Lithium Orotate supports serotonin levels

Lithium Orotate

David Tomen
Author:
David Tomen
16 minute read
Lithium helps prevent mood swings, is anti-anxiety and antidepressant, promotes neurogenesis, protects from neurodegenerative disease, and is anti-aging

Key Takeaways

  1. Lithium is a natural alkali metal essential for reproductive health and overall wellness in humans and animals.
  2. Historically used for therapeutic purposes, lithium is studied for its neuroprotective and mood-stabilizing effects.
  3. Micro-dosing lithium through supplements like Lithium Orotate offers cognitive benefits such as mood balancing, promoting growth factors and neurogenesis, and brain protection.
  4. Adequate lithium intake from diet and water may help prevent mental and neurological diseases, while low levels can be associated with depression, anxiety, and memory decline.
  5. Lithium Orotate is a popular micro-dosing option that provides mood stabilization, neuroprotection, and cognitive enhancement without toxic side effects of higher doses.

Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal so reactive (it sparks when it touches water) that it’s not found in nature on its own. Instead, it’s found in mineral compounds and in mineral water.

Cosmologists believe that lithium was one of the 3 elements synthesized in the Big Bang.[i] So it’s been around for a long time.Lithium orotate as a nootropic

Most of us associate prescription lithium with treating mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and mania (lithium carbonate). Or the lithium-ion battery in our phone. Which has a tendency to blow up occasionally.

Turns out that the anti-psychotic medication lithium isn’t even a drug. It’s actually a naturally occurring mineral. Lithium salts are part of the same family of minerals that include potassium and sodium.

As a nootropic, micro-dosing lithium provides some amazing anti-aging benefits. Recent research shows that low-dose lithium may also help slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Low-dose lithium also helps neurogenesis and memory. And is a mood stabilizer.

Here we’ll investigate daily or frequent use of Lithium Orotate as a nootropic, and how it benefits cognitive health.

Lithium helps:

Overview

Lithium is an alkali mineral and one the trace elements considered essential for both animal and human reproductive health, and general health and wellness.

Discovered as a chemical element in 1817, lithium’s first recorded modern medical use was in 1871 for the treatment of mania.

But the use of lithium for therapeutic use goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times. People enjoyed soaking in alkali springs to help with physical and mental illness.

People have been using mineral springs for therapeutic use ever since. Lithia Springs in Douglas County, Georgia was so popular that people came for miles just to drink the water.Litha Springs poster 1988 advertising lithium therapy at a spa

The Sweet Water hotel, a luxury 500-room resort was opened in 1887. And attracted famous authors, business people and prominent politicians who came for the spring’s health benefits. The name “Lithia” stems from water rich in lithium.

Studies from around the world have shown the critical health benefits of lithium. One study using data from 27 Texas counties from 1978 – 1987 found that rates of suicide, homicide and rape were significantly higher in counties whose drinking water contained little or no lithium.[v]

Another study of lithium levels in tap water in 18 municipalities in Japan showed standard mortality ratios lower in places with higher lithium levels.[vi]

Yet another study conducted in Texas in 2013 confirmed the original findings in that state. Drinking water samples from 226 counties found a correlation between lithium levels and suicide rates.[vii]

Researchers who conducted meta-analyses of lithium levels and public drinking water suggested “increasing lithium levels of drinking water could potentially reduce the risk of suicide, and justify administering lithium to tap water.”[viii]

An article in the Lancet in 1949 by John Cade is credited for the modern medical use of lithium as an effective treatment for manic psychosis.[ix]

The United States FDA approved high dose lithium carbonate and lithium citrate in 1970 for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Carbonic acid and citric acid are mineral carriers used to transport lithium throughout your body.

Doctors also prescribe lithium off-label for treating migraines, seizure disorders and psychosis usually after other treatments have failed.

But as we dig deeper into the most recently published research on lithium, we realize this trace element is essential for optimal health and brain function.

