Much of the information below is disorganized and may be hard to follow. However, I have attempted to recreate the forum thread as it was originally posted. Only the first portion of the article is mine, and parts of it have been updated for various reasons (broken links, new information, etc). Please also note that this article is incomplete and not a full description of the overview of lithium and lithium orotate. The facts and opinions of the information that was reposted by other individuals on the original thread, as reproduced here, are not entirely mine and have not been completely checked for facts. If you find a mistake anywhere here, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me regarding it. Always consult with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement, especially if you are on any prescription drugs and in particular if you are using any compounds for mood alteration as lithium orotate, along with it's usage and dosage would be best discussed with a medical doctor.
Information on Lithium Orotate
Many have you have probably seen, or even done the offer for "Feel Serenity" on some of these incentive sites. I wanted to go over briefly what the ingredients of this dietary supplement is, and how it works.
Feel Serenity is lithium orotate, or lithium bound to orotic acid; a salt of lithium. Lithium is an element, number 3 on the periodic table and labeled as Li. Lithium is a natural element, which can be found in our daily diets, and is also used to power certain types of batteries, amongst other things.
As a medication, lithium carbonate and lithium citrate is used to treat manic and bipolar depression. Lithium appears to be used in the brain to manufacture a number of neurotransmitters, including seretonin, dopamine and norephinepherine. Although scientists still are not completely sure how lithium treats depression, it is still the gold standard used to treat certain severe cases of bipolar disorder, and manic depression, in lieu of newer anti-psychotic drugs.
Lithium orotate is similar to lithium carbonate, except that there is more lithium mg to mg when compared to carbonate. It can be sold over the counter as a dietary supplement, because it is found in nature and is not regulated by the FDA as a drug, although it's technical legal status is not clearly defined. It is also not patented by anyone for use as a treatment for depression. Only the lithium carbonate & citrate versions are available by prescription. The other difference is that there are fewer studies supporting lithium orotate as treatment for depression, as well as it's safety (more on this below, than lithium carbonate, although one would expect them to be similar.
If you decide to try the sample of Feel Serenity, it would be a good idea to start off with one tablet daily. The typical dosage of lithium orotate is a dosage of 200mg per day. If you are taking any other types of medication, especially medication for depression, it would be wise to speak with a physician before using this supplement. Some of the most common side effects of lithium use can be headaches, and other odd physical sensations. Some individuals can already have sufficient lithium in their blood from dietary sources, and increasing consumption of lithium can have adverse effects on their health. However, lithium in small doses, for most people will have little effects, and may improve mood and outlook, and can normally be used without problems. Unfortunately, lithium itself can be toxic in large doses. The clinical dose of lithium in the form of carbonate and citrate is close to the toxic dosage. There have only been a few studies on the safety of lithium orotate itself, and two studies show contradicting evidence regarding it's safety as being harmful to the kidneys (please see the link at the bottom of the page to the Lithium Orotate Project for more information on this topic).
Over the counter lithium can be purchased by many manufacturers. GRL Lithium Orotate contains 64mg per serving and Nutrient Carriers contains 120mg. Solaray sells Lithium Aspartate, which is lithium bound to aspartic acid (a common amino acid) in a 5mg dosage. Since each of these forms of lithium is bound to another compound for whatever reason (such as increased stability, better bioavailbility, etc.) it will cause the total amount of lithium that is actually absorbed by the body less than what is on the label. Unique Nutrition sells lithium orotate bulk powder with one serving size being 100mg (I presume it comes with a scoop), and Beyond a Century sells it in power form as well.
- Lithium Salts
- Lithium Orotate
- Clinical Pharmacology and Information on Lithium Salts
- CrazyMeds.org Rundown on Lithium Orotate
- VitaminShoppe Health Guides: Lithium
- Lithium Orotate for Alcoholisim
- Lithium Treatment of Manic Depressive Illness: A Practical Guide by Mogens Schou
- Depression and Mania: Modern Lithium Therapy by F. Neil Johnson
- Lithium Treatment of Mood Disorders: A Practical Guide by M. Schou & Mogens Schou
- Lithium: What You Should Know (Drug Abuse Prevention Library) by Daniel Eshom
Note: Consuming lithium may deplete your bodies stores of inositol, a B vitamin. You may want to consider supplementing with extra amounts of inositol if you plan to, or already use lithium.
