Study Shows Ionic Silver Is Up to 10,000 Times More Effective than “True Colloidal Silver”!

The Laboratory Study that Ends the Debate!

Guest article by R.D. Todd, former U.S. Army medic

In December of 2004, John W. Roberts, PhD of the Natural-Immunogenics Corporation conducted an in-depth laboratory study in which the so-called “true colloidal silver” (i.e., metallic silver, also called nanosilver, or silver nanoparticles) was pitted against ionic silver.

Dr. Roberts stated that the purpose of his study was to compare the antimicrobial effect of 'particulate' (i.e., metallic) versus (free) 'ionic' silver.  Dr. Roberts certifies that his comparative analysis study was conducted with full compliance to the standards established by the Food and Drug Administrations Office of Regulatory Affairs including 21 CFR part 58 (Good Laboratory Practices) and 21 CFR part 211.

The hypothesis of Dr. Roberts’ study is that, contrary to the claims made by the purveyors of so-called “true colloidal silver,” it’s the silver ion that’s primarily responsible for silver's antimicrobial efficacy and not the metallic silver particles being touted as “true colloidal silver.”   

Dr. Roberts and his team compared the antibacterial activity of both ionic silver and so-called “true colloidal silver” (metallic silver particles) by treating healthy cultures of the bacterial strains, separately, with both forms. 

The bacterial strains used in this study were identical concentrations and dilutions of Staphylococcus aureus (S-1 and S-2). These potent bacterial strains were allowed to culture (grow). This culture was then diluted to a standard 10:1 ratio using sterile purified lab water and placed on sterile plates.

Next, a solution of hydrochloric acid (HC1) was added to samples of both the ionic silver and the so-called “true colloidal silver” (i.e., metallic silver).

Lastly, the two treated samples of the silver product/ HCl mixture were added to the two bacterial strains samples. The mixtures were then agitated and allowed to react until spotted onto the plate.

The same tests were also conducted without the pre-treatment of the HCl mixture, to see how the two species of silver (ionic and metallic) performed without the hindrance of hydrochloric acid.

The results were astonishing! With or without the HCl mixture added, the Staphylococcus cultures (both S-1 and S-2) on the plates were virtually eradicated in just four minutes when treated with ionic silver!

But the culture plates treated with the so-called “true colloidal silver” showed only a very slight reduction in the bacterial count!

The principal conclusions from the study are as follows:

       Before adding hydrochloric acid, the ionic form of silver achieves total kill of the Staphylococcus aureus pathogens in just four minutes.

 ·      The so-called “true colloidal silver” could not match those results even when eight minutes were given.  The untreated ionic form proved to be at least 100 times more potent against the pathogens than untreated “true colloidal silver.”

·      When hydrochloric acid was added, the so-called “true colloidal silver” (i.e., metallic silver) lost almost all its antibacterial potency.  

·      Loss of potency to the ionic silver due to the same treatment with hydrochloric acid was comparatively negligible.

·      In fact, after being treated with hydrochloric acid under the same experimental conditions, the ionic-silver was shown to be a whopping 10,000 times more potent than the so-called “true colloidal silver” in terms of its antimicrobial effects against the two bacterial strains.


The results of this study clearly show that ionic form of silver dramatically outperformed the particulate/metallic “true colloidal silver” form, even in the presence of hydrochloric acid (i.e., stomach acid).  Ionic silver was demonstrated to be over 100 times more effective when tested head-to-head with the so-called “true colloidal silver.” And when hydrochloric acid was added to both forms of silver, the so-called “true colloidal silver” lost so much potency the ionic silver then tested to be an astonishing 10,000 times more potent against the pathogens!

So it’s not even close! The facts are:  The ionic form of colloidal silver killed all Staphylococcus aureusmicroorganisms with only a four minute exposure while the metallic, so-called “true colloidal silver” form was only marginally bactericidal at best, even at eight minutes.

While the purveyors of so-called "true colloidal silver" continue to make the claim that ionic silver gets tied-up in the gut and neutralized by hydrochloric acid, even more recent clinical research confirms that it's actually the metallic form of colloidal silver – so-called “true colloidal silver,” or silver nanoparticles -- that gets tied-up in the gut and neutralized by hydrochloric acid.

