Of course, there are different ways for each of these things to be: ions, compounds (where there is another element, like silver nitrate), silver protein (when siver is in a gel, often made from animals; silver proteins usually have larger silver particles) or just the pure silver particles.
The particles themselves can come in different sizes; some studies have found that smaller particle sizes are better (nano is the smallest measurement for this purpose).
What is colloidal silver? Colloidal silver is usually defined as pure silver particles that are suspended in water, with brands that have smaller particle sizes and higher parts per million in their colloidal silver defined as better.
When defining “what is colloidal silver“, however, many sites will call substandard products colloidal silver. These include silver ions (often sold in glass containers due to their high reactivity and readiness to form bonds with the first loose element/compound they see), and silver proteins (which are much larger particles).
Some also include silver that is made by home generators under “what is colloidal silver“. Unfortunately, home silver generators do not produce the same small particle size, and can only make ionic silver. Ionic silver in water is a solution, it is not a colloid.
Why do companies so loosely define “what is colloidal silver”? There are two reasons: true colloidal silver, made up of non-ionized, pure particles of silver is more complicated and thus more expensive to make. It’s also why at home generators cannot truly recreate colloidal silver!
The second reason is that the exact mechanisms by which top colloidal silver brands like MesoSilver are made are kept as trade secrets. The overall process is similar, of course, but, like anything, it’s all in the details! Other brands selling cheaper, inferior products either don’t put the money into researching better techniques, or haven’t been successful in achieving the same level of purity.
Purity? All colloidal silvers have a small ration of ionic silver, (by definition, true colloidal silver has to have 50% or more pure silver particles) one of the tricks to making colloidal silver is figuring out how to reduce that ratio so that you create the most effective product possible.
Studies sometimes use ionic silver or other variants of silver. Again, this has to do with cost. In the body, as opposed to in a test tube, ionic silver will have plenty to bond with and form compounds.
Fortunately, as colloidal silver and nano silver rise in popularity, more studies are focusing on true colloidal silver (pure silver nano particles) and comparing pure silver to ionic silver.
There’s still much to learn about what is colloidal silver, how it supports the immune system, and how it may further benefit health. As these studies appear, we’ll be sure to feature them on the blog, so make sure you check back regularly (or follow us on Twitter- @ColloidsGuy, to get blog updates and more health quickies!).