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Question:
Are lithium orotate supplements as effective and safe as prescription lithium for bipolar disease and depression?

Answer:
It's not known if lithium orotate is as effective for bipolar disease as lithium carbonate and lithium citrate (which are both FDA-approved drugs) and there is preliminary evidence that it is not as safe at the high doses of lithium used to treat bipolar disease. However, very low-dose lithium may have behavioral and cognitive benefits. For more details, see the full answer>>

NOTE: ConsumerLab.com has now tested low-dose lithium supplements, analyzing them for their amounts of lithium as well as for contamination with heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and cadmium). See the Low-Dose Lithium Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among products tested.

Also see these related CL Answers:



Which supplements help with depression and anxiety? >>



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JARKKO16831   May 13, 2018
I forgot to mention: Large capsules are USUALLY easier to open than small capsules, if one wants to split the dose in several days.

JARKKO16830   May 13, 2018
* Capsules of this product are almost impossible to remove from container: Life Extension® Memory Protect (0.3 mg per capsule; 1 capsule per day).

https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Lithium-Low-Dose-Supplements/lithium/

* "It would not be difficult to twist open a 5 mg capsule, pour out a portion of contents (such as half, if you want a 2.5 mg dose) and re-close the capsule".
Some capsules are easy to open, some are extremely tight and require a lot of time and strength to open. You should test this!

* Please test this low-dose lithium product:
Trace Minerals Research, ConcenTrace, Trace Mineral Drops, 8 fl oz (237 ml).
Serving Size: 1/2 tsp (about 40 drops)
Lithium 1.5 mg.
Of course one can take for example 10 drops a day or 10 drops per each liter of water or other drink.
The dosing is a bit inaccurate, as it is impossible to measure exact amount of drops from this bottle, especially after using the bottle for some time.

Denise11503   December 11, 2016
What about liquid lithium citrate? I have an 8 year old pt with ADHD, biopolar, and autoimmune encephalitis on 2 g lithium citrate drops from Pure Encapsulations....

ConsumerLab.com   April 27, 2017
Lithium citrate is discussed above.

Robert11502   December 11, 2016
Lithium carbonate is apparently not available without a prescription or in low doses. Given the downside of lithium orotate, I wonder if low-dose lithium chloride would be a safer alternative to use as a nutritional supplement.

Robert11496   December 8, 2016
I take a 1/4 mg (barely covers the tip of a table knife) of lithium orotate every other day. I find it adds a positive edge to the day (like 1-3%, not even high enough to get into placebo effect range:). I tried a whole capsule (KAL Lithium Orotate 5mg) when first got bought it and that made my brain feel like it was turning to cardboard. So I broke the capsules open and take about a 1/10 of what is in one capsule. I became interested in the lithium when I read several studies that show communities that have lithium in their water have 1/2 the suicide rates of communities that do not. And your brain does need trace amounts to function. In my case less is more......

Virginia11478   December 7, 2016
I have been using Lithium Orotate for over ten years to manage my bipolar condition. It works very well, without the unpleasant side effects of Litihium Carbonate.

I have tried going off it and my symptoms return. I know that isn't a scientific proof, but since the drug can't be patented, nobody wants to do the appropriate trials.

All the other bipolar drugs have unpleasant and/or dangerous side effects. I tried many of them before I found LiOr.

Of course, anything taken in large quantities produces problems.

Robert11504   December 11, 2016
It could be patented in different formulations. Lithium Carbonate was.

JARKKO16833   May 13, 2018
What dose and brand have you been using for 10 years?

What blood tests have you used to verify no side-effects?

Kevin11475   December 7, 2016
The source got me started taking low dose Lithium is this New York Times article - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/opinion/sunday/should-we-all-take-a-bit-of-lithium.html?_r=0

The author claims numerous studies that suggest low dose Lithium supplementation could be beneficial based on positive correlations between amounts of Lithium and physical and behavioral health outcomes. The distinction between orotate or carbonate versions is not discussed.

Robert11470   December 7, 2016
Castillo-Quan JI, Li L, Kinghorn KJ, et al. Lithium Promotes Longevity through GSK3/NRF2-Dependent Hormesis. Cell Rep. 2016;15(3):638-50.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22746245

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4659557/

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/lithium-neuroprotective-effects/page/0/3

http://alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/ratings/lithium-dietary

https://www.gwern.net/docs/lithium/2014-mauer.pdf

Brett11468   December 7, 2016
Functional & Integrative mental health practitioners have been recommending supplementation with lithium orotate for a variety of mental health conditions. There is much evidence, in fact, to suggest that low doses of lithium (such as that obtained via lithium orotate or other formulations of lithium) can be beneficial to mental wellness. It is very true, however, that lithium can be toxic under certain conditions and supplementation should be monitored by an integrative mental health practitioner qualified to do so. In the mean time, for a more comprehensive and balanced review of low-dose lithium as a supplement, I recommend a fantastic resource that I just finished reading: "Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story" by James Greenblatt, MD & Kayla Grossmann, RN - Brett Howard

Brian11467   December 7, 2016
Lithium orotate gets GREAT reviews in every place that I research it. Perhaps the research community should take a second look?

This CL Answer initially posted on 12/7/2016. Last updated 8/27/2017.

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