Be Careful Of Those Who Uniquely Sell ‘the Truth’ About Colloidal Silver
Date: December 16, 2004
Pseudoscientific misinformation does a serious disservice to those who pursue excellence in the manufacture of colloidal silver. The diatribes of the manufacturer of Mesosilver™ are a case in point. Using three websites that appear to be independent of each other to perfect the myth that it [sic] is the 'only true colloid' made, this manufacturer subverts scientific fact to trick the unwary consumer. What is presented there is simply the most self-serving pseudoscience that can be found anywhere.
Claims made on such websites all have in common that they purport to tell the truth about silver colloids. Each suggests that it is the authority in that commodity. Yet, none of them have references, or even 3rd party data, to support the statements and claims they make. No recognized authorities [such as peer-reviewed papers] support their arguments.
In this article, we directly challenge some of the myths woven by the 'colloidal science laboratory'. But before doing so, we will present a brief overview of the history of electrolytically-generated silver colloids so that a logical sequence to the problems facing this category of product today may be better understood….
1. Ion vs. Particle
Now, all medical literature of the last century acknowledges that the free silver ion is the operative species to which silver's antimicrobial function is attributed. No claims to the contrary (except by Mesosilver™), i.e. that it is the elemental [or atomic, or mono-atomic] silver that is operative … are found in the scientific lexicon.
The esteemed physician and researcher, Dr. Robert O. Becker, in a peer-review paper published in Electro- and Magneto-Biology, in 2000, titled Effects Of Electrically Generated Silver Ions On Human Cells And Wound Healing opens his paper with "A method of producing local antibiotic effects by means of an iontophoretic technique using free silver ions [our emphasis] has been evaluated in vitro and in vivo for more than two decades".
Further, in 2002, in another article Induced Dedifferentiation - A Possible Alternative To Embryonic Stem Cell Transplants published in NeuroRehabilitation, in 2002, Becker states "A system involving the electrical iontophoretic introduction of free silver ions [again, our emphasis] into human wounds for their antibiotic effect has been in clinical use since 1975. In addition to a major antibiotic effect, the technique was found to produce the regeneration of all local tissues…."
In yet another, watershed article published in Biomedical Materials Research, March 2002, Q.L.Feng et al described their project as an investigation into "… the mechanism of inhibition of silver ions on microorganisms" and concluded that "As a reaction against the denaturation effects of silver ions, DNA molecules [sic] become condensed and lose their replication abilities;" and that "Silver ions interact with thiol groups in protein, which induce the inactivation of the bacterial proteins."
Dr. John Apsley, writing for Natural-Immunogenics™ in a 2003 paper titled Sovereign Silver™ Promotes Healthier Immunity, cites numerous references which support the argument that the silver ion is the desired species of silver if the antimicrobial properties of that metal are expected. Dr. Apsley also concludes that "… medical literature cites how harmless such low concentrations of silver ions are to human and animal tissues in general" [citing 5 references for that statement].
2. Methodology for Determining Particle Size
Natural-Immunogenics Corp. actually consulted the National Institute of Standards & Technology (“NIST”) concerning the use of Laser Photon Back Scattering Spectrophotometry, and in particular the Malvern HPPS instrument of that type – which we were told NIST was currently evaluating in house. In an exchange of email with Dr. Ajit Jilla of NIST, it appears they had already concluded that such instruments, as the HPPS specifically, are unreliable in the analysis of [colloidal] materials in the one nm range of Sovereign Silver™.
The TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) was one of two instruments recommended by NIST as being capable of measuring these and other sub-nanometer particles. This Company has employed a Phillips EM-400T for such purposes since 1999. Its specifications assure the researcher that it is capable of resolution to less than 3 Angstroms (0.3nm).
A number of ‘colloidal silver’ specimens examined by Natural-Immunogenics™ over the years, such as its own product as well as Mesosilver, Silver Biotics etc., were recently submitted to the electron microscopy laboratory at the University of Miami Medical School. Not only did the results corroborate work done by the company over the years, as will be seen in the next section, it also laid the basis for doing much more third party work to strengthen the claims made by the Company.
3. Actual Particle Size and Character
Natural-Immunogenics™ has been evaluating products of its own manufacture for quality control and for its own research, as well as to collect data on all such products as are available in the marketplace today. A large number – almost 100 – have been examined to date.
Here we will submit micrographic examinations both by the Company and by the lab at the University of Miami Medical School. You will note that not only does characterization remain consistent, but the size measurements do as well.
The first two figures are of Mesosilver, from TEM analyses done by the Company over a period of several years. The third was done at the University of Miami Medical School. Although the character of that formulation continues to be consistent, the data derived is significantly different from that claimed by the manufacturer of Mesosilver for its product.
