colloidal silver, argyria, antibiotic, silver medicine Clear Springs Press

Colloidal Silver Medical Uses, Toxicology & Manufacture

Absorption and Elimination of Silver

         Two very important factors in the safety of silver products are the total accumulated dose of silver and how quickly it was consumed. The rate of consumption is probably more important than the total quantity because there is an excretion process. If the intake exceeds the body's ability to eliminate the silver, it accumulates in the tissues. An estimation of the body's ability to eliminate silver is then critical to understanding what dosage is toxic.

         It appears that colloidal silver is absorbed orally through the GI tract, through the nasal mucosa, sublingually, and rectally. Some individuals also have reported injecting colloidal silver or administering it intravenously.

         None of the old medical literature that I was able to find gave a satisfactory assessment of the absorption, retention, and excretion of colloidal silver. The old literature suggested that silver is eliminated primarily through the feces with active biliary excretion. Even inhaled silver is eliminated through the feces. (63)

         One individual, Roger Altman, Eng.Sc.D., conducted independent research without support or funding to find some of the answers to these questions. He made careful measurements of the silver that he consumed and the silver that he excreted in urine, feces, hair, nails, sweat, etc. From his carefully collected data, we now have an indication of how these processes work.

         Dr. Altman consumed 2.34 mg of silver daily for several months then measured the total silver excreted from his body over a 24 hour period. He concluded that silver is excreted easily from the body, primarily in the urine. The total silver excreted during this particular measurement period exceeded the amount consumed during that period. This is accounted for by the variability of the amount of waste (urine, feces, etc.) eliminated from the body and the amount of silver consumed through food and water, etc. It does point out that silver is eliminated from the body much more efficiently than we previously thought. It may also explain why there have been very few cases of argyria reported by individuals using low dosage electrocolloidal silver. The colloidal silver that he was using was electrocolloidal silver made by the high voltage DC (180 VDC) process. (74)

         This is only one set of measurements on one individual. However, the data is carefully obtained by a scientifically trained individual using modern analytical tools. It suggests that a healthy adult can consume approximately 2 mg of colloidal silver per day without risk. This data is insufficient, however, to assume that the same situation will prevail in other individuals. Someone with kidney disease, for example, may have difficulty eliminating silver and may risk toxicity with prophylactic consumption.

         The following quotations are taken from the conclusion of the 24 hour silver balance test (daily intake=2.34 mg):

         (1) "Silver is excreted easily from the body, primarily in the urine."

         (2) "More silver was measured leaving the body than entering during a 24hour period. This probably can be accounted for by the variability of the total amount of urine and feces produced on a day to day basis, i.e., body tissue acts as a "flywheel" retaining and excreting more or less silver depending on the daily volume of bodily waste generated." [Author's note: There is also silver intake from food and water that would need to be accounted for].

         (3) "Since the same daily amount of silver had been taken for several months prior to this 24 hour test, it is reasonable to conclude that the total amount of silver residing in the body tissue is many times that of the daily amount eliminated (this conclusion is supported by additional evidence given later). Therefore, it seems quite possible that CS taken prophylacticly offers better protection than CS taken only at the onset of illness."

         [Author's note: The raw data suggests that very little silver goes into hair, nails, or perspiration.]

         Dr. Altman also ran a measurement of silver elimination for 100 days following the cessation of silver intake. The elimination is primarily through the urine the first five days after ceasing silver intake. This phase is followed by a period of increased elimination of silver from the tissues. The later phase appears to be dominated by elimination of silver through the feces. Elimination through the feces is the major excretion pathway from day 33 to 96. He also noted that the intake of extra water increased the elimination of silver in the urine in almost direct proportion to the increase in water intake.

         Dr. Altman's conclusions are:

         "Ingestion of properly prepared CS does not result in silver accumulating in the body."

         "There is no evidence that silver deposits significantly in hair or fingernails and, in fact, the data support the conclusion that after taking more than 2 mg of CS per day for several months, silver seems to be purged from the body (mostly through urine) at about the same rate at which it is consumed."

         "Furthermore, upon terminating CS intake, it appears that as much as half of the silver residing in body tissue will be purged through urine and feces, but more and more through feces as time goes on, in less than a month. Even this relatively short residence time could be reduced substantially if several liters of water were consumed daily."

         Another report on silver, the EPA IRIS Report (Integrated Risk Information Systems), states that a number of tests were completed to test the absorption and retention of ingested silver in a number of animals, including primates. In its conclusion, the test work indicated that between 90-99% of ingested silver was excreted on the second day after ingestion, and greater than 99% was excreted in less than a week. So, in other words, almost all of the ingested silver was out of the body in only two days, and most of the rest was out of the body in a week. (103)

         The available information suggests that silver salts are clearly more toxic than silver proteins or colloidal silver. It is possible to produce a variety of silver salts and other silver compounds in some manufacturing processes. These may be left over from the materials used in the manufacturing process or may be produced by the manufacturing process as a by product, especially if impure materials are used. Some methods of producing silver colloids chemically use silver nitrate as one of the ingredients and there may be traces of it remaining in the mixture.

         For someone using colloidal silver, it is important to estimate the total number of milligrams of silver in a dose and the total number of milligrams consumed over the course of treatment.

         Here is a summary of reference points to work from:

         While colloidal silver has been injected intramuscularly and intravenously, the most common method of administration is orally. Li and Zhu (136) have demonstrated that nanoparticle silver reacts readily with hydrochloric acid. This is in contrast to the fact that metallic silver does not react readily with hydrochloric acid. We can, therefore, assume that the colloidal silver that is swallowed is converted to silver chloride by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. When the stomach contents are emptied into the intestines, they are combined with bicarbonate which neutralizes the stomach acid and converts the medium from acid to alkaline. This would cause the silver chloride to precipitate, probably into a colloidal form.

         It has not been clearly established how much colloidal silver enters the blood as silver particles and how much has been converted into chloride or protein bound forms.

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