Colloidal silver particles are called "colloidal" simply because they are not dissolved in solution in the water, yet they aren't floating to the top or sinking to the bottom—they rather "hang" in suspension in the water. The term has no mysterious meaning other than that. (Note that the textbook definitions of "colloidal" vary in that sometimes a particular particle size range is specified, and sometimes the term "solution" is, in fact, attributed to colloidal suspensions although it's usually qualified by being called a "colloidal solution" to differentiate it from an "actual" solution where a substance is "dissolved" in the water.)
Colloidal silver can provide a decent delivery system of silver ions, but the process used to make colloidal silver has substantial limitations in terms of the inability to deliver an adequate concentration of silver as ions, and also in terms of consistency, purity and shelf life.
Colloidal silver is typically produced through a rather crude, hundred-year-old process known as electrolysis. The electrolysis process used to make colloidal silver involves placing two metal rods, at least one of which his made out of silver, into a vat of water and then conducting electricity across the two rods through the water. Tiny pieces of the silver rod break off into the water. These pieces of silver hanging in colloidal suspension in the water are largely made up of inert, atomic silver, but have some silver ions spread through them.
Photo of colloidal silver as seen under an electron microscope.
When ingested, these colloidal silver particles are intended to release silver ions in a gradual manner as the body's chemistry breaks down the silver particles, affording the opportunity for mobility through the system and allowing a gradual release of free ions in the system. Because the particles have some mass to them, mobility and timed release of the silver ions is facilitated since the body gradually breaks down these particles.
While colloidal silver has often been reputed as being able to do marvels, the technology is inherently very limited and enables only a fraction of the potential that we believe is possible with silver ions.
The useful concentration of colloidal silver is limited to about 5 to 10 or possibly as high as 20 ppm. Even at the optimally low levels of silver concentration below 15 to 20 ppm, a large portion of the silver in colloidal silver is inert. It is inert, atomic silver, rather than silver ions. It's just there to provide the delivery mechanism for the small portion of those particles that consists of ions.
The electrolytic production process through which it's made has an almost instantaneous point of diminishing returns: the more silver that goes into the water, the smaller the percentage of ions in those pieces of silver. At around 10 to 15 ppm of silver this point of diminishing returns has already become a major limitation. According to many scientific experts, by the time the silver concentration reaches about 15 to 20 ppm, the point of saturation has essentially been passed and there will be virtually no silver ion content at all in any additional silver that goes into the water.
SILVER 100™ WITH OPTI-SILVER™
The key ingredient in Silver 100™ is called Opti-Silver™.
Silver 100™ with Opti-Silver™ consists of silver ions complexed through a very deliberate fashion with a specific form citrate in order to temporarily "plug up" the missing electron positions on the silver ions. Potassium is added for electrical stability while in the bottle. The formula is designed so that the silver ions will remain "married" to the citrate virtually indefinitely while in the bottle, but to efficiently deliver the silver into the system and then gradually release it as ions once it's exposed to the body's chemistry. Citrate, a key constituent of the metabolic system and of the Krebs cycle, is aggressively drawn to the cells throughout the body, and we believe this characteristic further facilitates the efficient delivery of silver ions into the system.
Our unique, proprietary method of marrying silver ions with the specific form of citrate that we utilize is deliberately designed to entirely overcome the inherent limitations of colloidal silver technology and provide a 100-ppm silver concentration that can deliver all of its to the body silver as ions and do so in an extremely efficient manner, providing the slow, gradual release of silver ions that's desired and delivering them where they body needs them.
The production method through with Silver 100™ is made completely lends itself to pharmaceutical grade standards in the manufacturing process, enabling the product to be entirely consistent from batch to batch, to be extremely pure, and to have many years of shelf life.
The Opti-Silver™ ingredient is so small it can't even be seen under an electron microscope.
The ingredients in Silver 100™ are all common constituents of our diet. It contains only silver, citrate, potassium and pure water. The ingredients are all dissolved in solution in the water. No electrolysis is used in the manufacturing process, and no oxides exist in the product. Silver 100™ is virtually clear in color, with a very slight silver tint, which is the color you would expect to get with a 100-ppm silver formula that has not undergone oxidation.
2) What's the particle size of Silver 100™?
