FACT CHECK: Drinking Colloidal Silver Prevents and Treats Coronavirus?

FACT CHECK: Drinking Colloidal Silver Prevents and Treats Coronavirus?


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Welton Wang
Managing Editor
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Colloidal silver is tiny silver particles in a fluid that purportedly have “health benefits.” As the coronavirus becomes more severe, people have been seeking alternative treatments and prevention tips, like drinking water.

Another commonly spread method is drinking or taking colloidal silver supplements. However, while various studies have been done with various types of silver against various viruses and bacterias, there has also been a wide range of results of its effectiveness.

For example, one study found that “the tested colloidal silver solutions did not show any antimicrobial effect in vitro on the microorganisms” while another found “silver nanoparticles proved to be an antiviral agent against HIV-1.”

Due to the various ranges of conclusions, it’s plausible to assume that silver does possibly have some antiviral/antibacterial effects against certain strains.

However, that doesn’t mean that it will be effective in preventing any virus or bacteria in the human body, much less the coronavirus. This strain of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has not been tested against silver.

Firstly, almost all studies that were done on the antibacterial and viral effects of silver were done “in vitro,” or in a petri dish. The human body is not a petri dish and there are far more factors at play in the human body. As Quackwatch writes, “the fact that a product inhibits bacteria in a laboratory culture doesn’t mean it is effective (or safe) in the human body. In fact, products that kill bacteria in the laboratory would be more likely to cause argyria because they contain more silver ions that are free to deposit in the user’s skin.”

Furthermore, the National Institute of Health states that “silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth” and that there are “no legally marketed prescription or over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver that are taken by mouth.”

The NIH also states that taking colloidal silver has several potentially serious side effects, including argyria, the discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.

The FDA, the organization in charge of the approval of drugs and treatments for various diseases, including COVID-19, has also sent out warning letters very recently to products that claim to prevent/treat the coronavirus with colloidal silver, stating that they are, “promoted with unapproved claims to prevent, treat, mitigate, or cure COVID-19.”

Even more studies can be found comparing the risk versus benefits of taking colloidal silver, which “emphasize the lack of established effectiveness and potential toxicity of these products.”

For those that are considering taking colloidal silver to prevent the coronavirus, we urge you not to, due to the potential health concerns and lack of proved effectiveness. If you believe you may have COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Coronavirus Questions? Let Us Answer Them

Read more:

FACT CHECK: Drinking Water Can Wash Away and Prevent Coronavirus?

FACT CHECK: Coronavirus Not Transmitted By Air, Killed By Sun?

This is part of our ongoing series to help fight coronavirus misinformation by temporarily fact-checking related claims. While we are not an IFCN signatory, we are committed to the truth and source all claims to reliable sources.

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  • comment-avatar

    I have used a sikver solution for years for various health issues like infected guns from a bad tooth, sinus infections (use as nasal spray), any sore throat issues, any kind of infection inside or outside of the body, I have used it on my dogs with great success on ear infections, it is my first go to medicine and I drink about 4 or 5 ounces at a dose. I have never turned blue. I use the Silver Biotics brand. It has no known bad interactions with other meds including other antibiotics.

  • comment-avatar

    I’ve been using colloidal silver for eight years after I stop taking the flu shot still haven’t had the flu my daughter stop taking the flu shot and got both influenza ANB the collateral silver was enough she needed no antibiotics and she has never been six cents the government doesn’t want you to know how effective This stuff is have and it’s been used Forever before pharmaceutical companies came up with antibiotics and put them out of business they paid for the misinformation

  • comment-avatar

    Fortify your immune system to combat Coronavirus

    Undeniable double blind study’s indicate this substance will reduce Coronavirus infection by up to 50%. And its a substance your body already creates:
    https://palmitoylethanolamideblog.com/flu-common-cold-proven-natural-treatment/ (I already have a little if you need it.)

    This works in conjunction with your body’s immune system, much the way colloidal silver does. Thereby preparing your immune system for fighting a reinfection in your elder years.

    In the case of colloidal silver one has only to search the National Institutes of Health and other reputable research institutions to find an abundance of such evidence. Some examples are:

    Inhibitory effect of silver nanomaterials on transmissible virus-induced host cell infections


    Silver Nanoparticles as Potential Antiviral Agents


    Metal nanoparticles: The protective nanoshield against virus infection.

    Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Activity of Silver Nanoparticles in Experimental RSV Infection

    “useful in the prevention of virus infections of the respiratory tract of man”. As I read, it works by putting your body on high alert, so you have a head start on any infection.

    This is stated again here:https://www.hindawi.com/journals/iji/2013/151028/#conclusions-and-therapeutic-perspective

    Given the results of 6 clinical trials in flu and the common cold, seen in the context of the serious criticism on the efficacy and safety of oseltamivir and zanamivir, PEA should be reconsidered by clinicians as a new treatment modality for the flu and respiratory infections due to its documented efficacy and more importantly its very benign side effect profile. Furthermore, oseltamivir and zanamivir are known to induce resistance; PEA has a very low likelihood of inducing resistance due to its mechanism of action. Finally, the ease of application of PEA offers the possibility to have a quick therapeutic answer ready in case of a flu epidemic, especially in cases of a mismatch between circulating strains and the recommendations from WHO.

    • comment-avatar

      So first off, PEA is not colloidal silver. Two different things, two different chemicals and two different effects.

      Specifically regarding colloidal silver, it does have antiviral properties. That doesn’t meant it works well in humans. All the studies you linked were in vitro, or in a Petri dish. None in actual humans.

      Therefore, it irresponsible to say that taking silver is effective against the virus and safe

      • comment-avatar

        As is it irresponsible to warn people away from it on the premise that in vitro results cannot be expected for in vivo use. It is common for in vitro and in vivo effects to be similar and there has been no established proof of damage from orally dosed silver nanoparticles in humans (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3877176/ ).

        You are proposing threats without any evidence, against actual evidence to the contrary supporting it’s effectiveness combined with a long history of use.

        • comment-avatar

          To quote the NIH:

          Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.

          Do you have any evidence of it’s effectiveness in vivo?

          While some studies may find that in vivo and in vitro effects are similiar, that can’t be a one-size-fits all, especially with Medical advice.

          Colloidal silver is not FDA approved and unless there are in depth clinical trials studying it’s effectiveness and safety, it shouldn’t be taken either.

  • comment-avatar
    jan leeann April 7, 2020