Different forms of minerals play a crucial role for the optimal functioning of the human body. Minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorous are found only in trace amounts, yet they are critical in ensuring that various bodily functions keep running as they should.
While some minerals are known by the general public for their health benefits, others are not quite as known but still play equally important roles. For example, there is this unknown mineral that improves mental health and also has the ability to extend your lifespan.
This mineral is called lithium and is most commonly known as the best treatment for bipolar disorder. You’ll find out more about this mineral, as well as other uncommon minerals that play important roles in mental health, in this article.
What is Lithium?
Lithium (Li) is an alkali metal found in trace amounts in water, soil, and food. Specific foods known to be rich in this mineral are fruits and vegetables grown in soil rich in lithium. It may not be normally specified in most food and nutrition labels, but lithium is often found in trace amounts and plays a number of roles in the human body.
Lithium is a component of some of our body’s hormones and enzymes. In other words, a diet lacking in lithium will result in reduced production of these hormones and enzymes, which would further compromise our body’s functions. Lithium is known as a component of growth factors, the immune system, and more importantly the nervous system.
Lithium Orotate vs. Lithium Carbonate
There are 2 forms of lithium available on the market. There is lithium orotate and there is lithium carbonate. While both of them are considered as salts of lithium, their effects and health benefits are starkly different, so much so they should be considered as 2 completely different supplements.
Lithium orotate is an over-the-counter form of lithium that is being used for many different kinds of health problems as well as for longevity. The benefits of taking lithium orotate will be discussed in detail later, but what you should know for now is that the orotate makes all the difference in its function.
The presence of orotate allows lithium to be easily absorbed by your cell membranes since orotate easier passes through the protective blood brain barrier. As such, lithium orotate requires a much lower dose to be effective compared to lithium carbonate.
For example, you will only need a dose of 150mg of lithium orotate (about 5mg elemental lithium) to treat severe depression, compared to at least 900mg of lithium carbonate. Because of the significantly reduced intake of lithium, side effects are significantly reduced since less is circulating in the blood stream, and less monitoring of toxicity is needed.
Lithium carbonate is the common form of lithium found as a prescription drug. There is reason that this substance can only be obtained under prescription. Because of the poor absorptivity of lithium carbonate, higher dosages are needed. As blood lithium levels increase, the risk of toxicity also increases. Because of the dangers of lithium carbonate toxicity, blood lithium levels need to be monitored regularly when taking this drug.
Its efficacy, lower dosage requirements, and lower risk of toxicity are enough reasons to make lithium orotate a better choice compared to lithium carbonate. Even better, you can purchase it over the counter, making it possible for you to enjoy its health benefits without the need of a prescription. The reason being that your doctor rather prescribe carbonate is because it is possible to patent, and hence they can earn more money on it.
THE BENEFITS OF LITHIUM OROTATE SUPPLEMENTS
There are multiple benefits associated with taking lithium orotate. The good news is that you can take this supplement daily without worrying about any adverse effects on your body. Here are some of the benefits of taking lithium orotate.
- It provides brain protection
Many people know lithium as a drug used for treating mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. However, not many people know that lithium can actually help in preventing brain disorders from happening in the first place.
It prevents the formation and accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain, a phenomenon that is linked to a number of brain disorders. It is also linked in the production of certain molecules that prevent cell death in the brain.
- It improves brain function
Mental function is also improved with the help of lithium orotate. Lithium orotate supplementation is linked to increased IQ scores. It is also linked to an increased production of neurons at the hippocampus, the region of the brain where memories are formed.
In fact, the idea that lithium has a restorative effect on brain cells has been known as early as the 19th century. Legend has it that the impression that lithium has a rejuvenating effect on the brain, stems from how staying in mineral springs in Europe improved the memories of old people.
- It improves heart function
Improving cardiac function is one of the most underrated benefits of taking lithium orotate. It promotes the production of VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor) a protein which signals the very formation of blood vessels and has a role in the formation of the circulatory system.
The production of this protein causes blood vessels to expand and prevent occlusion. Not only does this reduce the risk of strokes, but it also enhances a person’s rate of recovery from a stroke.
- Anxiety prone personality types can greatly benefit from lithium orotate
Lithium orotate can actually benefit some personality types better than others. People who are dealing with anxiety and depression are more often seen to benefit from daily supplementation of lithium orotate. Often these people are of introverted personalities, people who are quiet and deep but at risk of mood disorders.
Other Minerals That Play a Role in Health
There are many other minerals that are linked to improved brain function and reduced risk of developing disorders. Take for example magnesium.
Magnesium is one of the most highly overlooked minerals out there. However, it plays a very crucial role in a lot of physiologic functions. For instance, studies have shown it to be beneficial for both anxiety and stress. The takeaway here is that minerals, no matter how trace or minor they may seem, are all important for maintaining health. If you suffer from mental issues, look into lithium and magnesium.
Lithium is one of the most underrated yet most beneficial minerals out there. This unknown mineral improves mental health and extends lifespan which has all been proven in research studies. So, have you taken your dose of lithium orotate today?
“Alex Eriksson is the founder of the blog about testosterone called Anabolic Health, dedicated to providing honest and research-backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals. Check out his guide on testosterone boosting foods or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.”