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Overloading the body's natural eliminative systems with silver causes the body to store some excess silver in the face, which over time can result in a pronounced grey complexion. Argyria is strictly a non-toxic, cosmetic condition. However, argyria is quite serious in that it is thought to be permanent, much like a tattoo.

A number of factors may put some individuals at much higher risk than others for developing argyria.

  1. Environmental Protection Agency documents suggest that people with low vitamin E and selenium levels are more susceptible to argyria. You may want to contact a licensed health care professional to correctly assess your health risk for contracting arg yria.
  2. Individuals with slower metabolisms are at higher risk for argyria because their natural eliminative systems are working more slowly and can be more easily overwhelmed. Some drugs and medications, such as the antibiotic doxycycline, can also induce s lower metabolic rates.

Available information indicates that low vitamin E and selenium levels may increase the risk of argyria by as much as a factor of 5. Therefore, I assume that low vitamin E and selenium levels in conjunction with doxycycline may increase the risk of arg yria even more dramatically. If the following ceilings are exceeded, or continued for more than 30 days, I believe some researchers with low vitamin E and selenium levels could be at risk of contracting argyria.

I estimate that no more than 16 ounces of colloidal silver, or silver chloride, at a concentration of 5 ppm should be ingested within 24 hours, or 64 ounces within 10 days. In addition, the ingestion of colloidal silver and/or silver chloride should be stopped for at least 5 days following any period of heavy consumption to lower the risk of argyria.

Selenium binds with heavy metals, including silver. As the body eliminates these metals, it eliminates selenium along with them. It's logical to assume that anyone who is ingesting colloidal silver or silver chloride on an ongoing basis is slowly but s urely eliminating selenium. While many believe it is impossible to contract argyria by ingesting colloidal silver, the facts indicate this may not be an absolute truth. Imagine that a man drinks one gallon of 10 ppm colloidal silver every day for a year. Some of that silver will bind with selenium. At first, it may appear that everything is going fine, but once selenium levels have dropped low enough, perhaps in three or four months, a small percentage of silver will be sent to the face for storage. As mo re selenium is depleted, a larger percentage of silver will be routed to the face. (In the most extreme case noted in one EPA study, eighteen percent of all silver ingested by an argyric individual was routed to the face.) The end result is that within a year the condition of argyria could be quite pronounced as a result of ingesting large amounts of colloidal silver.

Argyria is normally a gradually incurred condition. It might appear to have a sudden onset if circumstances are just right. For example, an individual stays indoors for a month or two while ingesting large amounts of silver, some of which is deposited in the face. It might not be particularly noticeable until the silver becomes darker as a result of being oxidized by strong sunlight. The unsuspecting person goes to the beach one sunny afternoon and within a matter of hours develops a case of instant ar gyria. The oxidation of silver in the epidermal layers of the skin is part of the argyric process. It may be that argyria is normally associated with the face for the simple reason that the face receives more exposure to sunlight than any other part of th e body.

Ask a Good Question

In any field of endeavor, it's important to ask the right questions. Sometimes good questions produce even better answers. I once asked myself this question: What is the one thing that could happen regarding colloidal silver that would change everythin g if it happened?

While I think it is critical that all people learn how to make silver colloids, I still worry about the possibility of negative experiences. For example; when silver medicines were commonly used, the occurrence of argyria was also more common. If the g eneral public of today begins making unlimited amounts of colloidal silver, there will no doubt be some people who will get themselves into trouble, either by ingesting fantastic amounts, or simply by being deficient in selenium and vitamin E. Argyria is permanent and irreversible. That's what all the medical books say. At the moment, argyria is still a rare and archaic condition. So, when was the last time any doctor took a serious look at curing argyria? Sixty years, seventy years or more?

In looking over EPA data on argyria, I began to think about the powerful properties of vitamin E relative to the human face. Vitamin E removes lipofuscin deposits, commonly known as liver spots. I learned this firsthand by taking 4,000 IU of a high-qua lity vitamin E every day for six weeks to eliminate a number of liver spots on my face that had developed in my early forties. (FYI Lipofuscin deposits are a serious matter in that they can interfere with normal body function. When lipofuscin deposits app ear on the face or hands, it also indicates that they are present on the heart, nerves and brain.) Vitamin E is also known to be helpful for heavy metal poisoning.

The EPA documents showed that vitamin E and selenium deficient persons sometimes contracted argyria at one fifth the minimum dose thought to be necessary to incur the condition. One might assume that the absence of vitamin E and selenium are like a gat e that's been left open, allowing silver to go where it shouldn't go. To me, it seems more logical to think that silver is normally present in the face by virtue of the fact that once silver is in the blood it will be circulated to all areas of the body. Vitamin E is known to activate a chelating mechanism for heavy metals. Selenium is known to bind silver, making it also a chelating agent. I don't think vitamin E and selenium are a gate, I think they're a broom.

A Possible Cure for Argyria

Is it possible that restoring healthful levels of vitamin E and selenium along with the ingestion of ample water might bring about a gradual reversal of argyria in at least some cases? I decided to discuss my idea with a nutritional specialist, Hans Gr uenn, MD. After talking at length about the EPA studies and the properties of vitamin E and selenium, Dr. Gruenn concluded, "It is a worthy hypothesis that should be tried." Dr. Gruenn gave the following recommendations:

  1. 200mcg to 400mcg of selenium per day is a safe supplement to take on an ongoing basis.
  2. He also advises a high-quality,* mixed vitamin E, at 1000 IU per day for people over 50 years of age who may be at risk of stroke, and 2,000 IU per day for people under 50 who are not at risk of stroke. I told Dr. Gruenn that I was taking 4,000 IU a day. He replied that this was still safe for a strong healthy person. The danger of high doses of vitamin E is that it thins the blood. This could be dangerous in many situations where bleeding is hard to stop.
  3. Personally, I would also drink lots of water, simply because that's how the body clears out debris. No one knows if this therapy will prove efficacious, or if it does in how many cases. If my liver spots are any kind of indicator, some lightening of t he skin ought to be visible within six weeks if this therapy really is working. Three to six months should be a sufficient amount of time to completely eliminate argyria provided that no additional silver is being ingested. (Since my conversation with Dr. Gruenn, I've had some additional ideas for getting the most out of this nutritional therapy for argyria.)
  4. 2 tsp. of MSM per day. Sulfur (MSM) binds with silver and can help to pull it from the body. More information on silver and sulfur can be found on page 88.
  5. 4,000 mg. of vitamin C per day.
  6. 1 tablet a day of a good quality multiple mineral since this therapy may deplete needed minerals from the body.

* Most vitamin E supplements are of poor quality and some even contain rancid oils that will be an additional burden rather than an aid to the body. Dr. Gruenn recommends a vitamin E that has a mix of d-alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopheryls.



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