Lithium in drinking water?

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[deleted account]

"SO even though it is needed, it can cause birth defects, toxicity, and some other problems."

So can flouride, calcium (my friend's granddaughter is in the hospital right now due to too much calcium in her system). Iron is hugely dangerous, especially now that so much food has iron added to it. Most people don't need a multivitamin with iron if they eat a healthy diet because a lot of 'healthy' foods either contain it naturally or it's added. For example, Multi-Bran Chex is one of my favorite cereals. It also contains 90% of the recommended daily allowance of iron. Therefore, if I have that and milk and any other iron rich food on top of my multi, I am now ingesting too much iron. Potassium is another one that people often take too much of without knowing it.

So why such a freakout over lithium and dont' you think the 'government is controlling us' angle is just a teensy bit out there. They already control us by electronics such as our cell phones, computers, tv and other systems that most people can't live without.

Barbara - posted on 08/22/2010

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Lithium is an essential trace mineral. There are hundreds of trace minerals that your body needs in order to function properly.
Lithium is an element on the periodic table, so it's not like it was invented to be an anti psychotic drug. They give gigantic doses of it as an anti psychotic, but the amount of lithium in the Japanese water was naturally occurring and a tiny amount.
Think of it this way, if you don't get your vitamin C, you will get scurvy. If you don't get the small amount of lithium you need, you might get depressed. Your brain needs it, so if your food and water don't naturally supply it, maybe adding it would be a good thing.

Julie - posted on 08/23/2010

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But what do you think of them adding it Julie?--> It merits more study. By this I mean that it has potential, but more testing is necessary to see if there are any other safety risks. If one were to go analyse the natural levels and compare groups for multiple health factors, not just suicide, they numbers should indicate if it is safe for a population. Of course, there will be individuals who may not experience the benefits, but, for the population as a whole, if the risks are shown to outweigh the benefits, no. If the reverse is true, I am for it.

[deleted account]

If that were true Katherine, then you would find that communities where the drinking water had naturally occurring flouride in rates higher than others (including those that add it to the water) would also historically have a high percentage of Down's Syndrome. Yet that isn't the case, is it? Or is the somehow natural occurrance of the exact same mineral different?

Julie - posted on 08/22/2010

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The lithium in the study was naturally-occuring, I didn't think they actually added it. ... yet. Seems like it is a consideration.



Interesting study that merits more study before actually ADDING it to the municipal water supply.



**edit:

0.7µg/l (micrograms per litre) and 59µg/l. This is the amount of Li naturally occuring in the water. That is a TINY dose compared to what is given clinically. The data supplied was on overdosages and maternal-fetal "sharing" that is still WAY above the MICROgram per liter amount studied.



Oh, and flouride DOES NOT CAUSE DOWNS SYNDROME. That is a ridiculous non-association by paranoid people.

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Julie - posted on 08/23/2010

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A little math to put things into perspective:

The highest level reported in the drinking water (and associated with a lower level of suicide) was 59 MICROgrams per LITER.

People typically take a dose of 900 MILIgrams or 900,000 MICROgrams per day.

If you do the math, that would be equivalent to drinking OVER 15,000 LITERS of water in a day for the trace amount to even come close to the therapeutic amount.

One would die of water toxicity before any significant (therapeutically speaking) amount was achieved.

So, would I have a problem with Li being added to water? No. Not if further research indicated that the benefits were MUCH greater than the risks.

Jenny - posted on 08/23/2010

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I don't like the idea of them adding anything to water. I'm a tap water drinker and I belivee it takes our choice away. If I want an antidepressent or healthier teeth I'll take care of it myself thanks. Can we keep one thing pure and not muck with it, pretty please?

Pamela - posted on 08/23/2010

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Actually I think Dana brought it back...I'm perfectly content riding down the rabbit trail.:o)



I get what you're saying Katherine. And I think you have a legitimate point - a little bit of a substance can do a lot of harm. Actually, what scientists have found is that it takes about 20 years for the effects of chemicals in water ways to be known...Apparently fluoride is proving all right (unless you're into conspiracy theories - check out the conspiracy thread. There's an exciting youtube video on poisoning our water:o) Fluoride is mentioned.

