Current Research On Colloidal Silver Water - By: Michael Obrien

One of three precious metals listed on the stock exchange, silver appears on the Periodic Table as a noble metal and a transition metal. It has an atomic number of 47. Prized for its luster and used in jewelry and tableware, it also has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of all the metals. It has antiseptic and disinfectant properties that make it useful for medical purposes. Prior to 1940, colloidal silver water was used to treat a number of different ailments. In the 1990s, it was revived as an alternative medicine.

The ionic form of the metal, Ag+, is a popular bacteriocide, even today. It had demonstrated effectiveness in tissue culture and in living tissue. Surgeons apply impregnated dressings in the form of metal sulfadiazine or as a nano material. The international clinical trials register lists more than 300 clinical studies using the element in its ionic as well as its nano material form.

A colloidal substance is one that is dispersed microscopically throughout another substance. Milk is an example. It is a colloid of butter fat droplets dispersed throughout a water-based medium. Nanomaterials contain particles between 1 nanometer (one millionth of a meter) and 100 nanometers (0.1 micrometers).

Scientists in Utah have completed a study to determine what, if any, are the toxic effects of Ag+ nano materials. A 10 ppm mixture was given to one group and the other group received diluent only. Inflammatory markers and reactive oxygen species were then measured. While the results are not yet available, it is a positive sign that the material is being taken seriously enough to study its effects.

In fact, Ag+ nano materials are a very lively area of research. Studies are being conducted in Italy on the use of Ag+ versus non-Ag+ venous catheters. Trials are also underway in Washington state on the use of nano materials in hand gel compared to alcohol-based gel.

There is one known side effect of silver preparations and this is called argyria. Overuse of the element can result, over time, in a gradual blueish discoloration of the eyes, skin and internal organs. This is irreversible and, although not harmful, it is obviously distressing. However, in the most widely known case of argyria, the patient had been drinking a preparation he had prepared himself in his own home.

Colloidal preparations use the metal in its elemental, rather than ionized, form. Initial studies have revealed that it contains similar germicidal properties to the ionic form without the problem of developing argyria. More studies need to be conducted to confirm these results.

Colloidal silver water is becoming a growth area in medical research. Studies are currently ongoing on its use as a bacteriocidal hand gel as well as a constituent in catheters to reduce infection. The fundamental difference between ionic silver and colloidal formulations is the use of the metal in its elemental form in the latter. The most common undesirable side effect of colloids is the potential for argyria. Currently considered an alternative remedy, nano materials are a subject of lively research and may well become incorporated into mainstream, as opposed to, alternative medicine.

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