Reprinted from The Readers Digest
Transcript from CBS News 2/14/95 6:30-7:00 PM with Connie Chung in reference to the above negative ion study.
Connie Chung, co-anchor: This is the age of wonder 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 blues. Is it possible that changing the air you breath 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 around 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 I was depressed during the winter.
Bob Arnot: Doctors at Columbia demonstrated the use of this machine (The VI-2000 High Density Negative Ionizer is Shown and Visually Seen) to pump high-density negative ions into the air surrounding Mahala Holmes to treat her depression, known as seasonal affective disorder.
Ms Mahala Holmes: While I was on treatment, (Ms Holmes is SEEN using the VI-2000 High Density Negative Ionizer) I felt excited, I felt energized. I felt alive.
Bob Arnot: Here’s why. Level of brain chemical responsible for mood, called serotonin, are often lower in cases of season depression. Serotonin levels can be elevated by increased exposure to light or by antidepressants 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.
Bob 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.
Bob 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 because they haven’t found the satisfaction they want from mainstream medicine…… Dr. Bob Arnot, CBS Evening News, New York.