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12 Most Dangerous Supplements – Really?!?

The September 2010 issue of Consumer Reports cover entitled, “The 12 Most Dangers Supplements” and related article is on the verge of sensationalism – IMO. As Nutrition Business Journal states – “Modern media thrives on fear. Modern media thrives on any number of heightened human emotional responses, but fear is one of the biggies. Add in a health scare, and you can (presumably) sell lots of magazines.”

Several items on the list (aconite, coltsfoot, greater celandine, chapparal) are not commonly found as a supplement. They can be found if you search hard enough but they certainly are not common. The comments about why to avoid the 12 supplements indicate likely or possibly unsafe. Aconite is the exception – it is listed as unsafe. Likely or possibly unsafe indicates to me that either there was not adequate research or it implies that it may be unsafe when used inappropriately. Certainly many herbs, certain supplements and drugs can be unsafe when used inappropriately.

The article does point out to do your own research which I always encourage clients to do as well and, to be wary of exaggerated claims. On the positive side, the article does include some supplements to consider.

One of the problems with the article is that it doesn’t provide the why and how detail. The article indicates colloidal silver can cause the skin to change to a blue color. Quoting Natural Immunogenics (manufacturer of Argentyn 23 and Sovereign Silver):

“The FDA acknowledges that the real concern with silver ingestion comes strictly from silver compounds, such as silver nitrate, silver acetate, and silver chloride. Unfortunately, manufactured colloidal silvers may inadvertently contain particles neutralized by compounding them with other elements, such as salts or proteins (e.g. mild silver proteins). Unlike these colloidal silvers referenced in the advisory, silver hydrosol contains no compounds, only positively charged silver particles (Ag(n)1+) suspended in pharmaceutical-grade purified water, which preserves the functional, bio-active form of the hydrosol.

Consumer Reports lists kidney damage as another possible danger from colloidal silver consumption. This fails to consider the normal detoxification pathway for the metabolism and elimination of ingested silver – the liver – which leads to excretion as solid waste through the colon.1 The kidneys filter salts. The medical literature clearly identifies silver salts associated with toxicity and potential injury of the kidneys.

The suggested label dose of Sovereign Silver® remains below 350mcg/day, which is the safe daily reference dose (RfD) acknowledged by the FDA, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),2 and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

What causes argyria (bluing of the skin)? Peer reviewed published literature on the subject identifies silver compounds (silver salts) as its cause,3,4,5 not isolated silver nanoparticles. High concentration (high PPM, or parts per million) colloidal silvers often contain protein or salt compounds.”

Silver is known to be a broad-spectrum microbial that (to date) is not associated with resistant strains of bacteria. Hydrosol silver has been used topically for fungal infections, cold sores, eczema, cuts and scrapes and even sunburn. Silver is primarily used internally to support the immune system.