Researchers Suggest Adding Lithium to Drinking Water to Curb Suicide Rates During Coronavirus Pandemic

Researchers Suggest Adding Lithium to Drinking Water to Curb Suicide Rates During Coronavirus Pandemic

A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2020 showed that there is an inverse association between lithium consumption from public drinking water and suicide rates at the population level. Researchers have found that naturally occurring lithium in drinking water may have the potential to reduce the risk of suicide and may help in mood stabilization, especially in populations with relatively high suicide rates.1

Americans Suffering Mental Health Problems Associated With Pandemic

According to a poll conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation between Mar. 25 and Mar. 30, 2020, 45 percent of adults said that the pandemic has affected their mental health and 19 percent said it has had a “major impact” on their mental health.2

In the United States, 48,344 Americans died by suicide in 2018. In 2019, deaths by suicide decreased by 2.1 percent to 47,511.3 With respect to suicide rates for 2020, Christine Moutier, MD, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said:

We do not yet know about suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic because the United States does not collect suicide data in real time, therefore, claims about increasing suicide rates during COVID-19 are not based in current available data and are unfounded,” She added that, “We do know that thoughts of suicide are more prevalent among the general population now than before COVID-19, and for that reason we must continue to focus on prevention efforts and supporting those at risk.4

Lithium has been widely used in pharmacology, particularly in psychiatric medication for the treatment and prevention of manic/depressive episodes, stabilizing mood and reducing the risk of suicide.5

The study, which is a meta-analysis of research conducted in Austria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Japan and United States, encompasses a total of 1,286 regions, counties and cities, suggests a relationship between higher levels of lithium in public drinking water and lower rates of suicide among these populations.6 7

The authors of the study say that the next step is to investigate the effects of adding lithium in trace amounts to the water supplies in communities with a high risk of suicide and high prevalence of mental health problems, substance abuse, and violent criminal behavior.8

Dr. Anjum Memon, the lead researcher in the study stated:

In these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent increase in the incidence of mental health conditions, accessing ways to improve community mental health and reduce the incidence of anxiety, depression, and suicide is ever more important.9

What is Lithium?

Lithium is a naturally occurring alkali metal found in variable amounts in vegetables, grains, spices and drinking water. It is present in trace amounts in virtually all rocks and is mobilized by weathering into soils, ground and standing water and eventually making its way into the public water supply in varying concentrations.10

In the early 20th century, lithium drinks were in demand.11 In 1929, a drink known as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” was created using lithium salts. Its name eventually changed to “7-Up Lithiated Lemon Soda”. The drink was marketed as “affecting the drinker’s mood” during the Great Depression.12 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of lithium in soft drinks and beer in 1948 and the soda currently known as 7-Up was reformulated without lithium.13

Too Much Lithium Intake Can Be Toxic

Patients who take lithium as a mood stabilizer must always monitored to prevent excess amounts from building up in the blood, which can have toxic effects.14 Lithium has a very narrow therapeutic index, which means that toxicity can develop at dosages close to those that are ideal for treatment. As a result, it is relatively easy and common for people taking lithium to develop mild toxicity. Symptoms of lithium toxicity range from gastrointestinal symptoms, impaired kidney function, thyroid conditions and neurotoxicity.15

Allan Young, PhD, director of Center for Affective Disorders at King’s College London said, “The levels of lithium in drinking water are far lower than those recommended when lithium is used as medicine, although the duration of exposure may be far longer, potentially starting at conception.”16


Click here to view References:

