If youâ€™ve been perusing Dr. Wong and Liuâ€™s article about silver nanoparticles (Silver nanparticles-the real â€œsilver bulletâ€ in clinical medicine?) you may have read that one of the biological properties of silver nanoparticles is that they can â€œattack the respiratory chain in bacterial mitochondria [which] lead[s] to cell deathâ€. This is one of the mechanisms of silver that explains its anti-bacterial quality.
Itâ€™s the anti-bacterial quality of silver that has caused so many people to take it as an immune system supporting supplement. Itâ€™s anti-bacterial properties make it useful to help the healing process of burns, to dress wounds, to be used on catheters (as opposed to antibiotics, to which bacteria have been showing resistance in this use), as well as on other medical tools and prosthetics that get placed inside the human body. Further, silver was traditionally sprayed in newbornâ€™s eyes after birth to prevent infection.
Studies disagree as to whether this mechanism–causing bacteria to â€˜suffocateâ€™ by attacking their respiratory chain–extends to human and animal cells, Dr. Wong leans implicitly toward thinking that it does not. The only reported side-effect from silver is argyria, and those who developed it were taking large-particle â€œcolloidalâ€ silver (which was often actually ionized particles of silver, silver protein or large clumps resulting from a home brew), and even those cases are very rare. Silver may, however, attack the good bacteria of our digestive tract, so if colloidal silver is taken regularly, make sure to also take probiotics (by eating yogurt or other fermented food, or by taking a probiotic supplement. Do not take colloidal silver and probiotics at the same time so the colloidal silver canâ€™t kill the bacteria, take your probiotics around a meal and take your colloidal silver at least 15 minutes before your meals).