Coronavirus: Speculations of Colloidal silver as cure – and the FDA response

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As the Coronavirus takes the world by storm, governments and people everywhere are looking for solutions – yet given the short time in which it happened, there are no proven medical cures yet. Speculations have come that Israel is developing a cure, with others in the US and abroad speculating about the possibility that Colloidal silver and various other treatments as cures. We take a closer look at the news as it unfolds:

Retailers reporting record sales

One of the most reputable global retailers in the UK, Colloidal Earth said that orders have skyrocketed since the Coronavirus broke out and that it may run out of stock in a matter of weeks if the current trend continues. A spokesperson for the company said “without promoting it as a cure, we’ve seen orders spiking – and people asking us whether it is a cure: clearly something we cannot state with certainty at this point in time.”

In the US, several conspiracy news websites, televangelists, alternative health sites were among those who jumped to promote Colloidal silver openly as a cure for Cornavirus – but they have been met with somewhat of a rebuke from the FDA/FTC as discussed below:

FDA response

The FDA warned at least five institutions not to promote Coronavirus cures without proof, which the FTC requires from any business advertising such a cure. The FTC provided examples of wild claims companies issued, such as “..non-traditional remedy that has successfully killed coronaviruses from the flu virus to pandemic diseases, in vitro, for over 100 years..” and “So it’s actually widely acknowledged in both science and the medical industry that ionic silver kills coronaviruses.” The FDA did not agree with these claims as there is no proof in the early days of the virus that it is true. All companies received letters from the FDA and were mentioned by name on the official government website.

Why did many promote and buy Colloidal silver?

On the basis that Colloidal silver is considered to be a broad-spectrum anti-viral treatment – and the Corona epidemic falls within the category of viruses, there has been a broad appeal for any treatment that strengthens the immune system. Therefore, many who ordered the product did so not to actually fight the virus, but to be prepared for the worst-case scenario of “if” it happens. As the US  government explains: some people are at a much higher risk should they contract the virus, particularly the elderly and people who have an underlying illness. So it may indeed be a matter of many people without the virus grabbing onto anything that is supposed to boost their immune system. It is therefore not to say that the rush for Colloidal silver is over, but clearly the government stepped up to clarify that retailers cannot make unproven claims.

What is known about Colloidal silver?

Researchers have long argued that prior to the advent of antibiotics, colloidal silver was able to kill pathogens – and that it was even used in cases of MRSA, to clean and disinfect facilities and instruments. The ways in which it destroys pathogens include DNA binding, harming of pathogen cell membranes and catalytic oxidation. It is therefore that researchers have been keen over the years to carry out a much wider assessment as to what could potentially be cured with the substance, including HIV, hepatitis B and flu. However due to potential risks – including toxicity from poor quality products in an unregulated environment, mainstream medicine could never endorse Colloidal silver as a convincing solution.

Conclusion

People want better preparedness against an epidemic to which they feel powerless. It is early days and no single government or team of researchers would have had sufficient time to develop a proven cure, hence containment and isolation is one of the few desperate measures governments use right now – including travel bans. Regarding colloidal silver: there is no proof that this is a solution either. Even though many back it as a solution, some are also vehemently opposed, for example Missouri state went as far as to sue a Televangelist and the FDA weighed in on the matter too.


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