Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge
At the end of every year the American Association of Poison Control Centers publishes their Annual Report in the journal Clinical Toxicology, in which they document the number of deaths for the previous year associated with various substances.
So in December 2015 they published the results for the year 2014.
The report covers everything from prescription drugs to vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutritional supplements, and even to household items like bleach or bug poison.
And every year there are ZERO deaths from colloidal silver. Every. Single. Year.
On the other hand, for the sake of comparison, under the category "Dietary Supplements/Herbals, Homeopathic/Amino Acids" you can find the following notations for 2014:
So based on these numbers, colloidal silver usage is as safe as vitamin usage, and safer than just about any other category of nutritional supplement.
Compared to Medical Deaths
Keep in mind there are tens of millions of nutritional supplement users in the U.S. And cumulatively speaking, billions of doses of nutritional supplements including colloidal silver are taken each year in this country.
Yet the annual death toll from supplements remains well negligible, to say the least. Indeed, you can count them on one hand.
On the other hand, however, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (i.e., the Starfield study, "Is U.S. Health Really the Best in the World?"), every year in the US there are an astonishing 225,000 medically-caused deaths, including:
That's a total of 225,000 medically caused deaths each and every year in the U.S. That's 2.25 MILLION deaths per decade.
So the next time you read one of those news articles with screaming headlines about how "unsafe" nutritional supplements are, and how badly they need to be "regulated like drugs by the FDA"
ask yourself if you really want the FDA involved in "regulating" something so safe, you can quite literally count the number of annual deaths on one hand.
There are quite literally tens of millions of dedicated nutritional supplement users in the U.S., collectively gulping down billions of doses per year of their favorite supplements.
And the death toll for these supplements in a bad year is: five. The previous year (2013) there were actually zero deaths from nutritional supplements of any kind.
Yet the medical community continues to kill some 106,000 men, women and children each year with prescription drugs, and another 119,000 people per year with surgery and other medical interventions, including medical errors.
But it's the supplements that are always under attack with shrills cries for greater regulation, and never Big Pharma and the medical community.
Colloidal Silver Naysayers
Of course, you're always going to have shills for Big Pharma knocking colloidal silver.
For example, on the infamous WebMD.com site a site that routinely promotes Big Pharma drugs and medical interventions you'll find the following shrill negative statement about colloidal silver:
"People believe that colloidal silver can treat fungal infections, TB, HIV, herpes, and even cancer by boosting the immune system," says Ted Epperly, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Unfortunately for colloidal sliver supporters, they're wrong, and the consequences of their mistake could be costly.
"One of the most well-known side effects of colloidal silver is that it turns a person's skin a greyish shade of blue," says Epperly.
The skin isn't the only organ affected by colloidal silver; so are the kidneys, stomach, and brain, as well as the nervous system.
Silver is actually deposited into the cells of these organs, possibly causing cell damage and death, leading to organ failure.
"The effects of colloidal silver are toxic and cumulative," says Epperly. "Worse, they're irreversible."
Scary, right? Those are actually the very same talking points you'll find on other Big Pharma oriented websites, as well, such as MayoClinic.com and even the notorious Quackbusters.org.
Indeed, that's a pretty typical comment on the supposed "dangers" of colloidal silver from supporters of Big Pharma. So let's analyze it, line-by-line, and see where it holds water, and where it doesn't.
Truth v/s Fiction
His first charge against colloidal silver is as follows is that people take it to boost immunity so their body can better fight off infections and disease. And he ominously warns "they're wrong, and the consequences of their mistake could be costly."
Here, the good doctor employs a linguistic trick to scare people. He says people believe colloidal silver can be used to "treat" certain infections, and even cancer, "by boosting the immune system."
Actually, that's a misnomer. What people "believe" is that colloidal silver can be used as a nutritional adjunct to help the body conquer infectious microbes.
Indeed, there is no argument against silver's ability to kill infectious microbes. It works. It's been proven hundreds of times in clinical studies. And you'd have to be willingly blind to ignore the heaping mountains of clinical data that confirm this fact.
As for boosting immunity, it's true that modern clinical studies have not been conducted to demonstrate whether or not colloidal silver can actually boost the immune system.
