OxyFile #153


NEGATIVE IONS & MOOD/SLEEP/COGNITIVE ABILITY ETC.

Dear Net friends,

My interest in negative ions has taken me on quite a journey.  I have 
sifted through many abstracts and quite a bit of information and 
following is what I learned.

I am particularly excited about negative ions because I, personally, 
have had good success using the generator.  After only 2 or 3 days I 
was sleeping much better.  I have had insomnia problems for years, and 
before this, nothing other than sleeping pills has ever worked for me.  
About 3 weeks after plugging it in, I find that my mood is elevated.  
I ordered a small machine for my car, and another desk machine for my 
office.  I have always suffered from the side effects of the anti-
depressent medication, so finding relief without those side effects is 
very exciting.  I am not offering this as a therapy, just sharing some 
research.  Since everyone reading this information is in front of a 
computer, the last article showing that cathode ray tubes emit 
POSITIVE ions (which are the opposite of negative ions) should be of 
interest.  I called my local Computer City where a tech told me that 
all computers, other than lap tops with liquid crystal displays) use 
cathode ray tubes.

I received a large number of email letters from members of groups that 
I posted to.  Many of you have asked different questions.  Quite a few 
asked where I bought my high density negative ion generator.  I bought 
it from NSMI 1-800-706-3724.  I paid $109.95 plus $5.00 shipping for 
mine.  Also, it came with a "try it, get your money back if you don't 
like it" guarantee.  It gave me the confidence to order it.  

This is not a new area of research.  Just one that appears not to have 
been publicized well, for reasons that I do not know.    

The benefits of exposure to relatively high concentrations of negative 
ions produced by high density negative ion generators have been well 
documented over decades.  Literally dozens of studies published in 
respected journals have concluded that negative ions can have a 
profoundly beneficial effect on both the mind and body.  Listed here 
are some excerps from just a few of the scientific studies on the 
subject of negative ions. 

The most recent and exciting study was published in the February, 1995 
issue of "Journal of Alternative and Comparative Medicine", a journal 
of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.  The results of this 
study were also reported on CBS News with Connie Chung.

Researchers Dr. Michael Terman (head of Columbia's Winter depression 
dept.) and Dr. Jiuan Su Terman conducted a study of the impact of 
negative ion therapy on people suffering from seasonal affective 
disorder (winter depression)--an illness that is often symptomatically 
indistiguishable from "all-year" depression; researchers believe that 
the biology of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is very similar to 
that of "all-year" depression, hence, the same antidepressant drugs 
(such as Prozac) are used to treat both.

The study was conducted in double blind fashion and divided clinically 
depressed subjects into two groups.  The subjects in the first group 
were treated for 30 minutes a day for 20 days with a low density ion 
generator that produced only 10,000 ions/cubic centimeter (the control 
group).  The subjects in the second group were treated for 30 minutes 
a day for 20 days with a high density ion generator that produced 
2,700,000 ions/cubic centimeter (the experimental group).  The 
remission or "cure" criterion used was a 50% or greater reduction in 
symptom frequency and severity using the SAD version of the Hamilton 
Depression Rating Scale.  The results of this study shocked the 
medical community:    While a low density negative ion generator 
provided little benefit, a high density negative ion generator gave 
relief from depression comparable to that given by Prozac and other 
antidepressants, without drug side effects.  

The following is a transcript from CBS News  2/14/95  6:30-7:00 PM, 
Connie Chung.  To order your own "official" copy call Burell's 
Transcripts at 1-800-777-8398.

Connie Chung, co-anchor:  This is the age ofwonder drugs and high-tech 
cures, but alternative treatments, from herbs to acupuncture, have 
true believers, too, even among some mainstream doctors and 
researchers.  Latest case in point: the wintertime blue.  Is it 
possible that changing the air you breateh can treat those negative 
vibes and actually relieve depression?  Dr. Bob Arnot has the story.

Dr. Bob Arnot:  If the blustery winds of winter blowing across the 
nation this week are bringing you down, there's good reason.  
Researchers now believe that the ill winds strip away highly charged 
subatomic particles called Negative Ions from the air aruound us, 
contributing to a seasonal form of depression.

Ms Mahala Holmes (patient):  As far back as I can recall, I had 
feelings, of dreading the winter and ... and went through this kind 
depression.