Katherine - posted on 08/23/2010

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Thanks for bringing it back Pamela. That's kind of the whole point here. Should we put MORE Lithium in our water? It is used for depression whether it's a trace element or not. The sole purpose of adding it is to cut down suicide rates. My point again is what effects does that have on wildlife and pregnant woman drinking this water? Everyone keeps saying it's only a tiny bit....well a tiny bomb can cause A LOT of destruction. Am I making sense?

Pamela - posted on 08/23/2010

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My question is: do we need it? Are we showing a serious lack of this mineral? If so, then perhaps it could be a good thing. If we don't need it, then what's the point? I'm not to fearful of things being added to our public water (I don't think fluoridation of our water has proven to be a bad thing - in fact it seems to have decreased tooth decay). So I'm not necessarily opposed to it. But again, is it necessary?

Dana - posted on 08/23/2010

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An excerpt from the beginning of the article.

The study has prompted calls for further research into the possibility of adding lithium to drinking supplies - like water fluoridation to improve dental health.

So that's the question at hand. If they do, do you agree.

Pamela - posted on 08/23/2010

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Whew! What a relief. Not that I was overly worried about it, but still.

Barbara - posted on 08/23/2010

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I don't think they are anywhere near actually adding it to the water. I think it was just an interesting study. They didn't add more to the water in the study, just observed the effects on the people who happened to have more lithium in their water than others. If someone feels like they need to supplement, there is a few supplements available. Otherwise, I don't think we really have to worry about the ramifications of adding it....yet;)

Katherine - posted on 08/23/2010

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It's been duly noted. However,adding to it is not a conducive thing to do which is what I've been trying to say! Small amounts+more small amounts=bigger amounts and we are not the only ones affected.

Dana - posted on 08/23/2010

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Jen, everyone has already acknowledged the fact that lithium and fluoride are in drinking water, it seems that you can't get past that point. We're beyond that point, we're talking about if it's healthy for more to be added.

Pamela - posted on 08/23/2010

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Then we don't need it added, if its already there...



That's why I'm always sooooo happy!

[deleted account]

I don't think anyone is addressing the fact that lithium and flouride are naturally occurring in drinking water already.

Dana - posted on 08/23/2010

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Honestly, who gives a shit if it's already in drinking water, it's still creepy. We're still talking about a mineral that can alter different parts of the brain. I don't want my government adding lithium to our drinking water based on the fact that it may or may not help those who feel the urge to commit suicide.

Krista - posted on 08/23/2010

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I'm kind of with Katherine on this one. Obviously there are always going to be naturally-occurring trace minerals in our drinking water. But there is just something about the idea of all this extra stuff being added to the water, without my consent, that gives me a case of the squicks. Especially if it's stuff that affects our emotions. If it's naturally occurring, fine...leave it there. But to deliberately add it? There's just something indefinable there that creeps me out about the idea of the government adding stuff to my drinking water so as to regulate my emotional well-being.

Katherine - posted on 08/23/2010

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There were cases of flouride content being higher in some communities than others. But why risk it? Why risk putting a THIRD element into the drinking water?
Back to the effects of Lithium. Not only will this affect unborn babies, even IF levels are low enough and nowhere near clinical doses. Not to mention, again, the effects on wildlife. My arguement is purely effect.

[deleted account]

"I object to putting something in the water for the sole purpose of reducing suicide. A mineral that is used for depression and that can cause harmful effects on unbornchildren. It's being done without a choice. Flouride is needed as well as iron, lithium is not. Let me rephrase, it's not neccessary to ADD lithium to the water, I feel it is neccessary to have flouride and iron."

