Lithium Orotate is a specific form of elemental lithium that has a powerful potential in addressing several major neurological conditions and issues such as migraines, Alzheimer’s, Shock, and even Diabetes. This curious compound is similar to the lithium carbonate compound most people are familiar with, but much less likely to elicit unwanted side effects.

Safer Alternative With Few Side Effects

Lithium orotate is bound to an orotic acid molecule, which makes it much more bioavailable than traditional lithium carbonate compounds. This means Lithium Orotate supplements can deliver all the benefits of lithium without risking the dangerous side effects common with Lithium CarbonateLithium Orotate side effects are known to be rare, and most lithium orotate reviews offer only positive feedback from those using it for its neurological stabilizing benefits. This compound may benefit those looking for natural means of addressing health issues that have been traditionally regarded as neurological—such as bipolar disorder.  With the relatively-low reports of side effects and the easy access from trusted supplement brands, lithium orotate is undoubtedly worth close consideration.

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Powerful Neurological Support

Lithium Orotate has been studied as an effective treatment for Alcoholism and related conditions 1 and is thought by many to be effective in treating a wide variety of other conditions 2 like depression, bipolar disorder 3, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, and even digestive issues. Currently, Lithium Orotate is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of any disease or disorder and is sold without a prescription as a dietary supplement. However, many people have been known to utilize lithium for anxiety. Most people are familiar with Lithium Carbonate, the traditionally-prescribed medication for Bi-Polar disorder, and assume any lithium Product is prescription-only—that’s not the case at all. Lithium Orotate supplements, such as Vital Nutrients’ Lithium Orotate 5MG, can be legally purchased in local health food stores and online through such retailers as Amazon.

Benefits of Lithium Orotate

The benefits of Lithium have been clinically studied to some extent and have substantiated benefits in addressing several mental/cognitive disorders. In addition, Lithium has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective abilities as well as having a beneficial impact on the central nervous system 4 Lithium has been exhaustively documented as being an effective Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitor, which is the mechanism by which it is thought to help treat bipolar disorder. Acting as a neuroprotector, Lithium has demonstrated a wide spectrum of ability to help curb disease and disorders rooted in neurodegeneration.

Through this mechanism, Lithium has been shown to show benefits in the treatments of Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, Shock, Inflammation, Schizophrenia, and many metabolic disorders within the body 5. As modern research learning more clearly, inflammation is associated with many age-related disorders as well as major diseases such as cancer. It would be reasonable to say that through Lithium’s ability to address chronic inflammation, that it has the potential to address those major diseases thought to be largely rooted in inflammation such as cancer 6

Lithium Orotate Side Effects

Lithium is often associated with its historical use as a prescription treatment for mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Typical doses administered for this purpose are as high as 1200mg/day for an average adult 7. These types of massive dosages have led to the assumption that lithium is capable of doing a great deal of harm to your body. A large factor for risk of Lithium toxicity is the amount one must take to allow a beneficial amount into the bloodstream. Lithium Orotate, on the other hand, is able to enter the bloodstream much more easily, so much lower doses are able to achieve the same effects.

“Lithium has demonstrated remarkable benefit in the treatments of Alzheimer’s, Type II Diabetes, Shock, Inflammation, Schizophrenia, and many metabolic disorders within the body”

Lithium toxicity is largely understood through the data gathered with those patients taking the compound in its Carbonate form, which is thought to be less bio-available than Lithium Orotate 8 This data has been split into three sub-categories of toxicity; Acute, Chronic, and Acute-Chronic Toxicity 9. The symptoms associated with Lithium Carbonate toxicity are diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and generalized weakness, tremors, ataxia, muscle twitches, seizures, or slurred speech. These are the symptoms most commonly associated with acute toxicity. Symptoms of chronic toxicity are similar except that psychosis tends to develop as well, exhibited by strange behaviors. Lithium Orotate is able to avoid these horrible side-effects, while still providing the powerful neuroprotective effects of Lithium.

Lithium Orotate isn’t FDA approved to treat any condition or disease and is considered to be a dietary supplement only. The United States is in a peculiar state when it comes to making claims towards the benefits of a particular dietary product. For example, a Lithium Orotate product on Amazon is allowed to have customer reviews about the element’s benefits, potential treatments, as well as other subjective impressions. Take Advanced Research’s Lithium Orotate for example; this product has many reviews—several of which detail the product’s ability to drastic change lives for the better. A few examples of the testimonials given are as follows:

  • I have been using lithium orotate for a short time and have already stabilized my depression and mood swings more than any other time
  • Then I tried this product. Almost immediately I just felt “good”!! Happier, ‘life’ just didn’t seem so ‘heavy’, things were manageable
  • Did I mention there are no side effects? This is a bona fide godsend. Do the homework, then buy this product.
  • I did extensive research and found this product had the best overall capability to treat my Bi-Polar

These reviews reinforce the idea that Lithium Orotate is able to treat emotional disorders, as well as other health concerns effectively, and with little chance for side effects. Now take another example—a small company called Bio-Recovery—which sells several dietary supplements marketed as products to aid the body in detoxification. In 2014 this company had an on-site inspection by the FDA, as well as an audit of their website and it’s marketing practices. Below is an excerpt from the Warning Letter sent to Bio-Recovery by the FDA 10 post-audit:

Specific examples of some of the website claims that provide evidence that your products are intended for use as drugs are below.  Your website also contains evidence of intended use in the form of personal testimonials recommending or describing the use of products for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.