– Additional information
Colloidal silver particles typically range from about 0.0003 to about 0.01 microns in diameter. In an effort to stand out from the pack of hundreds of colloidal silver products, some colloidal silver manufacturers are claiming to have smaller particles. This is not only untrue in many cases, but worse, it's actually quite undesirable with colloidal silver in the first place. It defeats the entire purpose of why colloidal silver is made. Since colloidal silver relies on the mass of the particles of silver, which are largely inert, atomic silver, to "encase" the silver ions within them and carry them into the system, the best performing colloidal silver products, based on our experience, have particles at the middle to higher end of the typical range of colloidal silver particle sizes.
Colloidal silver manufacturers that claim to have smaller particles often talk about the ability of these smaller particles to get into the cells, but the fact is that this whole line of thought is entirely meaningless, for three reasons:
1) Even the colloidal silver particles at the higher end of the typical size range are already far smaller than the body's cells and far smaller than virtually any microorganism in the body.
2) Colloidal silver particles are gradually broken down by the body's chemistry and therefore will become smaller and smaller once exposed to the body's chemistry. This is why the medium and larger sized particles work best—they provide the gradual release mechanism for the ions within them that's desired. To have just the smallest particles completely misses the boat on this issue.
3) The particle of colloidal silver itself is not what's needed for doing the actual work, just the ion that ultimately gets released. The ion is always far smaller than any cell or microorganism. The particle of colloidal silver, however, needs to have mass to deliver the ion—to get it to the cells.
The goal with colloidal silver is to have some size or mass to the particles in order to serve as the delivery mechanism.
While "smaller" size sounds nice to the lay person and would appear to facilitate absorption into the cells, the goal with delivering silver ions is not a matter of absorption or getting them into the cells as much as providing a delivery mechanism that will carry them to where they need to go and then slowly releasing them. One could say that the challenge with silver ions is that they are "absorbed" too readily by the body to be effective unless that this absorption is deliberately controlled for efficiency, which is exactly what Silver 100™ is specifically designed to do.
By the way, we're now even seeing some silver products claiming to have only the very smallest particles, measuring them in angstroms (under 0.001 microns), and while this sounds very nice to the layperson, the lack of an efficient delivery mechanism makes this extremely undesirable. At that level, they're approaching, if not, in fact, reaching the level of having "free" silver ions, which is exactly what doesn't work well in the body and what all the science surrounding silver ion delivery, including colloidal silver, is intended to overcome. That's why colloidal silver is made in the first place. The products that delivery free silver ions, such as silver nitrate and silver acetate, were abandoned decades ago because they don't work very well since they have no delivery mechanism.
The fact that some colloidal silver manufacturers are going to smaller particles to appear competitive, in spite of the fact that doing this is moving away from the very purpose behind colloidal silver, speaks to the fact that the entire technology is quite antiquated and obsolete.
3) Why is Silver 100™ superior to colloidal silver with even 500 ppm or more of silver?
– Additional information
The electrolytic production method by which colloidal silver is made is inherently very limited. As soon as silver particles start to go into the water during the production process, an almost immediate point of diminishing returns is reached, whereby the more silver that goes into the water, the smaller the percentage of those silver particles is made up of ions. Any additional silver that exceeds a silver concentration of roughly about 5 to 15 ppm, or perhaps 20 ppm at most, ppm is essentially useless silver because you stop getting ions above about 15 ppm.
Today, many manufacturers produce colloidal silver products above 10 to 20 ppm—some go as high as 500 ppm or even over 1,000 ppm—in spite of the fact that they provide no more ions and therefore no more effectiveness than a colloidal silver product containing 10 to 20 ppm of silver. The higher ppm looks nice on the label and in advertising, but scientists know that this higher ppm is meaningless.
Because colloidal silver is limited to very low silver concentrations before the rest has no ions, colloidal silver that is above about 15 to 20 ppm is believed by many scientists to be about equal in its ability to deliver silver ions as is a colloidal silver that contains higher concentration levels—even to those containing 500 or even 1,000 ppm of silver—assuming that equal quantities of either product are consumed. Therefore, while higher ppm levels look nice in marketing, users end up consuming a lot of silver that is not delivering any ions.
