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COVID-19 Scams Involving Colloidal Silver

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already killed thousands of people worldwide, we have seen COVID-19 scams where companies and individuals attempt to sell products they claim can prevent or cure the novel coronavirus. These scammers are peddling fake remedies ranging from a silver solution such as colloidal silver to cow manure. But, currently, there is no cure for the novel coronavirus. Vaccine trials are underway, but any scalable results are months away at best.

COVID-19 Scams Involving Colloidal Silver
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What Is Colloidal Silver?

  • Colloidal silver consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid that is sometimes promoted on the Internet as a dietary supplement. However, evidence supporting health-related claims is lacking. In fact, colloidal silver can be dangerous to your health.

Is Colloidal Silver Safe?

  • Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects. The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.
  • Colloidal silver can also cause poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and thyroxine (used to treat thyroid deficiency).
  • The FDA also warned in 1999 that colloidal silver isn’t safe or effective for treating any disease or condition.
  • The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against a number of companies for making misleading claims about colloidal silver products.

More About Argyria

  • Silver can build up in the body’s tissue, causing a bluish-gray discoloration of large areas of skin, especially those exposed to the sun.
  • People have developed argyria from using homemade and commercial colloidal silver products.

Is Colloidal Silver Effective?

Scientific evidence doesn’t support the use of colloidal silver dietary supplements for any disease or condition.

  • Silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth.
  • Silver is not a nutritionally essential mineral or a useful dietary supplement.
  • People may be exposed to silver, usually in tiny amounts, through air, water, and food, and in certain activities such as jewelry-making or soldering.
  • Colloidal silver products are sometimes sold as homeopathic remedies. For more information on homeopathy, see nccih.nih.gov/health/homeopathy.
  • Topical silver (used on the skin) has some appropriate medical uses, such as in bandages and dressings to treat burns, skin wounds, or skin infections. It’s also in medicines to prevent conjunctivitis (an eye condition) in newborns. However, there are no legally marketed prescription or over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver that are taken by mouth.

More to Consider

  • Colloidal silver and other complementary products or practices that have not been proven safe and effective should never be used to replace conventional medical care or as a reason to postpone seeing a health care provider about a medical problem.
  • Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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COVID-19 Scams Involving Colloidal Silver