Natural Health

How Much of This Trace Element is in Your Water?

How Much of This Trace Element is in Your Water? about undefined
The Answer May Indicate if You’ll Get Alzheimer’s. The evidence just keeps on growing. Previous research groups revealed this mineral can lower rates of crime, suicide, homicide, drug-dependency, impulsiveness and death from any cause - provided you get an adequate dose. It's also been shown to stabilize cognition in those with mild memory loss and Alzheimer's. It even increases grey matter volume – it literally helps you grow new brain cells. Now two new studies add to the mounting evidence that lithium in low doses can help healthy people avoid dementia and extend the lifespan of those who already suffer from the disease.

Reduces Risk of Dementia by 17%

For the first study, carried out in Denmark, 73,731 dementia patients aged 50 - 90 were compared with 733,653 of the same age who were free of the disease. The researchers estimated these people’s intake of lithium from the water supply since 1986. The finding, published in JAMA Psychiatry in October, was that those exposed to the highest levels -- 15 micrograms per liter or more -- were 17% less likely to receive a dementia diagnosis than those ingesting from two to five micrograms per liter. Patterns were similar for both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Commentators on this study were very upbeat about the findings. In the opinion of Allan Young, Professor of Mood Disorders at King's College London, "This study fits well with previous evidence which shows that environmental lithium may have health benefits and lithium may prevent dementia." Dr. David Reynolds, chief scientific officer for Alzheimer's Research UK, stated, "It is potentially exciting that low doses of a drug already available in the clinic could help limit the number of people who develop dementia..." Rob Howard, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at University College London, added, "These results represent another important piece of evidence for lithium's potential as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease."

Lithium Levels in Texas Linked to Mental Health

In the early 1970s researchers from the University of Texas compared two of the State's cities. One had high levels of lithium in the drinking water, the other had low levels. In the city with low levels, three times as many people were admitted to the hospital for psychosis and personality disorders and six times as many for neurosis. This was followed up in 24 other Texas communities. Similar correlations were found between diagnosis of mental illness and lithium content of the water. In the most recent study, published in the January 2018 edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers from Brock University in Ontario, Canada, collected statistics on lithium levels in the drinking water from 234 Texas counties. Lead researcher Val Fajardo sums up their findings: “We found counties that had above the median level of lithium in tap water (40 micrograms per liter) experienced less increases in Alzheimer’s disease mortality over time, whereas counties below that median level had even higher increases in Alzheimer’s deaths over time.” They also found lithium protected against diabetes and obesity, which are themselves important risk factors for Alzheimer's.

Essential to a Healthy Brain

No informed brain scientist should be surprised by the findings of these studies, and the many that have gone before them, in view of the fact that lithium performs a number of crucial functions in brain chemistry. In 2015, neuropharmacologist Dr. Tim Marshall, writing in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, explained lithium's role as an essential element. In low doses, lithium is needed for vitamin B12 and folic acid transport and uptake in the brain; upregulation of important brain chemicals such as BDNF and NGF which are needed for normal functioning, plasticity and repair of neurons; and protection against a wide variety of neurotoxins. He wrote, "With its newly described antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity along with powerful neuroprotective effects, low-dose lithium therapy has largely unrealized potential to prevent or treat a wide-range of neurological disorders..." That word “unrealized” indicates a sad truth: Conventional medicine largely ignores what science has known for a long time about lithium, and lives are being lost or ruined as a result. Besides occurring in the water supply in some communities, lithium can also be found in some foods. Dr. Marshall lists cacao (dark chocolate), oats, seafood, seaweed, goji berries, various fruits and vegetables (depending on the soil in which they’re grown), and egg yolks as rich sources. Not inclined to leave it to chance, I take a lithium orotate supplement, Green Valley’s own Brain Essentials: Lithium. Lithium orotate is also available from other vendors (although seldom in stores), but I have full confidence in our source.
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