Interesting article I found... Silver Ion Therapy

gotlyme at my-deja.com gotlyme at my-deja.com
Fri Jul 28 01:39:24 EST 2000

Silver Ion Therapy for HIV/AIDS and Septicemia

by Dr. Charles D. Beal, M.D.

Silver in various forms has long been known to be
microbiocidal. In recent years it has been used to
sterilize waste water, often in combination with
chlorine as a means to reduce the dosage of chlorine
needed. Silver iodide and other silver salts have been
used Medically as antiseptics for decades. In l978,
Dr. Robert O. Becker, an orthopedic surgeon, treated a
series of infected, open long bone fractures,
resistant to all available antibiotics. He used silver
ions produced by a low intensity direct current (LIDC)
applied to silver coated nylon meshes placed on the
open wounds.

The report showed excellent results, but did not
generate much interest in the medical community, which
continued to rely on new antibiotics as they became
available, but still with not infrequent failures. In
1989, while attending the international AIDS
Conference in San Francisco, Philip Burris, Ph.D.,
wondered if silver ions could be used to kill the HIV
virus in humans. He was able to have done in vitro
studies showing that the LIDC technology could prevent
the transmission of the HIV virus from infected to
non-infected lymphocytes without damaging the
lymphocytes. Other studies showed many bacteria to be
quite sensitive to silver ions, with human cells being
much less sensitive. Waste water studies of viruses
occurring in sewage found the hepatitis A virus to be
the most resistant to silver ions, the polio virus
less resistant, and the rotovirus the most sensitive.
The hepatitis virus, of course, is known to be quite
resistant to antiseptics, heat and drying. The method
appears useful for the eradication of Legionella
pneumophilia from cooling systems.

Rationale for Treatment of HIV With Silver Ions:

Silver ions are produced in enormous quantities when
an electric current is passed through silver metal in
saline or other conducting solution, including blood.
The amount of current needed is much lower than the
current needed to affect the heart muscle. Silver ions
are positively charged while viruses and bacteria have
a weak negative charge. Thus, there is a mutual
attraction between the ions and the organisms, the
latter being inactivated by the ions. It seems likely
that the silver ions also attach to red blood cells
and proteins in the blood, as well as combining with
chloride ions. Nevertheless, the enormous quantity of
silver ions produced appear adequate to destroy the
viral particles. The half-life of the ions in the
blood is calculated to be 7.8 seconds, giving them
time to react with many virons, particularly if the
electrode is placed in a large blood vessel, such as
the superior vena cava, which empties directly into
the heart with blood from many different veins. The
blood entering the heart then is pumped immediately to
the lungs where the ions should still be active. It is
not known, however, whether silver ions delivered via
the blood stream will be found to be useful to treat
pulmonary infections. The blood returning to the heart
after oxygenation then is distributed to the
remainder of the body. An electrode placed in an
artery should be able to deliver the ions directly and
rapidly to the target organ. How practical or
effective such treatment would be is not known.

Animal Studies

Both cats and certain primates can be infected with a
fatal disease caused by retroviruses similar to HIV.
The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) appears to be
transmitted to other cats through the saliva, that is,
through biting. FIV is not known to be infectious to
humans. Dr. Burris was able to obtain one very ill FIV
infected cat from a neighbor, but could not convince
any veterinarian in the area to treat the cat with
silver ions. Eventually he found a research
veterinarian practicing in Tijuana, Baja California,
Mexico, who anesthetized the cat, placed a silicone
rubber catheter containing a silver wire protruding
from its end into the superior vena cava via a jugular
vein. A cathode was attached to the skin of the chest.
The microamp power indicated above was applied for 22
minutes by means of a small power supply, followed by
the nanoamp power for 90 minutes. It was assumed that
the cat would soon die of its disease. Thus the
primary purpose of this treatment was to determine
silver levels in the blood. It was found that the
natural level was increased only briefly by about 10%.
All animals maintain trace amounts of silver in the
body.  Of great interest, however, is that by the
second post-treatment day the cat began eating well,
and within four weeks the many sores on its back and
ears had healed. The cat was treated in March, l996,
and at the present appears perfectly healthy. It is
not known whether some infectious agents remain in the
cat's body.

Since that apparently successful effort, attempts have
been made to obtain the FIV infected cats for
treatment, but so far without success. We have been
informed, however, that in recent years neither the
FDA nor the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have
been requiring animal studies prior to evaluating
anti-HIV drugs in humans.

Human Studies

Cesar Garcia Ramirez, MD, practicing in Tijuana,
became aware of the FIV treatment, and felt that it
would be a compassionate act to at least try the
therapy on some of his dying AIDS patients. He
obtained permission from the Baja California Division
of Public Health, as well as agreement for the
treatment protocol from a group of physicians serving
as the Institutional Review Board (Human Studies
Committee). Volunteer patients were fully informed and
signed consent forms. Initially, three very ill
patients were chosen. Silver electrodes in silicon
rubber catheters were placed in arm veins and passed
up as far as the vena cava, or near to it. Each
patient was treated for 12 minutes at 2.5 microamps,
then for 72 hours at 125 microamps except that one
patient was treated for only 48 hours. All three
patients felt better by the second day, and
considerably better by Day 5. Viral loads dropped
precipitously, almost to zero in one patient and much
lower than the initial count in the other two. The
next three months were spent in equipment improvement,
seeking to be able to reduce viral loads rapidly to
zero in all patients, and to be able to maintain the
zero level for weeks or months if need be until the
badly damaged immune system has had time to recover
and be able to itself combat the infection.  The virus
is present not only in the blood stream, but also in
lymph nodes and other organs of the body.

