Conservative media pundit Candace Owens has come under fire for hawking colloidal silver—which can turn users’ skin permanently blue—as a viable supplement.
Colloidal silver, comprised of tiny silver particles suspended in liquid, is the same metal used in jewelry, dental fillings and silverware. Manufacturers of the supplement have claimed it can boost the immune system and even cure cancer.
However, as noted by The Mayo Clinic, "no sound scientific studies evaluating these health claims have been published in reputable medical journals."
But none of this stopped Owens from claiming she uses colloidal silver as a daily supplement and deceiving her audience into thinking any benefits exist.
“I take colloidal silver every single day, I love colloidal silver. That is a great one. That is another one that people probably know nothing about.”
Owens is wrong.
In fact, scientists and medical professionals know plenty about colloidal silver–including it can actually turn people's skin blue.
The condition, called argyria, is a blue-gray discoloration of the skin, eyes, internal organs, nails and gums due to a buildup of silver in the body. In rare cases, high doses of colloidal silver can cause seizures and organ damage.
Owens isn't the first right-wing media personality to promote colloidal silver either.
In March 2020, New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered Alex Jones—the conspiracy spewing Trump ally best known for InfoWars—to stop selling and promoting fake COVID-19 treatments including colloidal silver. He claimed a number of the supplements he sells act as a “stopgate” against the virus.
Many criticized Owens for making these baseless claims and urged others not to follow her advice and ingest hazardous materials.
Owens faced harsh criticism for undermining public health experts, including but not limited to, her suggestion COVID-19 vaccines do not work.
Owens made headlines last week for her claim "more people have died under COVID this year," even though "more people took the vaccine this year" which is misleading.
While the United States has certainly lost more lives to COVID-19 this year than last year, the higher death toll was attributed to lower-than-needed vaccination rates in addition to a relaxation of everyday precautions to curb the virus' spread. The rise of the highly contagious Delta variant also contributed to higher death rates, largely among the unvaccinated population.
Owens' statements received considerable pushback from former President Donald Trump, whom she was interviewing at the time. Although Trump has consistently downplayed the pandemic's severity, he shut her down by correcting her on claims about vaccine efficacy, stunning Owens and viewers in the process.