Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFS) is a frustrating condition for individuals and their doctors. The root cause is thought to be a combination of an infectious agent, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors. Treatment entails providing support in managing symptoms through traditional and complementary medical approaches.
Bio-active silver hydrosol with ozone is a solution of water infused with silver nanoparticles.
Long-term exposure can build up in the skin, causing a bluish-gray tint.
Silver has antimicrobial qualities when used as a wound dressing.
There is no evidence of how safe or effective bio-active silver hydrosol is when taken orally.
When seeking complementary or alternative medical approaches, it is best to coordinate with your doctor.
Bio-active silver hydrosol saturated with ozone is one trending product that has immune-boosting power. However, is it safe and effective?
Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), has frustrated clinicians and patients for years because the symptoms persist for at least six months. Yet, the cause remains elusive, and there is no known cure. Treatment options focus on symptom management through nutrition, exercise, complementary medicine, pain management, and counseling to deal with stress and emotional challenges.
Silver hydrosol saturated with ozone is trending for the treatment of CFS/ME. What should consumers know about this treatment offered online and by integrative medicine clinics?
Complementary and integrative medicine
Any treatment option that is provided alongside traditional medicine (not in place of) is considered “complementary” or “integrative” medicine. Alternative medicine, on the other hand, adopts approaches that replace conventional medicine.
Exploring complementary approaches may make sense for a difficult condition such as CFS/ME. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) offers the following advice for people considering complementary or integrative medicine:
- Stay informed by checking the NCCIH health topics page and the National Library of Medicine’s Drugs & Supplements page.
- Check safety with the FDA’s supplement advisory list and NCCIH’s research clearinghouse.
- Work with your medical practitioner to coordinate care and prevent dangerous drug interactions.
Using silver for medical purposes
Silver has been used for ages as a germicide before antibiotics to treat various conditions such as tonsillitis, ringworm, and dysentery. Ultrafine silver suspended in water has been administered as an injection, intravenously, orally, and as a throat gargle.
It is still used as a topical treatment, such as in bandages for wounds or burns, and in the eyes of newborns to prevent conjunctivitis. In the US, though, there is no legal prescription or over-the-counter drug containing silver taken by mouth. As a result, products sold online are unregulated supplements.
Marketing bioactive silver hydrosol with ozone
Two of the most commonly advertised types of silver hydrosol are Argentyn 23 and Sovereign Silver. Both products are considered “bioactive silver hydrosol,” boasting at least 98% positively charged particles at the smallest possible nanoparticle size (0.8 nm).
Bion Plus advertises silver hydrosol super-saturated with ozone (sometimes referred to with the chemical notation AgO3). The company claims that the nanoparticles are even smaller (5 nm) and penetrate the cell through channels called aquaporins, which typically carry water and very small solutes.
Could treatment offer any relief for CFS?
While the underlying cause of CFS is not fully understood, one theory is that unresolved viral or bacterial infections could be implicated. The infectious theory holds that a pathogen is part of the causal pathway, even though one or more responsible pathogens have not yet been identified. This pathogen may persist in the host, or it may be eliminated, leaving behind a damaged immune system (so-called “hit-and-run theory”).
For those who view CFS/ME as likely caused by an infectious agent, the lingering symptoms are thought to be due to generalized immune system activation. In other words, the immune system keeps working to clear the pathogen, causing prolonged symptoms.
If an infectious cause is implicated, it is plausible that boosting the immune system to fight off a lingering infection could help. Empathetic clinicians may refer sufferers to an integrative medical clinic for further immune-boosting treatment.
Concerns with taking silver hydrosol
Silver does have legitimate antimicrobial properties, but there is no evidence that silver is effective when taken orally. Whether silver nanoparticles surrounded by ozone and carried into cells via aquaporins offer additional intracellular combat power is entirely unknown.
The NCCIH cautions that colloidal silver can harm health and cause serious side effects. One example is when silver builds up in the skin and causes a bluish-gray color, especially in areas exposed to the sun. In addition, people taking thyroxine for thyroid dysfunction should be aware that silver can interfere with the drug’s absorption. Certain antibiotics may also be affected by the consumption of silver.
However, there are concerns about accumulated exposures to silver nanoparticles, which could cross the blood-brain barrier. A recent review in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concludes that “The effect of silver nanoparticles on the central nervous system is a topic of growing interest and concern that requires immediate consideration.”
Post-infectious fatigue syndrome
Infectious diseases are known to cause longer-term symptoms after recovery from acute illness. This is referred to as post-infectious fatigue syndrome (PIFS). The most familiar right now may be long Covid, caused by SARS-CoV-2. Other illnesses with post-acute fatigue include infectious mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), chickenpox, parvovirus B19, sarcoidosis, or Ross river virus.
In a study of CFS among adolescents with mononucleosis, 13 percent, 7 percent, and 4 percent still had symptoms meeting the criteria for CFS at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. This suggests that while the syndrome might be detected among some children months after the initial infection, the vast majority improve with time.
Silver hydrosol spray for common colds
This has been a busy winter for parents, pediatricians, and urgent care clinics. With flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID-19 in circulation, it is understandable that many people are looking for ways to prevent or shorten the duration of illness.
Silver hydrosol has been trending on social media for treating the common cold. When sprayed under the tongue, some users claim that their colds went away in two to three days due to the antimicrobial properties of the tiny silver particles.
However, cold symptoms may have improved without treatment due to the typical course of the common cold, which lasts about a week. In fact, most cold remedies have limited evidence of effectiveness, especially in children.
- American Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society. Colloidal silver.
- The British Medical Journal. What treatments are effective for common cold in adults and children?
- Journal of Applied Toxicology. Toxic implications of silver nanoparticles on the central nervous system: A systematic literature review.
- Medical Hypotheses. Myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome: An infectious disease.
- The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Silver colloid nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, and their antibacterial activity.
Show all references
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome After Infectious Mononucleosis in Adolescents.