With our hectic lifestyles, it’s easy to forget things in all the rush and busyness. Losing your glasses on top of your head, misplacing the car keys again, or even forgetting what you went to the store for could be more than just distraction, and a sign that your memory needs some support. But even the best multivitamin and mineral supplement is often missing a key nutrient that protects your brain and enhances memory – lithium.
Changing Lithium’s Reputation
It’s no accident it isn’t there – since 1949 this mineral salt has been widely used to treat psychiatric disorders and stabilize moods and now carries a stigma. Such high doses of lithium carbonate were used – up to 1800mg daily – that it reached toxic levels in the blood and the FDA felt the need to regulate it as a drug.
The truth is lithium has a rich history as being a health restorative with anti-aging properties. Lithium is naturally occurring in water, and was added to many popular drinks including 7-Up for its reputed health-giving properties. Health resorts were built around natural lithium springs in places like Lithia Springs, Georgia, and attracted US presidents and other dignitaries. These springs were also thought to be sacred to ancient native tribes for their healing powers.
It’s In Your Genes
With the discovery of methylation genes like MTHFR, researchers have brought lithium orotate into the spotlight for its ability to aid absorption of Vitamin B12 and folate by transporting them into the cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a known cause of memory loss, and folate is known to improve cognitive function and slow age-related dementia.
Do you know your methylation genes? According to Dr. Amy Yasko, an expert in nutrigenomics, if you have gene mutations (or SNPs) at MTHFR C677T, MTR, SHMT, or CBS, you are at risk for lithium deficiency because these genes cause excessive lithium excretion. She recommends 5-10mg of lithium orotate daily to correct and prevent deficiencies.
A COMT methylation gene mutation is also reason to supplement lithium, to help with proper estrogen metabolism. To put it simply, oxidized estrogen is a carcinogen. Lithium is an antioxidant and when present in sufficient quantities helps our bodies make the healthy estrogen our brain and bones need, while helping detox the harmful estrogens. Studies show that taking a small daily dose of lithium improved memory in post-menopausal women more effectively than estrogen replacement therapy, and doesn’t have the cancer-causing effects.
Protection for Your Brain
Lithium is essential for elimination of excess glutamine, which is an excitotoxin that excites cells in the brain and pancreas to death. And new studies show lithium stimulates growth of grey matter in the brain. This means it prevents cell death and causes new brain cell growth. This exciting news has lead to studies being done on using lithium in the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as other forms of dementia, and results are promising.
Breaking the Stigma for Better Memory
To be clear, lithium orotate is the form you can buy online and in health food stores, and doses are 5-40mg daily. Lithium carbonate is the prescription-only form used in treating mental illness, in large doses of 600-1800mg daily. Small doses of the orotate and aspartate forms are well-absorbed, non-toxic and effective as a nutritional supplement. Food sources of lithium include spring water, cooked vegetables, blue corn, mustard, pistachio nuts, kelp, fish and seafood. Taking lithium orotate with our Ultra H-3 combines potent antioxidants for a better brain boost!