The lithium we get from our diet prevents many neurological and psychiatric problems. Micro-dosing lithium as a nootropic with a supplement like Lithium Orotate can help make up for the what we don’t get from our food and water.

Lithium is naturally available from fish, processed meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, potatoes and vegetables. Your typical dietary intake of lithium can range from 2 – 600 mcg. Amounts vary depending on where the food is grown.

lithium orotate supplementation stabilizes mood

How does Lithium work in the brain?

Lithium helps brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.

  1. Lithium stabilizes mood. Recent research has discovered that lithium’s mood stabilization effects may be due to its ability to boost the production of new brain cells (neurogenesis).

Lithium inhibits the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). This inhibition upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which stimulates neural stem cells to produce new neurons in the hippocampus.[x]

When neural stem cells produce new neurons in the hippocampus, mood and memory work as designed. But a breakdown in neurogenesis results in mood disorders.

Lithium has long been known to control mania and stabilize mood in bipolar patients. But it was not generally thought of as an antidepressant. Researchers in Tel Aviv provided the first evidence that inhibiting GSK-3β exerted a rapid antidepressant effect in mice.[xi]

Another team at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Pennsylvania showed that feeding mice chow laced with low-dose lithium for 15 days produced a dose-dependent antidepressant effect.[xii]

Lithium induced gene transcription in the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus. All areas implicated in depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, autism and schizophrenia.

  1. Lithium protects your brain.  Your brain cells are at constant risk of damage from exposure to toxins you encounter every day from food, air, water and your environment. And the excitotoxins produced by ordinary brain cell metabolism.

Glutamate plays a major role in the synaptic plasticity needed for learning and memory.[xiii] But over-activity of glutamate on its NMDA receptors causes neuron death and is implicated in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. Lithium inhibits this overactivity.[xiv]

Lithium also increases the production of a neuroprotective protein called bcl-2.[xv] Researchers maintain that lithium is the only “medication” that has been demonstrated to significantly increase bcl-2 in several brain areas.

Lithium has also recently been evaluated in preventing and treating traumatic brain injury. In a study conducted in 2014, Dr. Peter Leeds stated that lithium had “demonstrated robust beneficial effects in experimental models of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These include decreases in TBI-induced brain lesion, suppression of neuroinflammation, protection against blood-brain barrier disruption, normalization of behavioral deficits, and improvement of learning and memory, among others.[xvi]

Lithium Orotate for the treatment of traumatic brain injury

How things go bad

In 1985, the United States EPA estimated that dietary intake of lithium from food in the USA varied from 0.6 to 3.1 mg per day.[xvii] For comparison, people who live in the Andes in Northern Argentina consume 2 to 30 mg per day, with 2 – 3 mg just from drinking water.[xviii]

As your dietary sodium and caffeine increases, so does lithium excretion in urine which increases your requirement for this essential trace mineral.

Your exposure to stress and toxins from things like mercury, aspartame, MSG, Bisphenol A (BPA) and other excitotoxins also raise cortisol and other stress hormones. Increasing your need for more water-soluble nutrients like B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc and lithium.

Low lithium levels are associated with …

↑ Depression and anxiety increase

Memory and learning ability decline

↑ Insomnia increases

↑ Sensitivity to stress and chronic pain increase

↓ Natural healing processes decline

Adequate daily intake of lithium could help prevent many mental and neurological diseases due to this trace minerals effects on nervous system metabolism. And it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Lithium orotate stabilizes mood

Lithium Orotate benefits

The clinical research and studies on the neuroprotective benefits of lithium are so overwhelming, some scientists are beginning to ask “why isn’t everyone using lithium”?

Here’s a summary of how micro-dosing lithium using Lithium Orotate can benefit your brain.