If you read your own article again, you'll see that they show suicide rates higher when the lithium levels are lower. In other words, people are ingesting less. This is potentially leading to a health risk. Let's for a moment assume this is a proven issue for a moment. Do you consider mental health to be less important than good teeth and bones? I mean, that is what you're saying when you get down to it (except of course when you edit it to say that flouride causes Down's Syndrome based upon a scant few hours of reading online articles.)

[deleted account]

I must ask this seriously, all the studies show no actual link. So there is no evidence anywhere that flouride has any connection with Down's Syndrome and yet you doubt that. Why?

Katherine - posted on 08/22/2010

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What about animals drinking the water? Their metabolism is different then ours. Look at the long term effects of this.

Katherine - posted on 08/22/2010

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Edit: Yes, I now object to flouride in the water. It is known to cause Down's Syndrome. I just looked into it pardon me

Katherine - posted on 08/22/2010

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I object to putting something in the water for the sole purpose of reducing suicide. A mineral that is used for depression and that can cause harmful effects on unbornchildren. It's being done without a choice. Flouride is needed as well as iron, lithium is not. Let me rephrase, it's not neccessary to ADD lithium to the water, I feel it is neccessary to have flouride and iron.

[deleted account]

How dare they put an essential trace mineral in the water? Do you also object to flouride in water?

Pamela - posted on 08/22/2010

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I'll have to look into the lithium thing more. Because as my last post shows, I don't know diddly squat about the topic at hand.

Katherine - posted on 08/22/2010

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Ok, so you are correct. I also found this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_pha...

Harmful effects of lithium

The average developmental score[clarification needed] for the lithium-exposed group of children was 7–8 points lower than the control group (siblings), but well within the normal range of 100±15.[27]



Lithium is known to be responsible for significant amounts of weight gain.[28] It increases the appetite and thirst ("polydypsia", potentially causing nephrogenic diabetes insipidus), and reduces the activity of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).[29][30][31][32][33] It is also believed to affect renal function.[citation needed]



Lithium is a well known cause of downbeat nystagmus.[34] The nystagmus may be permanent or require several months of abstinence for improvement.[35]



Lithium is also a teratogen causing birth defects in a small number of new born babies.[36] If taken during a woman's pregnancy can cause her child to develop Ebstein's anomaly, a heart defect.



[edit] Overdosage

Lithium toxicity may occur in persons taking excessive amounts either accidentally or intentionally on an acute basis or in patients who accumulate high levels during ongoing chronic therapy. The manifestations include nausea, emesis, diarrhea, asthenia, ataxia, confusion, lethargy, polyuria, seizures and coma. Persons who survive a poisoning episode may develop persistent neurotoxicity. Lithium concentrations in whole blood, plasma, serum or urine may be measured to confirm the diagnosis in potential poisoning victims or to assist in the forensic investigation in a case of fatal overdosage.[37]





SO even though it is needed, it can cause birth defects, toxicity, and some other problems. The article doesn't say how much Lithium they plan to put in the water or how they're going to regulate it.

Barbara - posted on 08/22/2010

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It's not an antidepressant, just like vitamin C isn't cold medicine. You do need some of it in order to function properly. You could definitely have too much of it, and that would be bad, but being deficient in something essential is also bad.

Katherine - posted on 08/22/2010

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If they are on other anti-depressants and don't need it, have a reaction...I can't imagine it being good for everyone.

Barbara - posted on 08/22/2010

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What do you mean, can't handle it? Like an allergy? I suppose someone might be allergic to lithium, but I bet it's pretty rare.
Any heavy metal is dangerous in a large quantity, but at the same time your body does need them. I guess it would depend if there was a demonstrable deficiency of lithium in the general population. And then the amount they added to the water would have to be a mere trace amount.

Pamela - posted on 08/22/2010

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Isn't lithium a pretty heavy duty anti-psychotic? I'm thinking I don't like that idea at all. Some anti-psychotics affect people differently - as in it makes them more psychotic. Soooo...this sounds like a really bad idea.

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