There is a great deal of confusion about ionic versus particulate Colloidal Silver . The way we measure the concentration or strength of Colloidal Silver is by its conductivity. We measure this in Microsiemens. One Microsiemen of conductivity equals 1 ppm. Conductivity in a liquid is caused by the presence of ions. Without ions, there is no conductivity. It is an insulator. No current will flow. So the very measure that we use to denote the strength of a Colloidal Silver solution is, by definition, the number of ions present. An ion is a single atom of an element, in this case, silver, with a single electron, either missing or added. For silver, the outer valence bond band contains only one electron. That makes it relatively easy for silver to become an ion as this outer electron is loosely held. It becomes a positive ion looking for some other element with which it can share an electron. Your body is one huge electrical factory with all sorts of elements very busily combining and disassociating. All of this is accomplished with ions. If you go into a hospital in a condition where they have to find out what's wrong with you one of the very first things they will do is check your electrolytes. An electrolyte is a substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity to conduct electricity. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and phosphate are examples of electrolytes, informally known as lytes.
When we make colloidal silver, it is the process called electrolysis. Initially, everything that leaves the anode is an ion. If we try to make too many leave the anode at the same time, they will start combining and discharge forming particles of silver with 2, 3 or a thousand or more atoms and be discharged and lose their charge. If they become large enough, they will fall out of suspension and form little black dots at the bottom of the glass. If it was possible to make a purely ionic solution your colloidal silver would not make it past your mouth or nose or throat. There is some evidence that for intestinal problems it's a good idea to have some particles make it down to your intestine. As long as they are small, they will pass through, and the ones that do make it into your bloodstream will be filtered out by your kidneys and pass in your urine within 48 hours. So we need some way to judge when we have made the particles to an acceptably small size so that we can stop the process at that point. That coincides with the point at which we will have reached the maximum sustainable ionic strength in ppm. Before the availability of low-cost laser diodes, it was done with a small bright and tightly focused penlight. It would be shined down through the solution and form a cone-shaped rainbow caused by the diffraction of the particles. That is called the Tyndall effect. Lacking this, most people would continue the process until the entire solution had a yellow tinge. Unfortunately, by the time the whole solution becomes yellow the particles are more than 100 nm in size. Continued daily use, which is the case with many people, of this type of colloidal silver could lead to argyria. That is a cause of concern for very light-skinned people. The use of a laser enables us to start seeing the particles of a size less than 20 nm. Unfortunately, virtually all the cheap laser pointers from China have no regulation. The power of the laser in these devices will vary directly with the condition of the battery. That is not acceptable in a piece of test equipment. Atlasnova went to Taiwan and secured the supply of a line of laser pointers that are tightly regulated. The least expensive of these is the one supplied with the various colloidal silver generator kits sell. It maintains an exact power until the battery is completely dead. The phenomenon which produces the red line in the solution with the laser is caused by the scattering effect. Many suppliers still referred to this as a Tyndall effect.
Enough of this nonsense argument over colloidal versus ionic silver. What is an ion? An ion is a single atom of an element which is either missing (positive charge) or has an excess (negative charge) of one or more electrons. A single atom of a substance is still of that substance. Anyone who can argue against this is either trying hard to sell you something or sadly misinformed. A few minutes with Google will clear up the matter. Search "what is an atom? What is a particle? What is an element?" It is that simple.
Now that I've got that off my chest I would like to theorize a bit on how the colloidal silver ions that we make ourselves may act to our benefit. Please keep in mind that I am woefully inept in the area of biochemistry.
Metal atoms form positive ions, while non-metal atoms form negative ions. The strong electrostatic forces of attraction between oppositely charged ions are called ionic bonds.
Let's have a look at the anatomy of a bacteria: http://www.microrao.com/micronotes/anatomy.pdf
Our silver will have to pierce the cell wall of the bacterium. The most important component of the cell wall of the most virulent bacteria such as is Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, Salmonella and Streptococcus pneumoniae are composed of an endotoxin called lipopolysaccharide. These endotoxin molecules carry a negative charge. http://www.jimmunol.org/content/161/10/5464.full.pdf
The positively charged single atoms of silver (ions) will eagerly bind with them, disabling their function. The destruction of these bacteria would explain the Herxheimer effect experienced to some degree by people using colloidal (ionic) silver for the first time who are infected by one of these organisms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipopolysaccharide
The preceding has been offered as an encouragement for discussion. I am eminently unqualified in the area of biochemistry. Feel free to comment, please. It's also always good to cite references.