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Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Neuroscience

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Nutritional Lithium

Author(s): Gerald Martone*

There are numerous minerals that are critical to the human body. Are there vital elements that are also necessary for the optimal functioning of the human brain? Is lithium one of these essential minerals in the central nervous system?

Lithium is a natural salt. Drinking water is the most common source of nutritional lithium although it also occurs naturally in some plant-derived foods. Although a lithium deficiency syndrome has not been identified, people who are deficient in lithium intake can exhibit unstable moods, increased agitation, and increased rates of homicide, violent crimes, and suicide. No other medication has demonstrated a comparable effect on suicide prevention, including antidepressants. It appears that exposure to low doses of lithium exert anti-aging properties and promote longevity in humans further supporting its role as a nutritionally essential mineral.

Lithium is the oldest, and still one of the most effective, psychotropic medications. Most of the studies cited in this article describe the effects of lithium at micro-doses that can be hundreds of times lower than what is typically prescribed for the prevention of mania. Ultra-low dose lithium is not to be confused with pharmaceutical lithium. This is lithium as a nutrient, not a drug.

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