Lithium orotate: nutrient for brains that fights Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s
Whenever someone mentions or especially recommends lithium, people tend to get nervous. They think it’s only for manic-depressive or bipolar types with the normal expectations of pharmaceutical side effects.
But more recently, holistic doctors, naturopaths, and chiropractors have been recommending a natural form of lithium that’s safe and effective as both a mood stabilizer and overall neuroprotective nootropic, a cognitive enhancer that improves memory and motivation in normally healthy individuals. This is lithium orotate.
Lithium (Li) is a naturally occurring alkaline trace mineral. But it needs to be bound with a transporter agent to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. The transporter of choice with the pharmaceutical industry is carbonate to create the compound lithium carbonate.
As expected, the pharmaceutical compound, lithium carbonate, has long-term side effects created from renal (kidney) damage and hypertension (high blood pressure) and rapid weight gain.
Even so, lithium carbonate was considered psychiatry’s last sane drug until the pharmaceutical industry’s take-over of psychiatry with newly-designed, dangerous drugs, starting in the 1990s.
The Lithium Supplement That’s Safe, Effective, and Inexpensive
For around 30 years, holistic Dr. Jonathon Wright, MD has been using lithium orotate on his Washington State Tahoma Clinic patients and himself. He declares:
I’m convinced that lithium is an anti-aging nutrient for human brains. And there are also some very strong reasons to believe that lithium therapy will slow the progression of serious degenerative mental problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. (Source)
Several other holistic health practitioners are also promoting the most common supplemental form of lithium orotate. It’s bound with orotic acid, which while similar to a B vitamin and once inaccurately labeled B-13, is also something the body is able to create. Some studies have implied there are heart health qualities with orotic acid.
Lithium orotate manages to penetrate the blood-brain barrier more than lithium carbonate compounds. So it takes less lithium to encourage positive results. For example, one source of lithium orotate lists each capsule’s content with 125 mg (milligrams) of lithium orotate that yields only 5 mg of lithium. Some other 5 mg lithium orotate supplements may also contain vitamin C and/or NAC (N-Acetylcysteine).
Dr. Wright has determined the daily dosages, ranging from 5 to 40 mg, as effective and safe with 10 to 20 mg per day effective for most. One does not need a prescription, and it can be found inexpensively almost anywhere supplements are sold or online.
Dr. Wright has had success with lithium orotate for alcoholics and their families, or in general, among households and individuals as mood stabilizers. Improvements occur within weeks. He recommends giving lithium orotate a six to eight-week trial. If no favorable or not-so-favorable results occur, one merely stops without suffering any withdrawal.
I haven’t kept a count of exactly how many individuals have tried this approach over the last 30 years, but it’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of 300 to 400 – maybe more. And the majority report positive changes: less depression and irritability for women, and less irritability and “temper” for men. (Source)
Dr. Jeffrey Dach is another holistic doctor who uses lithium orotate for neuroprotective purposes while recommending it to his patients in South Florida. He mentions how the chemical imbalance or weakened neurotransmitter theory doesn’t apply with the malfunctions corrected or protected by lithium.
Instead, lithium helps boost neurogenesis, which is the brain’s ability to create new neurons from aging or from neurodegenerative diseases or extreme stress. The old theory that the brain can’t create new cells or neurons just isn’t true.
Dr. Dach cites studies supporting lithium orotate’s efficacy assisting recovery or improvement with:
- Increasing the size of the brain’s Hippocampus
- Parkinson’s disease’s
- Traumatic brain injury
- Stroke brain damage
- Alzheimer’s disease (Source)
Dr. Dach states:
The body of evidence for the neuroprotective benefits of lithium is now overwhelming. Considering what we know about lithium, the only question I have is, “Why isn’t everyone taking it?” (…) [Lithium orotate] is a nutritional supplement sold as capsules at most health food stores, previously available as a lemon soda pop called 7-UP [decades ago]. (Source)
Dr. Wright also recommends lithium orotate for what he calls “health mysteries”, which are maladies with symptoms that lead many doctors to misdiagnose their patients. They have been around for some time, but not easily treated or treated at all.
- Gout (along with quality cherry juice)
- Cluster headaches (study references provided)
- Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) (Source)
Dr. Wright adds:
Lithium isn’t patentable, so I doubt that patent-medicine companies will even consider funneling huge amounts of research dollars into it. (…) it isn’t likely to be “approved” for these or other uses any time soon. But remember, “approval” does not ensure safety or effectiveness; it just means that procedures have been followed, forms have been filled out, and money-lots and lots of money has changed hands. (…) that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all of its benefits from brain anti-aging to headache relief–right now. (Source)
There Are Other Holistic Doctors Who Support Lithium Orotate’s Use as a Supplement
Dr. Mark Millar, DC, author of an e-book titled Veteran Suicide Breakthrough: Revealing the Breakthrough Mineral for Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Depression ‘They Definitely’ Don’t Want You to Know About, reveals lithium as the breakthrough mineral in his book.
He is often referred to as the “Lithium Doctor,” because of his passion for disclosing the lies about its dangers and how it transformed his life. The dangers are with high dosages, well over 100 mg per day, which is prescribed as lithium carbonate for serious bi-polar patients, but dosing up to 40 mg is safe. (Source)
Dr. Edward Group, DC and Nurse Practitioner, quotes several other medical practitioners who support lithium orotate’s use, along with excerpts from controversial studies that discovered regions with high contents of natural lithium in their drinking water and had lower incidences of violent crimes and suicides.
You can read those referenced summarized quotes from other doctors and studies referenced in his article Is Lithium Orotate Good or Bad for You?
The Overly Publicized Side Effect and It’s Remedy
Dr. Wright explained how a severely burdened, bi-polar woman was showing evidence of lithium toxicity after some years of handling her condition successfully with high dose lithium carbonate. Protein in her urine was one toxic indication as was her rising blood pressure.
But it was the only prescribed drug that worked without other mental side effects. So she came to the Tahoma Clinic out of desperation.
She was put on high doses of vitamin E and sources of healthy fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil. After a month, her toxicity markers were reduced sufficiently for her to continue with her high dose lithium carbonate with only normal supplementation of vitamin E and flaxseed oil.
Dr. Wright resorts to the precautionary principle by adding:
To be on the safe side, I always recommend that anyone taking lithium also take a teaspoonful or two of flaxseed oil (or other essential fatty acids) along with 400 IU of vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) each day. (Source)
Lithium aspartate is also used by some. But aspartate can be a brain excitotoxin. It’s part of aspartame. Though certainly “on the safe side,” there are several instances of lithium orotate users not needing the added supplements recommended by Dr. Wright.