A number of metals have been shown to have useful health effects. Silver is one metal that has some interesting health properties. In one role, silver appears to be an effective agent at killing bacteria. In particular, colloidal silver has been shown to have a number of effects against bacteria. Studies investigating the effects of nanoparticle silver on bacteria have shown that a suspension of nanoparticle silver is able to inactivate a number of bacteria that have become resistant to other drugs. The mechanism by which this happens has been suggested to be via a bactericidal (kills the bacteria) rather than a bacteriostatic (stops the bacteria reproducing) action. It is thought that silver particles may inhibit cell wall synthesis in bacteria, and thus leave the bacteria open to damage from environmental conditions. Use of topical nanoparticles of silver are increasingly being researched for their ability to inhibit bacterial growth, suggesting that silver may offer an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs as effective bacterial control agents.
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