BYU study shows colloidal silver is as good as penicillin
By Lois M. Collins Deseret, News staff writer
Tests of a colloidal silver solution have concluded that it provides an alternative to antibiotics.
Researchers in Brigham Young University's department of microbiology were asked to test the antimicrobial activity of Colloidal Silver. Silver is "colloidal" when it is suspended in small amounts in liquid. Silver in various forms has been used for centuries as an antimicrobial agent. In the 1800s and early 1900s, people put silver coins in their water barrels to kill microbes and make the water potable. A silver nitrate ointment is applied to the eyes of newborn babies to prevent certain eye problems. And silver sulphadiazine is regularly used to treat burn wounds.
Use of Colloidal Silver, once common, faded with the advent of antibiotics. Recently, though, concerns about overuse of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes has lead to a resurgence of silver's popularity.
And with good reason, according to the study, conducted by BYU's David A. Revelli, microbiologist, and Ron W. Leavitt. The study compared Colloidal Silver to five classes of antibiotics: the tetracyclines, fluorinated quinolones (Ofloxacin), the penicillins, the cephalosporins (Cefaperazone) and the macrolides (Erythromycin).
Both the silver and antibiotics were tested on a variety of microorganisms, including streptococcuses, pneumonia, E. coli, salmonella, shigella and others.
According to the study, silver "exhibits an equal or broader spectrum of activity than any one antibiotic tested." Where each antibiotic was effective against specific susceptible organisms, silver "is equally effective" against both gram positive and gram negative organisms.
"The data suggests that with the absence of toxicity associated with Colloidal Silver, in general, and the broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity of Colloidal Silver, it may be effectively used as an alternative to antibiotics," Revelli and Leavitt wrote.
Dr. Dianne Farley-Jones, a family practitioner, recommends Colloidal Silver to her patients for external problems. She hasn't used it internally much, though she said it works quite well for ear infections. "With any kind of abrasion or skin problem, it works really well and really fast. And it seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect, though that hasn't been proven."
Colloidal Silver also seems to have an antiviral effect, Farley-Jones said. She's used it at different times but hadn't recommended it until she saw the BYU research data. Now she encourages patients to use it as a nasal rinse for sinus infection or to spray their throats if they feel like they're getting a viral sore throat.
Brigham Young University
May 13, 1999
Antibacterial Product (The Silver Solution) Testing Results Summary
The following results suggest that Colloidal Silver is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent – it is able to effectively stop the growth of, and in fact kill, a variety of bacteria.
Colloidal Silver has been tested against the following organisms.
> Staphylococcus aureus (Pneumonia, eye infections, skin infections (boils, impetigo, cellulitis, and post-operative wound infections), toxic shock syndrome, meningitis, food poisoning, osteomyelitis, and many others) inhibited @ 2.5 ppm and killed @ 5 ppm. 1/22/99 BYU Report.
> Shigella boydii (Bacillary dysentery–characterized by severe cramping abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea) inhibited @ 1.25 ppm and killed @ 2.5 ppm. 1/22/99 BYU Report.
> Salmonella typhimurium (Food poisoning and enteric fever) inhibited and killed at a concentration of 2.5 ppm. 6/7/99 BYU Report.
> E. coli (Food poisoning, urinary tract infections, traveler’s diarrhea, diarrhea in infants, respiratory tract infections, and wound infections) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm. 1/22/99 BYU Report.
> Haemophilus influenzae (Otitis media (ear infection), pneumonia, meningitis, throat and sinus infections (including epiglottitis in children and sinusitis), and suppurative arthritis in children) inhibited and killed @ 1.25 ppm. 1/22/99 BYU Report.
> Enterobacter aerogenes ( wound infections, urinary tract infections, bacteremia, and meningitis) inhibited and killed at a concentration of 2.5 ppm. 6/7/99 BYU Report.
> Enterobacter cloacae ( causes ilnesses similar to the E. aerogenes) inhibited and killed at a concentration of 5 ppm. 6/7/99 BYU Report.
> Klebsiella pneumoniae (lower respiratory tract infections, nosocomial infections (infections spread in hospitals), urinary tract and wound infections, and bacteremia) inhibited and killed @ 2.5 ppm. 1/28/99 BYU Report.
> Klebsiella oxytoca, (Similar to those infections caused by K. pneumoniae) inhibited and killed at a concentration of 2.5 ppm. 6/7/99 BYU Report.