Benefits of Lithium Orotate: According to Triple Board Certified Psychiatrist
Having a doctor recommend that you take Lithium may bring up feelings of fear and confusion. These sentiments are understandable, given that prescription Lithium has significant risks.
As a psychiatrist, I generally recommend Lithium for clients with behavioral health issues such as bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression with suicidal thinking. When treating these illnesses, dosages of Lithium can reach 1800mg daily. Supplements contain much smaller quantities of Lithium than the prescription form and generally range from 1mg to 5mg per dosage.
I have to admit, initially, I was skeptical that such a low dosage would have any effect on my clients. I’m happy to say I was wrong. Here’s a little background on Lithium Orotate and some examples of what it’s used for.
Lithium Orotate Essentials
Lithium Orotate is an over-the-counter nutraceutical that consists of orotic acid (a compound produced naturally in the body) and Lithium (an alkali metal). Lithium is present in the diet, mainly in grains and vegetables. This is why the supplement is often called “nutritional lithium.”
Lithium has been added to the World Health Organization’s list of nutritionally essential trace elements. Lithium metal is in the drinking water of many cities, and there is a correlation of lowered incidences of crimes, suicides, and arrests related to drug addictions in these areas. This suggests that Lithium, at a low dosage, has a beneficial effect on behavior.
Another clinical indication of Lithium Orotate is for impulsive aggressive behavior associated with ADHD. I’ve seen a great effect on these individuals within my clinical practice.
Lithium is regarded as a neuroprotective agent. It’s being studied in certain neurodegenerative disorders, namely: Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. It’s been shown to disrupt glycogen synthase kinase-3, a key enzyme responsible for the development of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
As you can see, Lithium Orotate is really a different drug than full-dose prescription lithium. Should you want to learn more about Lithium Orotate or have your lithium level tested, find an integrative psychiatrist or functional medicine provider who can order a hair metal analysis for you.
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I’ve been taking lithium orotate (Priority One brand- none of the other OTC brands seemed to help) since the early 2000s as directed by one of my naturopaths. This past month, in trying to reduce how many supplements I take (like 30- I have Hashimoto’s and adrenal issues with brain fog etc.), I slowly weaned off these 5 mg. After the first week of not taking this small dose of lithium, I experienced literal brain pain (frontal lobes), dizziness, and emotional weirdness. It took me a few days to figure out it was not taking this small dose of 5 mg lithium. So, yes, a small dose can be effective and addicting. By my 3rd-4th dose, the brain pain/dizziness and emotional weirdness stopped. I’m not ready to go thru these withdrawal symptoms (I’m 65) when I’m also resolving Hashimoto’s and the exhaustion of low cortisol. I have found, however, that taking Ginkgo 2-3x a day, instead of one time a day, has helped tremendously with brain fog, memory, clear headedness and the ability to multi task again if I need to.
Is there a test to indicate whether one is low in natural levels of lithium, and what are the optimal blood amounts?
`Levels in water range from near zero to unhealthy. AFAIK there is no established blood level. The orotate form was created to better pass the blood brain barrier. Last I looked this claim was unproven. But in my experience the product is very effective.
Very interesting article, thanks
I was taking a lithium supplement but started having really bad heart palpitations. When I stopped taking it the palpitations stopped. I don’t know if that is unusual but just thought I’d throw that out there in case it happens to someone else ..
I been taking lithium orotate for 6 weeks and my brain feels great. This is the longest time I have not experienced auras or seizures. I’ve been dealing with seizures for 10 yrs and I am 64 yrs old and feel wonderful . This is a miracle supplement for me.