Decades of evidence has accumulated to suggest that lithium is actually a nutritionally essential mineral for humans, like calcium, zinc, or potassium. A diet too low in lithium can cause a deficiency disease which is ruinous to your health. In this sense, the treatment of bipolar disorder with lithium salts is an early example of conventional medicine embracing a fundamentally orthomolecular therapy, like the use of niacin against high cholesterol levels. To get the newly discovered neuroprotective and even the neuroregenerative powers produced by the biological processes of Lithium Orotate!
Lithium Orotate first gained prominence amongst health-conscious people as a nutritional supplement following the work of Dr. Hans Nieper in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He – and other nutritionally-oriented physicians after him – achieved excellent results using very low doses of lithium in this organic form with his patients.
Some studies show that Lithium Orotate may be better absorbed by the brain than the prescription lithium salts; as well, some of the unique effects of Lithium Orotate appear to come from lithium’s ability to increase the metabolism of orotate into RNA (the molecules that carry the instructions from the DNA in the cell’s nucleus into the body of the cell, to instruct the cell’s machinery to assemble the right protein) – an effect which could be important to lithium’s neurotrophic powers. Studies have found that people living in areas with low lithium have higher rates of neurosis, schizophrenia, psychosis, mental ward admissions, homicide, suicide, forcible sexual assault, burglary, and runaways.
Lithium Orotate – Test
Lithium orotate is a very economical nutrient to test yourself on. Each bottle contains 200 – 125mg tablets and it only takes an average of 7 days at 2x’s/day to saturate your system and start really feeling the emotional flow this supplement produces.
Let’s examine some reason you want to take Lithium Orotate:
- Lithium orotate has proven very useful in the treatment of a variety of diseases. Due to its physical characteristics, it displaces sodium in the cellular system. Apparently, its desirable therapeutic effects are related to this fact.
- Lithium salt of orotic acid (lithium orotate) preferentially moves to those cell systems we want to affect, for example, the cells of the connective structure of the brain (the glia cells), the cells of the heart’s pacemaker and the heart’s stimulus conduction system, and the bone marrow cells.
- According to Dr. Kline’s studies, in New York, 37% of alcoholics are favorably influenced by lithium carbonate; the figure for lithium orotate would presumably be closer to 70%. In addition, neither the alcoholic nor the emotionally disturbed likes to have to constantly run to the laboratory for lithium controls, as the therapy with the orthodox lithium carbonate requires.
- Major role in relieving depression being especial effective in combating bipolar disorder
- Great for migraines or frequently recurring headaches. It is also effective against epilepsy.
- The active mineral transporter lithium orotate activates white blood cells and blood levels do not need to be checked. The same applies to the use of lithium transporters to treat manic depression.
- The long-term treatment of liver inflammation is possible by means of the calcium and lithium orotates.
The following are excerpts and quotes from an article
by Ward Dean, M.D. and Jim English.
Lithium and Depression (Manic and Bipolar Disorder)
The orotic form of lithium is transported directly to the intracellular membranes of mitochondrial, lysosomes and the glia cells. It stabilizes the lysosomal membranes and prevents the enzyme reactions that are responsible for sodium depletion and dehydration effects of other lithium salts making it a far superior source than the pharmaceutical forms of lithium and far safer too. Lithium protects against the shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex and the reductions in glial cell density, which are otherwise seen in bipolar depression. It may provide the growth-promoting support necessary to restore, enhance, and maintain normal synaptic connectivity.
Lithium has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for manic-depressive illness (bi-polar disorder). Normally these patients are given antidepressant drugs which are known to deplete body stores of L-carnitine and Taurine. These amino acids should be supplemented using several grams daily to ameliorate the adverse side effects of these drugs.
Of course it would be better to avoid these drugs all together and that is what Lithium Orotate enables many to accomplish. This is an important consideration, especially when the therapeutic dose of lithium orotate for cases of severe depression is 150 mg/day (1-2 tablets), compared to 900-1800 mg of the prescription forms. In this dosage range, there are no adverse lithium side effects and no need for blood monitoring.
