Lithium:: A Newly Discovered Nutrient
Jan 01, 2016 01:17PM
By Timothy M. Marshall
As the “lightest” of all minerals, lithium is one of the most misunderstood trace minerals and brain nutrients of our time. We’ve known for years that animals need lithium nutritionally, and when fed low-lithium diets have higher mortalities, as well as reproductive and behavioral abnormalities.
A 1992 study by Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer found that individuals with heart disease, learning disabilities and incarcerated violent criminals had very low lithium levels, as measured through hair sample analysis. We also know that lower lithium intakes from water supplies are associated with increased rates of suicides, homicides and arrest rates for drug use and other crimes. In children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, lithium is often low, and when small doses of lithium are given with other nutrients (e.g. magnesium, zinc), symptoms frequently improve.
According to integrative psychiatrist Dr. James Greenblatt, M.D., in a recent talk titled, “The Top 5 Minerals for Cognition, Memory and Mood”, he states, “Clinical research supports a crucial link between mineral status and mental health. Zinc, magnesium and trace minerals such as lithium play indispensable roles in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the brain. These elements regulate emotions, thoughts, mood, sleep and behavior by modulating neurotransmitters.”
Greenblatt refers to lithium as a “naturally occurring, nootropic mineral”, which is any food, substance or nutrient that increases intelligence, memory and learning. In short, according to Greenblatt, “low-dose lithium works as a multifaceted tool in integrative health, offering beneficial effects on mood and behavior, as well as memory and cognition.”
Given that nutrient depletion is on the rise, and fluoride can bind to and decrease the bioavailability of lithium in both plants and animals, what are the implications of this on our health, and for the population at large? Simply put, there are many. As a protective shield against environmental toxins, coupled with its ability to enhance healing processes in the brain and body, most of us would benefit from a little extra dose of this brain-boosting, healing nutrient.