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
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.