By Dr. RAPHAEL NYARKOTEY OBU, PhD
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics. Even if new medicines are developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat. Behaviour changes must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections through vaccination, hand washing, practising safer sex, and good food.
There are also natural antibiotics that could also save the problem with antibiotic resistance. One such alternative product is colloidal silver water. But could colloidal silver water be the natural antibiotic?
There are thousands of anecdotal evidences about colloidal silver helping people with practically every disease you’ve heard about. You will also stumble upon some well-known health sites that warn consumers about safety concerns. Usually, these sources quote a statement made by the FDA in 1999 claiming that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of colloidal silver.
This type of information can confuse even the most savvy natural health enthusiast, which is why I want to lend a helping hand and provide some evidenced-based information to help you make an informed choice about colloidal silver uses and benefits. I have also performed a laboratory analysis of one product at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, to assess the toxicity aspect of the product.
Colloidal Silver Water as Homeopathic Antibiotic
The field of homeopathic is the most controversial medical area in Ghana and globally. In Ghana, homeopathic medicine practitioners and their drugs are the most vibrant industry in the alternative medicine sector.
Homeopathic remedies are sourced or made from diverse compounds. One such product which has become very controversial is colloidal silver water. There are many practitioners in Ghana who have submitted products of such nature to the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) with the hope of receiving approval. The key issue with silver water is the long term usage of this products. There is therefore the need for scientific fact on the safety of silver for long term use.
As a medical system, homeopathy is based on a simple concept that the body can cure itself. Practitioners of homeopathy use tiny amounts of natural substances, like plants and minerals. They believe these rouse the healing process. It was developed in the late 1700s in Germany. It’s common in many European countries, but now very popular in Ghana. Homeopathy just like any other form of alternative medical system is regulated by the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health based on Act 575 of the traditional medicine Act. Currently, the law has been repealed to provide a clear role of alternative medicine in Ghana. The new bill is the Traditional and Alternative Medicine bill 2018.
A simple concept behind homeopathy is “like cures like.” In other words, something that brings on symptoms in a healthy person can — in a very small dose — treat an illness with similar symptoms. This is meant to trigger the body’s natural defenses
A typical case study, red onion makes your eyes water. It is therefore used in homeopathic remedies for allergies. Treatments for other ailments are made from poison ivy, white arsenic, crushed whole bees, and an herb called arnica.
Homeopathic doctors (who also are called “homeopaths”) weaken these ingredients by adding water or alcohol. Then they shake the mixture as part of a process called “potentization.” They believe this step transfers the healing essence. Homeopaths also believe that the lower the dose, the more powerful the medicine. In fact, many of these remedies no longer contain any molecules of the original substance. They come in a variety of forms, like sugar pellets, liquid drops, creams, gels, and tablets .
The question many still are asking is “what is this silver water? According to one significant account by Dr Axe, before the invention of the refrigerator, it was common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk as a preservative because silver was known to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria and other undesirable organisms.
Mechanism of Action of Colloidal silver water
According to a report written by Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute in a 1996, there are three primary ways that colloidal silver can help heal the body:
- Catalytic Oxidation: Silver naturally holds onto oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (H) groups that surround bacterial and viruses. In turn, this helps block the life-preserving cellular process known as cellular respiration, which is defined as “the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.”
- Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver ions can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same respiration-blocking effect.
- Binding with DNA: Shown to literally enter bacteria DNA, up to 12% of silver has been detected in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. According to one source, “While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.
Categories of Silver
Interesting, in ancient times, silver was also apopular remedy to stop the spread of diseases. Its use as a natural antibiotic continued all the way until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics surfaced.
In recent times, we don’t need to drop silver coins into water to experience colloidal silver benefits! What is needed now is to carefully take a few drops from a bottle that you purchased in the store, which is:
A solution of water containing nanometre sized particles of suspended silver. The total silver content is expressed as milligrams of silver per litre (mg/L) of water which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). The total silver content is divided into two forms of silver: ionic silver and silver particles.
According to literatures there are three types of products promoted as “colloidal silver” categorized as:
- Ionic silver
These ionic silver solutions are products whose silver content primarily consists of silver ions. Although ionic silver is often marketed as colloidal silver, it’s not true colloidal silver. Because it’s the least expensive to produce, ionic silver is the most popular product in this category. The problem? It simply won’t produce the same benefits that true colloidal silver can says Dr. Axe.
