Lithium Deficiency May Lead to Mood Disorders - dummies

Lithium Deficiency May Lead to Mood Disorders

By Christopher Hobbs, Elson Haas

Scientists are uncertain whether this mineral is a required nutrient, but a lithium deficiency can lead to mood disorders. Most people take in about 2 mg daily from their diets, although no specific requirement is now known.

Lithium is a metal found in the soil and used medically in the treatment of manic depressive disorders.

Following are some key functions of lithium:

  • May have a relationship to brain and mood functions, such as the mood swings of manic depression.

  • Used in high amounts to treat manic depression and in low amounts nutritionally to balance moods or milder forms of manic depression.

  • Sometimes used in the treatment of alcoholism.

Lithium occurs in many foods, if the soil in which they are grown is rich in the element. Some mineral waters and seaweed also contain this mineral.

Natural treatments for mood-balancing effects with lithium orotate are at about 10 to 30 mg daily, and medical treatments under the supervision of a physician or psychiatrist are usually at about 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day, available with a doctor’s prescription only.

Scientists do not consider lithium deficiency a major concern. Toxicity only appears to occur in people taking prescription lithium, which can cause a variety of problems. Check with your doctor for details.