- Is Lithium The Drug Different Than The “Natural” Forms?
- My Experience
- The Lithium That I Use
- The Health Benefits of Lithium
- 1) Lithium is Neuroprotective
- 2) Lithium Increases Neuronal Survival
- 3) Lithium Increases Neurotrophic Factors BDNF,NGF, and GDNF
- 4) Lithium Helps Remodel The Brain and Heart (VEGF)
- 5) Lithium Induces Autophagy
- 6) Lithium Increases Neurogenesis and Improves Cognitive Function
- 7) Lithium is Calming and Stabilizes Mood
- 8) Lithium Decreases Insulin Resistance
- 9) Lithium Reduces Autoimmunity and Inflammation
- 10) Lithium Increases Bone Density
- 11) Lithium Can Helps Entrain Our Circadian Rhythm
- 12) Low Dose Lithium Increases Longevity
- 13) Lithium Combats Depression
- 14) Lithium Improves Mitochondrial Function
- Potential Risks/Negatives
- Buying Lithium
- Positive Reviews From the Web
- Amazon’s Bestsellers
Is Lithium The Drug Different Than The “Natural” Forms?
There’s much misinformation about lithium. A lot of mainstream sources (WebMD, for instance) seem to suggest that lithium prescribed as a treatment for depression or bipolar disorder (as carbonate or chloride salts and in higher doses) work differently than over the counter lithium orotate.
All the research I’ve seen talk about the ion lithium, which would make the type of lithium salt, not that relevant except for how bioavailable it is and how capable it is in crossing the brain barrier.
Some people say that the over the counter version – lithium orotate – passes the brain barrier much more efficiently than the other versions.
Even assuming the possibility of some difference in dosage, studies about one form of lithium can very likely be generalized to others.
The usual dosage taken is 5mg, but I decided to take 15mg to see what would happen. I can say that there’s definitely a subtle cognitive effect. It’s definitely got an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effect and it seemed to lengthen the period of my circadian rhythm, as I started to feel tired later on.
On the negative side, it made more zoned out. It also made me feel less attached to everything. The fact that I felt acute effects at 15mg suggests me that lithium orotate passes the brain barrier efficiently, perhaps even more so since a much higher dosage of lithium carbonate is standardly used.
Anyway, I’m glad I did the experiment so that I now know lithium orotate is definitely having an effect and I can use it in my coaching practice.
This suggests that at least some of the benefits of other lithium salts prescribed by doctors can be achieved through the orotate version commonly sold.
The Lithium That I Use
The Health Benefits of Lithium
1) Lithium is Neuroprotective
Chronic lithium treatment was found to robustly reduce glutamate-induced excitotoxicity mediated by NMDA receptors. This effect was at least partly due to lithium’s ability to inhibit the influx of calcium, which mediates NMDA receptor activity. (R)
Lithium’s neuroprotective role can help mood disorders, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (R).
2) Lithium Increases Neuronal Survival
3) Lithium Increases Neurotrophic Factors BDNF,NGF, and GDNF
4) Lithium Helps Remodel The Brain and Heart (VEGF)
5) Lithium Induces Autophagy
It has recently been recognized as a principal response to cellular stress and an important regulator of neuronal function and survival. (R)
It plays a role in the destruction of cellular pathogens and aids the cell to eliminate the pathogens. (R)
As a ‘quality control’ process, autophagy (recycling) is believed to be particularly beneficial in neurodegenerative disorders – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Huntington’s. This is because these disorders are, in part, characterized by the accumulation of misfolded disease-causing proteins. (R)
Research suggests that autophagy (recycling) is required for the lifespan-prolonging effects of caloric restriction (R) and for much of the health benefits of exercise (R). Inhibiting mTOR increases autophagy, which is part of the reason mTOR inhibition increases longevity. (R)
6) Lithium Increases Neurogenesis and Improves Cognitive Function
Lithium was found to stimulate progenitor and stem cells in cultured brain neurons in the hippocampus (memory center) and to prevent the loss of proliferation induced by glutamate or cortisol (glucocorticoids). Long-term lithium treatment then promotes the conversion of these progenitor cells into neurons. (R)
In addition, chronic lithium treatment not only enhances neurogenesis in the hippocampus (memory center) of normal mice but also restores neurogenesis in the brain in an animal model of Down syndrome (R).
It also increases neurogenesis in the subventricular zone, the only other place except for the hippocampus (memory center) that it’s been found to occur, causing a sustained increase in gray matter volume in patients (R).
