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 SilverÂ® 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.
Consumer Reports; Where are the Bodies and Where are the “Blue People”?
This month’s article from Consumer Reports displays an article on what they call the ‘Dirty Dozen’ 12 nutritional supplements including Colloidal Silver. In the article, CR says colloidal silver “has a possible risk of: Bluish skin, mucous membrane discoloration, neurological problems, kidney damage”. Nowhere do they offer any proof. None.
If colloidal silver is a health hazard, where are the bodies? Where are the blue people? Think about it; for simplicity, let’s say that there a 300 million people in the USA. Arguably, there are 10 million people who take Colloidal Silver daily. In your entire lifetime, how many people have you met who are blue? Probably none.
How many people have died using Colloidal Silver? None. Here is proof;
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 19, 2010
(OMNS, January 19, 2010) “There was not even one death caused by a dietary supplement in 2008, according to the most recent information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System.”
“The new 174-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology, shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin.”
“Additionally, there were no deaths whatsoever from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, melatonin, or any homeopathic remedies.”
“Furthermore, there were zero deaths in 2008 from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Two children died as a result of medical use of the antacid sodium bicarbonate. The other “Electrolyte and Mineral” category death was due to a man accidentally drinking sodium hydroxide, a highly toxic degreaser and drain-opener.”
“No man, woman or child died from nutritional supplements. Period.”
“61 poison centers provide coast-to-coast data for the U.S. National Poison Data System, which is then reviewed by 29 medical and clinical toxicologists. NPDS, the authors write, is “one of the few real-time national surveillance systems in existence, providing a model public health surveillance system for all types of exposures, public health event identification, resilience response and situational awareness tracking.”
So let’s see if the facts bear out. Pharmaceutical Drugs cause 106,000 DEATHS in 2008, while there were ZERO deaths from Nutritional Supplements. When the light shines on facts, the truth comes out. What is the real agenda of Consumer Reports? It is hard to say, but a prestigious publication like CR is seriously in danger of losing their credibility. Any aware consumer will want to know the facts and not depend upon a publication that merely makes accusations.
This article is poorly researched, unsupported and could possibly be the result of Big Pharma trying to sway consumers through a well-respected publication away from safe and effective dietary supplements towards toxic and deadly pharmaceutical drugs. Consumer Reports has certainly lost me as someone who believes what they say. Unbiased; you decide!