“Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental
---The Owners Manual for the Brain: Every day applications from Mind Brain Research, Pierce J. Howard Ph.D. Director of Research at the center for Applied cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.
“High levels of atmospheric anions can produce a relaxation effect in animals by decreasing activity in neural and muscular tissue. This atmospheric effect has been resorted to reduce anxiety and manic symptoms.”
--- Society for Neuroscience Abstract 8:76,1982
Negative ions are a type of antioxidant present in nature. After a walk in mountain forests, on beaches, or around waterfalls,
you feel fresh and vigorous with a calming spirit. After a walk on the busy street full of man-made concrete building, you feel
fatigued with muscles tension, and sore with heavy legs and a clouded mind.
Why does the same walking exercise in different areas have such a big difference in effect on the body? Forest and waterfall
areas are full of abundant negative ions. Negative ions can lower stress levels dramatically and help you to drift into a calmer
mental state. In man-made cities, there are a lot fewer negative ions in the air, and you are also surrounded by positive ions
from electro-magnetic fields.
Negative ions are odorless tasteless molecules that are either inhaled into our body by the respiratory system or absorbed into
our body by skin cells. An experiment conducted on electric ions and the permeability of the cell membrane showed that
positive electric ions contract the pores and sweat glands in the skin cells. The negatively charged ion has the opposite effect.
The pores and sweat glands expand when the negative ions are permeated into the surface of the skin, demonstrating the good
permeability of the cell membranes.
Metabolism is the process of exchanging oxygen, nutrients, and waste products between the bloodstream and body cells. The
good permeability of cell membranes increase the rate oxygen and nutrients diffuse into cells. At the same time, cells will have
less damage done by free radicals and toxins due to waste products are excreted at a faster rate. The more negative ions in the
blood stream, the more efficient of cell metabolism process. 85% of negative ions are absorbed by skin cells, only 15% is
inhales and absorbed through the lungs.
As the Economy Daily News states in a January 30, 2002 article: “It is well known that consuming more alkaline foods, i.e.
fruits and vegetables, is beneficial to human health. An acidic pH balance of the body, on the other hand, makes the body weak
and susceptible to sickness. Acidification of the blood, which is caused by the loss of electrons, can be prevented by negative
electric ions which contain an abundant amount of electrons improving the body’s immunity and resistance to illness.”
NEGATIVE ION AND SEROTONIN
When serotonin was first discovered and named in 1948 by Maurice M. Rapport, Arda Green, and Irvine Page of Cleveland
Clinic, serotonin literally meant substance in the “serum” to “tone” (constrict) the blood vessels. This substance was later
chemically identified as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) by Rapport, and the broad range of physiological roles were elucidated.
Serotonin is synthesized in the brain and in the gastrointestinal tract. About 80%-90% of the body’s total serotonin is found in
the enterochromafin cells in the gut. Serotonin produced from intestine cells or from oral intakes does not cross the blood-
brain barrier and doesn’t pass into the brain.
In the body, the major storage site of serotonin in the blood is platelets, and they are active where the platelets bind. It acts as
a vasoconstrictor to stop the bleeding, and it also helps in forming clots to aid healing. Due to vasoconstriction function,
serotonin slows the transportation rate of oxygen, nutrients and waste products in the bloodstream. High concentrations of
serotonin in blood serum tend to block blood microcirculation and cause muscle tension and soreness in the body. Over time,
its “wound healing” binding effect with the platelets also tends to develop plaque build-up in the arteries.
In the brain, serotonin plays an important role in anger, aggression, pain, migraines, body temperature, mood, sleep, sexuality,
appetite, and metabolism. Serotonin also stimulates vomiting.
Researchers believe that low levels of serotonin in the brainstem, which controls heart rate and breathing,
may have something to do with SIDS [sudden infant death syndrome]
High concentrations of serotonin have been associated with migraine headache attacks (from blood vessel constriction).
Overstimulation by excess serotonin can lead to acute or chronic diseases like chronic pulmonary hypertension, syndromes of
retroperitoneal fibrosis, or cardiac valve. Excess serotonin in the serum outside the platelets is metabolized in the lungs. Lungs
are one of the pathways negative ions can be absorbed into body.
Negative ions appear to reduce serotonin via enhancement of monoamine oxidase activity and help to break down serotonin in
serum. It reduces blood vessel constriction and decreases the severity of migraines or the frequency of migraines.
In A.P Kreuger’s 1976 article “Biological impact of small air ions” in Science, he reported that serotonin, a powerful
nerohormone, could be affected by the polarity and concentration of air ions breathed and led to the a hypothesis that serotonin
was involved in a mechanism of interaction between ions and biological systems. Thus an increase in negative ions would
expected to reduced serotonin levels result in mentally relaxing state.
K.T. Fornof reported in the 1988 article “Stress and physiological, behavioral and performance patterns of children under
varied air ion levels” that negative air ion increased children physiological tolerance of stressors and reduced secondary effects
of stress in behavior and performance.
Negative ion and seasonal affected depression (SAD)
According to Dr. Kathleen B. Speicher of the Student Health Center, Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis, the
common symptoms of SAD include "a change in appetite (especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods), weight gain, a
heavy feeling in the arms and legs, a drop in energy level, fatigue, a tendency to oversleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability,
increased sensitivity to social rejection and avoidance of social situations (hibernation).“
The theory behind SAD is that the winter season generally contains a far lower concentration of negative ions in the air than
the summer season. There is also evidence to suggest that the concentration of negative ions in the air may have an effect on
serotonin levels in the brain.
One research done by Michael Terman, Ph.D. and Jiuan Su Terman, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University,
and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY:
“Treatment with a high-density negative ionizer appears to act as a specific antidepressant for patients with seasonal affective disorder. The method may be useful as an alternative or supplement to light therapy and medications.
---Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder with a High-Output Negative Ionizer, The Journal of Alternative and