1 Memon A. et al. Association between naturally occurring lithium in drinking water and suicide rates: systematic review and meta-analysis of ecological studies. British Journal of Psychiatry 2020; 217(6): 667-678.
2 Achenbach J. Coronavirus is harming the mental health of tens of millions of people in U.S., new poll findsThe Washington Post Apr. 2, 2020.
3 Martin J. Suicide Rate Dropped To Lowest Level Since 1999 Last Year, but Trend May Not Continue for 2020. Newsweek Dec. 22, 2020.
4 Ibid.
5 See Footnote 1.
6 Kingsland J. Might higher lithium levels in drinking water help prevent suicide? Medical News Today July 30. 2020.
7 See Footnote 1.
8 See Footnote 6.
9 Ibid.
10 See Footnote 1.
11 Ibid.
12 Radeska T. The Secret Ingredient in 7-Up Which Eased the Pain of the Great Depression. The Vintage News Nov. 30, 2018.
13 See Footnote 1.
14 See Footnote 6.
15 Biggers A. What to know about lithium toxicity. Medical News Today Nov. 27, 2019.
16 See Footnote 6.

8 Responses to "Researchers Suggest Adding Lithium to Drinking Water to Curb Suicide Rates During Coronavirus Pandemic"

  1. Dorothy Kearney   January 12, 2021 at 2:33 am

    It would be so wrong to put anything in drinking water that is “treating” you for something you do not have. And what about babies and children? They have enough toxic ingredients going into their bodies from vaccines without adding something else. I would not want that added to my water. The world population is now guinea pigs for whatever these mad scientists come up with. Jesus come now!!!

    Reply
  2. Cincinnati   January 12, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Adding drugs and abnormal abou t of substances to our drinking water like fluoride and lithium is a crime. This is an attempt to control the population.

    Reply
  3. Tom   January 12, 2021 at 10:06 am

    This is beyond ridiculous. We keep trying to justify lockdowns when they are the direct problem. Nix the lockdowns and open the world back up. That will save more lives than anything these fake experts dream up. There is no proof that lockdowns are saving lives. Any lives that might be saved are being cancelled out by the dire consequences of keeping people caged like rats. And these idiots in charge want more severe measures expecting to save what? More lives? Lies, all lies.

    Reply
  4. Anne M.   January 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    There’s, “Do not swallow”, warnings on lithium batteries and they want us to drink lithium? Really?
    I sincerely doubt any bureaucrat who would sign off on such a measure would have the spine to tell their community ahead of time what they were were doing for, “the greater good”, or to take responsibility when people eventually became sick.

    Reply
  5. CindyinOH   January 12, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Pharmaceutical lithium is unnatural and not beneficial.
    OTC Lithium orotate is a natural element and is healthy. I have taken one 5 mg capsule of lithium orotate for years. Why? I recognized that I spent a lot of time in remembrance of loved ones that had passed. The lithium helped me move on and focus more on living in the present.
    Can we trust any agency to add only a natural amount of lithium, NO.
    Should we be advocating to the general population the health benefits of natural lithium so they can have informed consent, YES.
    Will any pharmaceutical captured government agency allow that to happen, NO.
    Greed and power have fully corrupted our democracy. We can no longer point a finger towards other countries until we clean our house.

    Reply
  6. Pat Victor   January 13, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Well, I started taking 10 drops of liquid Lithium Chloride (a liquid ionic mineral) in a small amount of water every morning at least 8 months ago. It’s absolutely helped my mood every day. I’ve not been as depressed or as snippy with my dear husband (he noticed it too!). So with the dose being a trace mineral there is no way to over dose. The prescription medicine is an extremely high dose and can cause problems so I would not consider taking it. Do your research! Don’t dismiss it outright!

    Reply
    • Nathalie   January 13, 2021 at 10:51 am

      No one is talking about dismissing the positive effect it can have for some people, but there is a big gap between someone willfully taking it and adding it to the water supply where people who do not need it or do not want it would still be exposed to it.
      The water supply is already so polluted with tons on different chemicals and who knows what else, we do not need to add anything else to it, as certainly people should still get a choice of what they want to ingest. Adding something like that to the water would equate to mandate vaccination…. or other measures not proven to be effective.

      Reply
  7. Jon   January 13, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Pat,

    The problem is that they are suggesting that the water supply be laced with lithium. If an individual wants to take it, that’s absolutely fine as it is an individual decision but to expose the entire population with no informed consent is an ethical issue!

    Reply

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