We then looked for dietary sources of lithium. I began consuming beef or pork with salted potato dishes to prevent the wild mood swings. It worked.
But what made you suspect lithium deficiency?
Pork, beef, and salted potatoes sounds like a standard American diet. It's the core of the McDonald's menu :-)
If you have any other insights that one could derive from the periodic table that would be much appreciated as well. Thank you!
In general, chlorine is missing one electron from its full configuration, while the first column has a lonely electron in its outermost S-orbital — so they’re pretty happy to do a dance and make a molecule.
(Which is why HCl is also a thing.)
I've had a few bipolar friends. I was having pretty severe mood swings that were very out of character for me. They reminded me of what little I knew of bipolar behavior.
(Tomatoes are a particularly good source IIRC).
It looks like a plant-based diet is probably the best way to ensure optimal intake of most micronutrients. Plants and legumes contain a whole lot of micronutrients per calorie, especially compared to calorie-rich 'junk' food.
7-Up originally contained Lithium
Fish contains both Lithium and Omega-3
No idea if this is the best supplement for lithium (but would be interested to know).
I have been using these for years, primarily because I feel the evidence is strong for the benefits of a small amount of lithium. As a welcome side effect, the magnesium has completely alleviated leg jitters while sleeping (this is a well known effect of magnesium).
It all adds up. Everything is connected.
> goes crazy and starts talking to self
Clearly the solution is buy direct from source (or grow your own food) and live away from cities.
As did gaming consoles.
As did cable tv.
Anyone know of newer research on this topic?
It's dangerously in the realm of things that sound plausible, and so are believed blindly. (Speed in water supply improves productivity, PCP in water increases crime, Dihydrogen Monoxide in the water supply causes drowning)
2018 'We found that lithium levels were significantly and negatively associated with SMR averages for 2002–2006' https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-...
2017 "After adjusting for confounder (the number of women for 1,000 men), the lithium level remained statistically significant in men, but not in women." https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315599920_Lithium_l...
2015 "Lithium concentrations and local suicide rates were not significantly inversely related, except in 1980-1989, particularly among women" https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280581760_Relations...
But there is a better review here https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/24/18010592/futur...
And freakonomics didn't by any means solve the question of the general trends. Here's a decent vox article that explores 16 competing theories that each have plausibility. Some of which have already been mentioned in the comments here (such as the end of leaded gasoline)
"A recently discovered environmental health problem of potential public health relevance is the presence of elevated concentrations of lithium in drinking water . Lithium has been suggested to be essential for humans , however, the evidence is weak. On the other hand, lithium exposure has been associated with impaired thyroid function in women , including pregnant women , in northern Argentina, where the lithium concentrations in drinking water range 5–1660μg/L. Lithium readily crosses the placenta  and an inverse association between maternal blood lithium concentrations during pregnancy and birth length has also been observed . Lithium has long been used in the treatment of bipolar disease. The side effects of lithium therapy include impaired calcium homeostasis, often as hyperparathyroidism . Whether lithium in drinking water can have similar effects in the general population is not known. The calcium homeostasis is strictly regulated because of calcium's important role in bone formation, intracellular signaling and muscle contraction." (citations  omitted)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26828622 / http://www.sverigesnatur.org/app/uploads/2017/10/li-and-ca-h... (quote from the intro in this pdf)
Lithium, Sodium and Potassium are in Group 1:
Calcium and Magnesium are in Group 2.
Adequate salts are vary important to health. I'd rather have adequate Na, K, Ca, and Mg than supplemental Li.
tl/dr: I drink salted orange juice (K), eat salted potatoes (K), add salt to my dairy products (Ca and K), and salt my green vegetables (Mg).
Drugging people with Lithium is an intervention done on the basis of "we don't know why it sometimes works, but it seems to sometimes help, so we might as well try it, and if the patient complains their opinion doesn't actually matter."
The question, then is different. We know that lithium has certain theraputic effects at 0.6-1.2 mmol/L blood concentrations. In this range, it is a powerful and effective mood stabilizer. What, then, are the effects of lithium at lower concentrations?
You know, as a super intelligent internet commenter :D
Also, I hear that fluoride in the drinking water does a similar trick. Makes you think.
Also, it's hardly germane. Lithium is not toxic in naturally occurring levels, it is, in fact, an essential nutrient: