Colloidal Silver... make your own

Peter Bell bell at morpheus.cis.yale.edu
Thu Dec 26 12:02:16 EST 1996

In article <19961224192000.OAA14138 at ladder01.news.aol.com> enigl at aol.com writes:
>This message originated in newsgroup:  misc.health.alternative
>But, I need peer review from this newsgroup, if possible.

I'll give you some questions;  not exactly peer review, but there are
some things in your post that raise issues that I've been unclear on, and
that it seems to me you're unclear on, too.  

Hopefully, others can clarify for both of us.  

>In article <851367751snz at d-lab.demon.co.uk>, Des at d-lab.demon.co.uk (Des
>Taylor) writes:
>>The rock salt crystal merely increases the flow of silver from the

Now, unless the term "colloidal" in "colloidal silver" means something
other than what I was taught, long ago, that colloidal meant, colloidal
silver may be charged, but that is not what is relevant to it's being a
colloid.  A colloid, I'd thought, was a suspension of particles with
specific characteristics, namely the formation of a crystal-like structure
if the pressure on it was raised.  

The process being described seems to be the formation of a silver
*solution* by electrolysis, not the formation of a silver *colloidal
suspension.*  It may be that silver, however introduced to an aqueous
medium (by suspension or by solution) behaves as a colloid once there.  I
find that unlikely, though, as charged silver and uncharged silver will
obviously be hydrated very differently, and there are going to be
electrostatics between the silver ions which shouldn't be there with the
silver metal.  

So, this is my big lack of clarity:  what exactly is in these colloidal
silver preparations, and how is it suspended?  

>1.  I thought colloidal silvers were highly positively charged ions of
>nearly elemental (atomic sized) silver atoms.   I tested a colloidal
>silver and found that is _not_ the case.  Colloidal silver has low
>ionization.  While far from a dielectric,  non-colloidal silver nitrate is
>more positively charge ionizable in solution than colloidal silver.   Am I

This seems consistent with what I would have expected on the basis of what
little I know about what's meant by "colloid."

>2.  Since, in distilled water there are no ions to conduct current,  the
>salt in your manufacturing method is needed for electron flow (right?).  
>But, I suspect the _real_ reason NaCl is added is that your colloidal
>silver is actually:  Colloidal Silver Chloride. The sodium chloride (NaCl)

Actually, I think it's a silver chloride solution, not a colloidal
anything if it's formed by hydrolysis.  

>3.  Colloidal Silver Chloride does not stain,  ppt proteins or irritate
>tissue,  but higher concentrations are needed to be bactericidal than say,
>strong colloidal silver protein or non-colloidal silver salts (which are
>both more ionized).  A lot of the antimicrobial efficacy is due to the
>positive charged ions.  True?

Seems like this would be a very nonspecific bactericidal agent if it's
mechanism of action is by protein binding; at levels which are
bactericidal, why isn't it also damaging the tissue of people
who are using it as well?  

>4.  The (non-colloidal) silver salts are highly ionized and the colloidal
>silvers are not as ionized.  

Are the colloidal silvers salt solutions?

>evident.  Also, colloidal silver penetrates tissue better and has less of

If the colloid is in fact uncharged, I think this is what you'd expect --
charged molecules have to be imported through the uncharged lipid bilayers
of cells, where uncharged molecules can diffuse, if small enough.  But if
"colloidal silver" is actually some kind of silver-protein amalgam, that
won't likely work -- proteins are huge relative to water molecules.  

>Could this explain the oligodynamic action of silver?  I found a reference
>to antimicrobial action (bacteriostasis) in water at 0.2 ppm of ionic
>silver (Goodman and Gillman 1965 and McKhann et al., 1948).  

>The concentration of colloidal silver to achieve that might be 50
>ppm as in  (Leonard, 1931) or higher.  

Now, here's a question for you:  how much silver is in these suspensions?
I just did back-of-the-envelope calculations, and for a 50 Kg human to
achieve 1 ppm silver (assuming the silver distributes uniformly), you'll
need to use ~.18 grams of silver.  I'm not sure, but that seems like a
lot.  Are people actually getting that quantity of silver in the silver
colloid products I've seen advertised?  Are they getting 50- or 100-fold

>Silver nitrate is antiseptic at 100ppm (Goodman and Gillman 1965, p. 1040)
>and is assumed to have a much higher concentration on ionic silver.  But,
>that might not helps it's efficacy if intercellular disassociation is just
>as important.  

The silver compounds I just looked up are listed as *topical* antiseptics.
What's the thinking on trying it as a *systemic* antimicrobial?  I'm
really curious -- I own a shortwave radio, and often hear these products
being sold.  What *is* being sold?  Straight silver solutions, or
silver-peptone preparations?  

I hope you can clarify this for me, and I expect there are others out
there who are curious about what, precisely, is meant by "colloidal
silver" when the term is used.  


bell at pantheon.yale.edu

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