Bipolar Disorder Thyroid Function & Kidney Function
When it comes to mood disorders, lithium carbonate and orotate are used to help control mood swings.
A recent study has shown that taking a supplement of lithium orotate can help to lower the chances of a person who is a bipolar patient re-entering a manic state.
This is because it reduces the excretion rate of lithium from people with chronic kidney disease, thus increasing their lithium levels for more effective treatment of their mental illness.
As briefly mentioned, kidney diseases can affect the excretion rate of lithium in a persons system.
This is because when people have kidney disease, their kidneys cannot filter waste products and extra water from their blood like healthy kidneys can.
This causes people to retain more lithium than usual and greatly increases their risk of experiencing negative side effects such as lithium toxicity .
High serum lithium concentrations are a known complication of lithium therapy for bipolar patients.
In some cases, it may be necessary to discontinue the therapy if a persons renal function worsens.
The thyroid is the major storage site of lithium, and its accumulation inhibits thyroid iodide uptake.
It also inhibits thyrotropin binding, affects thyroid hormone structure and secretion, and decreases both quantity and quality of synthesis.
The latter effect is particularly important in the development of hypothyroidism and goiter.
What Is Lithium Orotate
A salt of the mineral lithium and orotic acid, lithium orotate is often sold as an over-the-counter nutritional supplement. For the body to use lithium, a transporter molecule must carry it. In lithium orotate, the transporter is orotic acid , a substance that the body also produces naturally.
Lithium orotate offers superior bio-utilization, allowing the mineral to penetrate the intracellular structures of cells, including the mitochondria, glia, and lysosomes.
Lithium orotate is different because it is effective at boosting brain health in extremely small amounts. Connected to the small orotic acid molecule, lithium orotate can penetrate cell walls easily, making it highly bioavailable. Lithium orotate is non-toxic and low levels could be effective for 70 to 80 percent of people who try it.
Everything You Need to Know About Lithium Orotate
Length: 7 minutes
Where To Find Lithium
You can find small amounts of lithium in many plant-derived foods, including the following:
- Legumes including lentils, garbanzo beans, and green peas
- Vegetables including tomatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, and cabbage
- Depending on where you live, your drinking water may contain traces of lithium
However, since most foods contain small amounts of lithium, consider taking a supplement to ensure consistent servings of lithium orotate in your diet.
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How Does It Work In The Brain
Lithium orotate has a number of benefits in the brain.
Its been shown to improve your mood, memory, and cognitive function as well as reduce anxiety levels!
In fact, lithium is used commonly by psychiatrists for treating bipolar disorder because it can help stabilize your mood.
Lithium orotate has been shown to increase dopamine levels in the brain which is a neurotransmitter involved in your motivation and reward system.
Dopamine affects how you feel pleasure or pain as well as has an effect on memory and cognition.
In addition, lithium orotate has been shown to increase the release of acetylcholine which is another neurotransmitter that plays a role in your learning abilities as well as regulating your sleep, mood, and muscle contractions.
This is why it has become increasingly popular among biohackers and nootropic users alike.
Lithium And Your Mood
Lithium has been used in treatment of bipolar disorder, or BD, far longer than any other mood stabilizer in the market today. In fact, it is the only drug approved for children diagnosed with BD to date. Although it is known to have a quite narrow ratio of being therapeutic to being toxic, most of its side effects are comparable to taking too much table salt. That being said, administrations of lithium often take place in clinics with facilities that are able to monitor lithium levels in the blood.
Physicians in Greek and Roman antiquity prescribed lithium salts to people suffering from bouts of mania and melancholia. At that time there was no distinction made for bipolar disorder as a separate mental illness, but the tranquilizing effects of lithium salts on patients afflicted with depression or mania were well documented. While preparations containing elemental lithium were not yet available in ancient times, physicians instruct patients to drink from alkali springs, which contain high concentrations of lithium salts.
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How Does Lithium Orotate Work
Lithium affects neural pathways and changes the release of chemicals in your central nervous system. It helps to improve and balance mood, and it also has neuroprotective properties. Although doctors still dont know the exact mechanisms, lithium seems to strengthen connections between neurons in the brain.
Lithium And Neural Activity
Affects Excitatory Neurotransmitters
The mechanisms of action of lithium as a mood stabilizer is still under scrutiny, but in the past few years a number of theories have gained significant attention. The most prevalent explanation is its effects on the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. It is believed that lithium exerts changes in endogenous glutamate by blocking the enzyme responsible for the conversion of gamma-aminobutanoic acid, or GABA, into glutamate. By so doing, lithium raises concentrations of GABA, the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.
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How To Take It
Swallow tablets whole with a drink of water or juice. Do not chew them. You can take lithium with or without food.
If you’re taking liquid, use the plastic syringe or spoon that comes with your medicine to measure the correct dose. If you do not have one, ask your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as you will not get the right amount.
Lithium Orotate For Ocd
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world. The first-line treatment includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is not always effective. Thats why newer studies focus on lithiums potential to manage OCD symptoms.
