Lithium Orotate - Alzheimers Disease, Aluminum, Fibromyalgia - Relationship?

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Lithium Orotate - Alzheimers Disease, Aluminum, Fibromyalgia:  Is There a Relationship?
by Dusty R. Green, M.Ed., Research Scientist/Author

Lithium was used as far back as 1930 as a salt substitute in the form of lithium chloride.  Since it is a mineral that comes from our soils, it is very plentiful.  Unfortunately (as frequently happens), some people used way too much and suffered toxicities, so it fell out of use.  Lithium carbonate and citrate (the prescription forms), according to the research, is not the ideal form for use when consuming this mineral.  It has been discovered that the safest and most effective way to consume lithium is in the form of lithium orotate -- much less is needed for optimum benefits compared to the prescription forms.

Research Scientists have speculated the possibility of a relationship with the mineral lithium orotate and several health issues facing us today.  Among those investigated in this article are Alzheimer's Disease, fibromyalgia, herpes, alcoholism, and the effects it may have on general grey matter of the brain.  Some studies have shown that in populations where lithium orotate is abundant in the water supply, alcoholism and crime is 25% less than in areas where it is absent.

Alzheimer's Disease -- Aluminum and Beta-Amyloid Protein (Neurofibrillary Tangles)

The scientific literature is replete with information supporting the possibility of an association with lithium orotate and Alzheimer's Disease.  Many Research Scientists have reported in various scientific journals and other health publications about the positive effects that lithium may have on this debilitating condition.

Dr. Ward Dean states in one of his article series, Crosslinkage Theory of Aging: Part III -- The Neurotoxic Effects of Aluminum, "The neurotoxic effects of aluminum have been known for many years.  More recently, scientists have shown that aluminum accumulation may contribute to Parkinsons disease, Downs syndrome, and Alzheimers disease.  And, he continues, "it is intriguing to consider that perhaps long-term treatment with low doses of lithium may be an effective way to displace protein bound aluminum in animals and humans."

Chris D. Meletis, N.D. reports in Vitamin Research News, "Studies show that lithium, in general, inhibits the atrophy of the hippocampus.  Atrophy of the human hippocampus is seen in a variety of disorders including Alzheimers disease."(1)   

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. states in his one of his newsletters,  "Medical experts at one time believed that once our brains matured, it was all downhill from then on.  Decades of autopsies, x-rays, and, more recently, brain scans have repeatedly shown that brains shrink measurably with aging.  But, according to their report in the Lancet, Wayne State University (Detroit) researchers found that lithium has the ability to both protect and renew brain cells.(2)  Eight of 10 individuals who took lithium showed an average 3 percent increase in brain grey matter in just four weeks."

Dr. Wright adds, "Lithium may help to generate entirely new cells too:  Another group of researchers recently reported that lithium also enhances nerve cell DNA replication.(3)  DNA replication is a first step in the formation of a new cell of any type.  The Wayne State study used high-dose lithium, but I'm certainly not using that amount myself, nor do I recommend it.  Prescription quantities of lithium just aren't necessary for "everyday" brain cell protection and re-growth.  Studies done years ago have shown that very low amounts of lithium can also measurably influence brain function for the better."

Linda Fugate, Ph.D. states in Vitamin Research News, "Professor Bjorksten demonstrated that lithium was an effective aluminum chelator and cross-linkage inhibitor.  Bjorksten stated that lithium continues to be the most effective electrolyte for aluminum detachment."(4)

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. mentions in one of his newsletters, "Researchers have reported that lithium inhibits beta-amyloid secretion, and also prevents damage caused by beta-amyloid protein once it's been formed.(5-8)  Beta-amyloid peptide is a signature protein involved in Alzheimer's Disease:  the more beta-amyloid protein, the worse the Alzheimer's.  Over-activation 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."(9,10)

Dr. Wright continues, "And, you've likely read that individuals with Alzheimer's disease usually have excess aluminum accumulation in brain cells.  While it's not yet known whether this excess aluminum is a cause, an effect, or just coincidental, most health-conscious individuals take precautions to avoid ingesting aluminum.  Unfortunately, it's impossible to completely avoid all aluminum, since it's naturally present in nearly all foods.  But lithium can help protect your brain against aluminum by helping to "chelate" it so that it can be more easily removed from the body.(10)

Dr. Ward Dean adds in Crosslinkage Theory of Aging: Part III -- The Neurotoxic Effects of Aluminum, "Clearly, it is important to reduce our exposure to aluminum.  The most obvious steps are to drink only filtered water, and to avoid aluminum cookware, aluminum foil-wrapped food, beverages in aluminum cans, aluminum-containing anti-acids, aluminum-containing antiperspirants, and foods made with aluminum, like baking powder (not the same as baking soda) and most non-dairy coffee creamers."

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. comments, "So it appears that lithium can protect against normal brain erosion and shrinkage that would otherwise occur over the course of our lives.  But lithium also protects the brain from other less "normal" problems too, like damage caused by prescription medications and strokes."  

And, Dr. Wright states, "I've been taking a lithium supplement every day for several years."  He continues, "The amounts of lithium I recommend for brain anti-aging range from 10 to 20 milligrams (from lithium aspartate or lithium orotate) daily.  I've actually been recommending these amounts since the 1970s."  If you're interested in keeping your brain as young as possible for as long as possible, you should definitely consider lithium."

Fibromyalgia Support

Several references in the scientific literature have been made concerning the relationship of lithium and fibromyalgia.

Dr. Norm Shealy (a holistic pain and depression specialist) recommends 20-45mg (elemental) per day in divided doses throughout the day ... such as 5 caps in the AM and 5 caps in the PM.  Over the years, Dr. Shealy’s intensive pain and stress management research has resulted in numerous pioneering treatments.  His published works total over 325.  His seminars and workshops are given worldwide, and attended by physicians and lay persons alike.  He has acted as consultant to leaders in every specialty, including the personal physicians of President’s Kennedy and Eisenhower.  In 1978, Norm was instrumental in developing the American Holistic Medical Association.

Dr. Toinette Fontrier of the Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University Medical Center states, "Dr. Lewis and I believe that fibromyalgia may be related to a calcium-parathyroid axis dysfunction.  Lithium causes a brief rise in parathyroid hormone.  Perhaps this is the reason for the drugs efficacy."  She continues, "Lithium has a long history of safe use.  It is inexpensive and readily available.  Side effects are usually well tolerated.  If large doses are needed, blood levels should be monitored.  It is worth a try." (11,12,13)

Dr. Jonathan Wright adds, "One study examined three women suffering from fibromyalgia, none of whom had responded to conventional treatment.  When researchers added lithium to the women's current treatment, all three noticed a marked reduction in their symptoms.(14)  The authors of the study didn't explain why they didn't have the women discontinue their ineffective conventional treatments, but I've got a pretty good idea that their motives might have had something to do with the fact that the conventional treatments, as useless as they were for these women, are the "standard protocol."


Warnings
  • Keep out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dose,
  • If you have a bad reaction or experience negative side-effects, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using, please inform your physician,
  • Lithium should not be used by individuals with significant renal or cardiovascular diseases, severe debilitation or dehydration, or sodium depletion, and by individuals who are taking diuretics or ACE inhibitors,
  • Consult your doctor before use if you are taking anti-hypertensive drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesic drugs or insulin,
  • Lithium orotate should not be used by pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.

Page 1 | Page 3 | References (for pages 2 & 3)

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