- Silver Protein
In order to keep large silver particles suspended, silver protein-based products add gelatin. Silver protein is the second-most popular type of colloidal silver product on the market and can easily be made by adding water to silver protein powder. Again, it’s also often marketed and labeled as colloidal silver, but should not be confused for the real thing. Silver protein is less effective for human use, and you won’t experience the true colloidal silver benefits.
iii. True Colloidal Silver
Finally, true silver colloids do not contain any protein or other additives, as the vast majority of the silver content consists of nanometre-sized silver particles.
According to Dr. Axe, there are about 8 Proven Colloidal Silver Benefits, Uses & Side Effects. Dr. Axe literature provided an objective analysis of silver Water:
- Antibacterial and Antimicrobial
Colloidal silver has the ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs. According to his account, while employed at UCLA Medical School in the 1980s, Larry C. Ford, MD, documented over 650 different disease-causing pathogens that were destroyed in minutes when exposed to small amounts of silver
Unlike its prescription antibiotic counterpart, colloidal silver water doesn’t create resistance or immunity in the organisms that are killed by it. This point cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reporting that more than 2 million people in the U.S. suffer illness every year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die from these infections.
Also a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine supported ionic colloidal silver as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent against both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, but its activity wasn’t as pronounced against fungi.
- Wound Care/Skin Health
Robert O. Becker, MD, says that colloidal silver stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. In a research article produced by Pharmacognosy Communications in 2012, it was precisely prescribed that certain colloidal silver formulations should be considered for topical use to treat burns, thrush, periodontitis and other conditions.
Example, according to Dr. Axe, you can treat ringworm (Tineacapitis) at home with colloidal silver because it’s a potent anti-fungal. Caused by a fungus that lives on the top layer of the skin, ringworm presents as round, scaly patches. It’s contagious and spread by skin contact and by contaminated materials, such as clothing.
He also emphasized that Colloidal silver benefits many skins conditions such as psoriasis and eczema as well. It’s soothing to scrapes and even repairs tissue damage from burns. One product, a colloidal silver-based nanogel was successfully used as a dressing for superficial pellet gun wounds in a Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care study.
The combination of silver nitrate and sodium sulfadiazine to create SSD cream helped lead to burn recovery in many patients . Using a silver coating to specialized foam, as part of a wound vacuum system, provides antibacterial activity in vitro. “This technology may assist in preparing infected chronic venous stasis wounds for skin grafting, ultimately leading to better healing.”
Colloidal silver benefits can be used as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles and warts. Dr. Martin Hum, from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, lists colloidal silver as one of the natural remedies to stop viruses fast. Colloidal silver asphyxiates the virus and can even reduce the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients. There are also numerous anecdotal accounts of colloidal silver’s efficacy against the hepatitis C virus.
Colloidal silver is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory remedy. Case in point: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the effects of inflammation after being treated by colloidal silver; they found that the inflamed skin of pigs treated with silver experienced near-normal skin after 72 hours, while other treatment groups not treated with silver remained inflamed.
Promoted to avert sinus infections, colloidal silver can help people as a nasal spray, according to a study published in the International Forum for Allergy and Rhinology in 2014. A 2018 study published in Frontiers in Microbiology proved that colloidal silver nasal rinses, when used twice daily for 10 days, is safe and effective for patients with chronic sinusitis.
Twenty-two patients completed the study and were given either oral antibiotics with saline rinses twice a day or colloidal silver nasal rinses twice daily. The results indicate that both forms of treatment showed similar improvements in sinusitis symptoms, and using colloidal silver in this manner for ten days was deemed safe. Recent research indicates that hidden infections by pathogens could be a cause of respiratory inflammation associated with common allergies and asthma. Colloidal silver destroys Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, which may be the reason why airborne allergy sufferers often find such dramatic relief from colloidal silver.
According to anecdotal evidence colloidal silver helps prevent all types of flu, including swine flu, as well as the common cold. However, Few studies have been done to test this clinically, but in 2011 the NIH took 100 children under the age of 12 suffering from the common cold and nasal congestion and assigned them into two groups; the first group was treated with a solution of colloidal silver and beta glucan, and the second group with saline solution. Even though both groups benefited from the treatment, 90% of the people in the colloidal silver group completely recovered!
