When studying the effects of “colloidal silver”, many researchers actually use ionic silver because it is easier to make and cheap, but it’s not the same as true colloidal silver, which is made up of non-ionized nanoparticles.
Ionic silver is toxic, as it accumulates in cells more easily and quickly forms up to become different molecules. Nano silver has a neutral charge and is less likely to cause such problems—it can move through the body more easily, which also means exit more easily.
Finnish-Estonian joint researchers looked at nano silver vs. ionic silver and found ionic silver to be ten times more toxic. They tested the two different forms of silver on shellfish, since one of the concerns of the increasingly prolific use of silver is its potential effect on marine wildlife (silver can be easily and profitably removed from waste water, however, no one has implemented it yet).
Silver is very antimicrobial, and part of the concerns raised are that its antimicrobial effects may work on more than just pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. But not nearly enough research has been done to verify the oft-repeated claim that silver is bad for you—in fact, the few human trials that have been conducted have shown no harmful effects on human organs and other parts, but researchers are always careful to not contradict the mainstream line by saying that more research is needed (and hey, if they do the test enough, eventually they’ll get the results they want, even if it’s a 1 in 100 fluke).
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