PA Senate Candidate Dr. Oz Has History of Promoting Debunked 'Cure' Colloidal Silver

U.S. Senate candidate and television personality Mehmet Oz has a history of promoting "colloidal silver," a liquid dietary supplement that includes tiny particles of the metal and is considered a possible health hazard by national researchers.

Oz, a Republican best known for his now-defunct syndicated program The Dr. Oz Show, has promoted colloidal silver as a dietary supplement, calling it a "smart" treatment with "a ton of data behind it," according to a report published Monday by Media Matters of America, a left-leaning nonprofit media monitor.

Colloidal silver has long been used for various medical applications, notably wound dressings, according to an article in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. More recently, it has been marketed as an alternative medicine cure-all.

Right-wing media personality Candace Owens has given it a ringing endorsement, and InfoWars host Alex Jones has sold a toothpaste laced with the substance that he claims will kill the coronavirus. Recently, federal authorities warned against companies selling colloidal silver as a COVID-19 cure.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a branch of the National Institute of Health, stated on its website that taking colloidal silver can be a health hazard and there is no scientific evidence backing its purported health benefits. Silver has no known bodily function or benefit when ingested orally, nor is it a nutritionally essential mineral, according to the center. Colloidal silver can instead prevent the absorption of some drugs, the center said.

The report from Media Matters documents the occasions, which are around a decade old, Oz has promoted the treatment.

Dr. Oz Speaks at Confrerence
Dr. Mehmet Oz, a television personality and Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, speaks during a conference in New York in September. Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit media monitor, has recently brought up Oz's support for "colloidal silver," a liquid dietary supplement that includes tiny particles of the metal and is considered a possible health hazard by national researchers. Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Oz spoke glowingly of colloidal silver on his show in February 2012, saying it "kills germs on contact" and is "very simple to incorporate into your life." Another episode featured Gerald LeMole, a heart surgeon and Oz's father-in-law, who called colloidal silver one of his "favorite holistic cures."

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow recommended spraying surfaces with colloidal silver in April 2013 appearance on Oz's show, stating that research purportedly "says that colloidal silver really keeps viruses away. It's a real viral repellent."

"We haven't thought about it very much because we have antibiotics," Oz said in agreement. "But this is a very smart way of killing off stuff. We actually in our family are crazy about squirting it in our throats. It's our throat spray, so every day, throat spray. We squirt it in there and off we go."

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health also stated that taking colloidal silver has serious side effects. "The most common is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent," according to the center.

Oz came face-to-face with Paul Karason, a man whose use of colloidal silver caused his skin to turn blue, on a 2008 segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show. During the show, Oz told Karason that his skin had been changed permanently and that it could cause seizures if it gets to high amounts.

Oz's Senate campaign did not respond to a request seeking comment Monday afternoon.