Allopathic drugs have suffered a setback in potency when it comes to averting bronchitis or pneumonia. Conventionally, antibiotics are administered as the first line of defense, but when the pneumonia is viral, antibiotics would not help in the least says Dr. Axe. According to him, the nice thing about colloidal silver is that it can help regardless of the pathogen. “Colloidal silver is a remarkable product to help fight against bronchitis and pneumonia when ingested internally, but an even more effective way to utilize it? Simply breathe it into your lungs. This way, the silver directly contacts the germs residing in the lungs, which are causing bronchitis or pneumonia. It’s basically the same thing as using respiratory support, and it works speedily, clearing it up within a couple of days”, he concluded.
Heavy Metal Contents
The heavy metal contents of colloidal silver has been a major subject of the toxicity studies. The big question is whether silver is a heavy metal, what is the right dosage and will product of such nature have a long term effect on humans? In determining the heavy metal content of the product, Colloidal silver life water, Six (6)samples of the Colloidal Silver Water in an 750ml Brown Plastic Bottle were sent to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Ashanti region, Ghana to the Departments of Theoretical & Applied Biology/Environmental Science and Chemistry for analysis. The product, Colloidal Silver Water was compared to Raw Water in the lab and results shown below:
Physicochemical properties of SILVER LIFE COLLOIDAL SILVER Water and Raw Water samples
|Colloidal Silver Water||Raw Water||Ghana Water Standards GS 175-1:2009|
|Total Dissolved Solids
(TDS) mg I-1
|Carbonate Hardness (mg I-1)||100.00||26.00||200|
|Total Hardness (mg I-1)||8.20||13.03||500|
|Magnesium Hardness (mg I-1)||2.20||4.28||N/A|
|Aluminum Hardness (mg I-1)||0.01||0.19||0.2|
|Colour (HV)||1.00||1.23||15 TCU|
|Turbidity (NTU)||0.10||0.14||5 NTU|
|Calcium (mg I-1)||0.06||0.15||40|
|Magnesium (mg I-1)||0.02||0.08||N/A|
|Sodium (mg I-1)||1.08||4.87||200|
|Potassium (mg I-1)||0.44||0.53||N/A|
|Chloride (mg I-1)||28.40||28.69||250|
|Sulphate (mg I-1)||7.00||10.00||250|
|Bicarbonate (mg I-1)||122.00||36.44|
|Phosphate (PO4) (mg I-1)||0.01||0.07||N/A|
|Alkalinity (mg I-1)||100.00||26.00||200|
|Antimony (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.02|
|Arsenic (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.01|
|Barium (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.70|
|Borate as Boron (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.50|
|Cadmium (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.003|
|Chromium (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.05|
|Cyanide (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.07|
|Sulphide (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||N/A|
|Fluoride (mg I-1)||0.05||0.14||1.50|
|Lead (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.01|
|Manganese (mg I-1)||0.004||0.008||0.40|
|Mercury (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.006|
|Nickel (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.07|
|Total Iron (mg I-1)||0.09||0.26||1.00|
|Nitrate (mg I-1)||0.06||0.10||50.00|
|Nitrite (mg I-1)||0.03||0.06||3.00|
|Residual Free Chlorine (mg I-1)||0.02||0.09||0.50|
|Selenium (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||0.01|
|Suspended Solids (SS) (mg I-1)||Nil||Nil||N/A|
The Raw water and SILVER LIFE COLLOIDAL SILVER Water samples both meet the physicochemical quality requirements for drinking water based on the WHO and Ghana Standards GS 175-1:2009 for drinking quality parameters.
In one article , the EPA has, for health purposes, established a daily oral reference dose (RfD) for silver over a 70-year study performed on adults of an average 70 kg in weight. This RfD is 350 micrograms of silver per day. Based on this guidance, any silver over 50 ppm would put consumers above the established RfD taken once a day, and only a 10 ppm can be taken up to 7 times a day, but still be below the RfD:
The total of all forms of silver exposure is used when determining any potential safety risks. For example, if you drink, on a daily basis, 350 micrograms of shavings from a metal cup, it is just “as safe” as drinking 350 micrograms of inactive colloidal silver, or 350 micrograms of ionic silver, or 350 micrograms of silver hydrosol. While the safety profile is the same in each of these cases, the efficacy is drastically different between the four . However, it is to be stated that, too much of everything is also bad, but the effectivity of the product should not be overlooked.