Nevertheless, researchers like Dr. Robert O. Becker, M.D. of Syracuse Medical University, who for years studied the ability of electrically-generated silver to kill pathogens and heal wounds, has repeatedly claimed to have noticed a distinct correlation between the amount of silver in one's body and the health of the individual with healthier people having more silver in their body and sickly people having lower levels of silver.
Dr. Becker a surgeon by training, who conducted ground-breaking research into silver and healing at Syracuse Medical University claims that the lower one's bodily silver levels are, the more sickness and disease one is likely to have. He wrote:
"While analyzing hair samples and questioning the parties involved, I noticed the correlation between low silver levels and sickness.
People who showed low silver levels in their hair analysis were frequently sick. They seemed to have innumerable colds, flu, fevers, and various other sicknesses.
I believe that a silver deficiency may be the key to the improper function of the immune system."
What's more, in his article, "Stop Supergerms in Their Tracks with One Powerful Silver Bullet," Harvard-educated Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D., of the famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State has pointed to older research confirming silver's ability to boost immunity,:
"In 1909, the Journal of the American Medical Association was the first medical journal to point out that colloidal silver could actually increase our immune cells' phagocytic index.
In the past few years, more studies have shown that silver ions greatly enhance the essential second part of the phagocytic index-the part where the germ is digested by our immune cells.
This is brought about because silver ions increase the "digesting juices" (what you know as hydrogen peroxide) of these immune cells."
And according to clinical researcher V. Edwards-Jones, writing in Letters in Applied Microbiology, in an article titled, "The Benefits of Silver in Hygiene, Personal Care and Healthcare":
"Silver has been used for centuries as an antimicrobial agent to reduce bio-burden and prevent infection.
Increasing evidence of improved antimicrobial activity of nanoparticles of silver and possible dual immuno-modulatory effects are exciting."
So the evidence that colloidal silver boosts immunity is indeed available.
But WebMD chooses to quote Big Pharma supporter Dr. Ted Epperly instead of those who have actually conducted clinical research, or who are familiar with existing clinical research, or even those who have used colloidal silver themselves in their clinical work.
Let's take a quick look at the next potshot taken by Dr. Epperly in his quote published on WebMD. He claims that one of the "most well-known side effects of colloidal silver is that it turns a person's skin a grayish shade of blue."
Note that Dr. Epperly's statement is conclusive, and all-encompassing. He states matter-of-factly that silver "turns a person's skin a grayish shade of blue."
What he doesn't point out, however, is the simple fact that, historically speaking, the vast majority of cases of argyric skin-staining have been caused by the use of chemically-produced prescription silver compounds given by doctors to their patients. Comparatively few cases have been caused by the use of safe, natural colloidal silver.
Even in the very few rare cases in which colloidal silver has been directly involved in argyric skin-staining, it was excessive daily dosages ingested regularly for months or years on end that have caused the problem.
Why would Dr. Epperly neglect to point out such a well-known fact?
Why did he try to make it sound as if any colloidal silver usage at all will result in skin discoloration, when millions upon millions of people around the world use colloidal silver regularly, in small daily amounts, with no negative effects at all?
I can't read Dr. Epperly's mind, of course. But I'll bet a dollar to a donut that he didn't point it out because his goal is to scare the bejabbers out of people so they won't try colloidal silver.
It appears to me he wants people to believe that any colloidal silver usage will turn you "a grayish shade of blue."
The truth is this:
Colloidal silver can indeed cause argyric skin-staining. But out of literally millions of colloidal silver users on planet earth today only a dozen or so cases of argyria have been documented in recent medical literature.
And those all had the same thing in common:
Rather than taking the recommended small daily dosages of colloidal silver, they used colloidal silver abusively, taking it in ungodly high amounts on a regular daily basis for months or years on end.
In other words, while Dr. Epperly is correct in stating that colloidal silver can cause argyric skin-staining, I'd wager $100 that he can't bring forth a single individual with this condition who was taking normal colloidal silver dosages of a teaspoonful to an ounce a day.
Indeed, I can make that bet with supreme confidence, because there are zero cases of argyric skin-staining documented in the medical literature, from people who were taking the normal recommended daily dosages. Zero.
People who end up with discolored skin from using colloidal silver are, in virtually every case, those who were taking eight, ten, twelve or even twenty ounces a day for months or years on end.
