Colloidal Silver... make your own

enigl at aol.com enigl at aol.com
Tue Dec 24 14:21:39 EST 1996

This message originated in newsgroup:  misc.health.alternative

But, I need peer review from this newsgroup, if possible.

In article <851367751snz at d-lab.demon.co.uk>, Des at d-lab.demon.co.uk (Des
Taylor) writes:

>The rock salt crystal merely increases the flow of silver from the
>  site. In ordinary tap water this would not be neccessary.but cannot be
>  internally. Distilled or De-Ionised water is required for this purpose.

1.  I thought colloidal silvers were highly positively charged ions of
nearly elemental (atomic sized) silver atoms.   I tested a colloidal
silver and found that is _not_ the case.  Colloidal silver has low
ionization.  While far from a dielectric,  non-colloidal silver nitrate is
more positively charge ionizable in solution than colloidal silver.   Am I

2.  Since, in distilled water there are no ions to conduct current,  the
salt in your manufacturing method is needed for electron flow (right?).  
But, I suspect the _real_ reason NaCl is added is that your colloidal
silver is actually:  Colloidal Silver Chloride. The sodium chloride (NaCl)
is needed to provide the chloride.  Is this correct?  (i.e. You are not
making silver-protein with the silver oxide method).

3.  Colloidal Silver Chloride does not stain,  ppt proteins or irritate
tissue,  but higher concentrations are needed to be bactericidal than say,
strong colloidal silver protein or non-colloidal silver salts (which are
both more ionized).  A lot of the antimicrobial efficacy is due to the
positive charged ions.  True?

4.  The (non-colloidal) silver salts are highly ionized and the colloidal
silvers are not as ionized.  It is ironic that (colloidal) mild silver
protein at 19-23% silver is less ionized and less antimicrobial than
(colloidal) strong silver protein at 7.5 to 8.5% silver.  Colloidal silver
chloride is similar in antimicrobial efficacy to (colloidal) mild silver
protein at the same silver molar concentration?   (The efficacy of the
colloidal silver depends on the method of producing colloidal silver).

One of the theories of silver's antimicrobial efficacy is disassociation
into highly positively charged (ionic) metallic silver.   The efficacy of
colloidal silver is not totally explained by just protein reactions.  It
does not ppt proteins very well at all, _ yet_ antimicrobial effects are
evident.  Also, colloidal silver penetrates tissue better and has less of
a surface reaction than (non-colloidal) silver salts.  Therefore,  is it
possible that colloidal silver re-disassociated intercellularly?  As acids
do?  The more non-disassociated the colloidal silver is before entering
the cell . . . the more antimicrobial it becomes after penetrating a cell
and re-disassociating?   The more antimicrobial _acids_ are the ones with
a higher pKa (partial disassociation constant) such as acetic acid.  And,
the more disassociated acids (e.g., hydrochloric acid is 100%
disassociated in aqueous solutions) are less antimicrobial.  

Could this explain the oligodynamic action of silver?  I found a reference
to antimicrobial action (bacteriostasis) in water at 0.2 ppm of ionic
silver (Goodman and Gillman 1965 and McKhann et al., 1948).  

If this is so, colloidal silver could be almost non-ionic, enter a cell,
re-disassociate only to concentration of 0.2 ppm ions and still stop cell
growth.  The concentration of colloidal silver to achieve that might be 50
ppm as in  (Leonard, 1931) or higher.  

Silver nitrate is antiseptic at 100ppm (Goodman and Gillman 1965, p. 1040)
and is assumed to have a much higher concentration on ionic silver.  But,
that might not helps it's efficacy if intercellular disassociation is just
as important.  The surface reactions due to the high ionic content might
actually prevent antimicrobial effects within microbial cells.

Any thoughts on this?

I discuss this mode of action in my articles on acidulant effects against

1.	Sorrells, Kent M., Davin C. Enigl and John R. Hatfield. 1989.
Effect of pH, Acidulant, Time, and Temperature on the Growth and Survival
of Listeria monocytogenes. Journal of Food Protection  52: 571-573.  

2.	Sorrells, Kent M. and Davin C. Enigl. 1990.  Effect of pH,
Acidulant Sodium Chloride and Temperature on the Growth of Listeria
monocytogenes. Journal of Food Safety 11: 31-37. 

Thank you for any comments,
Davin C. Enigl, MS-MEAS

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Validations
for the Food, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Industry

HACCP Validations (sm)
enigl at aol.com

December 24, 1996
10:45 am

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