Is Lithium Orotate Good for You

Lithium has been used for a long time to treat certain neurological disorders.  The problem with lithium carbonate is that it has a potential side effect list that is a mile long.  As with almost every prescribed medication, there is a danger of some pretty nasty side effects.  Some of them are minor but some are very serious and reading that list is enough to cause you to put off getting treatment.

Lithium orotate provides people with the opportunity to fix problems in a gentle way that doesn’t come with a lot to worry about.  Many people say that lithium orotate is not going to help but there have been a lot of studies that are also ongoing to show that lithium orotate is the way to go and they have the clinical data to back up their claims.

What is Lithium Orotate?

Lithium Orotate is a specific type of lithium that has the ability to address many neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, migraines, and Shock.  While it is similar to lithium carbonate compound that most people are aware of and that gets prescribed often there is a substantial difference between the two and that is that Lithium Orotate is connected to an Orotic Acid molecule.  While is this important?

This is a very important difference because it means that Lithium Orotate supplements can provide all of the same benefits that lithium carbonate does without the dangerous side effects that are common to Lithium Carbonate. It is very rare to find side effects associated with Lithium Orotate.  The majority who are using it for the stabilizing effects and benefits on the neurological system have nothing but positive things to say about it.

Lithium Orotate has been studied in regards to being a viable treatment for alcoholism and other related conditions including:

  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Digestive issues
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

It has not been FDA approved for the treatment of any diseases or disorders but many people are using it with great success. It can be purchased over the counter without a prescription and adverse effects are pretty much non-existent. The FDA does not regular supplements and Lithium Orotate is a supplement.  There is substantial clinical research being done on this supplement due to the fact that it is showing itself to be a viable potential treatment for some common mental disorders that usually are treated with chemical based, prescription drugs.

Benefits of Taking Lithium Orotate

There are many different benefits that taking Lithium Orotate can provide.  We have listed these benefits below so you can see how good these supplements are and can determine if you feel that it is a supplement that would benefit you.

