Lithium (low dose)

There is an excellent article on the alternative uses of Lithium which has been posted here.

If you have trouble finding Lithium orotate locally, it may be possible to purchase it from the the Digital Naturopath. Please email us regarding availability.

 


Lithium (low dose) can help with the following

Addictions  

Alcoholism Recovery

Recovering alcoholics should try Lithium Orotate. Forty-two patients hospitalized for the management of their alcoholism were given 150 mg of lithium orotate every day. It was found that lithium orotate helped improve the effectiveness of alcoholism treatment. Ten of the patients experienced no relapse for over three to ten years. 13 patients remained alcohol-free for one to two years, and the remaining 12 experienced a relapse between 6 to 12 months. Lithium orotate therapy was seen as relatively safe, with minor adverse side effects seen in some patients (muscle weakness, appetite loss, mild apathy). For these patients, symptoms subsided following the reduction of lithium orotate administration.

Over 50% of the alcoholic patients who completed this study were without relapse for over one year and 25% of them made it over 3 years without a relapse. NOTE: The discovery of decreasing mild side effects through slightly reducing lithium orotate supplementation provides further scientific evidence that lithium has no inherent toxicity when taken in smaller, reasonable dosages. -A study titled: “Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.”



 

Alcohol-related Problems

See the link between Depression and Lithium.

Forty-two patients hospitalized for the management of their alcoholism were given 150 mg of lithium orotate every day. It was found that lithium orotate helped improve the effectiveness of alcoholism treatment. Ten of the patients experienced no relapse for over three to ten years. 13 patients remained alcohol-free for one to two years, and the remaining 12 experienced a relapse between 6 to 12 months. Lithium orotate therapy was seen as relatively safe, with minor adverse side effects seen in some patients (muscle weakness, appetite loss, mild apathy). For these patients, symptoms subsided following the reduction of lithium orotate administration.

Over 50% of the alcoholic patients who completed this study were without relapse for over one year and 25% of them made it over 3 years without a relapse. NOTE: The discovery of decreasing mild side effects through slightly reducing lithium orotate supplementation provides further scientific evidence that lithium has no inherent toxicity when taken in smaller, reasonable dosages. -A study titled: “Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.”



 

Addictions / Addictive Tendencies

See the link between Depression and Lithium.

Using 10 years of data accumulated from 27 Texas counties, researchers found that the incidence of homicide, rape, burglary, and suicide, as well as other crimes and drug use, were significantly lower in counties whose drinking water supplies contained 70-170 micrograms of lithium per liter than those with little or no lithium in their water.



Aging  


 

Alzheimer's Disease

There are many research findings that strongly suggest that lithium will protect against potential Alzheimer’s disease and slow the progression of existing cases. Researchers have reported that lithium inhibits beta-amyloid secretion, and also prevents damage caused by beta-amyloid protein once it’s been formed. Beta-amyloid peptide is a signature protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease: the more beta-amyloid protein, the worse the Alzheimer’s becomes. Overactivation of a brain cell protein called tau protein also contributes to neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, as does the formation of neurofibrillary tangles Lithium inhibits both of these nerve-cell damaging problems.



 

Premature/Signs of Aging

The amounts of lithium recommended for brain anti-aging range from 10 to 20mg (from lithium aspartate or lithium orotate) daily.



Autoimmune  

Hyperthyroidism

In 1972, Mayo Clinic researchers published the first clinical investigation of lithium treatment for Graves’ disease. Using high-dose lithium for 10 individuals, they reported that thyroid hormone levels fell by 20-30% within five days.

Twenty-six years later, in a review of more than 10 successful trials of lithium therapy for Graves’ disease, the authors wrote: “a small number of studies have documented its [lithium’s] use in the treatment of patients with Graves’ disease… it’s efficacy and utility as an alternative anti-thyroid [treatment] are not widely recognized…”. They also note lithium’s rapid effect: “Lithium normalizes [thyroid hormone] levels in one to two weeks…” But they also caution that “toxicity precludes its use as a first-line or long-term therapeutic agent.” Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, MD suggests that If they’d just added flaxseed oil and vitamin E to their treatment, they would have basically eliminated the risk of toxicity.



Circulation  

Increased Risk of Stroke

Research in experimental animals with deliberately induced ischemic strokes has shown that lithium reduces the areas of cell death.