As you can see, Bio-Recovery was handed a warning by the FDA for having such statements publicly-seen on their website, while Amazon is allowed to keep chugging along.The legal framework that separates the ability of a company to associate beneficial claims with a dietary supplement is not only complex but to the layman like you and I— it seems to even a bit contradictory of itself. The take away from the grey area in which dietary supplements fall in the United States is this; you are able to freely purchase powerful dietary supplements, but you can’t sue someone if you have an adverse effect. This means that Lithium Orotate supplements are viewed, legally speaking, the same as common magnesium supplements, and other more common types of dietary supplements. This circumstance is highly beneficial—if you know which supplement brands contain pure ingredients free of harmful fillers or bizarre ‘inactive’ ingredients—in that there is a highly competitive market free of patents where quality products are available at a reasonable price.

Lithium Orotate vs. Lithium Carbonate

Lithium Orotate is an ionized form of lithium, technically a salt similar to potassium, and is thought to cross the blood-brain barrier much more easily than Lithium carbonate. It should be noted however that there is not much data available to back this up, and is more a general perspective held by many health professionals. In one study among mice, researchers noted that there were no observable differences in the absorption of different forms of lithium, including both orotate and carbonate 11 However, we’ve discussed this topic in depth with several health professionals and have noted many of them as conveying their experiences as contradicting to these results. These professionals have conveyed they rely on such an approach to provide additional lithium to the body while reducing the risk of lithium toxicity. Opinions among academic researchers also reflect this perspective or higher bioavailability with lithium orotate. 12 Additionally, researchers have directly observed such levels of lithium orotate as being effective in the treatment of such conditions as manic behavior and symptoms of depression 13.

Lithium orotate can be regarded as being nearly 1500% more bioavailable than lithium carbonate

Lithium Carbonate, being the most well-known form of prescription lithium,  is usually recommended as a 300mg Dose, which contains—roughly—60mg of elemental lithium, up to 3 times a day. This is considered to be an introductory dosage of lithium and is often increased to as much as 1200-1600mg. By contrast, many healthcare practitioners often regard a 150mg dose of lithium orotate—providing roughly 6mg of elemental lithium—to be as effective as the higher dosages of lithium carbonate. There is a large amount of room for variability in the response of different individuals—though by this general comparison lithium orotate can be regarded as being nearly 1500% more bioavailable. Additionally, one could assert that the typical 150mg lithium orotate does represent a 1500% smaller chance of lithium toxicity than the introductory 300mg lithium carbonate dosage. The takeaway here is that lithium orotate may likely be able to provide the same benefits as carbonate with lower levels of lithium.

Buying Lithium Orotate Online

The FDA does not currently approve Lithium Orotate for the treatment of bipolar disorder, which allows it to be purchased without prescription through online retailers like Amazon. Some of these products, such as the Pure Encapsulations Lithium Ororate 5mg offer synergistic blends to help overall absorption and efficacy. When buying supplements it is important to only purchase from highly-trusted brands. Cheaper supplements often contain harmful chemicals and often lack active ingredients or potency. Check out our article The Best Supplement Brands for a guide to which supplement brands offer the highest-quality supplements.

[Lithium Orotate’s] lower dosage provides all the benefits of lithium carbonate, but doesn’t cause the side effects.

One of the most-recommended lithium orotate supplements by health professionals is the Lithium Orotate by Vital Nutrients. Vital Nutrients is among the few brands of supplements we consider to be ‘Doctor Trusted’, and offer an extensive line of pure products and unique blends of functional compounds. You can check out our complete Vital Nutrients Review for a better idea of what kind of company they are. Lithium orotate is a powerful compound which is available in a highly bioavailable form. As science learns more about how natural compounds interact in the human body, we are afforded unique mechanisms of helping to better our health such as this one. You should always consult your doctor before beginning a new supplement, especially if you are considering taking it as a replacement for any current prescription medications.

Final Considerations

Lithium is a powerful compound in its ability to address several major mental disorders, as well as a plethora of other major medical conditions. It’s neuroprotective properties have been outweighed in the past by the accumulated toxicity of those large dosages. Lithium Orotate is a form of lithium in which the elemental molecules are able to cross the blood-brain barrier much more easily, thus allowing a much smaller effective dose to be administered. This lower dosage provides all the benefits of lithium carbonate but doesn’t cause the side effects. Currently, the FDA does not approve of Lithium Orotate for the treatment of any disease, but there is a fairly large amount of clinical data, as well as public sentiment, that Lithium Orotate is able to exhibit some remarkable health benefits.

Lithium Orotate
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Lithium Orotate has been shown in many studies to exhibit powerful neuroprotective properties, and to be effective in many major diseases such as Alzheimer's, Shock, Bi-Polar Disorder, and even Diabetes. Lithium Orotate from Vital Nutrients is an excellent version of this supplement from a Doctor Trusted Brand, and available for purchase online from retailers such as Pureformulas.
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NOTE: This post was updated on 8/28/2017 to correct erroneous data. Thanks to A.T.

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