Dr. Arnot:  Doctors at Columbia demonstrated the use of this machine 
to pump high-density negative ions into the air surrounding Mahala 
Holmes to treat her depression, known as seasonal affective disorder.

Ms Mahala Homes:  While I was on treatment, I felt excited, I felt 
energized. I felt alive.

Dr. Arnot:  Here's why.  Level of brain chemical responsible for mood, 
called seratonin, are often lower in cases of season depression.  
Serotonin levels can be elvated by increased exposure to light or by 
antidepressients like Prozac.  Researchers say negative ions may also 
increase brain levels of serotonin.

Dr. Michael Terman:  (Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center): People 
noticed that daytime energy was returning to normal levels.  They lost 
that pressure for increased sleep, the difficulty awakening in time to 
get to work.

Dr. Arnot:  A study in the current "Journal of Alternative and 
Complementary Medicine" concluded that 58 percent of patients treated 
with high-density negative ions had significant relief of their 
symptoms, almost identical to the number improved with drugs, but 
without drug side effects.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal (National Institute of Mental Health):  From a 
scientific point of view, it's very exciting.  It needs to be 
replicated. 

Dr. Arnot:  The whole idea of using negative ions as a legitimate 
medical treatment may seem just a little bit odd.  But while many 
doctors are still highly skeptical about alternative medicines, more 
and more Americans are turning to them becuase they haven't found the 
satisfaction they want from mainstream medicine.
 
This is not the first study to prove the benefits of negative ion 
generators.  About 15 years ago, a double-blind study was conducted at 
the Air Force Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-
Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  The study was published in the 
August, 1982 issue of the prominent medical journal "Aviation, Space, 
and Environmental Medicine" in an article entitled "Subjective 
Response to Negative Air Ion Exposure."  The study was conducted as 
follows, quoting from page 822 of the journal: 

"Procedure:  One group of subjects served as controls and was confined 
to the test chamber for a 6 hour period under air ion conditions 
typical of an energy efficient building.  The second group was 
similarly confined, but ion generators began operating 2 hours before 
occupancy and continued all 6 hours of confinement.  Generators were 
masked for all indications of operation, and were also present under 
control conditions but not turned on.  Data from both groups were 
collected under double-blind conditions."

The results of the study were encouraging, as stated on page 823 of 
the journal:

"Subjective perceptions of psychological state, using individual 
'normalcy' as standard, reflected significant differences between 
control and negative ion exposure groups.  Prominent perceptions 
reported were reductions in irritability, depression, and tenseness, 
and increases in calmness and stimulation associated with ion 
exposure...For psychological state, negative ion exposure appeared 
associated with feeling better about self, less sensitive, and more 
responsive or innervated [energized]."

In October, 1981, a journal article entitled "The Influence of 
Negative Air Ions on Human Performance and Mood," appeared in the 
respected journal, Human Factors.  On page 633 of the journal, the 
abstract of the article reads:

"44 female and 12 male 17-61 year olds were tested either in a normal-
ion environment (control group) or in a predominantly negative ion 
environment (experimental group).  After a 15-minute acclimation 
period, subjects asserted their psychological state and completed 2 
performance tasks.

Results indicate that subjects had faster reaction times and reported 
feeling significantly more energetic under negative-air-ion conditions 
that under normal-air conditions."

Later that year, in December of 1981, a study conducted at California 
State University, Sacramento entitled, "The Influence of Air Ions, 
Temperature, and Humidity on Subjective Wellbeing and Comfort," was 
published in the "Journal of Environmental Psychology".  The findings 
were encouraging.  On page 279 of the journal, the abstract of the 
article states:

"106 employees kept daily assessment records of their office 
environment and health over a 12-week period.  Temperatures about 23 
degrees Celsius were associated with increased sensations of 
stuffiness, discomfort, and unpleasantness, but appeared to produce a 
decrease in the number of complaints of headaches.  The office 
environment was found to be depleted of small air ions.  The 
introduction of a negative ion generator increased the subjective 
rating of alertness, atmospheric freshness, and environmental and 
personal warmth.  Ions reduced the complaint rate for headache by 50% 
and significantly reduced the number of complaints of nausea and 
dizziness."

