Lithium is a trace element that is used in pharmacologic doses to treat bipolar disease. While the level of lithium needed by the general population is uncertain, an article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests the intake of 1 milligram lithium as a daily dose for an adult weighing 70 kilograms. 1 According to the author, "The biochemical mechanisms of action of lithium appear to be multifactorial and are interrelated with the functions of several enzymes, hormones and vitamins, as well as with growth and transforming factors." 1
A short communication published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition cites an association between higher drinking water lithium concentrations and a decrease in the mortality ratio among 1,206,174 residents of Japan. The article also reports that exposure to a relatively low concentration of lithium extends the life span of the roundworm known as C. elegans. 2
It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
- Schrauzer GN. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Feb;21(1):14-25.
- Zarse K et al. Eur J Nutr. 2011 Aug;59(5)387-9.
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