Silver Sprinkes May Look Tasty But They Are Inedible, According To The FDA

Date December 14, 2017

Eating silver dragées? The FDA is not amused

Silver dragées make cakes, cookies, and other sweet stuff look pretty. Whether they also make foods more appetizing depends on your taste, but many people are tempted to eat these tiny silver-coated balls and many actually do. But before you decide whether to eat silver dragées and let let your children eat them, you may want to know what the FDA has to say on this matter. Here’s the short answer: the FDA considers it a bad idea.

The FDA obligates manufacturers to label silver dragées as “for decoration only.” Silver dragées sold in 49 states bear such a label, and California authorities decided that it’s better to be on the safe side and banned these silver decorations altogether after a lawsuit against sellers in 2003.

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Side effects

The air you breathe, foods, and drinking water may contain very small amounts of silver, which can enter your body and successfully leave it. It’s not exactly clear whether ingesting silver has any benefits at all, but what research shows so far is that eating silver does more harm than good.

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If you ingest or inhale silver compounds over a prolonged period of time, you can develop a condition called argyria. In argyria, your skin turns silvery or blue-gray; the condition is harmless but irreversible.

If you consume colloidal silver, it can accumulate in organs and tissues other than skin and cause damage. The exact amount of silver that can cause such adverse effects in not known. Silver is also known to interact with antibiotics and levothyroxine (synthetic form of thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism).

Can silver be good for your health in any way?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), silver can be used topically, e.g. in bandages in dressings to treat skin wounds, skin infections, and burns. Silver is known for its antibacterial properties, but it may not be more effective than other antibacterial agents applied in the same way.

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Going back to the issue of eating silver dragées, ingesting only a few of this silvery balls probably won’t cause any significant and lasting damage. But if one of the country’s most authoritative institutions advises against it, it would be wise to use silver only in the way it has always been used: for decorative purposes.

Source: FDA, NCCIH, WebMD, Huffington Post

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.