Silver is known for killing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and more. People have used silver for everything from immune support to keeping food fresh—and in modern times, companies use nano silver to fight odor, stop the spread of disease, and more.
Colloidal silver is a supplement form of silver that people have been taking since long before the invention of antibiotics. But if silver is used to kill pathogens, does colloidal silver kill beneficial bacteria?
Human use of colloidal silver hasn’t been thoroughly studied, but there’s lots of anecdotes about colloidal silver and beneficial bacteria. In short, you’re probably fine if you take colloidal silver normally, and if you don’t, consider a probiotic supplement.
What is Colloidal Silver, and Why Do People Use It?
Silver has been used for millennia as more than a decoration. Keeping food fresh, fighting germs, and generally being associated with and sometimes even symbolic of health and healing.
Colloidal silver—true, pure colloidal silver—is just a suspension of silver nanoparticles in water. It’s a drinkable form of silver.
If silver kills pathogens like bacteria, does colloidal silver kill beneficial bacteria? Kind of. Part of the problem is that what even are good, beneficial bacteria is relative—some of the bacteria you want in your stomach, you don’t want in your mouth, for example. Beneficial bacteria are most famous for supporting gut health, but they also exist on skin and elsewhere—and those biomes are (ideally) diverse, with new thinking that there are even beneficial viruses.
Does Colloidal Silver Kill Beneficial Bacteria?
There’s no straightforward answer for a lot of reasons. First you have to answer, which/what beneficial bacteria?
Most people are talking about the bacteria deep in their gut—and the general answer as to when colloidal silver kills beneficial bacteria in your gut is: probably not from general use.
What People Have Experienced
There really aren’t a lot of negative reports about colloidal silver. The few you find through a web search are about ionic silver/people who made something like colloidal silver at home, industrial silver compounds, and other weird variations.
If you were to collect anecdotes, most people think that no, colloidal silver does not kill beneficial bacteria. Most people use colloidal silver in smaller amounts with occasional boosts, which probably helps.
The standard recommendation for taking colloidal silver is to take your dose on an empty stomach—this helps it absorb before going in the part of your gut where the good bacteria are (and though some might, as the theory goes, circulate back through the body to the gut, the mucus membrane and more should help protect the good bacteria). The thought is that colloidal silver does not kill beneficial bacteria during average use.
Some people go beyond the recommendation, though. Sometimes the scales just tip differently and concern and a need for a lot more colloidal silver at once win out—and in that case, they may lose a little good bacteria.
Worried Whether Colloidal Silver Kills Beneficial Bacteria?
If you’re worried about your good bacteria, or you know that you’re going to take a far above average dose of colloidal silver (where you might tip the answer about whether colloidal silver kills beneficial bacteria), there’s ways that you can support your good bacteria while taking colloidal silver.
A good probiotic supplement taken at a different time than colloidal silver can help replenish gut health, by reseeding the gut with supportive, beneficial bacteria. An example of a high-quality beneficial bacteria supplement is Flora MGR.
Other Strategies If You’re Worried Whether Colloidal Silver Kills Beneficial Bacteria
Supporting beneficial bacteria is a long-term effort (regardless of whether colloidal silver kills good bacteria). It seems much easier (in modern life) to disrupt our good bacteria than to get it back, but the good news is that all the things you should be doing to support your health anyway support good bacteria.
Eating fruits and veggies, exercising, sleeping well, and even meditating create a hospitable ecosystem for good bacteria. All the things we’re warned about—sugar, slothfulness, even negative thinking!—could potentially spur bad bacteria to grow, which thrive off sugar and inactivity.
Good Habits to Support Beneficial Bacteria
Don’t worry whether colloidal silver kills beneficial bacteria unless you have an extreme case. One of the benefits of colloidal silver is that you can customize how you use it to get the best benefit for your health and body—and that includes adjusting how or when you take it to support your good bacteria. (And remember, it’s always a good idea to support beneficial bacteria anyway!).
Enjoy colloidal silver in whatever way it best supports your health goals.