ingredient information
Silver
AAA
Today, various kinds of silver compounds, or devices to make solutions or colloids containing silver, are sold as remedies for a wide variety of diseases. Although most colloidal silver preparations are harmless, some people using these home-made solutions excessively have developed argyria over a period of months or years.[26] High doses of colloidal silver can result in coma, pleural edema, and hemolysis.[27] Silver is widely used in topical gels and impregnated into bandages because of its wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity. The anti-microbial properties of silver stem from the chemical properties of its ionized form, Ag+. This ion forms strong molecular bonds with other substances used by bacteria to respire, such as molecules containing sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen.[28] Once the Ag+ ion complexes with these molecules, they are rendered unusable by the bacteria, depriving it of necessary compounds and eventually leading to the bacteria's death. Silver is now considered to be a bioaccumulating carcinogen and thus its use in food is not advised.[citation needed] In India and Pakistan, foods, especially sweets, can be found decorated with a thin layer of silver known as vark. Silver as a food additive is given the E number E174 and is classed as a food coloring. It is used solely for external decoration, such as on chocolate confectionery, in the covering of dragées and the decoration of sugar-coated flour confectionery. In Australia, it is banned as a food additive.