Wrapping up our exploration of Dr. Wongâ€™s and Dr. Liuâ€™s article Silver Nanoparticles-The Real â€œSilver Bulletâ€ in Clinical Medicine? is a look at another of the possible mechanisms that cause silver nanoparticles to be a natural antibiotic, as well as some of the other ways that silver may benefit us, including cosmetically.
According to the article, silver can â€œinteract with sulfur-containing proteins…as well as with phosphorus-containing compounds like DNA, perhaps to inhibit the functionâ€; silver nanoparticles cause the oxidation of bacteria, which leads to the destruction of bacteria. At this point, there is still conflicting data as to whether silver affects human cells the same way it affects bacteria cells. Testing relatively high doses of silver nanoparticle solutions on mice, silver does not seem to have a destructive effect on the miceâ€™s cells, nor does there seem to be a high build up of silver in the tissue (for those worried about argyria).
In the mice they did, however, find an increase in Keratinocytes (cells that protect the skin from UV radiation and play a role in the immune system by preventing or creating inflammation). This may also be a factor in why silver is so helpful in the treatment of burns.
Other possible benefits of silver suggested by Dr.s Wong and Liu are as an anti-platelet agent, and as a way to promote epidermal stem cells (which repair and regenerate skin and hair).
As research is beginning to show, modern science has a lot to discover about the potential benefits of colloidal silver and the mechanisms that make it an antibacterial agent.