Recent Lithium Research: Evidence suggests that people with mania or depression may lose brain cells. Lithium may thwart that cell death. A study by Chuang and his colleagues reveals that lithium protects brain cells from being stimulated to death by glutamate, one of the many chemicals that transmit messages in the brain. Their new data suggest that lithium may calm overexcited areas of the brain or, more provocatively, preserve the life of brain (glial) cells whose presence guards against manic depression. It was also reported that it does take a week or two for the neuro-protective effects of lithium to fully take place.
Lithium supplementation shields neurons and intact brains alike against insults as wide-ranging as excessive doses of anticonvulsant medications, deprival of growth factors or essential electrolytes, the Alzheimer’s protein beta amyloid, and neurotoxins like oubain, quinolinic acid, and MPP+. Lithium supplements decrease the number of brain cells killed by experimental strokes by 40%, and help the animals to recover their balance and motility more quickly. Remarkably, most of these benefits can be gained even after the model stroke is over. Lithium supplements also aid brain regeneration in animal models of Huntington’s disease.
Lithium Orotate provides defense against excitotoxicity (the frying of brain cells by over stimulation). It does this through precision modulating of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMA) receptor’s response to the stimulatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate binds to a cell surface protein of the NMDA receptors when it excites a cell. Normally, activation of the NMDA receptor by glutamate triggers an influx of calcium ions, setting off a signaling cascade inside cells. However, cells treated with lithium let in far less calcium when exposed to glutamate. Lithium has a “push/pull” effect on glutamate raising its levels when they are too low and lowering them when they are too high by modulating it reuptake. This balancing act helps to prevent both excessive stimulation (which kills brain cells and inadequate activation of the NMDA receptor which interferes with normal activation and function of nerve cells needed for mood and memory. In people with manic depression, lithium may correct a dysfunction of the NMDA receptor by limiting calcium influx, speculates Chuang.
Lithium Orotate increases levels of the major neuroprotective protein bcl-2 in brain cells. Bcl-2 is a cell survival protein which inhibits cell death in response to a wide range of neurotoxins and cellular stressors, including large doses of cortisol (prednisone), ionizing radiation, free radicals, chemicals that deplete brain cells of the antioxidant reduced glutathione (GSH), and deprivation of crucial brain growth factors. Beyond its abilities to protect brain cells from toxic assault, it’s now emerging that lithium, acting through bcl-2, also helps to regenerate nerve cells, activating a genetic program (the ERK/MAP kinase pathway) that stimulates the growth of new axons and promoting the sprouting of new neurites (the branching “tips” of nerve cells which bridge the gap between neurons).
And perhaps most excitingly of all, lithium inhibits the activity GSK-3, an enzyme, which promotes the formation of the key pathological features of brains under assault by Alzheimer’s disease. GSK-3 is involved in forming the ‘tangles’ that characterize the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. So damping down the activity of GSK-3 would be expected to reduce tangle formation. And in animals given a gene that causes them to overproduce the precursor to the brain-wrecking amyloid beta protein, lithium supplements interfere with the formation of amyloid beta peptides and prevent plaque formation. This has led to the recommendation that the use of lithium in “experimental trials aimed to ameliorate neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease should be considered.”
Lithium Orotate supplementation increases levels of N-acetylaspartate (a marker of brain cell viability and function). But more than that: Researchers have documented increases in grey matter in humans taking lithium supplements for just four weeks – with the largest increases occurring in the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for moving short-term memories into long-term storage, and which is the first and most severely-hit area of the brain in victims of Alzheimer’s disease. Importantly, these selective effects were specifically observed in areas where atrophy had previously occurred.
From Dr. Nieper: Lithium Orotate Improves Liver Function
Dr. Nieper points out that “it is not unusual for orthodox medicine to be quite helpless in the treatment of chronic liver ailments, especially chronic immunological liver inflammation. In these chronic liver inflammations…the continued release of lysosomal enzymes plays a role. These are very aggressive, cell-destroying enzymes released by little bubbles in the cell plasma known as lysosomes. These lysosomes exist not so much in the liver cells themselves, as the cells of the liver’s supportive connective tissue. One could attempt to seal the walls of these lysosomal bubbles, to prevent the release of these aggressive enzymes. In fact, a possibility for this exists. It is feasible to release calcium at the lysosome membranes by specifically transporting it there. This can be achieved by means of the special compound, calcium orotate.