And they're just about as rare as people who have turned orange from eating too many carrots (yes, it's quite possible to do so; the condition is actually called carotenemia).
The infamous "colloidal silver blue man," Paul Karason, admitted on national television that he was taking 10 to 20 ounces of colloidal silver per day, for ten years, before he experienced skin-staining. (That, as opposed to a normal daily adult dosage of one teaspoon per day to an ounce a day, depending upon body weight.)
In other words, argyria victims who were using colloidal silver were massively overdosing themselves on it, on a regular daily basis for years on end. They weren't using it at normal levels, but instead, and highly abnormal levels.
But Dr. Epperly doesn't see fit to mention this. Not even a peep. He apparently wants people to think any colloidal silver usage will result in skin discoloration. But it's simply not true. Never has been.
(For example, I've been using small daily amounts of colloidal silver for 20 years now, and the only thing blue on me is my eyes, and I assure you, I was born that way.)
Let's examine what else Dr. Epperly said in his WebMD quote. He claims that not only is the skin affected by colloidal silver, but also "the kidneys, stomach, and brain, as well as the nervous system."
He also says silver can be deposited into cells and organs, "leading to organ failure."
So where's the evidence for this claim?
For example, how many cases of organ failure due to colloidal silver usage are reported each year, compared to, say, an over-the-counter drug like Tylenol?
According to DrugWatch.com, "Tylenol overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the country it accounts for more than 100,000 calls to poison centers, roughly 60,000 emergency-room visits and hundreds of deaths each year in the United States. In England, it's the leading cause of liver failure requiring transplants."
Well, isn't that just wonderful?
Why doesn't Dr. Epperly mention this? Why does he slam colloidal silver, instead of Tylenol? Has Dr. Epperly ever even seen a case of organ failure caused by colloidal silver usage?
The fact is, I've only been able to find two documented cases of organ damage caused by colloidal silver usage in the past 20 years, and in both of those cases the individuals were taking excessively high amounts, and were also on long-term prescription drugs known to cause toxicity in the human body.
In his book, "Colloidal Silver, a Literature Review," Dr. John Hill, D.C., reveals the following:
"Critics of colloidal silver sometimes state that it has been known to cause organ damage, kidney damage, pulmonary edema, atherosclerosis and death.
"These claims appear to be based on a research study on dogs in which the dogs were deliberately killed by extremely large lethal doses of silver.
"At the doses given, any metal and probably many essential minerals like zinc, iron, copper, etc. would have produced death in similar fashion."
And as Dr. Alan B.G. Lansdown, Britain's foremost expert on the medical use of silver has stated in his book, Silver in Healthcare: It's Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use":
" few examples exist to show that silver accumulation in any tissue is a cause of cytogenicity, mutagenicity or functional disturbances."
But Dr. Epperly ignores the evidence and doubles down on his contentions by claiming:
"The effects of colloidal silver are toxic and cumulative. Worse, they're irreversible."
Wrong again. As Alan B.G. Lansdown has stated in his ground-breaking book, "Silver in Healthcare: It's Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety in Use":
"..there is very little substantive evidence that silver acts either as a cumulative poison in the human body like lead and mercury, or that it reaches toxic levels in any tissue
"Contrary to statements that all forms of silver are cumulative once they enter body tissues and that very little is excreted, silver is actively metabolized in the human body and a large part eliminated eventually via the liver, urine and hair
Silver is not known to be a cumulative toxin "
Lansdown goes on to say, "Silver does not enter neurological tissues and is not neurotoxic as has been supposed by several case studies."
What's more, the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program states:
"Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet.
Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.
Is silver harmful to humans?
Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects."
So it looks like Dr. Epperly is well basically wrong on all counts. All wet. Not a leg to stand on. And sinking in the quicksand of his own shrill hyperbolic rhetoric.
But his quote on WebMD.com is indeed a glaring example of how Big Pharma shills try to demonize colloidal silver usage.
Just remember: There have been ZERO deaths each year from colloidal silver usage, even with millions of users nationally, and tens of millions of users worldwide.
But there are 225,000 documented deaths per year from prescription drugs and medical interventions such as those practiced by Dr. Epperly and his compatriots in the medical community.Hmmm. Which would you trust more?