Supplement Minimizes Common Lithium Side Effect
By Alan R. Gaby, MD
Healthnotes Newswire (February 3, 2005)—Supplementing with inositol can reduce the severity of psoriasis, a common side effect in people taking lithium medication, reports a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (2004;150:966–9). Psoriasis affects the skin, appearing as red patches covered by a silvery, flaky surface. Fingers and toenails may also be affected, with the lesions appearing as white-colored pits, ridges down the nail, yellowish spots, or thickness at the cut end.
Lithium carbonate is widely used to stabilize mood in people suffering from bipolar disorder (manic depression). It has also been used with some success to treat cluster headaches (a condition related to migraine), alcoholism, and selected cases of asthma. Although lithium is probably the most effective treatment available for bipolar disorder, it can cause a number of side effects, including tremor, kidney problems, visual impairment, and psoriasis. In most cases, these side effects can be prevented or minimized by carefully monitoring the dosage. Nevertheless, many people develop psoriasis or experience a worsening of pre-existing psoriasis when they take lithium.
Inositol is a member of the B-complex group of vitamins. Previous studies have shown that supplementing with inositol can reduce some of the negative side effects of lithium (such as excessive urination), without reducing its beneficial effects. Researchers therefore investigated whether taking inositol might also have a positive effect on lithium-induced psoriasis.
Fifteen people with psoriasis who were taking lithium participated in the new study. They were randomly assigned to receive 6 grams of inositol per day or a placebo for ten weeks. After a four-week "washout period" in which no treatment was given, the treatments were reversed, so that those initially taking inositol were given the placebo, and vice versa. The severity of psoriasis decreased by approximately 35% during inositol treatment, whereas the psoriasis worsened by about 60% during the placebo period. Thirteen of 15 people improved while taking inositol, but only 7 of 15 improved while taking placebo. In a separate group of people with psoriasis who were not taking lithium, inositol was found to be of no benefit; in fact, people fared somewhat worse with inositol than with placebo, although the difference was not statistically significant.
Inositol has also been shown to be an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and some cases of depression. According to one study, however, inositol supplementation appeared to cause abnormal elevations of mood (mania) in some people. To be on the safe side, people with mental disorders and those taking prescription medications should seek medical advice before taking inositol.
Alan R. Gaby, MD, an expert in nutritional therapies, testified to the White House Commission on CAM upon request in December 2001. Dr. Gaby served as a member of the Ad-Hoc Advisory Panel of the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine. He is the author of Preventing and Reversing Osteoporosis (Prima, 1994), and co-author of The Natural Pharmacy, 2nd Edition (Healthnotes, Three Rivers Press, 1999), the A–Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions (Healthnotes, Three Rivers Press, 1999), Clinical Essentials Volume 1 and 2 (Healthnotes, 2000), and The Patient’s Book of Natural Healing (Prima, 1999). A former professor at Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences, in Kenmore, WA, where he served as the Endowed Professor of Nutrition, Dr. Gaby is the Chief Medical Editor for Healthnotes, Inc.
Copyright © 2005 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved.
Other supplements to look into to help with depression include:
Lithium Orotate Studies:
Alcohol. 1986 Mar-Apr;3(2):97-100.
Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.
