Science of Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is metallic silver particles suspended in a base of some other material. The base can consist of water alone or another liquid. It can have a stabilizer or surfactant in it. If the silver is in solution, i.e. ionic and it contains no silver particles, it is not a colloid. Most colloidal silver products contain a substantial amount of ionic silver, however, so we will be referring to colloidal silver to include the ionic content though recognizing the incorrectness of the reference. 

Mild silver protein is not colloidal silver and will not be analyzed here except to observe that compounding silver with a protein is not necessary to derive efficacy. We will not address other silver compounds either, as they are an entirely different subject with very different properties, effects and uses. For purposes of this treatise, we will be considering colloidal silver products containing particles and ions in a base of distilled or de-ionized water. This includes the majority of the colloidal silver products commercially available today.

Basically, there are two silver components in colloidal silver products which give them their properties, silver particles and silver ions. Silver ions are silver atoms which have an electron missing in the outer shell. They are the smallest possible form of silver, about .28 nanometers. Silver particles are metallic silver consisting of clusters of silver atoms. They can range in size from less than a nanometer up to 1000 nanometers (1 micron).

Silver ions will combine with chloride ions readily where they are present. The human stomach contains a strong solution of hydrochloric acid. Silver chloride forms immediately in the stomach when silver ions enter it. Though silver chloride is harmless and in fact not even soluble in the body, it is also has very little value. The same thing happens to silver ions in the bloodstream by virtue of the high chloride content due to the presence of sodium and potassium chloride. Silver ions, therefore are of little value inside the body as they are quickly combined with the available chloride ions to form silver chloride. One researcher, a Dr. Meade, has estimated the half-life of a silver ion inside the human body as 7.8 seconds. The only component of colloidal silver products which survives to work inside the body, therefore, is silver particles. This discovery is what has compelled us to strive for the greatest quantity of particulate silver possible in our product. We do not underestimate the efficacy of silver ions in a non-chloride environment, however. 

Although ions are of an exact and uniform size, particle sizes vary greatly. The pursuit of small particles is at the forefront of research efforts. The reason that small particles are so desirable is that the smaller the particles, the greater the total surface area presented to the solution by a given amount of silver. The differences are significant. In a 1 PPM colloid of particles at 100 nm (nanometers) in diameter, the total surface area of silver in a cubic centimeter of solution is .042 square centimeters. With 10 nm diameter particles, the total surface area is .42 square centimeters or 10 times as much. We can say, therefore, that available silver is 10 times greater between the two. Proportionately, then, a colloid with 1 nm particles is 100 times as effective as a colloid with 100 nm particles. 

How Silver Works: 

Silver inhibits the growth of bacteria by deactivating the bacteria’s oxygen metabolism enzymes. In turn, this destroys the bacteria’s cell membranes, stopping the replication of the bacteria’s DNA. Source- Acupoll Precision Research, April 2003 Beiersdorf, Inc.