Is Lithium The Drug Different Than The “Natural” Forms?
There’s much misinformation about lithium. A lot of main stream sources seem to indicate that lithium carbonate or chloride, commonly used antipsychotics, work differently than over the counter lithium orotate.
All the research I’ve seen talk about the ion lithium, which would make the type of lithium salt not that relevant except for how bioavailable it is and how capable it is in crossing the brain barrier.
Some people say that the over the counter version – lithium orotate- passes the brain barrier much more efficiently than the other versions.
Whatever the case, if you see studies about one form of lithium it can very likely be applied to other forms as well.
The usual dosage taken is 5mg, but I decided to take 15mg to see what happens. I can say that there’s definitely a subtle cognitive effect. It’s definitely got an anti depressant and anxiolytic effect and it seemed to lengthen the period of my circadian rhythm, as I started to feel tired later on.
On the negative side, it made more spacey and zoned out. It also made me feel less attached to everything. The fact that I felt acute effects at 15mg tells me that lithium orotate passes the brain barrier more efficiently, since a much higher dosage of lithium carbonate is needed to obtain a beneficial effect.
Anyway, I’m glad I did the experiment so that I now know lithium orotate is definitely having an effect and I can use it in my coaching practice.
This confirms that the benefits of other lithium salts prescribed by doctors can be achieved through the orotate version commonly sold.
1) Lithium is Neuroprotective
Chronic lithium treatment was found to robustly reduce glutamate-induced excitotoxicity mediated by NMDA receptors. This effect was at least partly due to lithium’s ability to inhibit the influx of calcium, which mediates activity in NMDA receptor. (R)
Lithium’s neuroprotective role can help mood disorders, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (R).
2) Lithium Increases Neuronal Survival
Chronic lithium treatment has been found to induce Bcl-2 expression in the frontal cortex. Bcl-2 is an anti-apoptotic protein that inhibits the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria by regulating the permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane(R).
The ability to maintain calcium homeostasis in the ER is another cytoprotective action of Bcl-2 (R).
Lithium also increases Heat Shock Proteins(HSPs), which promote the folding of proteins and refolding of misfolded proteins and dispose of abnormal proteins. (R)
Among HSPs, HSP70 exerts a wide variety of neuroprotective effects against apoptosis. These effects are mediated by inhibition of GSK-3 (R).
3) Lithium Increases Neurotrophic factors: BDNF, NGF, GDNF
Long-term treatment of cultured neurons with lithium induces BDNF. (R)
BDNF, a major neurotrophin essential for cognitive development, synaptic plasticity, and neuronal survival and has anti-depressants and anti-anxiety effects. (R)
This is likely a result of inhibition of GSK-3. (R)
Lithium also increases Nerve Growth Factor and Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, occipital cortex and striatum (R).
4) Lithium Helps Remodel The Brain and Heart (VEGF)
Lithium treatment increases the expression of VEGF, which promotes cell proliferation and differentiation of newly born cells and neurovascular remodeling after stroke. (R)
By upregulating VEGF (specifically in heart cells), lithium treatment can help people recover more quickly from a stoke. (R)
The likely mechanism is by inhibiting GSK-3. (R)
5) Lithium Induces Autophagy
Lithium’s ability to deplete inositol was recently identified as a novel route for inducing autophagy (independent of mTOR). (R)
Autophagy is a physiological process for degrading and recycling junk proteins. (R)
It has recently been recognized as a principal response to cellular stress and an important regulator of neuronal function and survival. (R)
It plays a role in the destruction of intracellular pathogens and aids the cell to eliminate the pathogens. (R)
As a ‘quality control’ process, autophagy is believed to be particularly beneficial in neurodegenerative disorders – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Huntington’s. This is because these disorders are, in part, characterized by the accumulation of misfolded disease-causing proteins. (R)
Research suggests that autophagy is required for the lifespan-prolonging effects of caloric restriction (R) and for much of the health benefits of exercise (R). Inhibiting mTOR increases autophagy, which is part of the reason mTOR inhibition increases longevity. (R)
6) Lithium Increases Neurogenesis (new neurons)
Lithium was found to stimulate progenitor and stem cells in cultured brain neurons in the hippocampus and to prevent the loss of proliferation induced by glutamate or cortisol (glucocorticoids). Long-term lithium treatment then promotes the conversion of these progenitor cells into neurons. (R)
In addition, chronic lithium treatment not only enhances neurogenesis in the hippocampus of normal mice, but also restores neurogenesis in the brain in an animal model of Down syndrome (R).
