Long-term effects should color thinking on use of colloidal silver

People's Pharmacy

Health & Fitness

October 03, 2004|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

My daughter and her husband make their own formulation of colloidal silver. They think this mixture protects them against the flu and other infections because it provides a natural boost to the immune system.

My concern is that they give it to their children, a boy age 2 and a girl age 7. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Sign me a concerned grandmother.

Colloidal silver is frequently promoted as a natural infection-fighter, capable of killing hundreds of bacteria and viruses. Web sites advertise it to treat AIDS, cancer, herpes, shingles, flu, pneumonia and dozens of other conditions.

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved colloidal silver and does not recognize it as safe or effective. Long-term use, especially by children, could lead to argyria, a condition that turns the skin bluish-gray. This permanent discoloration can be disfiguring. We urge your daughter to reconsider this approach.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y. 10019, or e-mail them via their Web site, www. peoplespharmacy.org.

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