  • Inhibits apoptosislithium inhibits GSK-3 which has been linked to apoptotic cell death
  • NMDA-receptorslithium reduces glutamate induced toxicity mediated by NMDA-receptors which helps in mood disorders, Alzheimer’s, and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
  • Neuroprotection – blocks the development of beta-amyloid tangles and plaque
  • Neurogenesis lithium promotes the increase of  brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) needed for synaptic plasticity in learning and memory. Lithium also boosts nerve growth factor and glial-derived neurotrophic factor affecting learning, memory, mood and overall brain health[xix]
  • Neuronal stem cellslithium stimulates the stem cells needed to produce new neurons (neurogenesis)
  • Stabilizes moodlithium is known for providing a calming effect in healthy people as well as those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, and mania
  • Suicide prevention – adequate levels of lithium has been shown to reduce suicide risk in multiple studies worldwide
  • Depressionlithium helps with treatment-resistant depression. In fact, lithium has been shown to improve the effectiveness of antidepressant medications
  • N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)lithium increases NAA which has been associated with higher IQ scores[xx] (i.e. lithium will make you smarter!)

The benefits of supplementing with lithium go far beyond just optimizing cognitive health. Lithium also helps decrease insulin resistance, helps in treatment of alcoholism and other addictions, supports bone health, balances your circadian rhythm and more.

How does Lithium Orotate  feel?

My personal experience with Lithium Orotate has made me a believer in micro-dosing lithium. I’m Adult ADD and deal with mood swings from time to time.

If I’m going around the bend because something upset me, I take 5 mg of Lithium Orotate. Within 15 minutes my mood stabilizes and I feel normal again. Consistent use puts me in a happy mood.how does lithium orotate work for depression?

Many others report you’ll feel the results taking a low dose of lithium quickly. But for some, the full effect can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. Micro-dosing 5 – 10 mg of lithium daily results in consistent results within a month or two for some. I’ve experienced great results within a couple of days.

So if you lash out at people in anger, and don’t fully understand why you get so angry – it could be your lithium levels are low.

Many neurohackers with depression and anger issues notice results quickly. Within the first couple of days you should feel more calm, relaxed, and experience less stress.

Keep in mind that lithium at any dose is not for everyone. But if you get adequate lithium from your diet and water, and still experience some of the mood swings talked about in this review, you could be dealing with other issues. You should know within a couple of hours of supplementing with low-dose lithium if this supplement is for you.

For some, Lithium Orotate means feeling excited about life for the first time in a long time. Anxiety and social anxiety are no longer a problem. Life is more fun and enjoyable.

Some say Lithium Orotate works better than any prescription that they’ve ever tried to treat severe depression. It provides a nice, smooth mood balance without all the toxicity associated with mega-doses of lithium carbonate.

If you’re dealing with PTSD or mild insomnia, you may want to try Lithium Orotate. Focus could improve, racing thoughts diminish and motivation levels could increase. You’ll have more coping ability.

lithium orotate supports better learning and memory

Lithium Orotate Clinical Research

Lithium Improves Memory

A study at McMaster University in Canada set out to determine the effects on hippocampus volume in 14 bipolar patients who received lithium therapy.

The researchers examined the effects of lithium on hippocampal volumes and memory performance and recall over 2 – 4 years. The patients had not received any type of medication prior to using lithium.

The study found increases in hippocampus volume over time. And evidence of improvement of verbal memory performance over the 4-year measurement period.

The researchers concluded that the results of the study were consistent with the literature stating the neuroprotective effects of lithium. And that long-term lithium treatment is associated with preservation of memory and recall due to increased hippocampus size.[xxi]

Lithium Increases Mood in Recovering Addicts

24 adults recovering from heroin or methamphetamine addiction participated in a study in San Diego. Group A received 400 mcg per day of lithium taken orally for 4 weeks. The placebo Group B naturally took a non-active placebo.

Subjects completed a mood test questionnaire containing questions about their ability to think, work, mood and emotions. For the lithium group, mood test scores increased steadily and significantly during the 4 week period.

