Is Lithium Orotate Good or Bad for You?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Lithium orotate is not a drug at all; it's actually a mineral-part of the sodium and potassium family.The health benefits of lithium orotate are causing an explosion in its popularity. I’ve been an advocate of lithium orotate for quite some time and have incorporated into some of my own formulations. A friend of mine, Dr. Mark Millar, is the leading authority on lithium orotate in the United States today. He published an eBook, Veteran Suicide Breakthrough: Revealing the Breakthrough Mineral for Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Depression ‘They Definitely’ Don’t Want You to Know About which is loaded with facts on lithium’s effects on the both body and brain. I’d really encourage you to check out his book, it’s powerful information you’re not going to hear from any mainstream source. I’d like to share a few of the shocking facts contained within the pages of Dr. Millar’s book but must reiterate that much of this is very controversial, disputed by the mainstream medical establishment, and should not be interpreted as claims, promises, or fodder to diagnose yourself. I am sharing this for informational purposes only! Lithium orotate is intended as a nutrient to supplement the diet. Its effects are nutritional. The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and this nutrient is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  • “Technically, lithium is not a drug but a mineral, similar to salt.” -VA Research Currents
  • “In fact, lithium isn’t a drug at all. It’s actually a mineral-part of the same family of minerals that includes sodium and potassium.” -Jonathan Wright, M.D., author of “The Importance of Lithium Supplementation”
  • Medical doctors are now speaking out about the essential trace mineral known as lithium, promoting its incredible therapeutic benefits at low servings.
  • “Shocking but true — lithium is an essential trace element.” -Emily Deans, M.D., (Harvard trained psychiatrist) author of “Could You Have a Lithium Deficiency?”
  • “Lithium is an essential micronutrient… It is present in all organs and tissues in the body. It has similar chemical properties to that of calcium and magnesium.” -Mark Hyman, M.D., best-selling author of “The UltraMind Solution”
  • “Lithium is one of the most important elements in the human body.” -Lawrence Wilson, M.D., author of “Lithium”

  • In animal studies, lithium has been shown to be an essential trace mineral. When lithium is removed from the diet of farm animals, they appear to develop numerous chronic, degenerative diseases. These include atrophy of the spleen, development of cysts and tumors, severely depressed immune systems, and decreased fertility. Additionally, the quantity of breast milk is diminished in nursing mothers with inadequate lithium stores.
  • A study from Texas analyzed 27 state counties between the years of 1978-1987. It was discovered that the incidence of suicide, homicide, rape, drug abuse, and felonious acts were about 50% lower in the 27 counties with lithium-containing drinking water. The water had lithium levels ranging from 70-170 micrograms/L. Additionally, the study found a significant reduction in drug-related arrests within the same time period and locations.
  • Lithium orotate “…does not require blood tests to establish a therapeutic level as prescription forms do, nor is it toxic to the kidneys like lithium pharmaceuticals.” In addition, “…Prescription lithium is poorly absorbed by cells, the main site where it performs its functions.” -Ward Dean, M.D.
  • Medical doctors have found servings of lithium orotate 80-90% lower than the orthodox Pharma-lithium serving for major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, unipolar depression, major depression, or unipolar disorder. 50-70% of patients have shown fair to good response with lithium use for depression.
  • According to Jonathan Wright, M.D., America’s top authority on lithium orotate, a total daily intake of 30 milligrams of elemental lithium will have unnoticeable effects on serum lithium levels, with levels usually residing in a non-detectable range. Even 40 mg per day appears to be completely safe, presenting no negative side effects or signs of toxicity.
  • Dr. Wright also testifies that, “After decades of clinical research and laboratory testing of the compound on my patients, I discovered that administering lithium orotate up to 40 mg per day to be completely safe (without negative side effects or toxicity) and absolutely effective in the control of numerous mental, neurological, and physical conditions.”
  • Another form of lithium, called lithium orotate, is preferred because the orotate ion crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily than the carbonate ion of the pharmaceutical lithium carbonate. Therefore, lithium orotate can be used in much lower servings (e.g. 5 mg) with remarkable results and no side effects. -Shaheen Lakhan, M.D., author of “Nutritional Therapies for Mental Disorders”
  • “Lithium itself is not a drug; it’s a naturally occurring mineral salt like potassium, and is something you need for proper mental and physical health… Lithium orotate may be a safe and simple way to help beat the blues.” -Al Sears, M.D.
  • “The lithium salt of orotic acid (lithium orotate) improves the effects of lithium several-fold by increasing lithium bio-utilization.” -Ward Dean, M.D., author of “The Unique Safe Mineral with Multiple Uses”
  • Dr. Dean also states, “Lithium orotate has also been successfully used in alleviating discomfort from migraine and cluster headaches, improving low white blood cell counts, juvenile convulsive disease, alcoholism, and liver disorders. Lithium Orotate is extremely safe, with no known adverse side effects or drug interactions.”
  • “Prescription lithium is poorly absorbed by the cells, where it needs to be to do its job… Because it is so poorly absorbed, blood levels need to be fairly high to “drive” it into the cells. Unfortunately, these “therapeutic” blood levels are dangerously close to the toxic level. That’s why patients on prescription lithium need to be carefully monitored… Successful serving with lithium orotate is measured by clinical effects on the patient, rather than by blood levels.” -Ward Dean, M.D.
  • “Lithium Orotate will not cause weight gain, nor will it cause sedation or sleepiness.” -Ward Dean, M.D.

