Despite the supposed pros of taking a bit of silver with your cereal each morning, there are drawbacks, too. One potential side effect is a condition called argyria, which causes your skin to turn blue or blueish-gray [source: Celizic]. Whenever you come into direct contact with a released element or chemical, it can affect you depending on how much contact you have with it and for how long. In the case of people who have consumed colloidal silver for an extended period of time, argyria is sometimes the result [source: ATSDR].
When taken orally, colloidal silver can also wreak havoc on proteins and make other medicines less effective. For pregnant women, colloidal silver poses risks to the unborn child, as fetal abnormalities may develop due to its use [source: Sloan-Kettering].
In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration ruled that any and all over-the-counter products that contained colloidal silver were not to be regarded as safe or effective. The FDA also reported that products containing colloidal silver -- which claimed to treat diseases including HIV, AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and more -- were to be considered misbranded [source: FDA].
Although there may be two sides to the colloidal silver story, one of the additional effects that health officials worry about with colloidal silver is that those who use it will begin to rely on it as a cure-all instead of seeking real medical treatment. With potentially false promises being made about this substance, both the Federal Trade Commission and the FDA have cracked down on Web sites that report cure-alls in the form of colloidal silver [source: Winter].
In our next section, we'll learn about how colloidal silver is made.