  • Protects the Neurological System – When taking lithium orotate, it was shown to reduce N-methly-D asparatate receptor excitotoxicity that was glutamate induced. Lithium has the ability to inhibit an influx of calcium. Since calcium mediates NMDA receptor activity, it was effective in protecting the neurological system. It can help inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer, mood disorders, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
  • Inhibits Apoptosis – Taking lithium orotate can promote the folding of proteins that are in the system. It also refolds misfolded proteins and gets rid of abnormal proteins.   It does this by the increase in HSPs, also known as Heat Shock Proteins.
  • Increases Neurotrophic Factors GDNF, BDNF and NGF – You might be wondering what all these letters stand for. Let’s start with BDNF.  This is a major neutotropin that is present in the brain and responsible for cognitive development, and neuronal survival with the effects of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants.  Long term treatment of the neurons with lithium stimulates the levels of BDNF.  The reason for this is because the lithium inhibits GSK-3 with is responsible for many things. Lithium also increases the Nerve Growth Factor and also the Glial-Derived Neurotrophic Factor that is present in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and occipital cortex.  These help with neurological health.
  • Remodeling the Heart and Brain – Cell growth and remodeling the blood vessels after a stroke can be accomplished with lithium. Taking lithium supplements increases your body’s production of VEGF.  VEGF is the responsible party in charge of promoting cell growth and taking care of the blood vessels after a stroke has occurred. Due to elevating the requirements needed it has been found that lithium treatments can help people recover from heart attacks and strokes much quicker.  Again this seems to be done through the inhibition of GSK-3.
  • Improves Cognitive Function and Increases Neurogenesis – Lithium treatments have been found to increase stem cells and progenitor cells in hippocampal neurons. These are the neurons in the memory center of the brain.  It can also help prevent the loss of cortisol or glutamate induced proliferation.  Long term treatment shows that the conversion of the progenitor cells into neurons is promoted.  Ultimately what this means is that lithium treatment helps the nerve cells become a lot more efficient and therefore helps with memory and learning and enhances intellectual ability.
  • Calms and Stabilizes Mood- Lithium is known to have a calming effect on people as well as stabilizing the mood to avoid drastic mood changes. It has been used to treat schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder.  When people have manic depressive illness, lithium carbonate has always been the drug chosen for treatment but the side effects are high.  Lithium can also help reduce aggressive behavior in people with ADHD.  If there are naturally higher levels of lithium in drinking water sources, am overall reduction is suicide rates may be noticed.  This is possibly due to the increase in serotonin synthesis and its release.  Since lithium increases CCK in the brain, lithium can also prevent mania in bi-polar disorders because CCK is a responsible factor in that prevention.
  • Battles Depression – Lithium has been found to be one of the best treatments for depression that is not responding to other courses of treatment. By increasing the levels of BDNF in the brain, depression can be reduced.   In studies using animals, lithium increased natural stem cells and ameliorated depression as well.
  • Can Possibly Help Treat Huntington’s Disease – Lithium was shown to prevent the death of nerve cells in animal examples of Huntington’s disease. By decreasing the excessive NMDA receptor functions, it could counteract the usual increase of NMDA receptors that is seen in patients that have Huntington’s. There are further studies being done in this area.
  • Reduces Insulin Resistance – Taking lithium can increase glucose transport into the muscle cells significantly, by as much as 2 ½ times. And also increased insulin responsiveness. It was also shown to decrease the release of insulin into the system. Getting insulin resistance under control can be beneficial for many reasons including stabilizing weight gain and your overall health.  Having insulin related incidences is not uncommon but you don’t have to stick with them. Lithium orotate can help regular those hormones.
  • Reduces Inflammation – Lithium has been found to reduce occurrences of the common cold, decrease the frequency of genital herpes infections, and prevents the negative effects of prostaglandins on the immune system by decreasing prostaglandins production and activity. The anti-inflammatory effects are due to the reduction of the production of IL-1B and TNF-a as well as increasing the production of IL-10, IL-2, TGF and IL-1RA
  • Supports Healthy Bones – A study was conducted that assessed the bone density of the lumbar spine and hip in 75 patients that were treated with lithium and 75 normal subjects. They were matched in body mass, age and sex. The study showed that there was a lower rate of bone turnover in the patients that were taking lithium.  There is also an association of a reduction in fractures with lithium treatments as well as an increase in the formation of bone.
  • Lengthens Circadian Rhythm – Lithium is often prescribed for patients that have bi-polar disorder is characterized when depression and mania is present. One of the ways lithium is effective in helping with bi-polar disorder is by lengthening the circadian rhythm.  It helps entrain our rhythms to respond more quickly to light and dark. Those who have bi=polar disorder tend to have shorter circadian rhythms near the 24 hour mark.
  • Increases Longevity – There is a positive connection between lithium levels in drinking water and lifespan. When Japanese neighborhoods that had higher lithium levels in their water were studied, there was an overall decrease in death from all causes.
  • Can Reduce Symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome – Tourette’s is a neurological disorder that is characterized by uncontrolled vocal outbursts and sounds and muscle movements that are involuntary. Lithium had a better outcome than the traditional medicine that is commonly prescribed.  The patients taking lithium has fewer involuntary movements and sounds and experienced no side effects.  They were symptom free a few months later.
  • Helps OCD Behavior – Lithium supplements are associated with decreasing the symptoms of OCD that are resistant to the normal therapy that is used. Studies showed that pathological and compulsive gamblers had a good response to lithium supplements possibly because of the dopamine regulation in the brain.
  • Relieves Headaches – If you suffer from chronic or episodic cluster headaches, lithium can possibly help and has shown to reduce cluster headache episodes.
  • May Help Anorexia Nervosa – Further studies are needed but so far, patients that are suffering from Anorexia Nervosa have showed positive improvement and weight gain through lithium therapy.
  • May help Treat Alcoholism – Lithium orotate is very helpful in the treatment of alcoholism. The side effects, if any, were minor. It helps reduce the symptoms of withdrawal, and reduced the re-occurrences of hospitalization for alcoholism when following up 18 months later.

Lithium Orotate Side Effects

The side effects of lithium orotate are very minor if they occur at all. These minor effects can include headache, tiredness as a result of reducing the cells that produce orexin and reducing thyroid function, tremors of the hands, muscle weakness, and diarrhea or nausea.