The lithium group also reported significantly increased levels of happiness, friendliness and energy. Group B showed no improvement during the same period.

The researchers concluded that low-dose lithium provided a mood-improving and stabilizing effect.[xxii]

Lithium Orotate in the Treatment of Alcoholism

In this study, 42 alcoholic patients were treated with Lithium Orotate during alcohol rehabilitation in a private clinical setting for six months. The data was collected from clinical practice records for the 10 years following the initial study.

The patients received 150 mg of Lithium Orotate daily for six months along with calcium orotate, magnesium orotate, bromelain and essential phospholipids.

Ten of the patients had no relapse from 3 – 10 years. 13 patients stayed sober from 1 – 3 years.  The remaining patients relapsed between 6 – 12 months.

The researchers concluded that Lithium Orotate therapy was safe in treating addiction with minor adverse side effects.[xxiii]

Lithium Orotate Recommended Dosage

Lithium retains a grim and undeserved reputation. Likely because it was originally associated with serious mental illness. And like most medications, lithium can produce serious side effects if not monitored properly.Lithium Orotate formulated by Dr. Hans Nieper

Lithium carbonate or lithium chloride salts are typically prescribed for long-term control and to treat bipolar disorder at 900 – 1200 mg per day. The major problem with such high doses of lithium are some very serious and debilitating side effects.

For nootropic use, I suggest Lithium Orotate which typically contains only 5 mg of elemental lithium. Lithium Orotate is orotic acid combined with lithium.

Orotic acid reportedly makes the lithium more bioavailable than lithium carbonate. The lithium is released once it crosses the blood-brain barrier. So you’ll get the benefits of lithium supplementation while avoiding the toxic side effects of high doses.[xxiv]

Lithium Orotate supplements recommended dose is 5 mg two or three times per day. See “Where to buy Lithium Orotate” for more on lithium amounts in nootropic supplements.

Many neurohackers use Lithium Orotate only as needed. For example, when feeling anxious or in the middle of a mood swing.

For someone with bipolar disorder or manic disorders, increasing to two 5 mg tablets up to 3-times per day may be more effective.

Naturopathic doctors suggest stacking 1,000 mg of Omega-3 and 400 UI of Vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) each day you’re using Lithium Orotate.

Lithium Orotate Side Effects

Do not confuse Lithium Orotate with lithium carbonate. The carbonate version of lithium is only available by prescription and comes with a host of side effects.

Prescription lithium used in excess has been shown to have adverse effects on thyroid and kidney function. This is NOT a problem when supplementing with Lithium Orotate when used at recommended dosages.

Lithium Orotate at low doses is non-toxic and lab tests are not required to monitor your lithium levels because it does not show up in blood samples.

Lithium Orotate should not be used if you are dealing with significant renal or cardiovascular disease, severe dehydration or sodium depletion, or if you’re taking diuretics or ACE inhibitors.

Do not use Lithium Orotate if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

You should check with your doctor if you are on any medication before using Lithium Orotate.

Where to Buy Lithium Orotate

Mother Nature has already put the antipsychotic “drug” lithium in drinking water. And you get some lithium from food depending on where it’s grown.

Supplemental Lithium Orotate typically comes in 120 or 130 mg capsules or tablets containing 5 mg of elemental lithium.

I recommend and use Lithium Orotate by Advanced Research (Amazon) which was formulated by Dr. Hans Nieper.

Nootropics Expert Recommendation

Nootropics Expert Tested and ApprovedLithium Orotate 5 mg 2 or 3 times per day.

I recommend using Lithium Orotate as a nootropic supplement if you’re feeling anxious or depressed. Or experiencing mood swings.

Your body does not make lithium on its own. So you must get this essential trace mineral from your diet, or a supplement like Lithium Orotate.

Lithium combined with orotic acid makes Lithium Orotate which readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and you should feel its effects within 15 – 20 minutes of taking it.

