Thanks to Tesla, Lithium has seen its profile raised considerably of late. The company’s bold plans to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in order to fulfill global demand for its cars and home energy solutions throws into question whether or not enough Lithium can be produced.
Lithium is also used in ceramics and glass, everyday batteries, lubricating greases, continuous casting mould flux powders, air treatment, polymer production, primary aluminum production, as well as may other uses.
What many of us don’t know, are the benefits small doses of lithium may have on the human body. After all, Lithium is another naturally occuring mineral in the human body, like magnesium and potassium.
1. For starters, lithium is an anti-aging nutrient for the brain. Lithium may enhance nerve cell DNA replication, the first step in the formation of new cells and has the ability to protect and restore damaged brain cells. Lithium is a trace mineral necessary to the function of two different brain pathways and may help repair abnormal function of brain pathways.
2. It may also protect the brain from damage due to exposure to environmental toxins, including external and endogenous excitotoxins. Lithium may increase the production of a brain protective protein and limit damage due to over active N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Studies show that lithium reduces brain cell death due to ischemic stroke and lack of blood supply.
3. Other benefits for the brain include possible protection against deterioration of brain cells from long-term drug therapy. Lithium supplementation should accompany any long-term drug therapy for depression, anxiety, seizures, or mood alteration to protect against toxic side effects.
4. Lithium may improve mood and behaviour. This list could be enlarged to include alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, over-the-counter stimulants or tranquilizers, and “recreational” drugs. Lithium helps protect the brain by reducing aluminum levels in the body.
5. Lithium may slow the progress of degenerative in neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s, senile dementia, and Parkinson’s. The drug, Memantine, has been found effective in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A primary action of the drug is protection of brain cells from damage from the major excitotoxin, glutamate (think MSG). Lithium is known to protect against glutamate induced nerve cell damage. Research indicates that lithium may reduce beta-amyloid secretion and restore damage caused by existing beta-amyloid proteins. Over activation of a brain protein, tau protein, contributes to degeneration in Alzheimer’s along with neurofibril tangles. Lithium may inhibit both processes.
6. Lithium may help alleviate symptoms of muscle pain and stiffness in fibromyalgia, may help normalize thyroid function in hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease), and may significantly reduce the frequency and severity of cluster headaches.
7. Lithium may help normalize thyroid function in hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease).
8.Lithium may also improve white blood cell and platelet count for those fighting chronic infections, or those undergoing chemotherapy, because it is known to stimulate development of bone marrow stem cells.
9. Lithium supplementation may help relieve the stabbing, burning pain of gout.
10. Lithium may also be useful in stifling viral growth in Epstein-Barr syndrome and Herpes Simplex, in combination with Lysine.