. It could even be used as their bedding, to make sure they have regular close contact with it. Then the mice could be tested to see if any of the silver has leached into their bodies and caused any harm.
But the reason the researchers don’t do an in vivo study like that is because they know in advance what they’d find: absolutely nothing. There would be no harm to the live animals whatsoever because both animals and humans have numerous protective mechanisms which allow the body to take advantage of silver’s beneficial aspects while avoiding any potential toxicity.
Another example: If the researchers want to claim that human contact with silver can cause blindness, why not do a study in which people with silver-impregnated surgical implants are followed for several years after their implant, to see if their eyesight degenerates after a few years worth of exposure to the silver?
After all, these silver-based implants leach silver ions into the body on a constant, ongoing basis, preventing infection around the implant site. So if silver is actually harmful to eyesight and brain function, that theory should be easily demonstrated in hundreds of thousands of implant patients worldwide who should be going blind right about now.
Yet it’s not. There are, in fact, ZERO reports of blindness or brain damage from the thousands upon thousands of implant patients who are happy because their silver-impregnated implants prevent colonization by pathogens and thereby mitigates resulting infections at the implant site.
Indeed, silver is now one of the most commonly used metals on surgical implants such as artificial knee replacements or artificial hip replacements and others, thanks to its ability to stop pathogens from colonizing the implants and causing infection.
It is used now in numerous implant technologies, including:
- Neuro-surgery shunts
- Urology catheters
- Orthopedic implants
- Suturing material
- Bone plates and screws
So if casual contact with silver – through a commercial product like silver-impregnated stockings or silver-impregnated computer keyboard – actually posed a threat to one’s eyesight, then there would certainly be a big difference in a person’s eyesight several years after a silver-impregnated surgical implant has been installed.
But in vivo studies like that – the results of which would be quite conclusive – will never be conducted by the anti-silver environmental crowd, because they know what the results would be in advance.
The human body, through its normal protective mechanisms, would simply utilize any silver being released from the surgical implants for its beneficial purposes, and protect itself from any potentially harmful toxic effects while working to expel the silver through the normal channels of elimination when it’s served its purpose.
The bottom line is this:
Clinical researchers can’t as easily “shape” the results in live animal or human studies, as they can when they use these dubious test-tube studies. The results of the new Swedish test tube studies appear to be preconceived, agenda-based “science” at its very worst, with no relation to real-life situations whatsoever.
Indeed, they appear to be specifically designed to whip up anti-silver hysteria among the public, and especially among government bureaucrats and policy-makers who decide whether or not silver-based products can be sold to you, commercially.
Silver Is Protective to Eyes
I find it most interesting that the researchers behind the new Swedish studies claim to have demonstrated that nanosilver is harmful to retinal eye cells, even while other scientists are singing the praises of the use of nanosilver as a new breakthrough in retinal therapies (see “Silver nano – A trove for retinal therapies“).
In fact, clinical researchers around the world are now referring to silver as a “boon to ocular therapies,” particularly thanks to its ability to halt pathological retinal angiogenesis, which is one of the most feared complications among retinal diseases leading to visual impairment and irreversible blindness.
According to researchers Department of Biotechnology, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Kalasalingam University, India:
“Silver nanoparticles due to their potent characteristics such as anti-permeability, anti-tubules formation, anti-vasculature development, bear out them as an effective molecule in inhibiting angiogenesis…
…Our studies on silver nanoparticles effect over angiogenesis make a significant impact in treating common causes of blindness such as PDR and AMD.”
In other words, far from damaging the retinal cells of the eyes, silver nanoparticles actually trigger healing in the eyes, even in serious eye conditions such as retinal angiogenesis or age-related macular degeneration that would otherwise lead to blindness!
So here’s the bottom line:
The preponderance of clinical evidence demonstrates that normal levels of silver exposure are not in the least bit harmful to human cells because the body’s protective mechanisms kick in upon exposure, allowing the body to take advantage of silver’s powerful healing properties, while mitigating any toxicity to normal cells.
In in vivo studies (i.e., real-life animal and human studies), this has always been shown to be the case when normal amounts of silver are tested on the animals. In fact, even when extremely large dosages of silver are given or applied, no harm is generally found (see here and here).
Only in test tube studies where silver is used on cells being artificially kept alive in a test-tube environment without the support of the body’s numerous other biological functions can this supposed “toxicity” from silver be demonstrated.
Would Other Substances Have Caused
the Same Kind of Cell Death?
What’s more, the Swedish researchers didn’t bother to determine whether or not adding other substances to the test tube tissue cell cultures would have produced similar harmful effects on the cells.
For example, the researchers could have added small amounts of Coca Cola to the cell culture, or small amounts of vinegar, or small amounts of orange juice, or small amounts of coffee or tea, in order to see whether or not they’d have been able to induce similar cell-damaging effects.
If the researchers had exposed the cells to small amounts of cola, or coffee, or orange juice, or any other substance, they most certainly would have found similar cell damage, because the protective biological milieu normally surrounding those cells in the human body is simply not available in a test tube.
Yet in such a case the researchers would not have sent out shrill press releases claiming “Coffee Drinking Can Make You Go Blind,” or “Drinking Orange Juice Can Cause Brain Damage.”
After all, they’d be laughed out of the university if they did so, since hundreds of years of normal, everyday real-life coffee drinking and orange juice drinking and has never caused a single case of blindness or brain damage.
