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Lithium Health Topic
    Lithium Health Topic
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    Lithium Health Topic

    Lithium's mood-stabilizing effect has long been used for conditions such as bipolar disorder, mania, and depression. Research has indicated that lithium exerts a push/pull effect on the neurotransmitter glutamate, eventually causing it to level off in a stable zone where it can control both extremes. Lithium has also been found to normalize abnormally elevated intracellular sodium levels, which are elevated in these conditions. Study data has shown a link between increased aggressive behaviors and low levels of lithium in a population's drinking water. Similarly, higher suicide mortality has also been linked to low lithium levels. Lithium therapy has been used for degenerative mental ailments such as Alzheimer's, senile dementia, and Parkinson's disease. Lithium has the capability to alter circadian rhythms, acting to slow and alter them. Lithium has also been shown to stabilize and enhance serotonergic neurotransmission in the CNS, particularly in the hippocampus. Patients with chronic cluster headaches who were treated with lithium showed substantial improvement.

    Note: encourages personal research and a balanced view of health and nutrition topics. The links below provide a broad overview of various research findings and hypothesis on the role of nutrition in health. This information is not intended to promote any particular product. Unless noted, the articles below do not include any scientific references.

    Learn More About Lithium

    1. Lithium: Occurrence, Dietary Intakes, Nutritional Essentiality (PDF File)

      The biochemical mechanisms of action of lithium appear to be multifactorial and are intercorrelated with the functions of several enzymes, hormones and vitamins, as well as with growth and transforming factors. The available experimental evidence now appears to be sufficient to accept lithium as essential.


    2. Lithium, Bi-Polar and Circadium Clocks

      Lithium is one of the most effective drugs in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Lithium is also one of the very rare substances that is capable of altering properties of circadian rhythms.

    3. Lithium and Cluster Headaches

      The discovery of the effectiveness of lithium for the prophylaxis of cluster headache has had a major impact on the treatment of this condition. The chronic form of cluster is particularly well-suited for lithium treatment, with about 80 percent of patients substantially improved and remaining so for substantial periods of time. There is substantial evidence that lithium stabilizes and enhances serotonergic neurotransmission in the CNS, particularly in the hippocampus. Lithium has prominent effects on circadian rhythms, acting to slow and alter them.

    4. What Happened to Lithium? Antidepressant Augmentation in Clinical Settings

      Antidepressant augmentation is recommended when patients do not respond to antidepressant monotherapy. Although lithium currently has the most research support, antipsychotic medications and a second antidepressant are the most widely used augmenting agents.


    5. New Research Explains Lithium's Dual Anti-Manic/Anti-Depressive Effect

      John F. Cade discovered lithium's mood-stabilizing effect. It has long been the drug of choice in treating bipolar disorder. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School have solved the puzzle of how...lithium can effectively stabilise both the wild euphoria and the crushing melancholy that are the hallmark of manic depression, or bipolar disorder. Researchers found that...lithium exerts a push/pull effect on the neurotransmitter glutamate, eventually causing it to level off in a stable zone where it can control both extremes.

    6. Nutritional Influences on Aggressive Behavior

      There is considerable evidence that pharmacologic doses of lithium can reduce abnormal aggressive behaviors. The results of an uncontrolled study suggest that low-dose lithium derived from vegetable concentrates may have a powerful effect on mental state and behavior.


    7. Lithium May Address Aggression in Children with Conduct Disorder

      Treatment with lithium is effective in reducing aggressive behaviour in children with conduct disorder.

    8. Lithium in Drinking Water and the Incidences of Crimes, Suicides, and Arrests Related to Drug Addictions

      Using data for 27 Texas counties from 1978-1987, it is shown that the incidence rates of suicide, homicide, and rape are significantly higher in counties whose drinking water supplies contain little or no lithium.


    9. Dissolved Lithium Concentrations, Gender, Race, and the Geography of Texas Suicide Mortality Rates 1980-1998: A Correlation Study

      The results suggest that counties with lower dissolved lithium concentrations in their groundwater had significantly higher suicide mortality rates. Further research into the relationship between lithium concentrations and suicide is warranted.


    10. Natural Levels of Lithium in Drinking Water Help Reduce Suicides

      Very low levels of lithium in drinking water may help prevent suicide in the general population, according to a new study.

    11. Lithium in Scalp Hair of Adults, Students, and Violent Criminals

      Hair lithium levels are low in certain pathological conditions, e.g., heart disease, in learning-disabled subjects, and in incarcerated violent criminals.


    12. Potential Role for Lithium in Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

      Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the death of brain cells. A research team at Wayne State University School of Medicine recently reported that lithium helps keep brain cells alive, and that it should be investigated as a potential agent in the treatment of Alzheimer's.


    13. Lithium Increases Gray Matter in the Brain (PDF File)

      This is a highly significant finding and may shed light on the therapeutic mechanism of lithium.

    14. Lithium Gluconate 8% vs. Ketoconazole 2% in the Treatment of Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

      Lithium was 22% more effective than ketoconazole in giving complete remission of seborrhoeic dermatitis, with comparable safety.


    15. Lithium: The Misunderstood Mineral

      There are some very strong reasons to believe that lithium therapy will slow the progression of serious degenerative mental problems, including Alzheimer's disease, senile dementia, and Parkinson's disease.

    16. Lithium Orotate in the Treatment of Alcoholism and Related Conditions

      Lithium orotate proved useful as the main pharmacologic agent for the treatment of alcoholism.

    17. Lithium Research Excerpts

      Excerpts from scientific research on lithium.


    18. Lithium Normalizes Elevated Intracellular Sodium

      Both mania and bipolar depression are characterized by elevations of intracellular sodium concentrations. This observation has been purported to be central to the pathophysiology of abnormal moods in bipolar illness. Lithium can normalize abnormally elevated intracellular sodium levels.


    19. Lithium Enhances Axonal Regeneration in Peripheral Nerve by Inhibiting Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β Activation

      Systemic application of a clinical dose of lithium suppressed activated GSK-3β in the lesioned spinal cord to the normal level and induced extensive axonal regeneration into replanted ventral roots. Our study suggests that GSK-3β activity is involved in negative regulation for axonal elongation and regeneration and lithium, the specific GSK-3β inhibitor, enhances motoneuron regeneration from central nervous system to peripheral nervous system.


    20. Effects of Lithium on Peripheral Neuropathy Induced by Vincristine in Rats

      Several evidences show lithium could be a neuroprotective agent. Results suggest that lithium, potentially by its effects on cell survival pathways such as inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3β), can prevent both motor and sensory components of Vincristine neuropathy.


    Tags: lithium, lithium and mood, lithium and bi-polar, lithium and agression, lithium and depression, lithium and mania, lithium and alzheimer's, lithium and cluster headache, lithium and seborrheic dermatitis, lithium and alcoholism, lithium chloride, lithium mineral, lithium supplement, lithium nutritional supplement, lithium dietary supplement, lithium mineral supplement

    Lithium has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for the any of the following topics indicated in the links above: aggression, alcoholism, alzheimer's disease, bi-polar disorder, cluster headache, depression, mania, mood stabilization, sebhorreic dermatitis

    Statements on this website have NOT been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; research is ongoing. All third-party health topic links provided on this website are for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist about any health or nutrition-related questions you might have.