Lithium Orotate is especially effective if you’re feeling stressed, or mentally overworked. Your brain uses lithium faster and it needs to be replaced. Which you can do by using Lithium Orotate.

Lithium Orotate is great if you are ADHD because lithium calms the hyperactivity in your brain.

Lithium supplements do not change your state of consciousness. It simply helps bring you back to feeling normal and happy.

I suggest trying Lithium Orotate as a nootropic supplement with your first dose at 5 mg and see how you react. If you experience no negative reaction, try another 5 mg in a few hours. Up to 3 – 5 mg doses per day.

You’ll likely experience the full benefits of Lithium Orotate within a week of consistent use.

I recommend and use Lithium Orotate by Advanced Research (Amazon).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may also contain other affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

[i] Boesgaard A.M., Steigman G. (1985). “Big bang nucleosynthesis – Theories and observations”. Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Palo Alto, CA. 23: 319–378. (source)

[ii] Swann A.C. “Norepinephrine and (Na+, K+)-ATPase: evidence for stabilization by lithium or imipramine.” Neuropharmacology. 1988 Mar;27(3):261-7. (source)

[iii] Herbert V., Colman N. “Release of vitamin binding proteins from granulocytes by lithium: vitamin B12 and folate binding proteins.” Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 1980;127:61-78. (source)

[iv] Young W. “Review of lithium effects on brain and blood.” Cell Transplantation. 2009;18(9):951-75. (source)

[v] Schrauzer G.N., Shrestha K.P. “Lithium in drinking water and the incidences of crimes, suicides, and arrests related to drug addictions.” Biological Trace Element Research. 1990 May;25(2):105-13. (source)

[vi] Ohgami H., Terao T., Shiotsuki I., Ishii N., Iwata N. “Lithium levels in drinking water and risk of suicide.” British Journal of Psychiatry. 2009 May;194(5):464-5 (source)

[vii] Blüml V., Regier M.D., Hlavin G., Rockett I.R., König F., Vyssoki B., Bschor T., Kapusta N.D. “Lithium in the public water supply and suicide mortality in Texas.” Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2013 Mar;47(3):407-11. (source)

[viii] Terao T., Goto S., Inagaki M., Okamoto Y. “Even very low but sustained lithium intake can prevent suicide in the general population?”  Medical Hypotheses. 2009 Nov;73(5):811-2 (source)

[ix] Cade J.F.J. “Lithium Salts in the Treatment of Psychotic Excitement” The Medical Journal of Australia Vol. II No. 10, September 3, 1949 (source)

[x] Wada A. “Lithium and neuropsychiatric therapeutics: neuroplasticity via glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, beta-catenin, and neurotrophin cascades.” Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2009 May;110(1):14-28. (source)

[xi] Kaidanovich-Beilin O., Milman A., Weizman A., Pick C.G., Eldar-Finkelman H. “Rapid antidepressive-like activity of specific glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitor and its effect on beta-catenin in mouse hippocampus.” Biological Psychiatry. 2004 Apr 15;55(8):781-4. (source)

[xii] O’Brien W.T., Harper A.D., Jové F., Woodgett J.R., Maretto S., Piccolo S., Klein P.S. “Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta haploinsufficiency mimics the behavioral and molecular effects of lithium.” Journal of Neuroscience. 2004 Jul 28;24(30):6791-8. (source)

[xiii] Collingridge G.L, Watkins J.C. “The NMDA Receptor.” New York: Oxford Univ. Press; 1994.