The subjects were 42 alcoholic patients (33 males and 9 females) who were treated with lithium orotate during an alcohol rehabilitation program in a private clinical setting for at least six months. They derive from a total number of 105 patients who received this treatment initially, while the remainder discontinued the treatment within six months. The data were collected from a private practice record and the follow-up varied between six months and 10 years. The 42 patients studied displayed a multitude of complaints in addition to chronic alcoholism. These included liver dysfunction, seizure disorders, headaches, hyperthyroidism, affective disorders. Meniere's syndrome, liver and lung cancers. Thirty-six of the 42 patients studied had been hospitalized at least once for the management of their alcoholism. Lithium orotate was given, 150 mg daily, with a diet low in simple carbohydrates and containing moderate amounts of protein and fat. In addition, calcium orotate (for hepatic involvement), magnesium orotate, bromelaine, and essential phospholipids (for cardiac problems), and supportive measures were instituted, if required. Lithium orotate proved useful as the main pharmacologic agent for the treatment of alcoholism. Ten of the patients had no relapse for over three and up to 10 years, 13 patients remained without relapse for 1 to 3 years, and the remaining 12 had relapses between 6 to 12 months. Lithium orotate therapy was safe and the adverse side effects noted were minor, i.e., eight patients developed muscle weakness, loss of appetite or mild apathy. For these patients, the symptoms subsided when the daily dose was given 4 to 5 times weekly.
J Pharm Pharmacol. 1979 Mar;31(3):161-3.
Kidney function and lithium concentrations of rats given an injection of lithium orotate or lithium carbonate.
Smith DF, Schou M.
A recent study by Kling et al (1978) noted the finding of higher lithium concentrations in serum and brain of rats after an intraperitoneal injection (2 mmol lithium kg-1) of lithium orotate as a slurry than of lithium carbonate in solution. The authors suggested that lithium orotate might offer advantages in the treatment of patients. We repeated the experiments of Kling et al but in addition examined the kidney function of the rats. Glomerular filtration rate and urine flow were markedly lower in rats given lithium orotate than in rats given lithium carbonate, sodium chloride or a sham injection. The renal lithium clearance was significantly lower, the kidney weight and the lithium concentrations in serum, kidney and heart significantly higher after injection of lithium orotate than after injection of lithium carbonate. The higher lithium concentrations could be accounted for by the lower kidney function. It seems inadvisable to use lithium orotate for the treatment of patients.
J Pharm Pharmacol. 1978 Jun;30(6):368-70.
Rat brain and serum lithium concentrations after acute injections of lithium carbonate and orotate.
Kling MA, Manowitz P, Pollack IW.
Eight hours after intraperitoneal injections of 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0m equiv Li kg-1, the serum and brain lithium concentrations of rats were significantly greater after lithium orotate than after lithium carbonate. While little serum lithium remained at 24 h after injection of 2.0 m equiv kg-1 lithium carbonate, two-thirds of the 2 h serum lithium concentration was present 24h after lithium orotate. Furthermore, the 24 h brain concentration of lithium after lithium orotate was approximately three times greater than that after lithium carbonate. These data suggest the possibility that lower doses of lithium orotate than lithium carbonate may achieve therapeutic brain lithium concentrations and relatively stable serum concentrations.
The article below was posted in the original thread where this information appeared. It was posted by a user whose name was lost in the database. The article below was written by Michael Motter and was originally posted on a site called dr-bob.org in 2003. No modifications to the original article have been made. All credit for this article goes to Mr. Motter (or perhaps Dr. Motter by now).
What is Lithium Orotate?
By Michael Motter
Pre-Doc Psychology Student
James Madison University
About Lithium Orotate
Lithium orotate is a popular nutritional supplement that has been marketed in the United States under such names as "Serenity" (www.findserenitynow.com), "Advanced Research" (www.betterlife.com), and "Life Link" (www.nubrain-store.com) to name a few of the many brands that can be found via the internet. Many of these websites claim that lithium orotate is a natural alternative to mood stabilizer and antidepressant medication without any side effects. They claim that lithium orotate can benefit anyone who has migraine headaches, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, depression, or epilepsy.
