I've received many questions about Seasilver, a supplement that is widely promoted on the Internet. On the Web sites I explored, the sales pitch insisted that none of us is as healthy as we think because natural killer cell function (a measure of immunity] has dropped dramatically since the early 1980s and continues to decline rapidly. I know of no evidence to support this contention.
Seasilver's manufacturer says the product contains Matrix Aloe Vera™, a proprietary "whole food" that it grows with a secret farming technique that, purportedly, produces better aloe than nature does. Among the other ingredients are "Sealogica" a proprietary blend of sea vegetables that the manufacturer claims has 50 times the nutritional value of common sea kelp and Phyto-Silver™, to remedy a supposed deficiency of silver, which the Web site says is one of our most essential trace elements. This is nonsense: the human body doesn't need silver, and no immune system disorders are related to a deficiency of it. This combination of ingredients is supposed to balance your body chemistry, cleanse your vital organs, purify your blood and lymphatic system, strengthen your immune system and on and on. Promised results weight loss (or weight gain), improved digestion, clearer thinking, stress reduction, memory enhancement. You're supposed to feel better, age more slowly and heal faster. If all this sounds too good to be true, I can assure you it is. While the manufacturer provides plenty of testimonials from satisfied users, I've seen no scientific evidence whatever that the Seasilver formula yields any of the advertised benefits.
I'm also disturbed by the assurance from the manufacturer that Seasilver contains all the nutrients required for good health and that users do not need vitamins and minerals from any other source. Furthermore, it appears that Seasilver is sold exclusively through multi-level marketing - that is, you can buy it only through distributors who make money not only through their own sales but those of the people they recruit. I'm sorry, but I'm prejudiced against these pyramid schemes - and the products they purvey. My advice? Keep your silver in your pocket.
Andrew Weil, M.D.