Immunity  

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

One small study examined three women suffering from fibromyalgia, none of whom had responded to conventional treatment. When researchers added lithium (lithium carbonate 300mg two to four times daily) to the women’s current treatment, all three noticed a marked reduction in their symptoms of pain and stiffness. Laboratory testing in these patients showed no evidence of lithium toxicity to the thyroid or kidneys.



Infections  

STD Herpes II

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of lithium carbonate (doses ranging from 150-900 milligrams daily) demonstrated “a consistent reduction in the number of herpes episodes per month, the average duration of each episode, the total number of infection days per month, and the maximum symptom severity. In contrast, treatment with placebo resulted in an increase in three of the four severity measures.”



 

CMV Infection

One research group reported that lithium inhibits the reproduction of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HSV 1, HSV 2), adenovirus (the “common cold” virus), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (associated with mononucleosis and many cases of chronic fatigue), and the measles virus.



 

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

One research group reported that lithium inhibits the reproduction of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HSV 1, HSV 2), adenovirus (the “common cold” virus), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (associated with mononucleosis and many cases of chronic fatigue), and the measles virus.



 

Colds and Influenza

One research group reported that lithium inhibits the reproduction of several viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HSV 1, HSV 2), adenovirus (the “common cold” virus), cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (associated with mononucleosis and many cases of chronic fatigue), and the measles virus.



Lab Values  

Low White Count

Neutropenia (especially as a result of chemotherapy) may be restored by the use of Lithium. Lithium stimulates stem-cells so you may see an increase in RBC’s and platelets also.



Mental  

Anxiety

See the link between Depression and Lithium.



 

Poor Memory

Low dose lithium can have brain regeneration effects.



 

Bipolar Disorder, Manic-Depressive

A limited amount of testimonial evidence exists in support of the use of lithium orotate (150mg per day) in this condition. This is an OTC product.



Metabolic  

Headaches, Cluster

Lithium carbonate, orotate or aspartate has been found to be effective in treating chronic cluster headaches, possibly due to its ability to impact the electrical system within the brain. The usual dose for the carbonate form is 300mg 2-3 times daily. Lithium levels should be checked and kept within, or even slightly below, the therapeutic range for bipolar disorder, namely 0.5 to 1.5 milliequivalents per liter.

One study examined lithium’s effects on 19 men with cluster headaches. Eight had rapid improvement ( 85% reduction) in their “headache index” in just two weeks. Four individuals had both cluster headaches and psychiatric symptoms; these four had almost complete elimination of their headaches. The remaining seven had only a slight benefit. Another research group tried lithium therapy (again, relatively high quantities) for 14 individuals with cluster headaches. Five individuals had complete disappearance of their headaches, four had significant improvement, and four had no change.



Musculo-Skeletal  

Gout / Hyperuricemia

A JAMA article from the 1880s noted that uric acid could be made more soluble (less likely to crystallize) if lithium were added to the solution containing uric acid. Therefore some doctors recommend lithium orotate at a dose of 5-10mg TID, along with vitamin C at 1-2gm TID, which often prevents the recurrence of symptoms.



Nervous System  

Seizure Disorder

Anti-convulsant medications cause abnormal levels of brain cell death. However, lithium significantly protects against this type of cell death. This effect is so pronounced that it has been called “robust”.



 


Risks  

Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia

There are many research findings that strongly suggest that lithium will protect against potential Alzheimer’s disease and slow the progression of existing cases. Researchers have reported that lithium inhibits beta-amyloid secretion, and also prevents damage caused by beta-amyloid protein once it’s been formed. Beta-amyloid peptide is a signature protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease: the more beta-amyloid protein, the worse the Alzheimer’s becomes. Overactivation of a brain cell protein called tau protein also contributes to neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, as does the formation of neurofibrillary tangles Lithium inhibits both of these nerve-cell damaging problems.



Skin-Hair-Nails  


Key

May do some good
Likely to help

Glossary

Orotate

An oratic acid salt (nucleic acid); an effective molecule for transporting minerals through cellular membranes. Functions as an essential part of every living cell.

Naturopathy

Medical practice using herbs and other various methods to produce a healthy body state by stimulating innate defenses without the use of drugs.

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