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When is Colloidal Silver Not a Colloid?

When it contains mostly ionic silver!

When discussing metal colloids, such as colloidal silver, the term colloid means particles in suspension, which for colloidal silver, means silver nanoparticles. Most products advertised as "colloidal silver" contain mostly silver ions, not silver particles, so technically they are silver solutions, not silver colloids. Laboratory measurements conducted at the Colloidal Science Laboratory of dozens of commercially available products have found that the vast majority are typically 90% ionic silver and only 10% silver particles, with some samples being 95 to 99 percent ionic!

Produced by electrolysis

The products that are produced by electrolysis of various descriptions which can be AC, DC, high voltage, low voltage or whatever, are actually ionic silver solutions, not colloids. Colloidal Silver Generators sold to home hobbyists all operate by electrolysis and therefore produce ionic silver solutions. Yet, the producers without exception have labeled the products produced by electrolysis as Colloidal Silver. Clearly these product labels are deceptive and misleading because it is not reasonable to call such a product a "colloid" when the vast majority of the silver content is ionic and typically only 1 to 10 percent of the silver content is actually suspended particles (colloidal).

Not the real thing

This is like claiming a beverage is orange juice when it only contains 10% real orange juice and 90% something else. In the case of orange juice, the USDA would put an immediate stop to such a deceptive practice probably with the urging of Orange Growers Association who would take a dim view of such a blatantly deceptive practice.

But in the case of colloidal silver producers, there is no association to urge compliance and to insure that products labeled as Colloidal Silver are in fact colloids and not ionic solutions. Because there is no entity that enforces truth in labeling of these products, we have dozens, if not hundreds of ionic silver solutions masquerading as colloidal silver.

In order to determine what percentage of the total silver in a product is contained in ions vs. particles requires some sophisticated laboratory equipment which most companies that produce colloidal silver products do not have available. In fact, it is rarely the case that the producers even know what their product consists of or if they do, they do not convey the information on the product label.

How to identify a mislabeled product

Ionic silver solutions are easy to spot when you know what to look for. Even when the label says Colloidal Silver, a knowledgeable observer can learn to separate fact from fiction. Here are some tips to help you spot the masquerading products.

  • Liquid is clear and colorless just like water - only dissolved (ionic) silver looks like water. This is the single most prominent visible indication that the contents are ionic.
  • Bottle is amber colored or cobalt blue - generally indicates photosensitivity, a property of some ionic solutions. The colored bottle is used to prevent visible light from causing deterioration of photosensitive ionic solutions.
  • Bottle must be glass - many ionic solutions will not survive in anything but glass. If the producer warns that only glass should be used to contain their product you can be sure it is ionic.

What is a true silver colloid?

We believe that a true colloidal silver product must contain a majority (more than 50%) of the silver content in the form of silver particles. A true silver colloid may also contain some silver ions but the majority of silver should be contained in the particles. Mesosilver is a true silver colloid with typically 80% of it's total silver in particles. For more technical details on true colloidal silver see the Truth About True Colloidal Silver.

Why is it important?

Ionic silver cannot survive inside the human body, because it immediately combines with chloride to form silver chloride. Only the silver particles survive to enter the blood stream.

What happens to ionic silver when it is ingested?

When an ionic silver solution is ingested, it first enters the stomach where it encounters hydrochloric acid (HCL) that aids in digesting food. The hydrochloric acid provides a vast abundance of chloride ions which have an enormous attraction to the silver ions because they have the opposite ionic charge. It is virtually impossible to prevent the chloride ions from combining with the silver ions to form the compound silver chloride. If ionic silver were able to enter the bloodstream it would encounter a high chloride environment because blood serum typically contains about 3500 parts per million of chloride due to the potassium and sodium chloride content. The chloride in the bloodstream would combine with the silver ions to form silver chloride. Silver chloride is an insoluble salt that does not dissolve inside the body once it has formed. The silver chloride either formed in the bloodstream or absorbed into the bloodstream after forming in the stomach is eliminated by the kidneys and passed out with the urine. Read the detailed study that proves that stomach acid destroys the effectiveness of ionic silver in a study that tested the Effects of HCL (Stomach Acid) on Colloidal and Ionic Silver.

What happens when silver particles are ingested?

Silver particles are not affected by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and will be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine and enter the bloodstream. Because only the silver particles enter the bloodstream it is important that most of the silver be in the form of particles. Only true silver colloids have a majority of their silver in the form of particles.

Ask the producers of ionic silver why they mislabel their products

Next time you see an ad for "colloidal silver" that is described as clear as water or can otherwise be determined to be an ionic solution, why not send an e-mail to the producing company and ask them why they are clearly mislabeling their product and calling it "colloidal silver" when it is really an ionic silver solution. Then watch them squirm as they try to provide an answer to that question.

Some of the answers are downright comical. Our favorite was this answer: "technically speaking our product is ionic silver, but because it has been called "colloidal silver" for so long it is now accepted as a legitimate description for this type of product". Yes, this really was an answer provided by one producer who apparently believes the old adage if a lie is repeated often enough it becomes accepted as the truth.

Here for more details on the ionic vs. particles story

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