  • In one study, 42 patients hospitalized for the management of their alcoholism were given 150 mg of lithium orotate every day. It was found that lithium orotate helped improve the effectiveness of alcoholism treatment. Ten of the patients experienced no relapse for over three to ten years. 13 patients remained alcohol-free for one to two years, and the remaining 12 experienced a relapse between 6 to 12 months. Lithium orotate therapy was seen as relatively safe, with minor adverse side effects seen in some patients (muscle weakness, appetite loss, mild apathy). For these patients, symptoms subsided following the reduction of lithium orotate administration. Over 50% of the alcoholic patients who completed this study were without relapse for over one year and 25% of them made it over 3 years without a relapse. NOTE: The discovery of decreasing mild side effects through slightly reducing lithium orotate supplementation provides further scientific evidence that lithium has no inherent toxicity when taken in smaller, reasonable serving sizes. -A study titled: “Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.”
  • Available without a prescription, lithium orotate has been marketed as an alternative to the prescription known as lithium carbonate. In lithium orotate, lithium is joined with an orotate ion, rather than to a carbonate ion.
  • “Lithium orotate is a highly bioavailable form of lithium that is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.” -Linda Fugate, Ph.D., author of “Lithium’s Potential Role in Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease”
  • “In small servings (15 mg/day), lithium orotate has been shown to protect the central nervous system.” -Dietrich K. Klinghardt, M.D, Ph.D.
  • “Lithium is a trace element which has important functions in the brain, including protecting brain cells from various toxins and reducing the ill effects of certain excitatory neurotransmitters which are harmful in large amounts.” -Alice R. Laule, M.D., author of “Lithium”
  • “Lithium orotate, on the other hand, is more bioavailable and safer than the lithium carbonate.” -Jeffrey Dach, M.D., author of “Beating Depression Naturally”
  • “Lithium is one of the most important elements in the human body.” -Lawrence Wilson, M.D., author of “Lithium”
  • Harvard Medical School has analyzed over 30 human meta-analysis studies and has determined that lithium reduces the rate and risk of suicide attempts by 80-90% in patients with major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. In fact, the overall risk of suicides was five times less among lithium-treated subjects compared with individuals not treated with lithium.
  • In human studies among healthy populations, lithium has been shown to significantly increase brain mass in both gray and white matter.
  • Lithium is the most powerful essential trace mineral ever discovered for promoting optimal functioning of the brain and central nervous system.
  • Lithium augmentation appears to be a promising therapy for geriatric depressed patients who are unresponsive to, or cannot tolerate, other standard therapies.
  • “In some cases, adjunctive lithium leads to improvement in depressive symptoms very quickly, usually in 2 or 3 days.”
  • In a placebo-controlled human study, lithium reduced histamine and bronchial reactivity in airway smooth muscle, improving symptom scores and significantly reducing the need of inhalers. Lithium also significantly reduced the contractile effect of histamine on the tissues of the lung and trachea in guinea pigs.
  • Lithium may prevent calcification of blood vessels in humans. Animals rendered lithium deficient in lab testing developed calcification of blood vessels, increasing the risk for heart disease.
  • Lithium has been shown to reduce excessive levels of arachidonic acid in the brains of rats. “…lithium might be considered for treating human brain diseases accompanied by neuroinflammation.”
  • A comprehensive review of contemporary research conducted in 2010 and published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, determined that lithium is still the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
  • Lithium has been discovered to produce profound improvement of immune function by increasing these white blood cell components: granulocytes, monocytes, natural killer T-cells, and immunoglobulins.
  • Multiple studies have suggested lithium’s possible role in preventing and alleviating migraines. In a study involving cyclical migraines, nineteen out of 22 patients (85%) responded to treatment and showed significant improvement in the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. 25% of the patients had complete remission of their migraine headaches and the remaining had a 50-75% reduction. In cluster headaches (the most severe type of headache), lithium is mentioned repeatedly in the research to be effective as a preventative measure.
  • Lithium also provides robust protection from heavy metal toxicity. Lithium has been shown to protect cells from aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury toxicity. Animal studies has positioned lithium as having a protective effect against toxic metals.
  • Lithium has profound antiviral properties against herpes infections and may significantly reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks. “Overall, lithium treatment resulted in a consistent reduction in the mean number of episodes per month, the average duration of each episode, the total number of infection days per month, and the maximum severity of symptoms.”
  • Lithium has anti-inflammatory effects upon the bowel. Lithium has demonstrated benefit to ulcerative colitis in humans. Lithium has been shown to decrease symptoms of IBD in children. Lithium works at the core of stress-related illnesses by balancing, normalizing, and regulating stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline. “Lithium, a widely-used drug in bipolar disorders, plays a gastro-protective role. The effects of lithium on several tissues are mediated through nitric oxide…”
  • “One substance that I have found to be surprisingly effective for shingles is lithium orotate. Three to four capsules per day have been reported to dramatically reduce disabling pains. Lithium orotate seems to greatly reduce the pain and itching of post-herpetic neuralgia which can linger for months and years after the lesions of shingles have resolved.”
  • In 1973, Dr. Hans Nieper reported that approximately 90% of his migraine patients reported significant relief in the frequency and severity of their headaches. He states that he was able to produce these results by utilizing a unique mineral transporter known as orotic acid (aka, orotate), thus allowing him to administer only minute amounts of lithium to achieve maximum results.
  • “Lithium orotate contains unparalleled efficiency in the treatment of constitutional migraine, constant headache, and hemicranias, as well as in the treatment of depression, alcoholism and epilepsy… Lithium orotate is effective at uncommonly low serving sizes and causes no negative side effects.” -Dr. Hans Nieper
  • Studies of lithium’s effect upon hyperthyroid conditions consistently demonstrate major regulation of thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The most common cause of hyperthyroid hormones is Grave’s disease. In a study of lithium’s effect upon Grave’s disease, it was determined that lithium reduced T3 by 42% and T4 by 28%. These amazing changes occurred in just 7 days.
  • “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. The stimulation of endogenous neural stem cells may explain why lithium increases brain cell density and volume in patients with bipolar disorders.”
  • The majority of OCD patients are significantly helped by serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRIs). “In open-label reports, the addition of… lithium… has yielded encouraging results.”

