As they weigh in with reviews of colloidal silver supplements, doctors are divided on whether the supplements are an effective — and safe — dietary addition.
For centuries silver was used to treat everything from colds to infections. However, in the late 20th century, the Food and Drug Administration began administering warnings about the consumption of colloidal silver supplements and took action against companies for misleading claims about the benefits of their products.
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Today, colloidal silver supplements have become popularized with the promotion of natural medicinal substances. The supplements have even begun to go mainstream, according to The Silver Edge
, after Dr. Mehmet Oz on his program "The Dr. Oz Show" endorsed the use of the supplements in 2012, even though four years prior he called them "old-fashioned" and "out of date" on "The Oprah Show."
Others are completely opposed to using colloidal silver. Dr. Brent Bauer, writing for the Mayo Clinic, said "colloidal silver isn't considered safe or effective for any of the health claims manufacturers make. Silver has no known purpose in the body. Nor is it an essential mineral, as some sellers of silver products claim."
Among colloidal silver's unhealthy properties, Bauer cites the common appearance of argyria, a blue-gray discoloration of skin and organs with the buildup of silver in people’s tissue, and mentions the rare occurrences of kidney damage and neurological problems.
Others doctors are OK with external use of colloidal silver, but warn against ingesting it due to the metal’s lack of ability to differentiate between harmful and healthy bacteria, which kills naturally found microbes in the gut.
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Some doctors, on the other hand, are open to the use of colloidal silver, but only briefly.
Dr. Ray Sahelian, who has not used the supplement with patients, writes on his website
, “If I were to make a decision, I would say colloidal silver is worth a try for a few days in cases of conjunctivitis or sty or perhaps other mild infections, but it should not be used for longer than one week at a time.”
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