Heavy metal is not clearly defined. On the other hand, they are referred to metals that are well-thought-out toxic to humans, even in low doses (e.g., mercury). Theoretically, silver (Ag) is recorded as a “transition metal” on the periodic table. There are other metals also listed as transition metals which includes nutritional minerals such as chromium, copper, zinc and iron. They are theoretically nutrients well-thought-out vital to human wellbeing, in the proper form and dose. Form and dose are key!
The PH of the colloidal silver water is also high 8.50 compared to the neutrality of Raw water at 7.23(Tab 1)in the lab. In the lab, it is also evident that the colloidal silver life water has very high alkalinity content 100.0 (mgL-1) compared to Raw Water at 26.0 (mgL-1). This represents about four times the alkaline nature of Raw Water. It is also evident that heavy metals such as : Antimony, Barium, Borate as Boron, Chromium, Cadmium, Cyanide, Sulphide, Lead, Mercury, Nickel and other suspended soiled are free from the Colloidal Silver Life Water manufactured by Edigalf compared to the Raw Water in the lab(Tab 1). All other essential minerals in the Colloidal Silver Life Water by Edigalf as compared to the Raw water in the Lab are of very low value compared to the Raw Water (Tab 1).
- MICROBIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
Table 2: Bacterial number in SILVER LIFE COLLOIDAL SILVER Water and Raw Water Sample
|Sample Identification||Faecal coliforms (cfu 100ml-1)
|Total Heterotrophic Bacteria (cfu 1m1-1)
|Colloidal Silver Water||0||0||0||0|
|Ghana Water Standards GS 175-1:2009||0||0||0||Max. 105 to 106|
|Sample Identification||Total coliforms(cfu 100ml-1)
|Sulfite Reducing Bacteria
|Colloidal Silver Water||0||0||0|
|Ghana Water Standards GS 175-1:2009||0||0||0|
To determine the microbiological loads, six samples of the product, colloidal silver water with the brand name Silver Life Water in a 750ml opaque bottle produced by Edigaf Services were sent to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology/Environmental Science and Chemistry for microbiological and physicochemical analysis at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
The bacterial numbers and physicochemical properties of Silver Life Water and Raw Water were compared in the laboratory. The microbiological report revealed that the Silver Life Colloidal Water is of VERY GOOD QUALITY and that of the Raw water was equally good. Both product samples are microbiologically SAFE for drinking. They conform to WHO Guidelines and Ghana Standards (GS)175-1:2009. The physicochemical properties report also proved that, the Raw water and the Silver Life Colloidal Silver Water samples both meet the physicochemical quality requirements for drinking water based on the WHO and Ghana Standards GS 175-1: 2009 for drinking water quality parameters. The Colloidal Silver Life Water is safe in the Laboratory according to WHO Guidelines and Ghana Standards for drinking water quality. The product, silver Life Water could therefore be used as a homeopathic medicine in Ghana by alternative medicine Practitioners. This is the first research in Ghana that proved that silver water is safe in the laboratory.
Toxicity Studies and Reviews
To determine the toxicity study of the colloidal silver water, I further submitted, Six (6)samples of the Colloidal Silver Water in an 750ml Brown Plastic Bottle were sent to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Ashanti region, Ghana to the Department of Pharmacology for toxicological analysis.
Two tests were carried out. In the first test, twenty animals were divided into two groups, control (n=10) and test animals (n=10). The control received ad libitum of normal tap water while the test group was provided with Silver life water. Both groups were given normal rodent feed (Agricare Ltd, Kumasi, Ghana). Water bottles (300 ml) were refilled as and when needed. Animals were then observed daily for 5 days for signs of toxicity.
In the second test, rats were divided in 3 groups (n=5) and treated with 0, 5 ml/kg and 8ml/kg of the test water (Silver life) and observed over 48 hours for signs of toxicity.
The physicochemical properties of a drug govern its absorptive potential, but the properties of the dosage form (which partly depend on its design and manufacture) can largely determine drug bioavailability (purestcolloids.com/toxicity.php). This article addresses the toxicity studies of colloidal silver water.
Interestingly, the differences in bioavailability among formulations of a given drug can have clinical significance. Thus, the concept of equivalence among drug products is important in making clinical decisions. Chemical equivalence refers to drug products that contain the same compound in the same amount and that meet current official standards; however, inactive ingredients in drug products may differ. Bioequivalence refers to chemical equivalents that, when administered to the same person in the same dosage regimen, result in equivalent concentrations of drug in blood and tissues. Therapeutic equivalence refers to drug products that, when administered to the same person in the same dosage regimen, provide essentially the same therapeutic effect or toxicity. Bioequivalent products are expected to be therapeutically equivalent.
