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High Density Negative Ions for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Exposure to high density negative ions may be as effective as bright light.

Regular exposure to high-density negative ions may be as effective as bright light therapy for seasonal depressed mood

I recently posted a blog on the health benefits of light. In addition to bright full-spectrum light and (to a lesser extent) dim blue or red light, emerging evidence suggests that regular daily exposure to high-density negative ions may be an effective treatment of seasonal depressed mood and may have comparable efficacy to bright light exposure for this condition.

Twenty-five depressed patients with seasonal depressed mood were randomized to high-density negative ions (2.7 × 106 ions/cm3) versus low-density negative ions (1 × 104 ions/ cm3) using in-home ion generators 30 minutes daily for three weeks. Fifty-eight percent of patients exposed to high-density negative ions experienced significant improvements in mood on standardized rating scales, compared to 15 percent of patients exposed to low-density negative ions. In a two-week randomized-controlled trial (158 subjects), patients with seasonal depressed mood were randomly assigned to bright light exposure (10,000 lux) versus high-density or low-density negative ions. Patients exposed to high-density negative ions or bright light experienced significant and equivalent improvements in mood. In another controlled trial (128 subjects), bright light exposure, a pleasing auditory stimulus, and high-density negative ions resulted in equivalent and rapid improvements in mood and alertness in mildly depressed and nondepressed adults.

No adverse effects

Adverse effects have not been reported with regular daily exposure to negative ions following the approaches used in published studies.

To learn more about non-pharmacologic therapies of depressed mood and other mental health problems read my e-books on integrative mental health care.

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