These claims are backed by the research of Dr. Hans A. Nieper, a German physician, who first studied the use of lithium orotate for migraine headaches, alcoholism, depression, and epilepsy. Dr. Nieper’s article The Clinical Applications of Lithium Orotate: A Two Years Study (1973) concluded that lithium orotate is an effective treatment for migraine headaches, alcoholism, depression, and epilepsy. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting these conclusions. His findings are based on correlation studies and the subjective reports of his patients. Dr. Nieper simply administered lithium orotate to 64 patients that had been diagnosed with the various disorders discussed and used their subjective accounts as evidence of its effectiveness. There is no control group in which he made a comparison to or mention of how he went about controlling for extraneous variables that could have also accounted for their improvement. Thus, we have no idea if it was the lithium orotate or some other factor that accounted for his patient’s improvement. Other research by Satori (1986) suffers from the same flaws. His work supports Nieper's claim that lithium orotate is an effective treatment for alcoholism and migraine headaches. Again all evidence is based on subjective report and there is no control group in which he compares his findings.
What is Lithium:
Lithium is a mineral or more specifically an alkali metal that is present in the human diet in ultratrace quantities and is also found in some natural mineral waters (Physicians Desk Reference, 2003). The typical daily dietary intake of lithium is approximately 200 to 600 micrograms. Fish, processed meat, milk, milk products, eggs, potatoes and vegetables are rich sources of this mineral. In the United States lithium carbonate and lithium citrate are approved by the FDA for the clinical treatment of bipolar disorder (Food & Drug Administration, 2003). Carbonate (carbonic acid) and citrate (citric acid) are mineral carriers that transport lithium throughout the body. According to Yung (1984) many physicians have also begun to prescribe lithium carbonate and citrate for the "off label" treatment of migraine headaches, seizure disorders, and psychosis. It is important to note that "off label" usage is generally considered an option only after all traditional treatment methods have failed and it is not approved by the FDA.
How it Works:
Lithium is administered orally and is generally taken with food, although its absorption is not markedly affected by the presence of food (Physicians Desk Reference, 2003). According to McKim (2003) lithium carbonate, citrate, and orotate is administered orally and therefore it passes through the stomach into the gastrointestinal tract where it is absorbed by the capillaries into the blood stream. These minerals are then absorbed rapidly into the blood stream (80-100%). Peak levels in the blood occur between a half-hour and two hours with citrate and carbonate. Once in the blood it travels to the brain where it must cross the cell membrane or blood brain barrier. Lithium carbonate and citrate cross the blood brain barrier via active transport. Lithium levels in the blood need to be elevated so that there is enough of it to pass through the membrane in order to be therapeutic. Mckim (2003), reports that no one knows for certain but it is theorized that lithium ions concentrate outside of the membrane causing the potential to become less negative and causing depolarization. The voltage gated ion channels open which allow the sodium ions to rush in. It is hypothesized that the lithium ions replace sodium ions and cross through the blood brain barrier resulting in neutralization of the resting potential.
According to McKim (2003) lithium carbonate and citrate therapy requires reaching serum concentrations of lithium that are close to the toxic concentration. Lithium Carbonate and Citrate therapy requires serum levels of 1.0-1.5 mEq/L for acute mania and 0.6 – 1.2mEq/L for maintenance. During treatment lithium serum concentrations should not usually exceed 1.5 mEq/L. Mild to moderate toxic reactions may occur at lithium concentrations from 1.5 to 2 mEq/L, and moderate to severe reactions at concentrations above 2 mEq/L. Serum lithium concentrations should usually be monitored 3 times weekly and blood studies and urinalysis weekly during the initial period of administration and periodically as required thereafter.
Lithium orotate is administered orally and therefore it passes through the stomach into the gastrointestinal tract where it is absorbed by the capillaries into the blood stream. According to Nieper (1973) digestion breaks off the lithium mineral from the lithium compound when lithium is attached to carbonate and citrate which is then absorbed rapidly into the blood stream. Therefore, lithium orotate is coated with a special coating which supposedly protects the lithium orotate while it passes through the stomach acids. This coating protects the compound and allows it to be absorbed by the capillaries into the bloodstream with most of the lithium still bound to the orotate. According to Nieper (1973) the orotate carriers show a special affinity for tissues in which metabolism involves the blood brain barrier. Orotate supposedly uses passive transport to cross through the blood brain barrier. Because the lithium is still mostly attached to the orotate carrier, it diffuses across the membrane releasing the lithium to the other side and leaving little left in the blood stream.
