Tag Archives | lithium

There’s Lithium In The Water Supply

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Stylised Lithium Atom. CC BY-SA 3.0

Forget about the awful things that fluoride in the water supply supposedly does to us; the New York Times is reporting that there’s lithium in our water supply:

THE idea of putting a mind-altering drug in the drinking water is the stuff of sci-fi, terrorist plots and totalitarian governments. Considering the outcry that occurred when putting fluoride in the water was first proposed, one can only imagine the furor that would ensue if such a thing were ever suggested.

The debate, however, is moot. It’s a done deal. Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.

Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter.

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Should Lithium Be Added To Drinking Water To Prevent Suicides?

lithiumMother Nature Network has the latest news on the previously discussed sort-of-logical-yet-profoundly-horrifying concept:

A study carried out in June of 2011 demonstrated that drinking water contaminated with lithium could actually lower suicide rates. So should lithium be added as a supplement to the water supply, as is done with fluoride?

In the study, 6,460 samples of drinking water were tested across 99 districts in Austria. Districts with higher levels of lithium tended to report lower suicide rates. In some areas lithium occurs naturally in the water supply, likely leached out of rocks and stones.

The results weren’t terribly shocking, as lithium has been used for decades to treat depression. This was the first time its effect was measured based on trace amounts within drinking water, however.

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Lithium in the Water Supply

The New York Times Magazine’s annual Year In Ideas issue is well worth reviewing. Here’s what I thought was the scariest idea of 2009 … subduing the population by putting lithium in public water systems (as if fluoride wasn’t bad enough, which of course the Times does not acknowledge, stating exactly the opposite):

America has been adding fluoride to its public water supplies for decades, based on overwhelming evidence that even low levels of the substance can significantly reduce tooth decay, with no major side effects. Now research from Japan suggests expanding the list of aqueous additives — namely, to lithium.

Lithium often occurs naturally, in trace amounts, in water supplies, particularly in areas with a high concentration of granite. In The British Journal of Psychiatry earlier this year, the neuropsychiatrist Takeshi Terao and other researchers showed that communities in Japan’s Oita Prefecture with higher levels of naturally occurring lithium in their water supplies had fewer suicides than those with lower levels.

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