The fact that some colloidal silver manufacturers are increasing the ppm of their products in order to appear more potent on the label, in spite of the fact that these higher silver concentrations move away from the effective range of colloidal silver in terms of silver ion content, is yet another illustration of the fact that the basic concept of using colloidal silver to deliver silver ions is outdated and the technology has hit its peak and is moving backwards for marketing purposes.
KEEPING "PPM" IN THE PROPER CONTEXT
Some colloidal silver manufacturers have been knows to state that a low concentration level of colloidal silver, say, 5 or 10 ppm, "is best", or "works best". (Some even go as far as to say it's safer.) The reason for these types of claims, of course, is not because the body responds better to a lower concentration, but rather, as we've explained, because higher concentrations of "colloidal" silver products don't increase the concentrations of silver ions, just of inert, atomic silver. This, of course, is not at all a limitation with Silver 100™.
There really is no "ppm" that is "best." The body doesn't really care what ppm the silver comes in, only the total that is consumed and, we believe, of course, the efficiency with which it delivers ions. For instance, whether you take ten 50-milligram tablets of vitamin C or one 500-milligram tablet makes no difference to the body; it's still a total of 500 milligrams of vitamin C. The reason Silver 100™ contains "100 ppm" of silver is that this is a good balance between having a highly efficient concentration of silver while also allowing a user the ability to use only a small amount as desired.
If all things were equal—which they certainly are not since colloidal silver can't get even close to 100 ppm of sliver and still hope to deliver more than a small fraction of its silver as ions—the only issue that would really be pertinent regarding ppm is cost to the consumer. To get a given quantity of silver, as with anything else, you'd simply compare the total of each product that you'd have to use to get an equal amount of silver, and then compare costs. Naturally, since Silver 100™ is designed to be entirely superior to colloidal silver in terms of silver ion delivery, this plays a major factor in comparing cost, making Silver 100™ far more economical to use than virtually any colloidal silver product.
4) What's the best way to use Silver 100™?
– Additional information
USING THE DROPPER VERSUS THE SPRAY DISPENSER
The dropper and spray dispensers are simply offered as a choice as a matter of convenience. The same exact ingredients are in the bottle regardless of whether it came with a dropper or a spray dispenser.
The dropper is more convenient for mixing Silver 100™ in water or juice, which is mainly recommended when one wants to deliver Silver 100™ directly into the gastrointestinal tract.
The spray dispenses Silver 100™ in a fine mist and is most convenient for normal use whereby it's recommended that it be taken straight into the mouth, undiluted. When sprayed into the mouth, the spray may also facilitate absorption into the blood stream since it spreads it across the oral mucosa.
With the dropper, holding Silver 100™ under the tongue a few moments may help to facilitate absorption into the blood stream. The spray should simply be sprayed into the mouth; hold the spray close to the mouth before spraying, since it dispenses the formula in a wide mist.
The dropper comes in a 0.5-oz size and a 2-oz size. The spray only comes in a 2-oz size. If you have the 2-oz dropper bottle and also the 2-oz spray dispenser bottle and one runs out before the other, you can switch the caps from one bottle to the other, since it's the same formula and since the same bottle is used for both. However, keep in mind that you that you want to minimize exposing Silver 100™ to the air unnecessarily, so avoid pouring it from bottle to bottle if you can.
Note that the dropper enables a smaller dosage than does the spray, since one spray contains the equivalent of approximately three drops. Using just one or two drops may be desirable if one wants to minimize the likelihood of germ die-off (see "Can using Silver 100™ have any adverse effects?") or to deliver a very small dosage such as for a small child or pet.
How much Silver 100™ should I use, and how often?
– Additional information
MEASURING THE AMOUNT USED
It's really not necessary to be precise with the amount used. We recommend staying close to what the labeling suggests for ongoing daily use. However, the labeling guidelines are mainly intended to keep the total lifelong silver intake well below safe limits assuming the very unlikely scenario whereby an individual were using Silver 100™ virtually ever day of their entire life.
Of course, it's usually not necessary to go much above the label recommendations since it takes only a very little to go a very long way, but it's really no big deal for the amount used to vary somewhat from the label directions, especially on a short-term basis.
The dropper typically holds about 12 to 18 drops, depending on how aggressively the rubber bulb is squeezed before withdrawing it from the bottle.
