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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 12, 2022

Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects, according to medical experts

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  • Colloidal silver is often promoted online for its medical benefits. But medical experts say there’s no evidence to support this and that colloidal silver could cause serious side effects. 

A recent Instagram post touted the health benefits of colloidal silver, a liquid with tiny silver particles, noting that unless you’re allergic to silver, it’s "harmless to all living creatures." 

Medical experts disagree.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Though colloidal silver is often promoted online as a dietary supplement, evidence for its purported health benefits is lacking, and colloidal silver can imperil your health, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 

The agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said "serious side effects" colloidal silver can cause, include argyria, a bluish-gray skin discoloration that is usually permanent, and poor absorption of some drugs, such as certain antibiotics. 

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Though topical silver is sometimes used on skin to treat burns or to prevent conjunctivitis in newborns, "silver has no known function or benefits when taken by mouth," the agency said, and "there are no legally marketed prescription or over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver that are taken by mouth." 

Other health care groups have issued similar warnings about colloidal silver.

Early in the pandemic, PolitiFact debunked claims that colloidal silver was an effective COVID-19 cure. Claims that colloidal silver is harmless are also wrong. 

We rate this claim False.


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Colloidal silver can cause serious side effects, according to medical experts

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