Nieper (1973) reports that a mineral analysis of his patients whole blood and blood serum found that lithium orotate does not cause the approximate level of 0.02 ppm lithium in normal blood or serum to be exceeded by more than 30% (0.026 ppm). Lithium carbonate contains 18.8mg of elemental lithium per 100mg per 100mg (57mg per 300mg, 113mg per 600mg). Most lithium orotate compounds contains 3.83mg of elemental lithium per 100mg (4.8mg per 120mg). Lithium carbonate can cause serum to rise an average of 0.2 to 0.4 mEq/L after intake of 300 mg and 0.3 to 0.6 mEql/L after intake of 600 mg of lithium carbonate. It appears that lithium orotate does not contain enough elemental lithium per recommended dosage to cause lithium serum concentrations to rise beyond toxic levels. This may explain why they claim that lithium blood serum monitoring is unnecessary. It also raises the questions whether there is even enough lithium to cause any type of therapeutic effect.
Nieper (1973) claims that lower elemental doses of lithium can be administered when attached to orotate because most of the lithium doesn’t dissolve from the carrier until it passes through the blood brain barrier. Therefore, all of the lithium (theoretically enough to be therapeutic) goes to the brain and a minimal amount gets left behind in the blood. Thus the amount of lithium that enters into the bloodstream doesn’t reach toxic levels and doesn’t need to be monitored.
Lithium is excreted via the kidneys (renally). It is excreted rapidly and several daily doses are needed to maintain the therapeutic level. It is not metabolized; approximately 95% is renally excreted (saliva, sweat, feces 5%). Lithium is excreted unchanged in the urine. Renal excretion is biphasic, with rapid clearance of up to two-thirds within 6-12 hours followed by a slower elimination over the next twelve hours. The overall half-life is between 12 and 24 hours. The excretion rate varies considerably among individuals and increases with age. Half-life in geriatric patients and patients with impaired renal function is increased to 36 to 50 hours.
What Are The Side Effects:
Nieper (1973) claims that because of the low amount of lithium in the blood serum, the common side effects of lithium carbonate and citrate which include: diarrhea, frequent urination, dehydration, lethargy, nausea, skin rashes, tremor, thyroid dysfunction, and weight gain supposedly do not occur. The low levels also claim to make it safe for use with antithyroid, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), and sinusitis medication and diuretics which may cause interactions with lithium carbonate or citrate. It gives no mention of antipsychotic medication which can have interactions with lithium carbonate and citrate (McKim, 2003).
Nieper (1973) claims that lithium orotate does not have renal side effects because of its low dose. However, research conducted by Smith and Schou (1979) found that kidney functioning and urine flow were markedly lower in rats given a intraperitoneal injection (2 mmol lithium kg-1) of orotate than rats given carbonate, sodium chloride, or a sham injection. Renal lithium clearance was significantly lower. Kidney weight and lithium concentrations in serum kidney and heart were significantly higher in the orotate group which may be caused by the lower kidney functioning. Smith and Schou concluded that lithium orotate was not recommended as safe for humans. Smith (1976) reports that the pharmacokinetics of the lithium ion given as lithium orotate do not differ from lithium chloride or lithium carbonate when administered in rats. Though excessive secretion of urine and excessive thirst developed more slowly in rats given lithium orotate than in those given lithium carbonate or lithium chloride. Lithium orotate is recommended to be unsafe during pregnancy and breast feeding. Lithium passes into milk and its use should be avoided during lactation as concentrations are 33 to 50% of those in the mother's serum (McKim, 2003). Several anecdotal accounts of lithium orotate were found on internet chat rooms claiming that lithium orotate caused depression.
