In chemistry, the term assay refers to the chemical analysis of a substance, such as silver or gold, to determine its amount of impurity. Assayed colloidal minerals consist of mineral particles suspended in liquid. Alternative medicine advocates have shown strong interest in the use of colloidal minerals in their practice as colloidal minerals may provide health benefits. These colloidal minerals should only be used with the consultation, advice and supervision of a professional health care practitioner.
Colloidal silver has been used for centuries to treat conditions such as epilepsy, gonorrhea and colds, reports Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It has also been used as a treatment for epilepsy, AIDS, diabetes, infections and cancer. However, according to MSKCC, there is no human clinical data to substantiate claims of medical benefits associated with colloidal silver. Conversely, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a consumer advisory regarding the risk of developing argyria, an irreversible bluish-gray to gray-black pigmentation of the skin and mucus membrane related to the use of dietary supplements containing colloidal silver. Colloidal silver may also reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics, such as tetracycline and penicillamine. Pregnant women should not take colloidal silver as it may cause abnormal fetal development.
Researchers using tiny colloidal gold particles embedded with dyes report that colloidal gold can help identify tumors under the skin of a living animal. Dr. Shuming Nie, professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and his colleagues have worked with colloidal gold to detect cancer. According to Dr. Nie, these tools may help to provide a less invasive approach to the early detection and diagnosis of cancer than traditional methods.
Copper is an essential element in the body. It’s important in the activity of several enzymes. Colloidal copper consists of tiny copper particles suspended in water. According to William H. Dresher, Ph.D., director of the Arizona Geological Survey, colloidal copper has been used as a fungicide in grape vines and as an algaecide in swimming pools. Colloidal copper is also available as a dietary supplement in health food stores. However, according to Dresher, there is no indication that colloidal copper is better than copper in its ionic form. Colloidal copper is, as of 2010, being researched for its expanded use in nanotechnology.