It also increases neurogenesis in the subventricular zone, the only other place besides the hippocampus that it’s been found to occur, causing a sustained increases of gray matter volume in patients (R).
The likely mechanism is again through GSK-3β inhibition and the ERK pathway. (R)
7) Lithium Increases Stem Cells in the Hippocampus
Lithium ameliorates depression in animals and this is in part due to the effect on neuronal repair following neuronal loss in the hippocampus by increasing neural stem cells.
8) Lithium is Calming and Stabilizes Our Mood
In animals, lithium consistently decreases exploratory activity and aggression. (R)
Lithium is known to have a calming and mood stabilizing effect in people as well and is used for depression, bipolar and schizophrenia (R).
Low levels of naturally occurring lithium in drinking water supplies may reduce suicide rates (R).
Part of the explanation could be because lithium increases serotonin synthesis and release (it also decreases norepinephrine) (R).
9) Lithium Decreases Insulin Resistance
Lithium enhances insulin-stimulated glucose transport and glycogen synthesis in insulin-resistant muscle in rats (R). These effects are dependent on p38 MAPK (R).
Lithium decrease insulin release (R).
10) Lithium Reduces Autoimmunity and Inflammation
By inhibiting GSK3, lithium has been found to beneficial in animal models of autoimmune conditions. the mouse model of multiple sclerosis. (R)
Lithium suppresses T helper (Th1) cells and interferon gamma (but not Th17 cells). (R)
11) Lithium Increases Bone Density
A study assessed bone mineral density at the hip and lumbar spine in 75 lithium treated outpatients and 75 normal subjects matched for age, sex and body mass index.
The study found a lower bone turnover state in those receiving lithium. The mean bone density in lithium treated patients was 4.5% higher at the spine, 5.3% higher at the femoral neck and 7.5% higher at the trochanter (R).
The mechanism is by increasing a protein called Wnt (R),
12) Lithium Can Helps Entrain Our Circadian Rhythm
Lithium is the drug of choice for treating patients suffering from bipolar disorder, a disorder characterized by mood swings between mania and depression (R).
It’s thought that lithium helps this condition by entraining us to a longer circadian rhythm. People with BP tend to have a
shorter circadian rhythm than the near 24h period (R).
Lithium helps entrain our circadian rhythm more quickly in response to light and darkness (R).
13) Low Doses of Lithium Can Help Us Live Longer
A correlation was found when researches measured the longevity of people and lithium in their water. There was a decrease all-causes of death in Japanese neighborhoods with higher lithium levels.
They also found that low doses of lithium extended the life span of worms.
The study concluded that “long-term low-dose exposure to lithium may exert anti-aging capabilities and unambiguously decreases mortality in evolutionary distinct species.” (R)
Another study also found that lithium treatment increased both the lifespan and healthspan of worms. The increase in healthspan was accompanied by improved mitochondrial function. (R)
Lithium’s Mechanism of Action
Other Natural GSK-3b Inhibitors
Zinc (potent) (R), Copper (potent) (R), Lithium (R), Melatonin (R), Celery, Cinnamon, Bitter melon, Curcumin (R), Luteolin (R), Apigenin (R), Quercetin (R), Angelica Sinensis (R), Beryllium (potent) (R), Mercury (potent) (R), Tungstate (R),
A common side effect that comes with lithium is fatigue. This may be a result of lithium causing the number of cells expressing orexin be to significantly reduce – but to show a trend for the expression of a the cells that do express it have a “stronger signal.” (R)
Lithium is a competitive inhibitor of magnesium, and that’s part of its mechanism of action (R).
Lithium may reduce thyroid hormone levels.
Lithium increases inflammation (IL-8) in the intestines (R). If you have colitis or chron’s I would not take this. Colitis is caused in part by IL-8 and this increases IL-8 (R).
If you’re completely healthy, I recommend 1-2 mg a day in the long term. There is an association with low doses of lithium (1mg) and longevity (R). However, I wouldn’t expect to feel anything at that dosage. I’ve been taking 1mg for quite a few months, with no noticeable effect.
I recommend this Lithium. I put it in a Nutritional Yeast container. Since a container has 17 servings, I’ll put 4 capsules and shake it.
I recommend 5-15mg if you have an issue you’re trying to fix.
Sursa: http://selfhacked.com/2014/02/09/the-be ... f-lithium/