Comparison of the Different Forms of Lithium:
An overall comparison of the differences in costs, research efficacy, and side effects between lithium orotate and lithium carbonate or citrate shows that there is considerable difference in these three areas. The cost of lithium orotate varies depending on the website where it is purchased. For ninety 120mg tablets of Serenity the monthly cost is $39.99 per month or approximately $0.44 per pill. Two-hundred 120mg tablets of Advanced Research costs $12.99 per month or approximately $0.06 per ill. One hundred 135mg tablets of Life Link totals $12.00 per months or approximately $0.12 per pill. One hundred and fifty 300mg tablets of lithium carbonate or citrate on the other costs approximately $25.00 per month or almost $0.17 per pill.
Dr. Nieper and Dr. Sartori's claims are based only on subjective case study reports. A search on the National Library of Medicine’s (2003) website indicate that there have been no double-blind controlled studies on the effects of lithium orotate for any medical or health related purposes. Thus the claims made by Dr. Nieper and Dr. Satori are based on weak scientific evidence. Smith (1976) reports that pharmacokinetics of the lithium orotate do not differ from lithium chloride or lithium carbonate when administered in rats. Furthermore, according to Garbutt, West, Carey, Lohr, & Crews (1999) suggestions that it might be useful in treating alcoholism are unfounded. Lithium is not useful for treating patients who have alcohol dependence without other psychiatric conditions. There is limited research on the effects of lithium in primary alcoholics without comorbid mood disorders. According to Picket & O’Dell (1992) there is no credible research to support the supplemental or medically unsupervised use of lithium for any purpose. There are no indications for the supplemental use of lithium. If lithium dosage is too low, you will derive no benefit. There is little research on the claims that lithium orotate is absent of the side effects that accompany lithium carbonate or citrate. What research has been done by Smith and Schou (1979) indicates that the renal side effects of lithium orotate may be more severe than carbonate or citrate in rats.
Lithium orotate is not regulated by the FDA. It is marketed as a "dietary supplement". According to Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 (Food & Drug Administration, 2003) a dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet. The dietary ingredients in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. Dietary supplements can also be extracts or concentrates, and may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders (page 1).
Because it is not regulated by the FDA the claims that the various companies make about it’s effectiveness are not regulated by the government but instead by the company. A company is responsible for determining that its products are safe and that claims they make about them are substantiated by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading. This means that the supplements do not need approval from FDA before they are marketed. Companies do not have to provide the FDA with the evidence it relies on to substantiate safety or effectiveness before or after it markets its products. In addition it is also interesting to note that Dr. Nieper has a history with the federal government. The 1994 FDA Import Alert states that Dr. Nieper was accused of importing numerous drugs into the United States without FDA approval (FDA, 1994).
In conclusion there is some of anecdotal evidence that lithium orotate is an effective treatment for the various health concerns it claims to help. However, there have been no controlled research studies that validate these claims. Why Dr. Nieper never followed up his patients claims with more rigorous research remains a mystery. Is it possible that he was merely a "snake-oil" salesman trying to make a quick buck or is there something we are missing? It appears that many in the complementary and alternative healing community believe that there is something missing in modern medicine that does not fully address our health concerns. But even if this is the case and lithium orotate is beneficial, then it would seem logical to pursue further research. This would not only validate their claims but also reduce the risk of harm. Harm that has all too often occurred in the absent minded world of nutritional supplements, see ephedra and phen/fen.
Food and Drug Administration (1994). Automatic Detention of New Drugs Promoted by
Dr. Hans Nieper of West Germany. Retrieved June 26, 2003 from www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_import_ia6628.html
Food and Drug Administration (2003). Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Retrieved June 26, 2003 from www.cfsan.fda.gov
Garbutt, J.C., West, S.L., Carey, T.S., Lohr, K.N., & Crews, F.T. (1999).
Pharmacological treatment of alcohol dependence: a review of the evidence. JAMA, 281(14), 1318-25.
McKim, W. A. (2003). Drugs & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral
Pharmacology (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Nieper, H. A. (1973). The clinical applications of lithium orotate: A two year study. Agressologie, 14(6), 407-411.
Physicians Desk Reference (2003). Lithium. Retrieved June 25, 2003 from
Pickett, E.E., & O'Dell, B.L. (1992). Evidence for dietary essentiality of lithium in the rat. Biol Trace Elem Res, 34, 299-319.