The same website (purestcolloids.com/toxicity.php) article further continued that therapeutic problems (eg, toxicity, lack of efficacy) are encountered most frequently during long-term therapy when a patient who is stabilized on one formulation is given a nonequivalent substitute (as for digoxin or phenytoin). Sometimes therapeutic equivalence may be achieved despite differences in bioavailability. For example, the therapeutic index (ratio of the maximum tolerated dose to the minimum effective dose) of penicillin is so wide that moderate blood concentration differences due to bioavailability differences in penicillin products may not affect therapeutic efficacy or safety. In contrast, bioavailability differences are important for a drug with a relatively narrow therapeutic index.
The company, Purest Colloids, Inc. hired one of the leading independent laboratories in the U.S. to do a toxicology study on our colloidal silver product, Mesosilver. The test, called an LD-50 test, was performed in accordance with the guidelines of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) Regulations, 16 CFR 1500. In the test work, the Mesosilver was given to a number of both male and female test animals. The amount of Mesosilver given to the animals was 5g/kg of 20 ppm colloid, or the equivalent of a 200-pound man taking 30 tablespoons at one time (the normal adult dosage is between one teaspoon and four tablespoons/day). As a result of the test work, the independent laboratory made the following conclusion, “Under the conditions of this study, there was no mortality or significant evidence of toxicity observed in the rats. The test article Mesosilver would not be considered toxic at a dose of 5g/kg by oral route in the rat.” bioavailability – Extent to which–and sometimes rate at which–the active moiety (drug or metabolite) enters systemic circulation, thereby gaining access to the site of action.
The physiologic characteristics and comorbidities of the patient also affect bioavailability.
FIG 3. Source: purestcolloids.com/toxicity.php
Fig 3. Representative plasma concentration-time relationship after a single oral dose of a hypothetical drug. Area under the plasma concentration-time curve is indicated by shading.
The plasma drug concentration increases with the extent of absorption; the peak is reached when the drug elimination rate equals absorption rate. Bioavailability determinations based on the peak plasma concentration can be misleading, because drug elimination begins as soon as the drug enters the bloodstream. The most widely used general index of absorption rate is peak time; the slower the absorption, the later the peak time. However, peak time is often not a good statistical measure because it is a discrete value that depends on frequency of blood sampling and, in the case of relatively flat concentrations near the peak, on assay reproducibility.
Absorption rate is important because even when a drug is absorbed completely, it may be absorbed too slowly to produce a therapeutic blood level quickly enough or so rapidly that toxicity results from high drug concentrations after each dose. The plasma drug concentration increases with the extent of absorption; the peak is reached when the drug elimination rate equals absorption rate. Bioavailability determinations based on the peak plasma concentration can be misleading, because drug elimination begins as soon as the drug enters the bloodstream. The most widely used general index of absorption rate is peak time; the slower the absorption, the later the peak time. However, peak time is often not a good statistical measure because it is a discrete value that depends on frequency of blood sampling and, in the case of relatively flat concentrations near the peak, on assay reproducibility.
The most significant myth about silver is that it is neither safe nor effective for public consumption. The research on colloidal silver water safety is mixed with FDA issuing several warnings against products with silver. According to Gnat Ignatov and Oleg Mosin 2015, Silver (Ag) –is a metal with an atomic mass of 107.87 a.u.e. related to the sub-group of the first group of the periodic system of D.I. Mendeleev, has a pronounced physiological effect on the body, and is resistant to atmospheric oxygen at room temperature.
Hans Laroo 2013, also postulates thatColloidal silver consists of loose silver atoms forced by the tensions of the water to adhere into clusters in suspension. Accordingly, to refer to nano sized colloidal silver clusters as being metallic, is incorrect.
The heavy metal contents of colloidal silver has been a major subject of the toxicity studies. The big question is whether silver is a heavy metal, what is the right dosage and will product of suchnature have a long term effect on humans? This current paper examines the physiochemical constituents of colloidal silver life water as homeopathic antibiotic and immune care in Ghana.