Currently in the Tijuana study, catheters are
implanted in the subclavian vein (behind the clavicle)
and extend to the right auricle of heart, with the
electrode protruding from the end of the catheter.
Since the electrodes in their present form oxidize and
stop producing ions in about 5 days, the present
system allows the silver electrode to be removed and
replaced while the catheter remains in place. Using
this method, viral levels have been maintained at zero
or nearly so for six weeks in one patient. Her CD4
count is now beginning to rise, as is the total
lymphocyte count. Most importantly, she feels much
better than prior to treatment.  She also was infected
with herpes, hepatitis C, toxoplasmosis of the brain,
and cytomegalovirus (CMV) affecting one eye. It thus
is very surprising that the patient has improved so

Whether any of these secondary opportunistic
infections have in reality been successfully treated
can be determined only after prolonged follow-up.
Many more patients will need to be treated and
followed for these often-fatal complications.

In addition to the work described above, 18 AIDS
patients, all seriously ill, are now under treatment.
The therapy is being done on a compassionate basis,
responding to very strong pressure from the local AIDS
community, their families and friends.  Unfortunately,
in none of these 18 is adequate laboratory work being
performed, simply because the cost of the rather
extensive studies required to document the value of
silver ion therapy is too great. Virtually all of
these patients are destitute. It is very gratifying,
nevertheless, that all of them now are feeling much
better, and some quite well. It is little wonder that
there is such pressure for treatment.

Side Effects of Silver Ion Therapy

Until now no side effects attributable to this therapy
have been observed. It should be remembered that the
present most effective oral therapy available -
protease inhibitors used in combination with other
drugs - is quite toxic, producing many side effects,
enough so that some patients are unable to tolerate
the therapy. One patient that was treated with silver
ions for only 48 hours had a serious flare-up of his
herpes infection soon after the treatment was stopped.
On the other hand, the woman described above who was
treated for 6 weeks, experienced a disappearance of
her herpes lesion. At present it is impossible to say
whether the silver ion therapy was the cause of the
effect in either case.

Silver Metal Toxicity

Silver appears to be a relatively non-toxic trace
metal for mammals. It is largely metabolized and
excreted by the liver into the bile and eliminated
from the body. In the past the excessive and long term
use of silver compound nose and eye drops in some
people were found to produce a grayish discoloration
of the skin, termed "Argyria."  Even the large amount
of silver required to produce this staining appeared
to cause no other problems. Some silver compounds,
such as silver nitrate, are highly caustic. It has
been observed that ingestion of 10 grams of this
substance is fatal to human adults, but the amount of
colloidal silver entering the body using the above
protocol is measured in micrograms. It is not certain
that some months of treatment will not produce
evidence of toxicity, but it is considered a very good
sign that none has been observed so far.

Anticipated Further Studies

As of the present only 4 patients have been treated
and followed with adequate laboratory studies. The
ideal design of the equipment and its use in the body
continues to need exploration. How long initial
therapy needs to be continued remains to be
determined, and whether periodic pretreatment will be
required can only be determined by long term follow-up
of the patients.  Whether silver ion therapy will work
best in combination with other modes of treatment must
be explored. It is believed that for the initial Phase
1 studies conducted in Tijuana a total of 50 patients
need to be treated and carefully followed, collecting
enough laboratory and clinical data to present to the
US FDA, as well as regulatory bodies of other
countries, in order to gain permission to continue the
trials in the USA and elsewhere. Laboratory research
needs to accompany the clinical work. It seems likely
that there will be many other applications for silver
ion therapy, such as the treatment of septicemias
(bacteremias) and other infections. Septicemia is a
very common cause of death in seriously ill and in
some healthy patients who contract antibiotic
resistant ("killer") streptococci, as well as other
highly pathogenic bloodborne organisms. Septicemia
being bloodborne, should be immediately and forcefully
reacted upon by the silver ions. For antibiotic
resistant septicemias there presently are no
satisfactory therapeutic options, though many millions
of dollars have been spent in the search.

Some of the many agents responsible for respiratory
infections may respond to the therapy. Preliminary
laboratory work can help define which infections are
more likely to respond. It is known that some
leukemias and certain other cancers are related to
viral infections. Some patients suffering from chronic
fatigue and similar syndromes may have indolent viral
infections. All of these possibilities need to be
explored as to whether or not they will respond to
silver ions. Agents of tropical diseases such as
malaria, typhoid, Chagas, and leishmaniasis should
undergo preliminary laboratory evaluation prior to
human trials. Lassa, Ebola and Hanta Viruses, often
rapidly fatal, might respond to quite short term,
easily administered therapy. Thus almost certainly the
most immediate and urgent use of silver ions will be
found in the treatment of HIV/AIDS and septicemia.
Still, many other possibilities eventually should be


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before making any personal or family health-care


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