Lithium increases N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) (R).
Chronic lithium treatment increases long-term potentiation (LTP) in neurons of the hippocampus, which helps with learning and memory (R).
Chronic lithium treatment may also improve learning and memory in Alzheimer’s by blocking the formation of beta-amyloid and neurofibrillary tangles (R).
7) Lithium is Calming and Stabilizes Mood
In animals, lithium consistently decreases exploratory activity and aggression. (R)
Lithium is known to have a calming and mood stabilizing effect in people as well and is used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia (R).
The presence of higher than normal levels of naturally occurring lithium in drinking water supplies may reduce suicide rates (R).
Lithium increases CCK in the brain and this is part of the mechanism by which lithium prevents mania in bipolar.
8) Lithium Decreases Insulin Resistance
9) Lithium Reduces Autoimmunity and Inflammation
10) Lithium Increases Bone Density
A study assessed bone mineral density at the hip and lumbar spine in 75 lithium-treated outpatients and 75 normal subjects matched for age, sex, and body mass index.
The study found a lower bone turnover state in those receiving lithium. The mean bone density in lithium-treated patients was 4.5% higher at the spine, 5.3% higher at the femoral neck and 7.5% higher at the trochanter (R).
The mechanism is thought to be increased levels of a protein called Wnt (R),
11) Lithium Can Helps Entrain Our Circadian Rhythm
Lithium is the drug of choice for treating patients suffering from bipolar disorder, which is characterized by the presence of mania and depression (R).
Lithium helps entrain our circadian rhythm more quickly in response to light and darkness (R).
12) Low Dose Lithium Increases Longevity
Researchers have found a positive correlation between lifespan and drinking-water lithium levels. There was a decreased risk for all causes of death in Japanese neighborhoods with higher lithium levels.
They also found that low doses of lithium improved the health and increased the lifespan of worms.
The study concluded that “long-term low-dose exposure to lithium may exert anti-aging capabilities and unambiguously decreases mortality in evolutionary distinct species.” (R)
Another study also found that lithium treatment increased both the lifespan and health of worms. The improvements in health were accompanied by improved mitochondrial function. (R)
One mechanism might be that lithium should theoretically increase NAD+, which is associated with longevity.
13) Lithium Combats Depression
Lithium is one of the best-studied strategies for resistant depression (R).
Lithium ameliorates depression in animals, in part, by increasing neural stem cells.
14) Lithium Improves Mitochondrial Function
Lithium treatment of worms increased lifespan and improved markers of health, including mitochondrial energy output (R).
Lithium may improve mitochondrial function by increasing the turnover of dysfunctional mitochondria (R).
- Lithium decreases brain inositol (R).
- Lithium increases vasopressin, which stimulates ACTH and cortisol (R).
- A common side effect that comes with lithium is fatigue. This may be a result of a significant reduction in orexin-producing cells, but there’s a tendency for the remaining cells to have a “stronger signal” in compensation (R).
- Lithium is a competitive inhibitor of magnesium, which is part of its mechanism of action (R).
- Lithium may reduce thyroid hormone levels.
- Lithium may increase inflammation in the intestines- IL-8 (R) and Nf-kB (R). If you have colitis or Crohn’s I would not take this. Colitis is caused in part by IL-8 and this increases IL-8 (R).
I generally go for lithium orotate, but lithium aspartate is also fine.
- Lithium Orotate (AMZN)
- Lithium Orotate, General search (AMZN)
- Lithium from trace minerals (AMZN) or Lithium from trace minerals (IHERB)
If you’re completely healthy, I recommend 1-2 mg a day in the long term. There is an association with low doses of lithium (1-2mg) and longevity (R).
However, I wouldn’t expect to feel anything at that dosage. I’ve been taking 1mg for quite a few months, with no noticeable effect. I’ve recently upped it to 5mg.
Positive Reviews From the Web
-These tablets have changed my life, I suffered from severe insomnia for 7 years, tried everything possibly imaginable to relieve my symptoms. This supplement has calmed my mind, and switched off my erratic moods. It has eliminated my emotional attachment to most things in life. I am now far more level headed and deal with situations much easier – life seems less stressful! I take two in the morning with vitamin b and fish oil and one in the afternoon with vitamin b Really recommend this tablet to anyone suffering from any of the above listed symptoms, anyone who has ever questioned their own sanity, dealt with depression, mood swings or those who emotionally attatch themselves to most situations – you will learn to observe life and not absorb it. Best thing i have ever done
-I have spent my whole life, trying to feel better and the deleterious effects of pharmacueticals are not worth the delivery they never produce. I have seriously never felt sustained happiness in my life. I have ADHD and I do not say or do impulsive behavior with this product.I take divided doses of 30 mgs total per day and I am calm. For those who do not suffer, it is unimaginable that one like me had to wait till I was 56 to live my life, calm cool and collected. I feel the smoothness of neurotransmission and sequential duties are no longer an issue. It is my long awaited miracle!! To say I feel JOY is an understatement!!!!!