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY
NAME OF SAMPLE: Silver Life
BATCH NO: 083662626
Table 3 Acute Toxicity
Animal No. of Route of Doses No. of death Duration
Species animals/group administration administered recorded of study
Sprague 20 males, Oral ad libitum No deaths 5 days
Dawley 2 groups recorded
Table 4 Acute Toxicity
Animal No. of Route of Doses No. of death Duration
Species animals/group administration administered recorded of study
Sprague 15 males, Oral 0, 5 ml/kg, No deaths 48 h
Dawley 3 groups 8 ml/kg recorded
In the first test, none of the animals died during the study period.There were also no signs of toxicity attributable to the water under study (Table 3).
In the second test, none of the animals died during period and no signs of toxicity attributable to the test water treatment were observed. The lethal dose (LD50) of the water was estimated to be above 8 ml/kg (Table 4).
The results indicate that Silver life can be regarded as virtually non-toxic in rats when given adlibitum for 5 days. The LD50 is also estimated to be above 8 ml/kg body weight of rats.
According to one report (2019) Colloidal silver might seem like a promising option over antibiotics, but it still has some of the side effects of antibiotics. In another study, Maneewattanapinyo et al 2011, the researchers conducted tests for acute oral toxicity, eye irritation, corrosion and dermal toxicity of colloidal silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in laboratory animals following OECD guidelines. Oral administration of AgNPs at a limited dose of 5,000 mg/kg produced neither mortality nor acute toxic signs throughout the observation period. Percentage of body weight gain of the mice showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. In the hematological analysis, there was no significant difference between mice treatedwith AgNPs and controls. Blood chemistry analysis also showed no differences in any of the parameter examined. There was neitherany gross lesion nor histopathological change observed in various organs.
The results indicated that the LD50 of colloidal AgNPs isgreater than 5,000 mg/kg body weight. In acute eye irritation and corrosion study, no mortality and toxic signs were observed whenvarious doses of colloidal AgNPs were instilled in guinea pig eyes during 72 hr observation period. However, the instillation of AgNPsat 5,000 ppm produced transient eye irritation during early 24 hr observation time. No any gross abnormality was noted in the skins ofthe guinea pigs exposed to various doses of colloidal AgNPs. In addition, no significant AgNPs exposure relating to dermal tissuechanges was observed microscopically. Their findings on toxicity tests in this study suggest that colloidal AgNPs couldbe relatively safe when administered to oral, eye and skin of the animal models for short periods of time.
A 2010 report by Alan B. G. Lansdown also proved that Silver allergy does occur but the extent of the problem is not known. A recent article 2018 to be accessed at https://sovereignsilver.com debunked the so many false report on toxicity of the silver water. In the said article, many peer reviewed literature papers in the field of toxicology end up with a PR department promoting sensational headlines claiming something is toxic. But toxicity depends upon the dose and route of administration.
A case study in the article is about water. For instance, drinking too much water (many gallons) at one time can lead to death. Inhaling a much smaller amount of water is commonly referred to as drowning. Yet we need drinking water to stay alive. A natural balance exists between our healthy bodies and nearly everything we encounter in the world around us. So how does one interpret the peer-reviewed literature that has sensationalized headlines like “Water Could Kill You”? In helping consumers make sense of this, the authors have taken the various units of silver exposure reported in the literature and converted them into what the equivalence to the EPA Daily Reference Dose would be.
The proper form of silver?
Another augment is centered on the right form of silver dose. Metals can be bound to different elements, which impacts their absorption and stability. A case study is, chromium VI, Erin Brockovich movie from many years ago, is an extremely toxic form of chromium and carcinogenic to humans. However, chromium in a different form such as polynicotinate is an essential, required nutrient employed by the body to enhance insulin action. This typically implies that one cannot say that all chromium is safe or toxic.
So unlike chromium, silver is not yet classified as an essential nutrient in the USA, however it does provide significant health benefits as proven in multiple research studies. The form of silver is important when considering safety. For example, silver nitrate (considered a silver salt) is used as an eye drop for newborns to prevent blindness, but it would be considered toxic to orally consume this form of silver.
Another typical case study is the Bio-active silver hydrosol (the form of colloidal silver in Sovereign Silver) that has been classified in Canada by the Natural & Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (the risk assessment division of Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent to the US FDA) as a Trace Element, this therefore means that it is an essential element for the preservation of good health. It is a pure mixture of silver ions and silver nano-clusters in suspension, with the highest bioavailability of silver at >98%. The particles are smaller than any other form of silver, therefore it is very effective in the low, safe 10 ppm (parts per million) concentration.
