Types of colloidal silver products?

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Colloidal silver products vary in type, with some being true colloids and others containing protein-bound silver or mostly ionic silver. True colloidal silver is believed to be more effective at killing microorganisms, but claims of its health benefits are not scientifically proven. Prolonged or excessive use of silver can cause permanent skin discoloration and other health issues.

There are many different types of colloidal silver products, although not all are true colloidal silver. Some products are primarily tiny silver nanoparticles suspended in water, a true colloid, while others are mostly ionic silver. Other products called colloidal silver contain protein-bound silver. Manufacturers use the terminology loosely, and many products labeled colloidal silver may not actually be true colloids.

Popular in alternative medicine, colloidal silver products are promoted to cure diseases based on silver’s antimicrobial properties. True colloidal silver is made up of actual silver particles suspended in water. The particle size is extremely small, providing a large overall surface area that is considered to be more biologically effective. These silver nanoparticles are in a stable chemical state and do not combine with other atoms. They are believed to be better at killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses than other types of silver products.

A similar product, ionic silver, is currently used medically to prevent wound infections and kill microorganisms on equipment. Ionic silver has been shown to be effective against microorganisms in vitro, but is thought to be less useful when taken internally, as it easily combines with chloride ions and becomes less bioactive.

Products containing colloidal or ionic silver can be taken internally and are said to fight disease and boost the immune system. Claims have been made that colloidal silver products detoxify spider bites, stop indigestion, and cure sleep disorders, although there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. There are also spray products that are used topically to prevent and fight infections. Ionic and colloidal silver are also promoted as disinfectants that can be used to clean surfaces. The antifungal action of silver is used to prevent mold in the home and combat fungal disorders that affect the skin and nails.

Colloidal silver generators sold for home production primarily create ionic silver through the electrolysis process. Charged silver particles are released into the water, although some silver nanoparticles can be found in the resulting product. Large quantities of ionic silver can be produced at moderate cost using a silver generator. Silver is sometimes promoted as an essential mineral supplement, but silver is not required by the body for any metabolic processes. There is an ongoing debate about the effectiveness and safety of colloidal silver.

The most common side effect of prolonged or excessive use of silver is a permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin. Argyria is hyperpigmentation of the skin and other tissues caused by a buildup of silver in the body. Silver protein products, with their high concentrations of silver, are recommended for very short-term use to prevent the development of argyria. Other side effects reported from excessive use include kidney and liver damage.

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