Colloidal Silver vs. Ionic Silver: Why The Difference Is So Important

Colloidal Silver vs. Ionic Silver: Why The Difference Is So Important

Colloidal Silver vs. Ionic Silver

For over 50 years, there has been a lot of misleading information about whether colloidal silver or ionic silver is the most effective. Some people advocate for one, while others say it's ineffective or even harmful. So how can you be sure which option is best for you?

Keep reading to learn the differences between the two types of silver so you can make an informed decision.

What is Silver Used For?

Silver has been used for thousands of years because of its powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Silver has a direct effect on over 650 types of organisms that can cause health problems, such as bacteria, fungi, and certain viruses. 

Silver inhibits the growth of bacteria by deactivating the enzymes they need for oxygen metabolism. This destroys the bacteria’s cell membranes, preventing them from replicating their DNA and multiplying. This is just one reason why it's often included in a balanced approach for supporting immune health.

Health Benefits of Silver

  • Natural immune support
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Enhances intestinal microbiome
  • Does not interfere with antibiotics or good bacteria
  • Does not build up in tissues

Which is Better: Colloidal Silver or Ionic Silver?

While there’s no doubting the benefits of silver, not all forms have the same quality. Total silver content can be divided into two types — colloidal silver and ionic silver. Let’s break this down into simple terms.

Colloidal Silver:

Most products on the market today are called ‘colloids’. Colloidal silver is made up of tiny particles of metallic silver dispersed in water. The silver in colloid formulas is not water-soluble, which means it may become unstable. Overtime, the silver particles in it can cluster and drop out of suspension. You may see them collecting at the sides or bottom of the bottle if you invert it and hold it to the light.

Whether people realize or not, this could be an indication the product may be poorly made, or has reached its expiration date. Colloids like this contain mostly tiny chunks of silver with a negative or neutral electrical charge.

Ionic Silver:

Ionic silver solutions, on the other hand, contain mainly silver ions suspended in water - instead of particles. Silver ions are atoms of silver that are missing one electron. Being short an electron allows silver ions to carry a positive electrical charge. This gives them the unique ability to disable the enzyme systems of harmful bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and other parasites. Unlike colloids, ions are actually water soluble, which enhances their bioactivity. The more silver ions there are relative to the silver colloids, the better.

Stabilized silver ions have high antibacterial activity because they can readily adsorb to most biomolecules (DNA, membrane protein, enzymes, or intracellular cofactors) in bacteria to inactivate their functions. According to researchers at Rice University, in order for silver to be effective in killing bacteria, it has to be in its ionized form. Without ionization, silver is ineffective against the presence of microbes. Studies show that a silver particle can be up to 7,665 times less effective than silver ions. More recent studies continue to explore the effectiveness of silver ions and this information has always formed the basis of our research here at RnA ReSet. 

The 3 P’s to Choosing the Right Silver

The superior difference in pico ionic silver supplements comes from its purity, particle size, and concentration.


Purity is a measure of whether the silver being used to make your product comes from a high-quality, clean source. By nature, silver is not 100% pure, but can be refined close to 99.99%. Look for products where silver has been maximized to 99.99% purity or higher. 

Many colloidal silver formulas consist of mainly silver particles and some silver ions. The best silver supplements to choose from have the opposite profile, made with only pure elemental silver. Pico ionic silver is an advanced formula created through a process that results in a stabilized solution containing a high ratio of 95-98% positively charged ions, and no negatively charged ions.

Particle Size

There is an abundance of products on the market today claiming to be pure silver, but many of these are low in concentration and have a very large particle size.

Why does size matter? Silver particle size directly influences absorption rate. The smaller the particle (and you can’t get any smaller than a silver ion), the more highly absorbed and effective. Silver ions are so tiny, they can more easily enter cells, delivering support where it’s needed. Smaller particle size also equals more surface area. The increased surface area is key to the effectiveness of silver because it means that the silver ions are dispersed more easily, resulting in greater biological activity.

PPM (Parts Per Million)

PPM is an abbreviation for "parts per million". One PPM equals 1 milligram per 1 liter of liquid. This measurement is the mass of a chemical per unit volume of water. To help you better understand the scale involved, One ppm is like:

  • one inch in 16 miles,
  • one second in 11.5 days,

When it comes to silver formulas, less is more. High concentrations of poorly made silver can actually increase the risk of overexposure and toxicity. For this reason, you'll want to find a formula with a large amount of positively charged silver coupled with a smaller particle size. A safe concentration of 15 ppm (parts per million) of pure elemental silver is all that you will need to ensure maximum absorption by the body.

Can Silver Turn My Skin Blue?

Overexposure to improperly made silver solutions can cause the skin to take on a permanent blue-ish hue, a rare condition known as argyria. Argyria is often caused by the toxic effects of silver salts. 

Many homemade silver solutions contain too many silver particles that are too large in size. The problem is that these are deposited in our tissues rather than eliminated by the body. Aside from being cosmetically undesirable, silver build up does not seem to have any other side effects.

High-quality silver solutions can easily be eliminated from your body through the bile and then through the kidney elimination route. Silver ions are so small that they quickly penetrate cells to provide safe, nontoxic amounts of silver at the recommended doses. Pico ionic silver is a stabilized formulation prepared from 99.99% pure elemental silver. It is not a silver salt, nor does it transform into one upon entering the body. 

Bottom Line

Silver has been used for centuries as a natural way to support the body's defenses. Studies have shown that silver ions can help maintain and improve the immune response, which is key to longevity and good health. If you're looking to give it a try, or simply upgrade your existing silver formula, look no further than Pico Silver®.