[xiv] Chuang D., Christ L., Fujimaki K., Hashimoto R., Jeong M.R. “Lithium-induced inhibition of Src tyrosine kinase in rat cerebral cortical neurons: A role in neuroprotection against N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity”. FEBS Letters 2003; 538(1-3): 45-148 (source)

[xv] Manji H.K, Chen G., Moore G.J. “Lithium at 50: Have the neuroprotective effects of this unique cation been overlooked?” Biological Psychiatry 1999; 46(7): 929-940 (source)

[xvi] Leeds P.R., Yu F., Wang Z., Chiu C., Zhang Y., Leng Y., Linares G.R., Chuang D. “A New Avenue for Lithium: Intervention in Traumatic Brain Injury” ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2014 Jun 18; 5(6): 422–433. (source)

[xvii] Schrauzer G.N. “Lithium: occurrence, dietary intakes, nutritional essentiality.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2002 Feb;21(1):14-21. (source)

[xviii] Concha G., Broberg K., Grandér M., Cardozo A., Palm B., Vahter M. “High-level exposure to lithium, boron, cesium, and arsenic via drinking water in the Andes of northern Argentina.” Environmental Science and Technology. 2010 Sep 1;44(17):6875-80 (source)

[xix] Angelucci F., Aloe L., Jiménez-Vasquez P., Mathé A.A. “Lithium treatment alters brain concentrations of nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in a rat model of depression.” International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 Sep;6(3):225-31. (source)

[xx] Aydin K., Uysal S., Yakut A., Emiroglu B., Yılmaz F. “N-acetylaspartate concentration in corpus callosum is positively correlated with intelligence in adolescents.” Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 16;59(2):1058-64 (source)

[xxi] Yucel K., McKinnon M.C., Taylor V.H, Macdonald K., Alda M., Young L.T., MacQueen G.M. “Bilateral hippocampal volume increases after long-term lithium treatment in patients with bipolar disorder: a longitudinal MRI study.” Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 2007 Dec;195(3):357-67 (source)

[xxii] Schrauzer G.N., de Vroey E. “ Effects of nutritional lithium supplementation on mood. A placebo-controlled study with former drug users.” Biological Trace Element Research. 1994 Jan;40(1):89-101. (source)

[xxiii] Sartori H.E. “Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.” Alcohol. 1986 Mar-Apr;3(2):97-100. (source)

[xxiv] Lakhan S., Vieira K.F. “Nutritional therapies for mental disorders” Nutrition Journal 2008; 7: 2. (source)

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Join The Discussion - 781 comments

Tom Anderson
June 28, 2020

David, thanks for great article. I have been taking orotates since reading Hans Napier information over 10 years ago. I am taking Lithium, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium Oratates. I have read many medical documents and web pages stating that Lithium Orotate should not be taken with ACE 2 inhibitors as the combination could cause a toxic level of Lithium. You have stated also not to take Lithium Orotate while taking ACE 2 Inhibitors. I do not understand how an orotate can possibly cause a toxic overdose. My understanding from Hans Napier’s documentation of orotates that the oratic acid moves freely in and out of cells and only leaves the mineral riding on the oratic acid if the cell needs it. If that is the case, how can you possibly have a toxic overdose of Lithium?

    David Tomen
    June 29, 2020

    Tom, I’ve seen reports time and time again where ACE 2 Inhibitors mess with lithium metabolism resulting in lithium toxicity. This report from Germany for instance says, “a combination of lithium with ACE inhibitors is possible when sufficient hydration is ensured and a combination with hydrochlorothiazide is avoided.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40261-019-00768-7

    I realize we’re microdosing lithium here but it is a mineral. And our bodies can only accommodate so much of it before rebeling.

Andy
June 27, 2020

Hi David, will LO have any interaction while taking GABA ? How about interaction with social alcohol use, such as beer?

    David Tomen
    June 29, 2020

    Andy, it shouldn’t cause any problems. Especially since the dose of elemental lithium is only 5 mg.

Fredrik
June 16, 2020

I take 12mg of Lithium Orotate every day. I’m thinking about taking one large dose of magic mushrooms to improve my mental health.

Can I safely do this? If not, for how long do I need to stop taking Lithium in order to take the mushrooms?

    David Tomen
    June 17, 2020

    Frederik, I suggest avoiding the combo of psilocybin and lithium because there are numerous reports of really bad outcomes: https://erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_health3.shtml – those reports are on LSD but apply here as well.