-fantastic product from a reliable brand. the change in my mood (@5mg/day) was almost immediate and is very pronounced. it seemed to shut off the stress->depression cycle.
-I HAVE BEEN USING RX FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY FOR YEARS…THIS IS BETTER THAN ANY OF THE RX’S I HAVE TAKEN IN THE PAST WITH NONE OF THE SIDE EFFECTS!! I LOVE IT!
-Noticed it calmed me down and regulated my breathing since I am a shallow/irregular breather especially if stressed. This effect was subtle but significant. Liked the product overall and love doctor’s best brand.
-Initially purchased for mother who has alzheimers. I’ve only had her on it for about a week so I have not noticed any difference, however I figured why not try it myself. I have noticed my depression is gone and thoughts of suicide have all but disappeared! I take about 10 mg per day and figure even if it doesn’t help her, I can now cope.
-I love this product… it has brought me back to my true self. The price and the reviews caught my attention. I’ve struggled with social anxiety and depressive/manic phases for decades and tried antidepressants/antianxiety medications to no avail and comitted to finding a natural regimen instead. I’ve been taking one tablet daily sometimes a second in times of extreme stress along with vitamin c, iron, time release multi, easily digestible protein shake, and a good Fish Oil/DHA+EPA each day. At first I was taking it before bed but started taking it the morning about a month ago. It induces a sense of calm, clarity and presence. I’m able to interact with ppl more spontaneously, sleep better, and think/judge more clearly. I suggest that if anyone wants to try this, research and use with accompanying nutritional supplements. It started working for me on day 1 and I hope others discover this incredible product. Shipping to Canada took a while but I was checking the mailbox obsessively each day for the delivery.
-My husband and I both take this. No noticeable effect, but after the first week I realised we hadn’t had any outbursts of temper, or any fits of depression. Six weeks later, and the one cranky episode followed a missed tablet. I was undiagnosed cyclothymic, and with Lithium I find the unstable, silly racing head and the dull unmotivated head don’t happen. Instead I feel balanced and stable. My husband had anger management problems which, amazingly, he doesn’t have any more. We both take one or two tablets a day. They have no effect on my sensitive stomach, but for the first week or so I had to carry a bottle of water around to deal with the extra thirst. This works so well I’m a little anxious in case it becomes unavailable.
-I don’t write to many reviews but I had to for this supplement. I have been on Paxil for 5 years and had just been informed that my insurance company was raising the price on my meds. It became to expensive for me so I went looking for something else I could replace it with. I read the reviews for this Lithium and decided to try it. FYI my main issue is anxiety. I weaned myself off of the antidepressant and started taking this in its place. Well, It works! Im not having the bad withdrawals that can come with getting off of Paxil and so far, I feel great! I will continue to take this.
-My response to lithium orotate was so overwhelmingly positive, I suspect some sort of conspiracy is afoot to keep it from public knowledge. Problems with Anxiety, Insomnia, Moodiness – completely solved with this nutrient. I can’t recommend it enough.
-Excellent product. I purchased this for my 17 year old daughter who has been trying to give up her addiction to Marjiuana and has suffered from rage attacks and severe irritability. Her mood has completely evened out and she no longer suffers with irritability. Which means we all no longer suffer from her irritability. I am so pleased to have found this product on iherb
- Formulated by hans a nieper, MD of hannover, germany
- Dietary Supplement
- As an addition to the daily diet, take one tablet twice a day with meals or as directed by your health care professional
- Each bottle of Weyland: Lithium Orotate contains 60 vegetarian capsules.
- Lithium Orotate is a trace mineral that may help support and balance mood.*
- Lithium Orotate is a form of Lithium that is combined with orotic acid, which is thought to increase bioavailability relative to other forms.*
- All Weyland products are manufactured in the USA at an FDA inspected cGMP and 3rd party rated facility
- We guarantee your satisfaction, or we will refund 100% of your purchase, including shipping costs for up to one bottle of Weyland: Lithium Orotate per customer