One spray dispenses an amount equal to approximately three drops from the dropper.
Can using Silver 100™ have any adverse effects?
– Additional information
GERM DIE-OFF AND DETOXIFICATION
Starting with reduced amounts of Silver 100™ is recommended when it is expected that the body is in severely poor condition and/or expectedly has a severe germ problem, and the elimination system is severely compromised. Indications that the body has a badly compromised elimination system include chronic constipation and chronic sinus or respiratory problems, especially asthma. In such cases, and especially in cases where asthma exists, it is recommended that you begin with about one fourth of the normal recommended daily amount of Silver 100™ and slowly build up, over a few days to a week, to the recommended amount according to the label. How long you take to get up to the normal recommended amount depends on the individual circumstances. If you understand and are comfortable with the "detoxification" process, and can rest as needed and make sure to facilitate the body's cleansing process by eating light and drinking plenty of water, then taking just a few days to get up to the normal recommended amount is probably long enough. At the other end of the spectrum, if a severe condition such as asthma is present you might take a few weeks to work up to the normal recommended amount.
It is extremely rare for us to ever hear reports of people experiencing any kind of unpleasant detoxification related sensations from using Silver 100™, and we only mention it out of prudence.
The body contains beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the intestines, that is vital to maintaining health. Acidophilus is one type of this good bacteria and is the one most people are familiar with, but there are others. This is sometimes also called beneficial "flora".
Some colloidal silver manufacturers make irresponsible claims stating that because it's "colloidal" silver, or because their product has some kind of special characteristic to it, it will kill only the bad bacteria but not the good bacteria in the body. (We've seen ridiculous claims ranging from having a negatively charged particle, which is essentially impossible with silver ions, to having a special "spin" to the particle—all of which is absurd and makes scientists laugh were it not for the fact that lay people who don't know better are making decisions about their health based on this.)
The fact is that it's scientifically impossible for any silver ion oriented product to differentiate between bad bacteria and good bacteria, and they can therefore theoretically affect the good bacteria in the body. No colloidal silver product is an exception, and neither is Silver 100™.
To our knowledge, there have been no studies conducted to date that would demonstrate whether, or how much, any colloidal silver product might be impacting on the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Likewise, we have not as yet conducted any studies on Silver 100™ to give us this information.
We believe that any impact that Silver 100™ might have on the beneficial gastrointestinal flora is negligible, if it has any impact at all under normal usage conditions, since we believe Silver 100™ is mostly all absorbed into the blood system in the mouth across the oral mucosa and the Opti-Silver™ ingredient is all used up—has released all of its silver into the blood as ions—well before it reaches the gut or the intestines. Indeed, it's for this very reason that we recommend that a user mix Silver 100™ in pure water or juice and drink it, preferably on an empty stomach, if they want to delivery it specifically to the gastrointestinal tract for a given reason.
However, since we always prefer to err on the side of prudence when it comes to the health of our customers, we point out that it's always a good idea to take a beneficial bacteria supplement anyway, whether taking a silver product or not, since this beneficial flora is compromised in most people by virtue of their diets. We get far less of this beneficial flora with our produce than we used to. Furthermore, if someone is eating meat, poultry or dairy on a regular basis that comes from conventional as opposed to organic sources they're getting a remarkably high content of antibiotics that were fed to those animals, and this often sits for extended periods in the intestines.
For these reasons, we recommend that, if someone wants to be very prudent with their health, it's virtually always desirable to take a beneficial supplement—sometimes also called "probiotics"—on a regular basis. These probiotic supplements are available from many manufacturers from virtually any health food or nutrition retailer.
While we have no reason to expect that Silver 100™ is likely to have a meaningful impact on beneficial flora, we see no reason not to take a beneficial bacteria supplement while using Silver 100™, especially if using it on a regular basis, taking it often throughout the day for a period of time for short-term needs, or mixing it in water or juice to deliver it into the gastrointestinal tract.
If taking a beneficial bacteria supplement while using Silver 100™, we recommend that you take the beneficial bacteria supplement just before retiring at night, and that you wait an hour or so, more or less, after taking Silver 100™ so the Silver 100™ isn't freshly in the digestive tract where it could compromise the benefits of the beneficial bacteria supplement.