    The half-life of Lithium is about 24 hours so I’d give it at least 2 – 3 days before doing the mushrooms.

Angelina
June 11, 2020

Morning, dexamphetamine and sometimes been trying Ritalin to test out what’s best. B12, iron, vitamin a, calcium with vitamins D-k2, lysine a thyroid manager supplement and a vitamin made up from a Compouding Chemsit with all b vitamins And magnesium , mythionine, l-theanine.

At night take lamictal – mood stabiliser for bi polar disorder 5-htp, (sometimes GABA), l-theanine, (sometimes melatonin)

Can I incorporate lithium in the morning and at night? I feel like it will help the bi polar depression aides of things.

    David Tomen
    June 12, 2020

    Angelina, you can try Lithium Orotate as long as you keep the dosage low. And stay with 5 mg doses at at time. Which happen to be very effective anyway.

Freddy Wolves
May 30, 2020

Hello David!

Can you tell me if there is any way to cure or fix “God Complex” which happens everytime after a manic episode. I’m bipolar 1.

I can control the bipolar attack and also the Mania, but not the God Complex.

I visited a lot of psychiatrists and been on medications for a while, but nothing seemed to work.

    David Tomen
    June 1, 2020

    Freddy, also often referred to as “Grandiosity”, studies show that these “states result from genetic susceptibility in the circadian and dopamine neurotransmission apparatuses and disturbance in the intricate “catecholamine-acetylcholine neurotransmission balance” which leads to mood fluctuations. https://cmj.ac.kr/DOIx.php?id=10.4068/cmj.2017.53.1.1

    I’m not a doctor. So when I look at a study like this and see this statement, “catecholamine-acetylcholine neurotransmission balance”. I know I’m dealing with problems in dopamine and acetylcholine. And if you dig into the study (which is not easy, I admit), it seems that dopamine is over expressed.

    So if I was in this situation I’d be looking for natural nootropic supplements that either suppressed dopamine or regulated it. I’d try each one I found one at a time and see if I could isolate one that helped.

    The simplest and quickest way is to do a general Google search (or whatever search engine you prefer). And search for the keyword phrase “how to suppress dopamine”. See what turns up. Some are reviewed here on Nootropics Expert (https://nootropicsexpert.com/nootropics-list/) and some you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    But they include Bacopa monnieri (regulator), White Mulberry, L-Tryptophan (increases serotonin which then suppresses dopamine), lemon essential oil (Citrus limon), Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and Vitamin B6 (P-5-P).

    Hope that helps …

Robin H
May 29, 2020

Hi David,
I’m 51 yrs old and bipolar I, unmedicated most of my life. My symptoms used to be much worse in my teens and twenties. I was constantly hallucinating, suicidal, seeing demons, etc. Sometimes it was so mind-bogglingly beautiful and otherworldly, I still look back wistfully on those highs. Now I’m just garden variety crazy. Lol. I sort of function most of the time, but it’s very difficult to live with. I’m extremely health conscious though and unwilling to give up what health I have left to stabilize my brain with toxic drugs that don’t really work for me anyway. I’m sad though, because I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced brain damage from my illness. I often can’t remember ordinary words or people’s names or any numbers. I have a normal memory otherwise though. Also I used to be highly intelligent with a super high IQ, and I just don’t think that is the case anymore.

A couple of years ago I experimented with lithium orotate. I tried 5mg, then 10 and then 20. I felt like there were times when it seemed to help a bit, but generally it was a failed experiment. I bought a bottle yesterday and took 40mg last night before dinner. At the time I felt like my brain was the epicenter of a car crash. Everything seemed enormously loud and fast. Every noise cut me like glass. The only thing that seemed to make sense was to flow with it and start yelling and smashing things around me… which I did not do. I spend so much of my life trying to hold my energy in when it’s trying to explode. Nothing bad at all was happening. I was just in the kitchen with my boyfriend and mom, trying to make dinner. No reason to be upset whatsoever. Anyway, I took 40mg of lithium orotate, and within about 30 minutes, the horrible dysphoric agitation was gone. I actually felt a bit sedated to be honest, but i was relieved. Today I feel a touch hazy still, but otherwise I feel fine. Maybe I will try 30mg tonight.