In fact, according to the True Colloidal Silver Facts website, this has been demonstrated clinically, time and time again, most recently by researchers from the University of Nevada in cooperation with scientists from the EPA's Office of Research and Development.

In their clinical study, the researchers exposed metallic silver nanoparticles to synthetic human stomach fluid to see how ingested metallic silver nanoparticles could be altered by the stomach's very acidic environment. According to the researchers:

"A variety of analytical methods showed that nanoparticles formed large aggregates and produced silver chloride when exposed to stomach fluid.  Changes in nanoparticle physical form and surface chemistry that occur in the stomach may affect how much silver will be absorbed across the gastrointestinal barrier."

In short, the researchers discovered that metallic silver nanoparticles (i.e., nanosilver, or so-called "true colloidal silver") formed large clumps and began converting to silver chloride when exposed to stomach acids. The researchers surmised that because of this, the human body would likely have significant trouble absorbing and utilizing metallic nanosilver particles.

Even the infamous Brown University clinical study on argyria, conducted in August 2012, found that metallic nanosilver was "not terribly likely to make it from the GI tract to the blood..." but that silver ions shed by the metal nanosilver in reaction to the acidic environment of the stomach were "easily absorbed into the bloodstream".  Again, that's the exact opposite of what the purveyors of "true colloidal silver" claim.

Indeed, the Brown University researchers found that:

"...nanosilver corrodes in stomach acid in much the same way it does in other acidic environments. Corrosion strips silver atoms of electrons, forming positively charged silver salt ions. Those ions can easily be taken into the bloodstream..."

So in light of these studies and others like them, it would appear that the purveyors of the metallic nanosilver products which they erroneously call "true colloidal silver" are either ignorant of the actual science, or not always completely honest with their customers.

The evidence speaks for itself!

In the ensuing controversy after the Natural-Immunogenics lab tests by were made public, the purveyors of the metallic so-called “true colloidal silver” desperately tried to find a way to rebuke the findings of this study -- even claiming that four minutes was not long enough!  Here’s a direct quote from one of the purveyors of the so-called “true colloidal silver” with regards to the study results: “The narrow and unrealistically short time points do not reflect actual usage of either product.

You don’t need to be a scientist to see how ridiculous this statement is! Ionic silver killed all of the bacterial cultures in just four minutes and the so-called “true colloidal silver” product didn’t even come close!

Are the purveyors of so-called “true colloidal silver” suggesting that this test should allow more time for their product to prove its worth as an antibacterial agent? In this study, the so-called “true colloidal silver” was given up to 8 minutes to perform and still it did little damage to either of the Staphylococcus cultures. How much time do they need?

The purveyors of the so-called “true colloidal silver” could have saved themselves a lot of humiliation and embarrassment if they had first read up on some of the many scientific studies that have already proven that it is indeed the ionic charge that is primarily responsible for silver's antimicrobial efficacy.

This includes studies like the ones conducted at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, which is home of the world renowned Army Burn Center operated by the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research. The Army Burn Center has been at the forefront of research and development of burn treatments and has been researching the use of silver in medicine for decades. To quote Albert T. McManus, MD, Chief of Microbiology at the Army Burn Center who conducted one such study, “…conversion of silver to silver ions is necessary for efficacy”.

In other words, for silver to be effective against pathogens, it must be in the ionic form.  If metallic silver (i.e., so-called “true colloidal silver”) is used, it is only effective to the extent that the metal shed silver ions in the presence of pathogens. 

To learn more about the profound differences between the superior ionic form of colloidal silver, and the less-than-stellar metallic “true colloids” form, see the True Colloidal Silver Facts website. 

There you’ll learn why millions of people worldwide have been using ionic forms of colloidal silver with great success for decades!  Simply put, silver ions rule!  They are the active, infection-fighting form of silver, as dozens of top colloidal silver researchers agree.    

Case closed!!!

Guest article by R.D. Todd, former U.S. Army medic

Steve Barwick
Steve Barwick