RESISTANT OR "SUPER" GERMS
Reports of silver or silver ions leading to the proliferation of resistant strains of germs, sometimes called "super" germs, are rare and are not conclusive enough to even be sure this is possible. Many advocates of silver maintain that ionic silver ions cannot create such resistance, and even that it will kill most of those resistant strains or "super" germs, but the scientific data is not yet sufficient to demonstrate that either of those positions is necessarily accurate.
However, all the data that is available certainly suggests that silver ions may be far less likely to incur the development of resistant strains of germs than are most antibiotics.
ADVERSE INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICATIONS
We are not aware of any adverse interactions between Silver 100™ and any medications and we believe it is unlikely that any of the natural ingredients in Silver 100™—all of which are found in fruits, vegetable and whole grains—could hinder the effectiveness of, or otherwise adversely interact with, any medications. To be certain, however, it is always best to check with your doctor.
What is the best way to store and handle Silver 100™?
– Additional information
The Silver 100™ formula is extremely stable and can withstand the heat of summer (even on UPS trucks during shipping or when stored for a while in the car), and can also withstand the freezing colds of winter (as long as the bottle doesn't break due to water expansion, of course).
Just try to keep it from being exposed to excessive light, especially sunlight, or to electromagnetic fields any more than is necessary. Even though Silver 100™ is far more stable than any colloidal silver product, those factors can still tend to slowly compromise the stability and efficiency of the product. Too much exposure to light can cause a slight darkening of the product.
Even if either of these situations occurs, though, the result is still entirely harmless, and would only compromise the potential benefits of the product to a virtually inconsequential degree anyway.
Since most kitchen appliances have electric motors, store it a couple of feet away from any appliances for maximum shelf life and effectiveness.
It is not recommended that you store Silver 100™ in a refrigerator, since it would be unnecessarily exposed to light and electromagnetic fields.
Avoid pouring it from the bottle it comes in into another container, since that would expose it to more air than is necessary. Don't put it in a plastic container; plastic can tend to absorb some of the silver out from the formula.
Under reasonably normal storage and handling conditions, Silver 100™ maintains its shelf life for many years, typically well beyond the expiration date on the label. Even when it's "old", though, the only compromise is a very slight decrease in efficiency. It can't ever become harmful in any way.
Is Silver 100™ safe?
– Additional information
ARGYRIA IS VERY RARE IN THE MODERN WORLD
Ingesting extraordinarily high amounts of virtually anything can, of course, pose potential problems.
Ingesting too much silver over the course of one's life can cause a permanent discoloration of the skin. This condition is called argyria.
The only known cases of argyria from ingesting a silver product for health purposes were very rare and mostly resulted in the 1930s and 1940s, when people were unwittingly using inefficient silver formulas, such as silver nitrate and silver acetate, which were made in such excessively high silver concentrations as 300,000 or 400,000 parts per million.
Colloidal silver products were also used in extraordinarily high concentrations, and unwittingly used in such high amounts as sometimes being consumed by the glassful, sometimes on a regular basis for decades - an absurd proposition (yet, some colloidal silver manufacturers still irresponsibly recommend using their products in this way).
In the history of the United States, one and only one person has ever developed a severe case of argyria from using a health related silver product, and this occurred back in the 1940s when this person was apparently taking some product with an extremely high concentration of silver and was using it in ridiculously high quantities and apparently did so for a very long period of time.
In the modern-day world, since we have learned a great deal more and have a better understanding of the need to efficiently deliver silver ions, developing argyria from taking a health related silver product according to directions is not considered even remotely likely, unless, of course, ridiculously irresponsible use takes place such as someone consuming massively high amounts of a product with a high silver concentration—the kind of irresponsible usage that would make many "harmless" products become potentially dangerous.
The only reports of even the mildest, almost undetectable stages of argyria possibly resulting from using health related silver products in modern times were apparently caused from using high concentration colloidal silver products where the manufacturers irresponsibly suggested extraordinarily large dosing, apparently as high as a glassful or more per day.
The facts and figures regarding argyria are now very well known by scientists.
Between 1% and 4% of the silver that is ingested is believed to be retained permanently in the body in an entirely harmless fashion. It is believed that it takes between 1 gram and 30 grams of total retained silver over a lifetime to begin causing the earliest stages of argyria.
