We know that correcting underlying deficiencies in magnesium and lithium can increase cognitive function, elevate mood, and promote healing processes in the brain and nervous system.
We've known this for years.
As companion nutrients, magnesium and lithium have a synergistic relationship – enhancing the beneficial effects of the other – and are necessary for optimal brain function, and a healthy nervous system.
Magnesium supplementation alone has been shown to rapidly reverse
major depression, while both magnesium and lithium have been shown to promote sciatic nerve regeneration. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve (sciatica) can be healed by a simple regimen of the two minerals. Adding other neuro-supportive, anti-inflammatory nutrients (e.g. zinc, vitamin D, etc) is also of benefit.
For nearly 50 years, we’ve known that animals need lithium nutritionally, and when fed low lithium diets have higher mortalities as well as reproductive and behavioral abnormalities.
Small, nutritional doses of lithium from 5-20 mg/d have been used since the 1970s to treat depression, anxiety, headaches, migraines, chronic pain, alcoholism, drug addiction, stroke, autism, as an “anti-aging brain nutrient”, and to halt or slow Alzheimer’s progression, as well as being an important factor in suicide prevention [10-18, 20-26]. Nutritional doses correct underlying nutrient deficiencies caused by poor diet, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and fluoride which reacts with lithium to form an insoluble precipitate of lithium fluoride (LiF), thus rendering the lithium biologically unavailable [11,14].
It's not widely known (but soon will be), but lithium was also officially added to the World Health Organization’s list of nutritionally essential trace elements alongside zinc, iodine and others.
For over 40 years, outstanding members of the integrative medicine community (e.g. Jonathan Wright MD, James Greenblatt MD, Hans Nieper MD, and William Shaw PhD) have been utilizing low-dose lithium for its mood elevating, balancing, healing, and protective effects on the brain and nervous system.
In this video presentation, James Greenblatt MD discusses the wide-ranging nutritional benefits of lithium, and states (8:22) that lithium can
alleviate "existing damage by stimulating new neuronal growth." Something he's bringing to the world's attention, but once again, something that we've known for quite some time.
What this means for you: if you've suffered any form of brain or nervous system injury, nutritional doses of lithium coupled with a broad spectrum nutrient regimen containing magnesium – by stimulating healing processes –can assist with your recovery.
A Missing Nutrient in Alzheimer's Disease Prevention and Treatment
In a landmark study published in Current Alzheimer’s Research (2013) – the author’s found that a very small dose (0.3 mg) of lithium administered once daily to Alzheimer’s patients prevented cognitive decline over a 15-month period. This small, “nutritional dose” is approximately 500-1000 times lower than what is used in pharmaceutical therapy, only with no side-effects.
Recent studies also suggest that magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
We know that nutritional deficiencies and imbalances play a strong role in the prevention and treatment of virtually all chronic disease states. It’s time that mainstream medicine returned to its roots as the healing art that it once was – utilizing therapies that promote healing, and prevent and cure disease – as opposed to the “disease-management model” that it has unfortunately become, leaving the patient chronically unwell and taking 5 or more drugs for a lifetime.
Knowledge of the benefits of small, nutritional doses of lithium will soon be commonplace in the field of medicine and public health, and is part of a paradigm shift that is currently taking place.
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13. Jonathan Wright, MD. Lithium – The Misunderstood Mineral Part 1. Tahoma Clinic Blog.
14. William Shaw PhD, Kurt Woeller DO, Daniel Rossignol MD, et al. Autism: Beyond the Basics. Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders. October 5, 2009.
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In this 2009 review, Young concluded, “Lithium has been reported to be beneficial in animal models of brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, and other conditions. A recent clinical trial suggests that lithium stops the progression of ALS.”
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About the author:
Dr. Timothy M. Marshall is a holistic neurospecialist, neuropharmacologist, and nutritional biochemist with a passion for natural solutions that rebalance and rebuild the brain and body – and promote greater health and healing. In overcoming his own health challenges in his youth, he learned that most disease is a result of living "out of sync" with nature – and that most disease processes are a function of toxin accumulation with one or more key nutrient deficiencies. Dr. Marshall graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, specializing in neuropharmacology (subspecialties: toxicology and medicinal chemistry) with a B.S. in biochemistry from the same institution.
As a neuropharmacologist, functional medicine consultant, and lifelong advocate of natural methods of healing: Dr. Marshall specializes in the treatment of a broad spectrum of neurological disorders including depression, anxiety, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, stroke, sleep disorders, night terrors, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS prevention and treatment, and autism spectrum disorders. By correcting underlying nutrient deficiencies (and imbalances) that are a common factor in nearly ALL chronic disease states, while simultaneously reducing the body’s toxin burden, healing mechanisms are enhanced and greater health can be achieved.
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