In addition, the sodium content in these bubbles – and especially in their walls – must be kept as low as possible, i.e., sodium must be specifically displaced. This can be done by transporting sodium-displacing lithium to these sites using lithium-orotate. Another possibility for removing part of the sodium from the liver is given by the use of Taurine. This is a substance produced by large saltwater fish to remain “sweet” inside, and not as salty as the surrounding seawater.” (Please note any free form amino acid, such as Taurine, must be taken with Vitamin B6 in order to be absorbed efficiently. Why the manufacturers, many of whom know this don’t put B6 into their products confounds me.)
The famous mineral springs of Europe, such as Vichy in France, all have high lithium waters and are in high demand for liver cures. One of its mechanisms of action is displacing sodium with lithium in liver cells. This has the effect of softening the liver and facilitating other medicines into the liver. This form of lithium does not build-up in the blood to dangerous levels as the carbonate, citrate, and acetate forms do. This is simply because it’s absorbed by the cells much more readily than other forms.
Lithium orotate is often used with calcium orotate for high liver enzymes. Clinically we use it for addiction control/withdrawal, depression, headaches, and mania. For normal applications we use 1 tablet 2 – 3x daily, addiction control requires higher doses. Occasionally some patients will experience more fatigue, if so lower the dose.
Lithium Orotate’s role in Heart Disease
“A deficiency of hydrogen and chloride ions in tissues – especially in the heart and in blood vessel walls – increases the risk of cardiac infarction as well as that of hardening of the vessels, arteriosclerosis, kidney damage and high blood pressure, states Dr. Nieper”. He continues: “It is a widely practiced bad habit in orthodox medicine to prescribe diuretics or saluretics to cardiac and blood pressure patients, i.e., medications which increase urine and sodium chloride secretion. In this way the body is further depleted of hydrogen and chloride ions, as well as calcium. This further increases cardiac infarction risk. The use of these agents may shorten the life expectancy of a cardiac patient more than if they were not used at all. This was quite a shock for the followers of orthodox medicine, while metabolic physicians have long been familiar with this situation. It is at least necessary, when using such water eliminating medications, to replace the lost chloride and hydrogen ions. The administration of Taurine and Lithium Orotate, as well as potassium orotate, to improve water secretion is better yet. Even though this disastrous report on the negative side effects of diuretics was published some time ago, the misuse continues unabated, as can be generally observed.
Other Uses of Lithium Orotate
Vision/Eye Health: Dr. Nieper also reported that this form of lithium resulted in improvement in vision and reduction of intraocular pressure in patients with myopia and glaucoma.
Fibromyalgia/Blood Sugar/Graves: There is also some evidence that lithium may help to relieve fibromyalgia and to improve blood sugar metabolism in diabetics; as well, lithium is well-established as a therapy for Graves’ disease.
Epilepsy: Taurine has been a routine prescription against migraine and epilepsy for 25 years. The already mentioned Lithium Orotate is also effective against migraine and epilepsy
Lithium Orotate may improve ones ability to achieve Pregnancy
It is thought that women deficient in Lithium take a longer period of time to achieve pregnancy, needing more inseminations to conceive. When they do conceive the low levels of lithium may be responsible for low birth weight and abnormal lipid metabolism. Lithium deficiency is associated with depressed immune systems, chronic inflammation, splenic atrophy, excessive iron buildup and calcium deposits in the blood vessels. Moreover, the activity of enzymes involved in mitochondrial energy production is depressed by lithium deficiency. These children may become less assertive in social groupings and less attentive to stimuli.
Personal Testimonial: I’ve been taking Lithium Orotate for the past few weeks and my own daughter asked why I was being so nice all of a sudden. It has had a dramatic affect on my mood and my interactions with others. I find myself much happier more of the time and life’s constant upheavals seldom faze me.
In my practice I do the following INSTANT ALLERGY RELIEF clearings for clients who need Lithium
- Malfunction of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors along with glutamate
- Abnormal functioning of the Bcl-2 cell survival protein
- For the GSK-3 enzyme; to deactivate it and stop the formation of neuronal ‘tangles.’
- For instances of Amyloid Beta Peptide and the neurotoxin like oubain, quinolinic acid and MPP+