Of course, much of the early research concerning negative ions has 
been conducted on animals.  One of the earliest studies of the effects 
of negative ions was published in 1935 in the "Journal of Industrial 
Hygiene" in an article, "The Effect of High Concentrations of Light 
Negative Atmospheric Ions on the Growth and Activity of the Albino 
Rat."  In it, researchers Herrington and Smith evaluate the effects of 
negatively ionized air on the activity of rats as measured by means of 
an activity wheel.  They found that activity increased significantly 
with rats subjected to a reported negative ion concentration of 1.2 
million ions/cc.

In 1956, a researcher named J.V. Brady published a study in "Annals of 
New York Academic Science" which showed that the strength of the 
conditioned emotional responses of fear and anxiety in animals can be 
dramatically reduced by the daily administration of the psychoactive 
drug reserpine.

Years later, in 1967, a similar study was conducted by Allan H. Frey 
at the Institute for Research, Pennsylvania State University, and 
published in the "Journal of Comparative and Physiological 
Psychology".  The major difference was that this time, the effect of 
reserpine was compared to that of negative ion treatment.  The study 
concluded:

"Results of 2 experiments, the 2nd essentially a replication of the 
1st, are in accordance with prediction.  The inhibition of response in 
the animal was reduced by treatment with small negative air ions, as 
it was with reserpine."

In other words, when the animals were treated with negative ions, the 
animals were less inhibited--less likely to experience fear and 
anxiety.  These results are similar to the results of experiments 
studying the anti-anxiety effects of tranquilizers such as Valium and 
Xanax.

It has also been shown that in addition to possibly having a profound 
effect on mood and energy, negative ions may have a strong impact on 
cognitive funtioning.  In 1965, in the journal "Psychophysiology", a 
study, "Behavioral Effects of Ionized Air on Rats", was published.  In 
this study, the effects of negatively ionized air on the mental 
functioning of rats was tested.  Researchers Duffee and Koontz 
reported on page 358 of the journal:  "the water-maze performance 
improved by 350%," showing a dramatic improvement in cognitive 
functioning.
 
To support that negative ions also improve the cognitive functioning 
of humans as well, in April of 1978, in the science journal 
"Ergonomics",  a study was conducted at the University of Surrey, 
England, and published in an article entitled, "Air Ions and Human 
Performance".  Once again, the results were encouraging.  On page 273, 
the article reads:

"Studied the effects of artificial negative or positive ionization of 
the air on the performance of psychomotor tasks with 45 18-26 year-old 
healthy males...Three testing environments were used:  natural, 
negative, and positive ionizations.  Negative ionization was 
associated with a significant increment in performance as compared to 
controls."

In 1984, a study was published in the "Journal of Abnormal Child 
Psychology" named, "Negative Air Ionization Improves Memory and 
Attention in Learning-Disabled and Mentally Retarded Children."  The 
effectiveness of negative ions on mental performance was put to a test 
by researching the power of negative ions to improve the cognitive 
abilities of mentally handicapped children, as well as the abilities 
of normal children.  Fourth graders were divided into three groups:  
normal, learning-disabled, and mildly mentally retarded  The results 
were encouraging--on page 353 of the journal, the article reads as 
follows:

"Half in each group were assigned randomly to an unmodified air-
placebo condition under double-blind testing procedures.  All of the 
children breathing negatively ionized air were superior in incidental 
memory...The action of negative ions on the neurotransmitter, 
serotonin, may be the mechanism by which negative ions produce such 
behavioral effects."

On page 358, the article states:

"Table I shows enhanced performance on the order of 8.4% for the 
normals, 23.6% for the learning-disabled, and 54.8% for the mildly 
retarded."

Obviously, there is research supporting the effectiveness of negative 
ions on mood, energy, and performance.  But, what are negative ions, 
and how do they benefit us?

In the magazine, "Whole Self", Spring 1991, an article appeared 
entitled "Ions and Consciousness".  It states, "Ions are charged 
particles in the air that are formed when enough energy acts upon a 
molecule, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, or nitrogen--to eject 
an electron.  The displaced electron attaches itself to a nearby 
molecule, which then becomes a negative ion.  It is the negative ion 
of oxygen that affects us most.  Remember that feeling you've 
experienced near a waterfall or high in the mountains?  Those are two 
such places where thousand of negative ions occur.  They create an 
effect on human biochemistry."

"The normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative 
ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube).  At 
Yosemite Falls, you'll experience over 100,000 negative ions per cubic 
centimeter.  On the other hand, the level is far below 100 per cubic 
centimeter of Los Angeles freeways during rush hour.

