Last update Jan. 2, 2024

Colloidal silver

Limited compatibility

Unsafe. Moderate/severe adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Use safer alternative or discontinue breastfeeding from 5 to 7 T ½ . Read Commentary.

Silver is a metal with antibacterial properties that is used topically as a metal or as silver salts or compounds. It is also a colorant (E174) used in baking. Silver compounds used in medicine are, among others, silver nitrate, silver protein, colloidal silver and silver sulfadiazine

Silver protein is used as an ophthalmic, nasal, otic and skin antiseptic and contains up to 8% silver. Colloidal forms of silver protein contain up to 80% silver. There are people who take silver orally pretending without any basis to improve their health or combat various diseases.

As of the time of the last update, we found no published data on the excretion of silver in breast milk.

Less than 4% of silver is absorbed transcutaneously and its oral bioavailability is less than 10%.. (Lansdown 2010)

Silver is toxic when there is chronic excessive oral exposure. There is no evidence that ingestion of silver in protein or colloidal form has any positive health effects (Mayo C 2022) and there is evidence that it can be toxic, causing argyria, with skin discoloration, hepatotoxicity, cardiomyopathy and neurotoxicity with amnesia and incoherent speech. (Stjernbrandt 2023, Chow 2022, Mayo C 2022, Mota 2021, Kwon 2009, Mirsattari 2004)

The ingestion of silver in protein or colloidal form is not recommended, especially during breastfeeding.

Topical use of silver solutions as an antiseptic is compatible with breastfeeding.

See below the information of these related products:

  • Silver Nitrate (Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.)
  • Sulfadiazine Silver (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)


We do not have alternatives for Colloidal silver.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Colloidal silver is also known as

Colloidal silver in other languages or writings:


Colloidal silver belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Colloidal silver in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 170 daltons


  1. Stjernbrandt A. Colloidal silver ingestion and severe anemia - A case report. Toxicol Rep. 2023 Sep 20;11:270-272. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Mayo Clinic. Brent A. Bauer, M.D. The Mayo Clinic Diet: What is your weight-loss goal? 5-10 lbs, 11-25 lbs, or 25+ lbs My dad takes colloidal silver for his health, but is it safe? Consumer health. 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Chow N, Fain K, Truitt J, Stetson C. Systemic argyria with severe anemia (hemoglobin 2.4 g/L). Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2022 Jan 18;35(3):382-384. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. Mayo Clinic. Brent A. Bauer, M.D. Mi padre toma plata coloidal para su salud, pero ¿es segura?. Salud de los consumidores. 2022 Full text (link to original source)
  5. Mota L, Dinis-Oliveira RJ. Clinical and Forensic Aspects of the Different Subtypes of Argyria. J Clin Med. 2021 May 13;10(10). pii: 2086. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  6. Lansdown AB. A pharmacological and toxicological profile of silver as an antimicrobial agent in medical devices. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2010;2010:910686. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  7. Kwon HB, Lee JH, Lee SH, Lee AY, Choi JS, Ahn YS. A case of argyria following colloidal silver ingestion. Ann Dermatol. 2009 Aug;21(3):308-10. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  8. Mirsattari SM, Hammond RR, Sharpe MD, Leung FY, Young GB. Myoclonic status epilepticus following repeated oral ingestion of colloidal silver. Neurology. 2004 Apr 27;62(8):1408-10. Abstract

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