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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.
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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