Yet consider this: Hundreds of years worth of normal, everyday real-life exposure to silver has never caused a single case of blindness or brain damage as well, in spite of the fact that nanosilver is now used in public swimming pools…hot tubs and spas…in the drinking and bathing water of cruise ship liners…in aquatic animal habitats…and even in municipal drinking water systems…not to mention among people like myself who have ingested small amounts of silver nearly every day for 20 years.
But now, the researchers behind this poorly-constructed study rail against the use of antimicrobial silver as if it’s one of the world’s leading causes of blindness, when in reality blindness has never, ever, ever been associated with the use of commercial products containing nanosilver.
My point is that these super-liberal universities with large environmental departments don’t seem to care about the facts when it comes to silver research.
They tend to test until they find a way to get the pre-conceived results they want. Then they send out dozens of scary press releases to make sure their manufactured, agenda-driven results end up in the news headlines.
This is why last year, one top researcher, Dr. Robert MacCuspie, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, repeatedly admonished his fellow nanosilver researchers to “do good science” and stop doing “hypothesis testing,” in which the researchers simply keep testing until they find a way to prove their hypothesis.
For example, in the case of the above-described Swedish studies, it clearly appears to me that the researchers used retinal cells and brain cells from aborted tissue cell cultures being kept artificially alive in test tubes, so they could demonstrate the damage they wanted to demonstrate, knowing full well that if they’d have done the same testing in real-life animals, their results would have been quite positive, instead of negative.
These agenda-driven junk science, test-tube studies are not worthy of publication. But because they’re often conducted under the auspices of major universities, they end up getting published even though they’re so easily discredited by any thoughtful lay reader.
Silver Nitrate in Babies Eyes
In press releases from the University of Lund regarding the two new studies, the researchers strongly insinuate that the use of antimicrobial silver in commercial products such as refrigerators, washing machines, sportswear, shoes and other products, including alternative medicine products such as colloidal silver, pose a dire threat to the general public because the silver might cause harm to developing retinal cells (eye cells).
Of course, what’s not mentioned at all in these two studies – much to the shame of the researchers who clearly cherry-picked their evidence – is the fact that silver nitrate has been used for decades without harm in the developing eyes of newborn babies, at birth.
Indeed, in many countries silver nitrate is still infused directly into the babies’ eyes at birth to help prevent neonatal ophthalmia, a condition in which infectious microorganisms picked up in the birth canal by a newborn baby end up causing blindness if the germs are not killed directly after the baby’s birth.
This silver nitrate eye treatment has prevented quite literally millions of cases of blindness worldwide and has never been known to harm the babies’ developing eyes.
Yet in one of the two new Swedish studies, titled “Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Exposure to In Vitro Cultured Retina – Studies on Nanoparticle Internalization, Apoptosis, Oxidative Stress, Glial- and Microglial Activity,” the Swedish researchers claim:
“The complex network of neuronal cells in the retina makes it a potential target of neuronal toxicity – a risk factor for visual loss…
…This study demonstrates that low concentrations of 20 and 80 nm sized silver nanoparticles and gold nanoparticles have adverse effects on the retina, using an organotypic retina culture model.”
In other words, the Swedish researchers claim to have demonstrated that nerve cells involved in retinal development are adversely affected by low concentrations of both silver nanoparticles and gold nanoparticles and that these adverse effects are a “risk factor for visual loss.”
This, in spite of the fact that not a single case of blindness caused by silver particles (or gold particles, for that matter) has ever been reported, worldwide, in the past 120 years.
What’s more, throughout many decades of that time-frame, doctors were placing silver directly into the developing eyes of millions of newborn babies worldwide with no harm to retinal development or eyesight whatsoever!
But again, facts don’t seem to matter to the Swedish researchers…only conjecture and rank sensationalism based on test-tube studies designed to advance an environmentalist anti-silver agenda rather than find the truth.
A Previous Attempt to Smear Silver Backfires
Earlier this year, I demonstrated how far researchers are willing to go in order to scare the public away from the use of antimicrobial silver, when a horrifically flawed Danish study was first released, claiming silver harms stomach cells.
But upon closer examination of the study details, it turns out the test-tube-grown cells the Danish researchers used in the study were from a cancer cell line.
So in reality, what the researchers demonstrated was the fact that antimicrobial silver kills cancer cells, a fact which has long been known by cancer researchers (see Silver Kills Some Cancer Tumors Better Than Chemotherapy, Say British Researchers).
Yet in their press releases, the Danish researchers purposely failed to mention that it was cancer cells that were killed by the nanosilver.
And for weeks the news media had a field day claiming silver damages stomach cells in living human beings, when in reality the silver simply killed the cancerous cells in a test tube study! (See my complete analysis of the Danish study at this link.)
Of course, as I’ve pointed out throughout this analysis and critique, it’s always best to do experiments in vivo (i.e., live animal or human study, rather than test-tube study) where cells are in their normal optimal environment.
But as one independent Swedish researcher stated after reviewing the results of the two new Swedish studies, “Researchers do in vitro (i.e., test tube) experiments because it’s easier and quicker. And they can bypass most of the body’s protective mechanisms, and thus make silver appear to be ‘toxic’ to cells, when in reality, in live studies, silver actually protects cells, and promotes cellular growth and healing.”
If you’d like to learn more on this important topic, you might also want to read several of my previous short but insightful articles:
And if you want to learn how to make your own pure, high-quality colloidal silver for less than 36 cents a quart, check out this link.
Meanwhile, I’ll be back next week with another great article on colloidal silver….
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
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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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