Blair Cuneo, PA-C
Lithium…a little goes a long way in cognitive and emotional health
Popular nutrients that make the major headlines for supporting cognitive wellness include magnesium and zinc, but how’s your lithium?
Lithium is an essential micro-nutrient with chemical properties similar to calcium and magnesium. It is present in all organs and tissues of the body.
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates the daily lithium intake of an average adult ranges from 0.65 mg to 3 mg. Foods higher in lithium include grains, vegetables, eggs and milk. The most frequent source of lithium is tap water. Depending on where you live, there can be lithium deficiencies in your soil and with increased bottle water and home filtration use, we are filtering the lithium right out of our water.
Supplementing with low-dose lithium aims to support the body’s daily nutritional need for lithium. This is very different than the dosage of lithium as medication. Lithium carbonate is a well-established, effective medication therapy for mood disorders like bipolar disorder. Whereas lithium carbonate dosing can be in the hundreds of milligrams, low-dose lithium can range from micrograms to low milligram amounts.
How does lithium benefit brain health?
It is NEUROPROTECTIVE, shielding neurons from biological stress and toxins.
It promotes NEUROGENESIS, leading to increased numbers of neurons and brain volume.
It regulates NEUROTRANSMITTERS, helping to balance the mood.
Studies continue to accrue demonstrating improvement in mood and cognitive performance for patients with ADD, depression and Autism Spectrum Disorder. More recently, studies highlight the role lithium can play in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, by inhibiting plaque formation and aiding in growth and repair of damaged neurons.
Screening for nutritional lithium deficiencies can be performed by hair trace mineral analysis, as blood testing is not sensitive enough to detect nutritional levels.
Talk with your functional medical provider about your cognitive and emotional health and find out if low dose lithium can further support your wellness goals.
Your Partner In Health!
Blair Cuneo, PA-C