Hi-Ho, Silver – Powerful Immune Support

Friday, August 22, 2008
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

A new study published in JAMA1 is sure to have an unintended result – dramatically boosting the sales of colloidal silver around the country as a powerful immune support mineral.  The study was actually about the use of silver-coated tubes in hospital patients, and it showed a 36 percent reduction of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), with a 48% reduction over the first 10 days (the common length of tube use for many).

Silver has been used in Greece, Rome, and Europe for centuries as a medicinal germ-killing metal to prevent food spoilage, enhance wound healing, and protect against nasty infections like the plague.  Various antibiotic silver preparations were in widespread use in the United States prior to the invention of the FDA, meaning that silver has been grandfathered in as a natural remedy the FDA has little control over.

Nevertheless, the FDA routinely attacks makers of colloidal silver – especially when products are associated with claims of curing AIDS or some other nasty infection.  In fact, the FDA makes an effort to discredit silver as an effective antibiotic even when there is a mountain of evidence and consumer use that says otherwise.  Naturally there are higher quality silver products, but the overall tone of the FDA is more like the mafia trying to protect turf.

The new JAMA study is interesting for several reasons.  Tube-related infections are life-threatening and cause many unnecessary deaths every year.  Bacteria and Candida form biofilms on tubes, which is actually an effort on the part of one’s body to reject a foreign substance that has come into close contact with living tissue.  Such infections cause your immune system to go and look at the tube, and if your immune system had its way it would dissolve the tube to get rid of it.  This natural defense against the tube poses a serious treatment challenge when a tube has a medical necessity to be there – especially for any length of time.

The silver-coated tubes were designed to steadily release silver ions, not much different than taking colloidal silver as a dietary supplement.  The researchers explain how this works, “Silver kills bacteria and yeast by sticking to the organisms’ enzymes, genetic material and other molecular components, preventing basic functions and interfering with reproduction. These organisms very rarely develop resistance to silver, and the metal has no known side effects in humans.  The new endotracheal tubes are coated with a silver-containing polymer, created by C.R. Bard Inc., that releases silver ions to the surface of the tubes. There, silver exerts a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect, reduces adhesion of bacteria to the tube and blocks the formation of biofilms, communities of microorganisms that build up special protective structures on surfaces… this is just the beginning for this kind of technology.“

A silver renaissance is now under way.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Silver-Coated Tubes Protect Patients from Infection  JAMA  Marin H. Kollef, MD; Bekele Afessa, MD; Antonio Anzueto, MD; Christopher Veremakis, MD; Kim M. Kerr, MD; Benjamin D. Margolis, MD; Donald E. Craven, MD; Pamela R. Roberts, MD; Alejandro C. Arroliga, MD; Rolf D. Hubmayr, MD; Marcos I. Restrepo, MD; William

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