It makes no difference if the silver that is ingested is colloidal, an ionic complex, or any other form of silver. Nor does the particle size matter (unless, of course, you were to swallow a silver coin, in which case we can assume virtually all of it will be passed out of the body).
The ingested silver that is retained in the body is spread somewhat evenly throughout the body. In the event that massive amounts of silver are ingested over a period of time, argyria forms first as a slight discoloration that usually shows up first in the folds of the joints on the fingers and in the gums, and gradually progresses if the intake of excessive amounts of silver is continued. Even in these instances—if such even exist in today's world—there is essentially no harm caused to the body in any way. The EPA calls argyria a "harmless cosmetic effect". Of course, no person should ever be ingesting the quantity of silver that could ever lead to even the earliest stages of argyria.
OTHER ISSUES REGARDING EXCESSIVE INGESTION OF SILVER
If an excessively large amount of silver is ingested, it has been reported in some cases to hinder the absorption and utilization of some nutrients, specifically selenium and vitamin E. However, the research is quite inconclusive and the data indicates it requires far more silver than the maximum daily recommended amount of Silver 100™ for this to ever become an issue. Some reports have also indicated impaired night vision after the body is exposed to excessive amounts of silver, but these reports are primarily addressing the kind of exposure levels that result from industrial accidents. No reports of these conditions have ever been reported, to our knowledge, from using silver for health related purposes in the modern world.
Some people are concerned that silver fillings in the teeth may be toxic. These filling are called "mercury amalgam" fillings. They consist of a combination of mercury and silver, along with other substances. The silver in these fillings is not toxic at all. It's the mercury in them that raises the concerns over toxicity.
Is Silver 100™ approved by the FDA?
– Additional information
The FDA issued a final rule, effective September 16, 1999, finding and establishing that "all OTC drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for internal or external use are not generally recognized as safe and effective". A product is considered an "OTC drug" product if it is sold over-the-counter to prevent or treat a disease. Silver 100™ contains silver salts and is therefore encompassed under this rule.
Essentially, all the ruling says is that such silver products are in the same category as all other products—they aren't to be sold "as drugs" unless they first go through the FDA drug approval process.
The reason the FDA finalized a rule that speaks specifically to products containing such silver products, even though the rule essentially just states that such silver products are under the same guidelines as virtually all other products, was apparently that there was confusion about whether such silver products were "grandfathered in". Certain companies had claimed that the sale of such silver products prior to 1938 "for drug use" meant that no FDA approval was needed for them to be sold "as drugs" today, citing "the grandfather exemption". The rule simply clarified that issue by finding and establishing that no such silver products are approved as drugs under the grandfather exemption because they're not made by the identical manufacturer through the identical manufacturing process and are not sold with the identical labeling that existed prior to 1938.
The FDA's rule made clear that such silver products may be sold as dietary supplements.
To further keep the FDA's rule in proper context, the language of the rule points out that if a product is sold to prevent or treat a disease for which it has not been proven to be effective, it is considered to be unsafe in that context, even if the substance was harmless, simply because it could preclude someone from using a drug that was proven to be effective for that disease.
It's important to understand that the FDA rule does not in any way find or establish that any dietary supplement products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts have been determined to be unsafe. It doesn't even find or establish that they're not safe or effective for preventing or treating any disease conditions. It simply finds and establishes that such products are not grandfathered in as drugs, and therefore are not, at present, generally recognized as safe and effective "as drugs" since none have gone through the FDA drug approval process. That's all.
The FDA put no restrictions on the concentrations or recommended dosing levels for such silver products, implying that it doesn't have any serious concerns about the safety of such products. The rule only specifies that such products can be sold as dietary supplements but not as drugs.
Interestingly, the FDA rule conveys its concerns over the fact that "colloidal" silver products often contain silver concentrations that vary widely from what is stated on the label and from bottle to bottle, due to the inconsistent nature of the process by which most colloidal silver is made. The process by which Silver 100™ is made allows it to be produced to far superior consistency levels than virtually any colloidal silver. Therefore, staying well within safe levels of silver consumption is far more reliable with Silver 100™ than with most colloidal silver products—in addition to the fact that the delivery system behind Silver 100™ means that much less is typically needed than with most colloidal silver products.