Silver has been used to fight infection for thousands of years, now scientists are studying it as a potential solution to the epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A 2013 study found that taking colloidal silver along with antibiotics killed up to 1000 times more bacteria than antibiotics alone.
“A declining pipeline of clinically useful antibiotics has made it imperative to develop more effective antimicrobial therapies,” write the study’s authors, biologists from Harvard and Boston University.
The researchers found that silver — in the form of dissolved ions — attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: It makes the cell membrane more permeable and interferes with the cell’s metabolism.
“Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria,” lead author James Collins, a biomedical engineer at Boston University, tells The Scientific American.
According to long-lost medical texts and a growing number of modern studies, colloidal silver might be something like a silver bullet for hard-to-treat bacteria and viruses.
A 2015 study found that colloidal silver was “highly effective” against MRSA, the flesh-eating, antibioticresistant bacteria increasingly found in hospitals. Statistics show more deaths are caused by MRSA infections than from the AIDS virus.
In the 1980s, UCLA medical doctor Larry C. Ford documented his extensive laboratory tests in which he found silver can kill over 650 pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, molds and fungi.
In the 1970s, Syracuse Medical University surgeon Robert Becker discovered the amazing ability of silver ions to heal infected, open wounds. Not only did the silver kill infectious microbes, it also triggered remarkable re-growth of skin tissue.
A 2012 study confirmed his findings, concluding that “certain silver preparations should be considered for topical use to treat burns, thrush, periodontitis and other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.”
A 2013 study found colloidal silver was an effective “broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent against aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.”
A 2014 study and 2018 study found colloidal silver be an effective treatment against chronic sinus infections, when used as a nasal spray or nasal rinse.