The research highlights lithiums potential to affect specific pathways vital in controlling oxidative stress, inflammation, and regulating glutamine. All of these things have a significant effect on the onset of OCD, so scientists believe that lithium will be an excellent option for managing the symptoms of this condition.
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The Phosphoinositol Cycle Pkc And Myristoylated Alanine
General aspects of the PI cycle, PKC, and MARCKS: relevance for BD pathophysiology
Phospholipids are precursors for many signaling molecules. Inositol phospholipids play a key role in receptor-mediated signal-transduction pathways, and are implicated in a variety of responses such as cell division, secretion, neuronal excitability, and responsiveness. The PI pathway is initiated by the activation of G-protein-coupled receptors, which couple neurotransmitter receptors to multiple types of intracellular effector proteins. M1, M2, M3, 1, and serotonin receptors coupled to G q/11 induce phospholipase C , which hydrolyzes phosphatidylinositol- 4,5-bisphosphate to yield two second messengers: inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate and diacylglycerol , which is an endogenous activator of PKC. IP3 binds to the IP3 receptor, facilitating the release of calcium from intracellular stores, in particular the ER .
The protein MARCKS, a downstream target for PI/PKC signaling, is a fundamental substrate of PKC, and has been implicated in signaling and neuroplastic events associated with cytoskeletal architecture . Indeed, activation of PKC results in the post-translational phosphorylation of various proteins, but MARCKS is its major substrate in the brain .
Lithiums neurotrophic effects targeting at the PI cycle, PKC, and MARCKS: general aspects
Lithiums neurotrophic effects on the PI cycle
Lithiums neurotrophic effects at the PKC/MARCKS pathways
Information About Your Lithium Treatment
When you start taking lithium, you will get a lithium treatment pack with a record booklet. You need to show your record booklet every time you see your doctor, go to hospital, or collect your prescription.
When you go to the doctor for blood tests, you or your doctor will write in the record booklet:
- your dose of lithium
- problems with your eyesight
- increased need to pee, lack of control over pee or poo
- feeling faint, lightheaded or sleepy
- confusion and blackouts
- shaking or muscle weakness, muscle twitches, jerks or spasms affecting the face, tongue, eyes or neck
If you need to go to A& E, take the lithium packet or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.
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How Lithium Affects The Brain
We dont know exactly how lithium works, but we know it helps the way brain cell connections remodel themselves, usually referred to as synaptic plasticity. It also protects brain neurons by controlling cellular pathways, such as those involved in oxidative stress and inflammation.
Animal studies have shown that long-term treatment with lithium leads to improvement in memory and learning. These observations led to studies of lithiums protective effects on brain neurons in bipolar patients who had been taking it for a long time.
One of these was a review of more than 20 studies, seven of which examined dementia rates in patients with mood disorders being treated with standard therapeutic doses of lithium. Five of these studies showed lithium treatment was related to low dementia rates.
The review looked at four randomised controlled trials . These examined lithiums effects on cognitive impairment or dementia over six to 15 months.
One study did not show a statistically significant benefit on cognition but showed a biologically positive effect on the levels of a protein that promotes nerve cell growth. The other three showed statistically significant, albeit modest, beneficial effects of lithium on cognitive decline.
Lithium Orotate For Sleep
Sleep disturbances and mental health disorders often go hand in hand. Thats why people with bipolar disorder have trouble getting sufficient sleep.
However, a 2016 study discovered that patients with bipolar disorder using lithium as a mood-stabilizing therapy had longer sleep duration and better sleep quality than those not taking lithium. Thats consistent with some of the previous research that determined that lithium has the potential to increase slow-wave sleep.
However, we must mention that solid clinical studies examining the effects of lithium orotate on sleep and insomnia symptoms are lacking. Still, many user reviews report that people experience sleep benefits when using these supplements.
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Lithium Orotate For Alcoholism
Lithium orotate proved helpful in the treatment of alcoholism, with a few minor side effects such as loss of appetite, muscle weakness, and mild apathy. The subjects experienced better liver and cardiovascular function, fewer migraines, elimination of seizures, and improved white blood cell count, manic episodes, and hyperthyroid function.
How To Take Lithium Orotate
A typical lithium orotate supplement comes in a capsule or tablet form and contains 120 mg of lithium orotate. This salt consists of elemental lithium and orotic acid, and there is around 4.6 mg of lithium and 115.4 mg of orotic acids in the standard capsule.
You take one to two capsules of lithium orotate per day, and after some time, the effects start to kick in. Many users report improvements after several days of using these supplements. However, according to most experts, it takes around 2-3 weeks for the effects to kick in fully. And thats for the more potent lithium carbonate. Since lithium orotate is a low-dose lithium supplement, you may have to use it for 3-6 weeks before experiencing the full spectrum of benefits.
The great thing is that lithium orotate usually has no acute side effects because of its low dose. The most common side effect is weight gain, and you can experience it with long-term use. Other adverse effects occur when you go over the recommended dose.