Research on ions began in the 1950s with Dr. Albert Kreuger, professor 
emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. Felix 
Sulman, professor of pharmacology at the Hebrew University in Israel.

Dr. Kreuger excited the scientific world when he discovered ions to be 
biologically active, stimulated production of the powerful chemical 
serotonin, 5-HT.  Serotonin is a very active neuro-hormone which 
causes profound neural, glandular, and digestive effects throughout 
the body."

"Dr. Sulman corroborated Kreuger's findings while studying positive 
ion victims of the hot, dry Sharav winds in Jerusalem.  He 
demonstrated three effects of positive ion excess:  irritation and 
tension, exhaustion, and hyperthyroid response.  Most of these 
conditions, along with symptoms of depression, anxiety, headaches, and 
low-energy physical and mental functions, were shown to be alleviated 
or totally eliminated by increasing the negative ion count in the 
air."

"While ionization of the air is mandatory in many European and Russian 
hospitals and workplaces, it has only recently come to light in our 
country with the growing problem of toxic air in our urban 
environments."

Unfortunately, positive ions are the opposite of negative ions and our 
computers appear to emit them.  In the Palo Alto, California 
newspaper, "The Peninsula Times Tribune", the following article 
appeared:

"Beating a case of the VODS:  Negative ions maybe an answer to the 
video blahs By William Johnson Times Tribune Staff

     REDWOOD CITY - A case fo the blahs at work may really be a case 
of the VODS
     VODS stands for Video Operator Distress Syndrome, and the 
troublesome malady is not uncommon of the millions of workers who use 
computer video display terminals.
     Charles Wallach, consultant to the Federal Drug Administration on 
the effects of working with electronic video equipment, told reporters 
in the San Mateo County Hall of Justice and Records pressroom how to 
beat a case of the VODS.
     Wallch, 64, works in Washington D.C.  He has served as a 
consultant to may government agencies and industries to create a more 
healty indoor working environment.
     The cause of the VODS, Wallach said, is a high electrostatic 
charge generated on the face of a video screen's cathode ray tube.  
Government standards protect the intrinsic safety of cathode ray 
tubes, Wallach said, but the VODS nevertheless still can do bodily 
harm.
     The charge, which may quickly reach many thousands of volts when 
the tube is energized, is not in itself a hazard.  The tube merely 
creates the hazard within the foot or so of air space between itself 
and the operator's face," Wallach said.
     Those who work too close to the face of a cathode ray tube or who 
work before a terminal for too long a time typically experience 
increased fatigue levels, eye strain, blurred vision, skin rash, 
headaches, back pains, irritability, anxiety, depression and general 
apathy. 
     While the cause of these symptoms may also be a depleted bank 
account, domestic troubles or a tyrannical boss, they can be caused by 
the computer terminal, Wallach said.
     The culprits that cause the VODS are positive ions or charged 
molecules of air, created at the face of the video display terminal.
     What are needed in the workplace, Wallach explained, are negative 
ions.  In contrast to positive ions, negatively charged molecules of 
air, or negative ions, promote a sense of well-being for people.
     Negative ions are typically found in the natural environment at 
the seashor, near waterfalls and in pine forests, Wallach explained.
     "Every place people like to be is rich in negative ions," Wallach 
said.
     Video display terminal operators need their negative ions.
     "In weighing the evidence, I am convinced that the aero-
electrostatic qualities of an indoor environment are the most 
significant single factor in the control of unavoidable air 
pollution," Wallach said.
     Mosty comonly, offices need to install equipment to generate 
negative ions in the air above the video terminal operators.  The 
devices typically look like small bristle brushed used to clean 
glasses or test tubes.  They are suspended for the celeing at the end 
of long rods.
     At the northern Santa Clara County Communications Center in Palo 
Alto City Hall, negative ion generators were installed on the ceiling 
over the dispatchers about a year and a half ago.
    Cliff Almeida, operations manager at the communications center, 
said Monday that the ionizers have definitely filtered out pipe and 
cigarette smoke.
     But he declined to speculate whether the ionizers created a 
better working environment with less stress."

As I said earlier, the negative ion generator helped me, therefore I 
personally am very excited about it.  The company that I bought mine 
from is NSMI 1-800-706-3724.  They can be reached online at 
nsminegion@aol.com.

If you have any information about negative or positive ions to share, 
send it to me at daniels333@aol.com.