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Rich

    Any natural foods that contain this?

  • There are foods that have a trace lithium content but not lithium orotate, as it’s lithium that’s been bound to orotic acid to promote absorbability. It’s not a synthetic material but the lithium orotic acid bonding doesn’t happen naturally.

  • Jeff Goodwin

    I started taking lithium orotate just a few days ago. Days 1-4 were great with a little sluggishness the first couple days. Then yesterday, my head felt strange and like I couldn’t ever hydrate enough. It’s been hot/humid and it’s possible that I wasn’t hydrating enough while being out in the sun for most of the day. I had to leave work to go home and lay down. A few minutes later and I was vomiting every thirty minutes or so for the next couple hours. I couldn’t hold anything down. It was that awful dry heaving too. I’m not sure what to do.

  • OzMoses

    How much did you take? I have a sensitive system and never had anything even remotely similar to what you’re experiencing. I take one/day and not every day. Did you take it on an empty stomach? Perhaps you have an issue that is more complex that should be looked at by a doctor.

  • Jeff Goodwin

    Just one 5mg tablet daily. I switched from morning to evening as it makes me a little tired. I continued to take it after stopping for a couple days. No problems since. I think it may have been a combination of dehydration and being out in the hot humid air. I’ve felt good since.

  • llong

    The authors of the perfect health diet recommend 2.5 mg daily.I cut my 5 mg pill in half. Their research suggest that doses above this can cause neurological issues.

  • Rita

    Can it it be helpful in stopping drinking alcohol?

  • Rita

    PS I have gout and drink quite heavily.

  • Hard to say with certainty but we’ve definitely seen some anecdotal reports out there on this.

  • name

    Lithium makes you feel thirsty — it’s a pharmaceutical side effect. Also, it torches your kidneys. Careful.

  • Truth is True

    Dr Wright? Dr Write?
    Which is it? Pay attention. Make up your mind. You discredit the subject with your careless, unprofessional typos.
    Edit before printing!!
    Thank you.

  • RDF

    Agreed. Norm Shealy has the same problem and I’ll suggest to this site the same thing I suggested to him – put a little ad in craigslist for an copyeditor for twenty bucks an hour and hire someone who has a bit of experience. Have this person spend two hours a week correcting typos and clarifying language. To me, it’s bizarre, the inability of good doctors to see the need for this.

  • RDF

    The authors of Perfect Health Diet are famously shy about supplements. IMO they are overly conservative. I respect much of their work – for example, their advice on mini-fasts – but not in the area of supplements. And certainly not in their endorsement of eating fish, all of which are laden with mercury.

  • Truth is True

    THANK you!
    It’s a problem. A keyboard does not a writer make!

    I correspond with Norm. In his case it might be age. I appreciate his posts so much and love his guts and fire! I can’t fault him, really. But I am, on principle, in total agreement with you as you are with me and happy there is someone else out there who notices these things! An all too frequent occurence. I write to these folks all the time. A few have the graciousness to thank me; while others write back saying, “It’s a TYPO!”

    And I write back again and say, “Get an editor if you wish your article to be taken seriously!”

    These people don’t even bother to proofread!

    I am available for proofreading services.

    All the best, RDF!

    Truth is True ