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Colloidal Silver for Diarrhea – Effective Treatment or Not?

You may have heard someone say, or maybe you read it online, that taking colloidal silver for diarrhea can be an effective treatment. And while this is true.. While it 'can' be there are still lots of cases where it simply isn't going to be.

Diarrhea is characterized by loose watery stools, frequent bathroom trips, etc. and is often accompanied by bloating and upset stomach. It can be quite an annoying problem that can really mess up your plans for the day, but luckily a lot of the time it isn't much to worry about. Everyone experiences diarrhea every now and again... but usually it goes away rather quickly on its own.

The reason there isn't a 'cure all' solution to diarrhea, and the reason colloidal silver isn't going to help in every case, is because there are many different causes.

Some common causes of diarrhea include things like...

  • Too much fiber or lack of
  • Spicy foods
  • Food contamination
  • Lactose intolerance
  • IBS

... and there are plenty more where these came from.

Why Colloidal Silver Can Help... and When It Can

In particular, colloidal silver is going to be of help when diarrhea is caused by microbes, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. It isn't going to provide any source of fiber or nutrition. So if your diarrhea is caused by a high fiber diet or unbalanced nutrition, you aren't going to get any relief from this.

Bacteria, fungi and viruses are causes of diarrhea and this is where colloidal silver shines, especially when it comes to bacterial causes.

E-coli is one of the most common causes and is responsible for what you call "traveler's diarrhea", which is when you travel to a new area, come in contact with a new strain of e-coli and get diarrhea from it. Some other bacteria that commonly causes diarrhea includes things like campylobacter, salmonella and shigella. 

These bacteria can from from things like water, under-cooked foods and so on.

Luckily colloidal silver can help..

study performed on E coli in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science showed that its effectiveness comes from its ability to inactivate and limit bacterial growth.

Other studies have shown that it also has some effectiveness against salmonella and campylobacter as well.

The Mechanism Behind Its Antibacterial Properties:

There are actually several different mechanisms behind it. Colloidal silver can stop the proliferation of bacteria and even inactivate it by binding onto the surface of the cell wall and membrane, penetrating cells and causing damage inside, by inducing cellular toxicity, and also by modulating signal transduction pathways. 

Concerns About Gut Damage

Since it is shown to be harmful for bad bacteria, which is good for us, the concern is that it may also be harmful for good bacteria.

If you want a healthy gut, which effects your overall health, then you need a healthy gut flora, or microbiome of bacteria that play important roles in digestion. This is becoming increasingly well known which is why probiotics are gaining so much popularity.

Unfortunately there is some evidence that taking colloidal silver can be harmful to a healthy balance in your gut.

A study published in Nanotoxicology measured the changes in the intestinal microbiota in rats after ingesting silver nanoparticles and silver acetate at two doses per day for a period of 13 weeks. The results showed that even the lower doses that the rats were exposed to caused decreases in several different microflora. In addition to this it also decreased the expression of some immunomodulatory genes.

What does this all mean? Well... simply put it shows that the ingestion of colloidal silver can disrupt your gut's state of homeostasis and this might then lead to other problems. But I guess this should be expected to some extent.

It is often looked at as somewhat of an alternative to antibiotics but whether or not it is a better alternative is still up in the air. This goes to show that some of the unwanted side effects of taking antibiotics may be experienced with colloidal silver as well.

However... it has also been shown to be safe for your gut..

In contrast to the above study (and others that back up its claims), there was another study that we came across which shows the opposite.

This study was also published in the journal Nanotoxicology and took a look at the effect of a 10mg/kg dosage over the course of 28 days... which showed no significant influence on the gut's microflora.

That said, the dosage was on the lower side in this study, which could very well be the reason for such observations. Additionally the size and coating of colloidal silver is thought to have a big effect and the studies could have differed in this area as well.

There is more research that needs to be conducted in this particular area but there is no doubt that colloidal silver holds some promise. There are an increasing number of studies showing its benefits to stopping harmful bacteria, although the concern about harm to good bacteria is still something that is in debate as to its effectiveness as an antibiotic alternative.

Can It Cause Diarrhea?

While there isn't any good evidence of colloidal silver causing diarrhea, it is bound to be the cause in at least some cases. After all, it has been shown to alter the state of the microbiome of the gut, which plays a big role in healthy and proper digestion. So diarrhea could very well be a side effect for some people.

That said, you could say this for just about anything. People's bodies respond differently to different things and there is almost always bound to be someone that gets diarrhea from even the healthiest of things.

It could cause it but it probably won't.

If You Are Going to Buy Colloidal Silver...

One thing that is mentioned in multiple studies is the fact that there is a big difference in the quality of colloidal silver. Size, shape, surface charge concentration and colloidal state all have an effect on its effectiveness.

So if you are going to give it a try, make sure you don't buy just any old colloidal silver out on the market. It may be tempting to buy that which is lowest in price, but that may not be the best choice.

Other Diarrhea Treatments:

If you think that your diet is the cause of your diarrhea, such as maybe too much or lack of fiber, too much sugar, etc, then check out our list of foods that help.

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Starting his writing career in 2015, Kyle is a leading contributor here at GutAdvisor, and for good reason. Having a passion for health and the awareness that proper digestion plays a key role one's overall well-being, he regularly keeps the community informed with valuable information regarding gut health.

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