I was off last week, but I am back this week with another new Medication Monday. This week we are talking about the supplement lithium orotate.
The first thing I want to note is that lithium orotate is not the same thing as the lithium you would get from your doctor, which we talked about a while back on this series. No, lithium orotate is a low-dose lithium option, which is an over the counter nutritional supplement that is thought to help with brain function, including mood and memory.
More specifically, some studies have shown that lithium orotate is useful in the intervention of alcoholism, and may benefit the depression phase associated with bipolar depression. It is known that lithium helps in the transport of B12 within the body, which also has some evidence that it is beneficial for depression since low levels of B12 are often associated with clinical depression, so some theorize that might be the driving factor in lithium’s beneficial use
However, while some studies have found evidence suggesting that lithium orotate can benefit mood disorders, the data are still far from conclusive, so more evidence is needed. That said, the benefits of an over the counter supplement is that it is less likely that one would experience side effects, although high doses and long-term consumption of lithium have been associated with nephrotoxicity, which is toxicity within the kidneys. So if you decide to take lithium orotate, you should only take the recommended dose, and consider doing so for limited time spans.
Although lithium orotate is not a prescription medication, you should still discuss any nutritional supplements you are taking with your doctor. Furthermore, you should bring up any concerns, including how long you should be taking lithium orotate as a supplement. You should also avoid this supplement if you are pregnant.
As always, I remind my readers that Medication Monday is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, but rather as a brief informative introduction to medications and supplements that are available to help manage mental illness. These introductions are meant to help readers be better informed when asking their doctors for options, while also hopefully destigmatizing the use of mental health medication generally. As such, I thank you for reading and doing your part to stay informed and minimize the stigma.
Source: Drugs.Com – Lithium Orotate