There have been many articles praising the germ-killing properties of silver nanoparticles while casting doubts about the harmful effects they might have on the immune system and/or the environment. As the Senior Scientific Advisor to Colloidal Science Laboratories (CSL), in our experience there has been nothing but good results reported concerning effects on the immune system, and we have experimental proof that the nanoparticles do not remain “nano” in size once they contact any parts of the environment (earth, sand, water from various sources, sunlight). The rapid growth rate greatly reduces the surface area of the particles and, consequently, greatly diminishes biological activity. Let us take these issues in order.
First of all, examine the question of whether or not nanosilver harms the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
The small intestine in a healthy individual is teaming with various strains of acidophilus which silver nanoparticles may potentially kill if it proceeded far enough through the GI tract. We believe that silver nanoparticles are absorbed in the first few feet of the small intestine and therefore should not progress far enough through the GI to cause any problems.
It may well be that, in a healthy person whose small intestine is fully colonized by various strains of acidophilus, there would be no noticeable adverse effect from ingestion of normal doses of colloidal silver; but a person whose intestines are already compromised due to some other condition (yeast, diverticulitis, etc.) may find that they should take an acidophilus supplement. Yeast is a natural occurrence in everyone’s intestinal tract. In a healthy person, yeast may constitute about 5-10% of the total flora in the intestinal tract, and as long as the acidophilus is the predominant constituent in the small intestine, yeast cannot get out of control.
Use of Antibiotics
However, when doctors prescribe one antibiotic after another the antibiotics destroy all colonies of acidophilus in the small intestine and the yeast can then grow completely out of control very rapidly. Through the yeast’s normal metabolic processes, it creates a pH that is much more alkaline than is conducive to the growth and proliferation of acidophilus, and the acidophilus cannot reestablish itself once the yeast has taken over. Thus, anything that has antibiotic properties that are taken over a long period of time could potentially compromise the colonies of acidophilus and allow yeast to take over. Basically, anything that reduces the amount of healthy flora in my intestinal tract will only serve to assist the yeast.
In practice, very few users have reported any problems in their GI tract as a result of using silver nanoparticles. Those that believe they have experienced a change in their GI tract have used an acidophilus supplement on an occasional basis and experienced no further difficulty. Silver nanoparticle does not accumulate in the body but is flushed out daily in normal bodily excretions.
Furthermore, regular users of silver nanoparticles have reported overwhelmingly an improvement in health and an apparent resistance to disease and infection, with no adverse effects, indicating that their immune systems are improving and not being compromised at all. In vitro studies by EMSL Laboratories have confirmed the effectiveness of silver nanoparticles against virtually every kind of pathogen, and we have these data on record.
Silver Nanoparticles Impact on the Environment
The second question concerns the effect of silver nanoparticles on the environment. Anyone who has tried to make nanoparticles knows that nanoparticles do not remain “nanosize” for very long when they come in contact with normal environmental samples, such as soil and water, but they agglomerate to form much larger, much less biologically effective, silver particles which are non-toxic, non-ionic and have no history of being harmful to the environment or aquatic life. Even the researchers who are questioning the harmfulness agree that the larger particles are simply harmless silver metal.
For example, in my paper, Nanoparticles – No Threat to the Environment it was shown that an 80% reduction in surface area, and therefore a high reduction in biological activity, can take place in just minutes. Furthermore, the zeta potential was in the wrong region to support colloidal stability.
These facts were submitted as a paper to “Environmental Science and Technology”. This journal, which is already publishing counter opinions, dismissed the paper in record time without contacting any of the referees whose names were suggested for the paper. It is clear this journal is not interested in getting at the truth, but in supporting the positions of big Pharma, whose financial interests are in jeopardy because of the growing trend toward natural cures, such as colloidal silver.
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