When observed in comparative micrographs - same preparation, same magnification - the particles of Sovereign Silver™ bear little relationship to those of Mesosilver either in size or character. Actually, were Mesosilver's claim for its particle size correct at its claimed 0.65 nm, then, proportionately, those of Sovereign Silver™ would be sub-atomic -- and that is just not possible!
The much larger particles and flocculates that comprise the Mesosilver product are, in fact, the reason for its dark tea color. Such simple criteria cannot be dismissed just because the manufacturer 'does not want to go there'....
Now look at Natural-Immunogenics™' Comparative Analysis and then at The Certificates of Analysis from the University of Miami. In them you will see the size analyses for both products as well as a micrograph and Certificate for Sovereign Silver, also done at U M. Now contrast Mesosilver™ with Sovereign Silver™. Nothing more needs be said.
In the Aug '03 micrograph, note the small dispersion of 'ionic' residue between the chains of elemental particles that are the trademark character of Mesosilver™. These particles measured between 1nm and 4nm, and represent the minimal content of active silver present in the product [dominated by particles in the 7nm to 22nm range, with large agglomerations that derive from weakly charged particles].
There is also present in the Comparative Analysis a summary [in stripped out plates] of a Comparative Bacteriology analysis that compared Sovereign Silver™ with Mesosilver™ in antimicrobial efficiency. Each spot is a 10:1 dilution of the one to its left, the first being at full strength. In sum, it will be seen that Sovereign Silver™ is nearly 100x more efficient in facing such challenges as are employed in this type of assay.
Now, for comparison, look at a Micrograph of Sovereign Silver™ and the Certificate appertaining to it done by the University of Miami Medical School. In this picture you see a near perfect dispersion of very fine particles [the residue of its active (ionic) content] that is the trademark character of the Natural-Immunogenics™ brand. It is clear from the evenness of the dispersion that the residue was highly [and similarly] charged right up to the moment of its total evaporation on the grid.
In the Certificate, the size of Sovereign Silver™ is noted to be 1nm, slightly larger [by 2 Angstroms] than that claimed by Natural-Immunogenics™. But it is the variety of [large] particles and flocculates in Mesosilver™ [all the more dramatic when looked at against its claim of 0.65nm particles, and simply observed with a laser] that is responsible for the dark tea color of that product.
We also call attention to a bacteriology study Mesosilver™ had done to support claims of efficacy. Note that the results were not measured in minutes [like that of Sovereign Silver™] but over hours.... It should come as no surprise to the interested observer that bacteria cannot live for even 24 hours in pure water.
It is a truism of physical chemistry, pharmacology and biochemistry that molecules/ions buried within a particle cannot bring about a biological effect. Reactivity occurs only on a particle surface. A particle with a 1nm diameter has 225x the reactive surface of a particle with a diameter of 15nm.
4. Mesosilver™ Claims Ionic Silvers Form Useless Chlorides in the Stomach
Before we quote engineer/researcher, Fred Peschel, who recently wrote to us [see below] concerning this particular claim by the Mesosilver™ website, we have completed and published the results of appropriate experimentation concerning this claim in a paper titled "Comparative Bacteriology - Particulate vs. Ionic Silver". Now, here are Mr. Peschel's remarks:-
Organic and colloidal chemistry simply do not follow the same rules as inorganic chemistry, otherwise they would not be the very different curricula taught in universities. The Sovereign Silver™ product of Natural-Immunogenics™ breaks new ground in that it has isolated virtually 100% of the active species of silver in a pure hydrosol - an accomplishment never before achieved. It is that simple step that is the basis for the extraordinary antimicrobial efficiency seen in study after study with this product. Compared to silver nitrate, it is 40 times more efficient at inhibiting bacterial growth [of course taking into account the same quantities of silver]. Compared with Mesosilver™, Sovereign Silver™ is more than 100 times more efficient. [ Click here for the study ]
5. Mesosilver™ as a Product?
It is an unfortunate additional comment that Mesosilver™ does not indicate either date of manufacture or shelf life. More significantly, the product does not even bear a batch number. This violates the cGMP regulations recommended by the National Nutritional Food Association and the FDA regulations (21CFR Parts 111 & 112), requirements under which such products are made and marketed. Natural-Immunogenics™ is a member of NNFA (and adheres to its Truth in Labeling program/commitment). This Company takes seriously its obligations to law as well as to its consumer.
In a footnote to the above, it is also common knowledge among scientists that active liquids - such as colloids - can and do leach unwanted chemicals from plastics, as well as lose efficacy to these materials. Thus you would expect to find Sovereign Silver™ packaged in glass and not surprised to see Mesosilver™ in a much cheaper plastic container.
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In summary, it is unfortunate that many people are dazzled by the 'pseudoscience' of the Colloidal Science Laboratory. Too few consumers realize that the owner of that site is the same purveyor next seen wearing a different suit when selling its products … and its own peculiar brand of science.