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Trace Levels Of Lithium In Drinking Water Have Been Linked To Lower Rates Of Suicidality And Impulsivity In Multiple Populations
The original research for this correlation was conducted in Texas between 1978 and 1987. The results from 27 counties showed a significant inverse correlation between lithium levels and rates of violence and drug abuse. Counties with higher levels of lithium in their water supply had lower levels of suicidality, violence, and drug-related crime.
To see if these findings could be replicated, researchers conducted similar studies across the world. While most of the studies showed similar results in places like Japan and Europe, some did not find any correlation.
To more conclusively determine the effects of trace-level lithium on suicidality, scientists pooled together the results of 15 international studies and analyzed the findings. They found that high levels of lithium in water sources have coincided with lower suicide rates in countries across the world.
How And When To Take Lithium
It’s important to take lithium as recommended by your doctor.
There are 2 different types of lithium lithium carbonate and lithium citrate. It’s important not to change to a different type unless your doctor has recommended it. This is because different types are absorbed differently in the body.
Lithium carbonate comes as regular tablets and slow-release tablets where the medicine is released slowly over time.
Lithium citrate comes as a liquid. This is usually only prescribed for people who have trouble swallowing tablets .
Doses vary from person to person. Your starting dose will depend on your age, what you’re being treated for and the type of lithium your doctor recommends.
If you have kidney problems your doctor will monitor the level of lithium in your blood even more closely and change your dose if necessary.
You will usually take your lithium once a day, at night. This is because when you have your regular blood test, you need to have it 12 hours after taking your medicine. You can choose when you take your lithium just try to keep to the same time every day.
Cautions With Other Medicines
This are some medicines that may interfere with how lithium works and this can affect the levels of lithium in your blood.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking :
- tablets that make you pee such as furosemide or bendroflumethiazide
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for pain relief and swelling such as aspirin, ibuprofen, celecoxib or diclofenac
- medicines used for heart problems or high blood pressure such as enalapril, lisinopril or ramipril
- some medicines used for depression such as fluvoxamine, paroxetine or fluoxetine
- antibiotics such as oxytetracycline, metronidazole, co-trimoxazole, trimethoprim
- medicines for epilepsy such as carbamazepine or phenytoin
These are not all the medicines that can affect the way lithium works. Always check with your doctor before you start or stop taking any medicine.
Determination Of Lithium In Blood And Brain
Blood samples were collected at different time points via transcutaneous cardiac puncture and the serum separated for determination of lithium levels. The Clinical Chemistry Department at the Sahlgrenska University hospital performed the lithium serum analysis using a Roche/Hitachi cobas 8000, c502 analyzer.
For brain tissue lithium determination, micro-dissection of defined brain regions was performed after 28 days of lithium treatment and the tissue pieces were snap frozen in dry ice and kept in 80. Neurogenic regions where delineated as previously described,,. Each region was carefully weighed and homogenized with an ultrasonicator in 10 volumes of 0.5N trichloroacetic acid followed by centrifugation. For each sample 50l was further diluted in 4.95ml of 0.02M HNO3 and the lithium concentrations in parts per million were measured using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy . The lithium concentrations were quantitatively determined by using the emission at 670.780nm against acid-matched calibration solutions and the concentration was calculated from the dilution factor and the respective weight in grams for each tissue sample .
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How Can I Make Sure That Im Getting Enough Lithium
In addition to the water supply, lithium is available in certain foods, such as cereals, grains, tomatoes and cabbage. Those eating mostly animal products may be more prone to low levels.
However, the amount of lithium that you can get depends mostly on where you live and varies widely from region to region. For those who live in an area with low lithium levels, it may not be possible to get enough even with dietary changes.
15 states with the highest levels of lithium in groundwater, measured between 1992 – 2003.
Lithium levels are not typically measured in local water levels, although one study was able to identify the 15 states with the most lithium in their groundwater between 1992 – 2003. Access to up to date information in the future may help us better understand the role of trace level lithium in a communitys mental health, as well as which communities may be more prone to lithium deficiency based on their location.
Lithium Orotate Side Effects & Precautions
When taken in low amounts as a supplement or consumed through food and water, there are almost no side effects from lithium orotate.
The mechanism of action for lithium orotate in small servings is quite different from that when someone takes it in higher amounts, according to a comprehensive review by Dr. Timothy Marshall. The safety of low amounts of lithium orotate is comparable to low amounts of zinc and other vital minerals the body needs, says Marshall. Possible side effects from higher amounts could include dizziness, muscle weakness, or fatigue.
Pregnant and nursing women should consult their doctor before taking lithium orotate. Also, avoid lithium orotate if you have renal or cardiovascular diseases, severe dehydration, sodium depletion, or if you are using a diuretic or ACE inhibitor.
If you take multiple orotate supplements such as magnesium orotate, calcium orotate, or zinc orotate, as well as lithium orotate you could end up with too much orotic acid at once. Between 50 to 100 mg/kg body weight are safe, which is equivalent to 2,250 to 4,500 mg orotic acid per 100 pounds of body weight.
It is important not to self-medicate any serious mental illness with lithium orotate. You should consult a healthcare practitioner to avoid any adverse effects if you have been diagnosed with any medical condition, or are taking prescription medications.
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