Negative Ions

Negative Ions

“Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental

energy.”

---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