Recently there has been a lot of buzz about this supplement. I wrote about it a few years ago, so it is time to refresh the topic.
Many people associate it mainly with psychiatry. And indeed it is sometimes prescribed as a treatment for some disorders. However, it must be emphasized that this is something completely different – as a prescription drug it is administered in doses hundreds or thousands of times higher than those contained in supplements, as a result of which its therapeutic effect results from overdosing and – literally – symptoms of mild intoxication.
For the average person, much more interesting are the consequences of a deficiency of this element, as well as the benefits resulting from either supplementing it, or from even slightly exceeding the recommended standards, but not to the point of intoxication.
Probably the best known is its effect in preventing suicide – in statistical studies, high concentrations in drinking water halved the risk.
Even more interesting are the results of a study conducted in Texas, where its concentration in water helped predict not only the number of suicides, but also robberies, rapes, and abuse of certain drugs.
It’s kind of scary when you realize what percentage of our behaviors are actually not due to our conscious decisions, but to, for example, the concentration of lithium in the nervous system. Although if you think about it a bit, everyone is probably familiar with the saying “angry because hungry”, and everyone also knows that we behave differently under the influence of alcohol. Looking from this perspective, trying to change one’s personality by regulating the concentration of particular minerals and vitamins in the body is not so much abstract. “Consciousness engineering” arouses – and rightly so – internal opposition, it’s a bit against nature, “take a pill, you become someone else”. But if we look from a different perspective, maybe it is precisely without this element that we are someone else, literally “bad from hunger”?
Research on alcohol addiction is very promising. In one of them, sensational results were obtained – long-term alcoholics simply stopped drinking.
Giving the element to rats made them much less likely to drink alcohol.
This was confirmed in a double-blind study, and it’s safe to say that a lot of relationships could have been saved if lithium had been in the kitchen – and I’m not just talking about alcoholism, but the aggression that is inextricably linked to it. I don’t mean just attacks from the drinker, but also the aggression of the partner which very often drives one into alcoholism – how many men literally run away from their wives to bars…
Lithium therapy increased the amount of gray matter in the brain.
It’s hard to overstate the significance of this discovery – it’s possible that this is the beginning of the road to a cheap, easily accessible therapy to minimize the effects of stroke or surgery on this organ. It’s also possible that with a simple, inexpensive supplement, you just might become a more capable person.
Its presence in drinking water increases the life expectancy of the general population, the same study confirmed life extension in animals that received small amounts of the supplement.
Psychiatric patients who receive lithium have a markedly reduced risk of cancer.
Lithium chloride reversed (yes, reversed!) experimental atherosclerosis in mice induced by a high-fat diet.
(ah, right, I forgot, I’m on the internet, the internet knows that fat does not cause atherosclerosis.) This is supported by research on the relationship between its concentration in drinking water and atherosclerosis in humans.
Its administration delayed the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
In practice, in a patient receiving lithium for 15 months, the disease made as much progress as in 1-2 months in those who did not receive it. The progression of the disease was so slow as to be almost imperceptible. There is a separate entry about ALS:
I don’t think I need to encourage anyone to buy and use this substance anymore? It’s hard to buy it in some countries, but you can make the supplement yourself. The cheapest form is plain lithium chloride, which is a common chemical reagent. There are 112 milligrams of lithium in 1 gram of monohydrate chloride. The daily dose of the supplement should be between 4 and 20 mg (a high dose, even 20 mg for the first few days, then a lower dose of 4 mg, for example, and eventually as low as 1 mg per day after the body is saturated) . This means that dissolving 10 grams in one liter of water, in 1 milliliter (to be measured with a regular syringe) you will get 1.1 mg of lithium, similarly dissolving 20 grams in 0.5 liter you will get 4.4 mg/ml.
Of course, it is better to buy a ready-made supplement if it is available in your country.