This is similar to the Colloidal silver life Water produced by Edigalf in a safe dose of 10ppm(parts per million)concentration for used as homeopathic antibiotic in Ghana.
Colloidal Life Silver Water is also not based on nanotechnology which involves the measurements of the size of particles that are on the scale of nanometers. They could be engineered nanomaterials, such as electronics components in cell phones, or they could be naturally occurring nanomaterials, such as milk’s protein colloids that give milk its white color and provide us with a healthy protein source.
While the particles are measured in nanometers, the product is not engineered nanotechnology, a defining characteristic of which is that particles are ENGINEERED at the nanoscale. Particles in Edigalf water are the result of silver’s natural equilibrium state between ions and metal particles.
EdigalfColloidal silver life water cannot be regarded as an engineered nanoparticle because:
- Nanomaterials have continuously existed in the food supply.
- Silver is a naturally-occurring element that is widely distributed, although at low concentrations, in drinking water and in food such as milk, wheat and mushrooms, and in the nanoscale. Peer reviewed literature provides evidence of naturally occurring silver colloids and silver nanoparticles in river waters in Texas (Wen et al 1997)
- Silver life water cannot be counted as an ‘engineered nanomaterial’ because the silver ions and nanoclusters are in a naturally occurring equilibrium balance due to the purity nature and the packaging in opaque glass to prevent light or oxygen from altering that natural balance.
- Colloidal silver has been consumed for over 120 years in different parts of the world, with a remarkable safety record. The few incidents of argyria have been associated with use of homemade silver-based products; abuse of such products with consumption many times the recommended dosage; the over-use of silver salts, silver proteins or compounds; or exposure via inhalation of silver dust.
Fig 1. Dosage form of silver: why colloidal silver life Water manufactured by Edigalf falls in the “safe grade”. Colloidal Silver Life Water produced by Edigalf is made of 10ppm of silver. The Green zone represents safety and the Red zone represents danger.
Fig 2.A case study of the Bio-active silver hydrosol (the form of colloidal silver in Sovereign Silver) that has been classified in Canada by the Natural & Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (the risk assessment division of Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent to the US FDA) as a Trace Element, this therefore means thatit is an essential element for the preservation of good health. It is a pure mixture of silver ions and silver nano-clusters in suspension, with the highest bioavailability of silver at >98%. The particles are smaller than any other form of silver, therefore it is very effective in the low, safe 10 ppm (parts per million) concentration. With this assessment, the Ghana version of colloidal silver life water is thus within the effective low dose of 10ppm used for the animal analysis at the Department of Pharmacology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Ashanti region, Ghana-West Africa.
There is so much supporting documents to prove that colloidal silver water has antibacterial ability. Though, there is a growing concerned about the long term safety on human. More research work has to be conducted in Ghana on human to ascertain this safety issues and must start from somewhere. Promoters of silver water in Ghana as homeopathic antibiotic should take every precautionary measures to monitor the post treatment side effect of these products as pertain to all FDA approved products. Although the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health reports that colloidal silver may cause poor absorption of some drugs, there is also limited research proving that side effects to colloidal silver use even exist.
Though the author of this paper came across many cautions about silver water producing permanent condition called argyria (when people turn blue). However, this is caused by misuse not of true colloidal silver, but through other cheaper and not well tested products marketed as colloidal silver. This product Colloidal silver life water has been well analyzed at the Departments of Theoretical & Applied Biology/Environmental Science and Chemistry signed by a well-respected food/Environmental Microbiologist at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and proven to be VERY GOOD QUALITY based on WHO Guidelines and Ghana Standards (GS)175-1:2009.
Based on the toxicological report and literature view, the author of this research paper therefore recommends Colloidal Silver Water by Edigalf with concentration of 10ppm which falls within the safe grade of the EPA to be taken 2teaspoonful(10ml) three times (3x) daily which gives a power dose of 300mcg less than the 350mcg by the report. The colloidal silver life water in Ghana is also in the same region of the Bio-active silver hydrosol (the form of colloidal silver in Sovereign Silver) that has been classified in Canada by the Natural & Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (the risk assessment division of Health Canada, the Canadian equivalent to the US FDA and Ghana FDA) as a Trace Element, this therefore means that it is an essential element for the preservation of good health.
The Author, Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, RND, PhD, is the president of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, Tema community 7, Post office and the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG). Enquiries: 0541090045.
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