Satori, H.E. (1986). Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions. Alcohol, 3(2), 97-100.
Smith, D. F. (1976). Lithium orotate, carbonate and chloride: pharmacokinetics, polyuria in rats. British Journal of Pharmacology, 56, 399-402.
Smith, D. F., Schou, M. (1979). Kidney function and lithium concentrations of rats given an injection of lithium orotate or lithium carbonate. Journal of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, 31(3), 161-163.
Yung, C.Y. (1984). A review of clinical trials of lithium in neurology. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior. 21, 1, 57-64.
Kling, M. A., Manowitz, P., Pollack, I.W. (1978). Rat brain and serum lithium concentrations after acute injections of lithium carbonate and orotate. Journal of Pharmaceutical Pharmacology, ;30(6), 368-70.
Nieper, H. A. (1999). The Curious Man. Avery Publishing Group.
The information below was also posted by another individual, whose name and information has also been lost. However, it seems likely that this person is the owner of the website mentioned in this short op-ed piece.
Kidney study for lithium orotate had a flawed conclusion
Taken from the Lithium Orotate Works! website
*Note* The website above contains many pages of information about lithium orotate on various subjects.
Kidney Dangers of Lithium Orotate?
Is using lithium orotate dangerous? An Internet search will bring up a list of sites stating that it is. In every instance (found to date), this supposition is based solely on a single study done on lithium orotate in 1978. There is no other research or study of any kind which concludes that lithium orotate is dangerous to use.
And the much-quoted conclusion of the 1978 study is INCORRECT for the reasons explained below.
Flawed Conclusion of Kidney Study and Lithium Orotate
When researching for any problems or concerns regarding lithium orotate use, an abstract of a study done by Smith and Schou in 1978 can be found at PubMed.
This study compared the effects on kidney function of lithium carbonate and lithium orotate. Groups of rats were injected with equal amounts of lithium carbonate and lithium orotate (and a neutral injection of sodium chloride for the control group) and then examined.
The study found that renal lithium clearance was significantly lower, and kidney weight and the lithium concentrations in serum significantly higher after the injection of lithium orotate than after the injection of lithium carbonate.
The conclusion the study drew because of this lowered kidney function was that it seemed inadvisable to use lithium orotate for the treatment of patients.
However, a highly significant point which is completely unaddressed by this study is that the same amounts of lithium orotate and lithium carbonate were used. But people DON'T USE the same enormous amounts required for lithium carbonate when using lithium orotate.
An effective dose of lithium orotate typically contains 15 mg of elemental lithium compared to 126 mg of elemental lithium from lithium carbonate. More than 700% more lithium is used with lithium carbonate. Based on the information in the study stating that equal amounts of each item was used, THE STUDY ADMINISTERED 700% TOO MUCH LITHIUM OROTATE!
This conclusion of this study is skewed because it completely disregards the way lithium orotate is administered in actual use.
Ironically, this study which concluded that lithium orotate was inadvisable for treatment of patients was done as a direct follow-up study to one performed by Kling, Manowitz and Pollack in 1978. Their study suggested that lithium orotate could be used in lower amounts than required of lithium carbonate to achieve therapeutic results.
Other links on Lithium Orotate
- The Lithium Orotate Project - one of the best, most recent and up to date sites with information on lithium orotate with overview's of all the studies conducted on it, it's safety and it's legality as a supplement.
- Lithium: Profile of a Mood Stabilizer by HowStuffWorks.com - some good basic info on the compound lithium itself and how it works to treat bipolar depression and other conditions.
- About Hans Nieper, M.D. - considered to be, if not the "discoverer" of lithium orotate, then it's biggest proponent. Dr. Nieper also bonded orotic acid to many other compounds to try and increase their worth as dietary ingredients and drugs. However, some other people have a less positive view of the doctor, including Quackwatch for some of his purported cancer treatments - although the site doesn't discuss lithium orotate specifically.