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What Are the Health Benefits of Negative Ions?

Allergy sufferers might see some slight benefits from the use of a negative ion generator.
Some small studies suggest that negative ion generators can increase serotonin levels, thus possibly easing symptoms of depression and other mental illness.
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  • Written By: Ron Marr
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2014
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Non-traditional methods of health care are very popular in our present culture. Some practices once considered ridiculous, such as acupuncture, are now quite acceptable within the mainstream of medical thought. The trends for alternative treatments come and go, and while many are eventually proven to be little but latter day snake oil, some seem to hold promise. To a degree, the health benefits of negative ions fall into this latter category.

There is much debate concerning negative ions, both pro and con. Most companies manufacturing these devices make a number of grandiose claims, all largely unproven. However, this is not to say that the claims lack a certain amount of validity. The ion generators may well contribute to good health, however the stridency of the advertising should be taken with a grain of salt.

One will usually read that ion generators clean the air of dust and dust mites, animal dander, and mold spores. It will often further be stated that negative ions can kill harmful germs and bacteria, and do away with smoke and unwanted odors. Normally, the sales pitch touts the generators as a boon to those who are afflicted with allergies or asthma. Some models are even equipped with an ultra-violet filter that is supposed to aid in the cleansing process.

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The truth of the matter is that negative ion generators do remove a certain amount of particulates from the air. However, several clinical studies have shown that their effectiveness is often exaggerated. Machines producing negative ions can run into hundreds of US Dollars (USD) or more, and the consumer would be wise to consider all claims carefully. The generators might help asthma and allergy sufferers, but they are far from a miracle cure. People may have better results avoidign allergens as much as possible and consulting with a healthcare professional on possible drug therapies.

Some proponents say that negative ions may help those afflicted with depression, moods disorders, chronic fatigue, or seasonal affected disorder. In this case, there have not been enough large scale, clinical studies conducted to either validate or invalidate the efficacy of negative ions. However, some smaller studies do indicate that exposure to negative ions may well increase the levels of serotonin in the bloodstream. Serotonin is a chemical produced naturally in the body that leads to mood enhancement.

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anon359702
Post 17

If you do enough research online, you will find that negative ions are indeed beneficial to our human health. The product was widely used in Japan over 40 years but only a few years in this part of the world. I didn't understand until I wore the garments and bought the ion-converter by Dr. Noboru Horiguchi. There are no known side effects and it is not a oral product.

anon347419
Post 16

I am doing a science fair project to see if Himalayan mountain salt lamps give off negative ions any more than a homemade salt lamp. This website really helped!

anon326047
Post 14

We forget that negative ions are discovered by Einstein, because his sister was ill and she made a full recovery in the mountains where there are lots of negative ions in the air.

anon323767
Post 13

The ionflow 50 from LightAir appears to have a very good effect on the nano-particles, but these are more dangerous due to ability to penetrate the respiratory system.

There are numerous tests from the Swedish Government Test Department showing its efficacy.

It was also tested to only give <0.002ppm Ozone, though they claim it generates billions of -ions.

anon321087
Post 12

One other thing to consider with wearing Teviron/Nefful products to generate all those wonderful negative ions: Teviron is made from PVC, a type of plastic. There has been quite a lot of research that have been published to show that PVC is hazardous, and its known side effects, include being a cancer causing agent as well as potentially affecting fetal/childhood development.

anon302604
Post 11

@ Planch: "just another reason to take the advertising with a grain of salt." More like: Would be a good reason to do some research yourself, or be aware of the companies exaggerated claims.

When a company makes a good product with valid benefits, can they advertise it? Or does that in itself make for false claims?

Also, the amount of ozone is so small it and unstable (doesn't remain in that state) that it is inconsequential - ozone generators are another matter. Even then, the amount produced for odor elimination is nothing. Industrial cleaning though, can be deadly!

I suggest that if someone is looking to benefit from cleaner air, that they do some reading first and not just ignore the material put out by the companies.

@ Zenmaster: The negative ions clean the air by neutralizing the positively charged particles. Then then can fall to the ground or be collected more easily in an air filter.

By the way, everyone knows that negative ions are healing, and positive ion environments cause numerous problems. Who is the author to say there hasn't been enough research to validate or refute? When is there enough? How "large-scale" does it need to be?

anon302115
Post 10

I recently attended a conference in which there were claims that ions shrink fibroids and prevent prostatic hypertrophy. How true is this?

anon279759
Post 9

Vicwell's "Returning to Source" claims to generate 20 million negative ions but when tested it only produce 5 million. Vicwell Biomedical Pte Ltd verbally gives 2 years warranty but does not even provide a warranty card. Never buy from this company, it is a cheat.

anon166050
Post 8

I also want to know if there is really a health benefit to wear a negative ion bracelet to control your high blood pressure?

anon165893
Post 7

The health benefits of anions are well documented. Anions are integral in the function of nearly all cellular activity. A shortage of anions has severe medical consequences. The challenge is getting a large enough quantity close enough for long enough. This was remedied in Japan 38 years ago with the invention of anion generating clothing called teviron sold by Nefful now available in the U.S.

anon122000
Post 5

is it really true that negative ions could possibly makes you strong and heals sickness? i saw a demonstration showing how powerful it was by pressing only the tip of a hair and you could carry a 65kg human being. is it really possible? -- diva

anon110001
Post 4

@Planch, CopperPipe, zenmaster: Do your homework. There are many studies done on this subject.

Planch
Post 3

I had even heard that those negative ion machines could cause health risks.

Apparently they give off ozone, which can get to dangerous levels, and cause respiratory problems, particularly for people who don't have the best lungs to begin with.

Just another reason to take the advertising with a grain of salt.

CopperPipe
Post 2

@zenmaster -- What happens is that negative ions attract things with a positive charge, in the case of a home's atmosphere, small particles of pollen and dust.

However, since the negative ions themselves are so small, they can't attract heavier pieces, and it is generally believed that the effects of negative ions on air are exaggerated.

zenmaster
Post 1

So how exactly do negative ions clean the air? It seems like a lot of air filters incorporate negative ions as part of their advertising, but is there any science behind it?

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