Messerschmitts

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What are people's opinions on bottled "lithium water" which is now sold on Amazon? Apparently there's a bunch of studies that show trace levels of lithium that naturally occur in spring water is neuroprotective and leads to fewer suicides. A friend of mine on Facebook asked if this is a good idea for someone who's depressed, I reflexively said no, because lithium is potentially toxic and shouldn't be taken in any form willy-nilly. However, a colleague of mine who's a paediatrician jumped in, and insists the data is very convincing, and that commercially available lithium water doesn't contain enough lithium to become toxic, unless you drank like a hundred bottles of it at once. However, my gut still doesn't feel like this is a great idea. Anyone care to convince me either way? Thanks.
 

MacDonaldTriad

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I’m sure that the marketing agents promoting lithium water are capitalizing on the literature that shows that lithium treatment protects bipolar patients from suicide. While this is probably true, 19th century lithium water caused enough deaths to make it banned even under those loose protections. Probably the mineral content of lithium allowed to be sold didn’t come close to what they used before it was changed to LiCO3. Lithium can keep Bipolar patients from killing themselves, but put in sports bottles in the grocery store at permissible levels isn’t going to save lives.
 

birchswing

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I've done research on this as I've been pushing for harder water in my municipality (it's salt water treated with reverse osmosis and is thus extremely soft, making it more corrosive and also difficult to rinse soap away with). Areas with higher naturally occurring lithium in the drinking water have been shown to have reduced suicide rates in those areas' populations. The same positive benefit was found in areas that have naturally higher levels of magnesium in the water as it relates to death from heart disease.

I mentioned this once to my aunt who very briefly took low-dose lithium and she told me that her psychiatrist had said he thought we should treat the public water supply with lithium as we used to do (and some locations still do) with fluoride. What we drink as tap water today is stripped of the minerals we would have consumed while our species was evolving, so I think it makes sense to look at which "missing" minerals might be beneficial.

Having said that, there's no way I'm buying lithium water from Amazon; although who knows how much more sketchy it is than some of the Indian pharmaceutical plants (Dr. Reddy's, etc.).
 
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Messerschmitts

Messerschmitts

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Thanks, that's what I thought...
 

barzan

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whopper

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There are more studies concerning this phenomenon. There are two known towns, perhaps more, whose water supplies are touching lithium deposits putting trace amounts in the water. Those towns have a smaller per-capita level of suicides and violent crimes.

The question becomes, should be we put it in our drinking supply. The answer from Henry Nasrallah is no. Why? When flouride was first introduced into public water, some people died from it. While those people were very rare, it happened. Imagine being in the city government of NYC and 50 people died from adding fluoride. Fifty out of several million!?!?! That's good! That's almost 1 in a million, good odds! Yes I'm being sarcastic and that's the point. We don't know what the incidence would be for toxicity and when it comes to millions of people, bad things will likely happen to at least a few people. More data needs to be obtained before such an attempt is made.

My own insertion is that when it comes to emotion, medications, and the government, even if lithium worked very well with even no side effects at trace amounts, you're going to get people accusing the government of trying to control how the population experiences emotions through chemicals. It will bring up Brave New World and 1984 comparisons.

Personally, for me, I would be open to trying trace amounts of lithium in water and you could purchase lithium OTC from some sources but guess what? I'd also be checking my TSH within a few days after doing so, and I'm only talking about myself. One cannot extrapolate that to putting in public water.
 
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OldPsychDoc

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OldPsychDoc

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birchswing

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Interesting factoids:

7 Up was made with lithium citrate until 1950:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_Up

And there is one company in the US legally allowed to import coca leaves which are used in Coca Cola to this day (but have all the active cocaine taken out):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Company

I had a friend who lived in Peru for a year and drank tea with coca leaves. She said it didn't much to her—less than coffee even. Apparently everyone there drinks it and doesn't seem to have a drug problem as a result.
 
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