How does Colloidal Silver Work?
Simply stated, silver disrupts the ability of a bacteria cell in forming a chemical bond critical to its survival. The bonds create the cell’s physical structure therefore when the bacteria comes into contact with silver it actually falls apart. This is why bandages containing silver (or bandages used together with a silver gel) are in demand as they prevent bacterial growth and increase healing in less time.
Silver has been proven to promote growth of new cells, and increasing the rate at which wounds are able to heal. When treating burn and wound victims, this makes the tool of silver very significant.
In hospitals, the Staph germ called MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), or otherwise known as a “superbug,” is resistant to almost all antibiotic medicines. Many hospitals are using equipment and tools that are silver-imbedded including surgical tools, catheters, needles, stethoscopes, furniture and door handles.
Colloidal Silver ~ Chance Of Developing Resistance Is Rare
Silver was used in place of present day antibiotics prior to 1940. Once antibiotics were developed, the use of silver disappeared. One important note is that most bacteria do not develop resistance to silver, as they do to many antibiotics.
Howard Mitchell; a former teacher of physics and chemistry conducted a series of experiments with colloidal silver. He found that colloidal silver has no effect on acidophilus which is the ”good bacteria” found in the stomach. He used concentrations forty times higher than what might be expected to destroy other forms of bacteria. Even in large dosages it showed that the intestinal flora (good bacteria) flourished. In fact, there is speculation that the silver ions may be beneficial in stimulating a strong growth of beneficial bacteria, therefore assisting in boosting the immune system. From time to time, some may experience diarrhea if they ingest too much colloidal silver. Once they reduce the amount being ingested, the lactobacilli counts has shown to return to normal within 12 hours without any intervention.
In The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it is stated: “Silver compounds have proven efficacy against MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) as well as extended spectrum beta-lactamase producers. Resistance to silver compounds is rare and they may be active against biofilm. Silver’s therapeutic properties were recently highlighted by Liu et al, who demonstrated accelerated wound closure through the proliferation and migration of keratinocytes as well as differentiation of fibroblasts in wounds treated with silver nanoparticles. Silver sulfadiazine continues to be frequently used on account of its low toxicity, low hypersensitivity, and low incidence of resistance.” (Click HERE for full abstract).
Lucian Lucia; Associate Professor of Chemistry, North Carolina State University and George John; Chemist, City College of New York are quoted in the following statement: “Lucia and John both agree that bacteria cannot build up a resistance to silver nanoparticles as they can to antibiotics, because of the way the silver nanoparticle attacks — destroying the structure of the cells and killing them. Antibiotics, on the other hand, suppress the activity of bacteria but don’t necessarily kill them.“That’s the beauty of silver,” Lucia says. “There’s no way to develop a resistance to it.” (Full article: HERE)
Ian Chopra in the article from the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy concluded; “The clinical incidence of silver resistance remains low, and emergence of resistance can be minimized if the level of silver ions released from products is high and the bactericidal activity rapid.” and “However, even though silver resistance has been documented, current evidence suggests the clinical threat is low”. (Full abstract: HERE)
Gram Positive and Gram Negative
Dr. Hans Christian Gram; a Danish bacteriologist is historically known for his development method of staining bacteria. The stain later played a role in classifying bacteria and became one of the most important staining techniques in microbiology. Using crystal violet, after staining, the bacteria that would resist and stay deep purple or blue in colour was defined as “gram positive” and those that lost the crystal violet die and turned red was defined as “gram negative”.
Bacteria comes in two forms; anaerobic and aerobic.
Good bacteria breathe oxygen, are aerobic and carry a positive charge. The positive charge enables the bacteria to attract the oxygen in which these bacteria require to breathe.
Pathogenic bacteria are negatively charged, anaerobic and if oxidized, will die. Negatively charged bacteria and negatively charged oxygen will attract and bind with silver particles, become neutralized and will oxidize the pathogen and therefore destroying it.
Almost all pathogens are negatively charged. Silver is positively charged. The two attract each other via a static attraction.
In an abstract study, it was shown that colloidal silver solution prepared in co-operation with the A. F. Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences had significant bactericidal activity. Stable bactericidal effect on gram-negative microorganisms was observed after their 2-hour exposition in the solution of colloidal silver at a concentration of 10 ppm. Gram-positive capsule-forming microorganisms were less susceptible to the colloidal silver solution: their death was observed after the 4-hour exposition in the solution.
Even though the gram-positive microorganisms took longer to combat than on the gram-negative, it concluded that both types were able to be killed at the 10 ppm concentration.
A further research paper describing the advantage that silver has with having broad anti-microbial against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria with multi drug resistant bacteria can be viewed HERE
Colloidal Silver vs. Antibiotics
The reports on silver colloids’ effectiveness in comparison to medicinal antibiotics have shown that silver has been more effective often yielding results in just hours vs. days or weeks with antibiotics.
John Marshall Dudley in his research paper titled; The Chemical and Physical Basis of the Therapeutic Value of Colloidal Forms of Silver describes a number of reasons with regards to this.
These are as follows:
1. Colloidal silver is positively charged; most antibiotics do not carry a strong positive charge. This causes silver to virtually seek out and destroy pathogens, instead of simply having to move around until they happen to bump into each other. This effect is quite appropriately referred to as the “Silver Bullet”- effect by Dr. Robert Beck.
2. Silver kills immediately by oxidizing the pathogen. Antibiotics do not affect viruses at all, and for bacteria will only kill the bacteria when it tries to divide (penicillin type antibiotics) or will prevent the pathogen from dividing (tetracycline type antibiotics). In the first case, it may take the bacteria several days before it attempts to divide; and in the second case the bacteria is not killed at all, but just prevented from replicating. In both cases, the immune system must take care of most or all of the pathogens. With silver, they are killed outright immediately.
3. Silver is a catalyst. Thus, as soon as a particle of silver has oxidized a pathogen, the pathogen loses its’ negative charge and floats away, and the silver is free to attack another pathogen. Antibiotics usually bind with the pathogen and for each pathogen destroyed, one particle or molecule of the antibiotic is used up.
The above information results in that silver gives a much fast kill than an antibiotic. Due to it’s rapid effectiveness, this sometimes can result in a Herxheimer Reaction. It is recommend that for a severely ill person or one with long standing health issues, to start slowly and build up as to prevent this possibility of occurrence.