My question is… if I decide that taking 30-40mg per day works well for me, what lab work should I be doing to check that the lithium isn’t causing problems? I don’t really need thyroid labs for this purpose, because I already take enough T3 to suppress my TSH. It’s the only thing that helps my severe depression. Now I’m just stuck in dyphoric hypomania most of the time.

Another thing… You recommend taking the lithium 3 x a day. I’ve read that the half-life of lithium is 24 hrs, so the only reason they sometimes split the dose is to keep the blood level from spiking to a toxic level when on higher doses of lithium carbonate. So for the lower dose of lithium orotate, taking it all at once might be fine. What do you think? It was definitely useful for the acute state I was experiencing yesterday.

Thanks for listening!

    David Tomen
    June 1, 2020

    Ralph, I’ve found it more beneficial to dose 5 mg at a time of Lithium Orotate regardless of the ‘half-life’. I’m not bipolar but it does keep things on an even keel if I do this 4-times per day. Remember that here you’re microdosing lithium. So there is no blood test for this. It all depends on how you feel.

    I suggest you also spend some time on a post a wrote about the ‘aging brain’. Because I think you’ll find that if you put together a stack of supplements based on that post you’ll be amazed on how well you feel. That post is here: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-the-aging-brain/

    You also mentioned a high IQ. Part of that includes good learning, memory and recall. If you’d like to learn more on supporting learning & memory, please see this post too: https://nootropicsexpert.com/best-nootropics-for-learning-and-memory/

      Robin
      June 1, 2020

      Thanks for these links! I’m definitely going to read these carefully. In addition to bipolar disorder, I also have 2 copies of the APOE4 Alzheimer’s gene, so this is all pretty important stuff for me.

      I’ll also try breaking up my doses of lithium throughout the day. Thanks for all the good info!

Leslie
May 27, 2020

Hi, and thank you for all the great info. I tapered off Symbyax 3/25mg last December (was on it for 15 years) and am still on bupropion SR 100mg once a day. I am still enduring the horrific effects of withdrawal from the Symbyax, most notably vicious insomnia (2 hours sleep per night for the last 4 months), an occasional heart arrhythmia, and super stomach-pit anxiety. I want to try lithium orotate 5mg to help with these symptoms. Should I worry about an interaction between lithium orotate 5mg and bupropion sr 100mg? Thanks for your help on this, I have searched the web without success. Your site is wonderful!!

ILA
May 27, 2020

Great website, David! You can be proud of yourself for helping so many people. I have been searching the Internet for any info about potential benefit of Lithium supplement (LO) on heart. Found nothing. Heart and Lithium together come across only in the context of high Lithium toxicity causing heart arrhythmia, as the reference goes to pharmaceutical grade. Even putting “orotate” in search didn’t help. So, perhaps you are aware of any data about Lithium being helpful for heart and heart electrical system, the same way as Magnesium and other electrolytes do? Specifically, to help with AFib (atrial fibrillation)?
Thank you,
Ila

    David Tomen
    May 28, 2020

    ILA, I didn’t come across anything concerning heart problems while using Lithium Orotate.

    The only thing I did come up with was this: “Lithium Orotate should not be used if you are dealing with significant renal or cardiovascular disease, severe dehydration or sodium depletion, or if you’re taking diuretics or ACE inhibitors.”

    I’ve not seen Lithium Orotate used as a therapeutic for the heart. But the dosage is very low at only 5 mg elemental lithium. So unless your using medication that is contraindicated with lithium it should be safe to test and see if it helps.

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