These side effects mostly occur due to the responses of the body to the lithium in the system.  If the symptoms are bothersome or severe stop taking the lithium supplements and consult your doctor.  It is definitely important to speak to your doctor before you start taking lithium supplements.  Even though they are available over the counter, if you have prior health conditions and you are taking medication, you need to talk it over with your doctor first so no medical contraindications occur.

It is important to note that lithium can be toxic to a developing baby and can increase the chances of birth defects so do not take this supplement if you are pregnant or nursing.   If you have heart disease you should never take lithium on your own. It needs to be carefully monitored due to the fact that it can cause irregular heartbeats.  If you have thyroid issues, taking lithium can potentially make those problems worse.

If you have any kind of kidney disease you should not take lithium supplements.  There is an increased risk of lithium intoxication due to the fact that the kidneys do not remove the lithium from the system as efficiently.

Lithium Toxicity

Because of the sometimes high doses of lithium that doctors are prescribing to patients there is an increased risk of toxicity in the blood. When taking the over the counter supplement lithium orotate, this danger is drastically reduced due to the fact that lithium orotate enters the blood stream much easier than lithium carbonate does.  Because of this, it takes a lot less lithium orotate to achieve the kind of effects that high doses of the lithium carbonate was getting.

The symptoms of lithium carbonate toxicity include muscle twitches, slurred speech, tremors, diarrhea, nausea, generalized weakness, seizures and vomiting. Lithium Orotate avoids these horrible side effects and still provides the powerful protection for the neurological system that lithium produces.

Lithium Orotate vs. Lithium Carbonate

Basically, lithium orotate is the ionized form of lithium.  It is essentially a salt that is similar to potassium and can cross the brain-blood barrier much easier than lithium carbonate can.  What this means is that much lower doses of lithium orotate can be used to get the same neurological benefits that lithium carbonate produce without the toxic side effects that carbonate causes.  In comparison, 5mg of lithium orotate provides the same benefits and results that a 180mg dose of lithium carbonate provides.

Lithium carbonate is the form of lithium that is usually prescribed by doctors and doses can reach as high as 180mg.  Even if 150mg of lithium orotate is taken, there will only be about 5 mg of the elemental lithium present, however the results are still the same.  This is a very important distinction between the two ingredients.

Conclusion

Lithium has been used for a long time in the treatment of many major mental disorders and is very powerful in treating those disorders as well as many other medical conditions. The problem is that lithium carbonate, the most common form of lithium used to treat these disorders is actually very dangerous when taken at the higher levels. Even with the neuroprotective properties it displays, the toxicity of lithium in higher doses that are oftentimes required outweighed the benefits of using it.

Lithium orotate is a type of lithium where the important molecules can cross the barrier between blood and brain a lot easier than lithium carbonate which means a lot less of it is needed to achieve the same results. The best part is that it was able to provide those benefits without any of the dangerous and scary side effects that go along with lithium carbonate.

Even though the FDA does not approve of lithium orotate being used for the treatment of any disease there has been a lot of clinical data that has shown it to provide a lot of pretty incredible health benefits.  If you are looking for a good supplement that can help you with several of the issues we listed above in the benefits section, lithium orotate may be what you are looking for.

Whether you are looking for an all natural and effective treatment for anxiety or depression, or you want to improve or stabilize your mood, lithium orotate can possibly provide the results you are looking for.  You can order lithium orotate online and it is available without a prescription.  The ingredients are not dangerous and there is no worry about some of the scary side effects that you hear about with the prescription lithium.

Lithium orotate is not a prescription drug it is an all-natural supplement that provides the same results that lithium carbonate does, all without the adverse reactions. Many people forgo necessary treatment for their disorders and issues due to the fact that they are afraid of the side effects. With a product like lithium orotate, they can get the help they need and not have to be terrified in the process.

Before you decide to take lithium orotate, you should talk with your doctor about why you want to take it and what you want to take it for.  Your doctor will be able to discuss with you any potential problems that could arise so you both are aware of any issues that would need to be reported to him or her.

It is exciting to think that there is a supplement on the market that is easy to get that could help with many of the neurological disorders that are so commonplace in today’s society.  If you can get the same results that you can get from a prescription, without the dangers and adverse effects, you may have found a way to feel better and see marked improvement without worry.

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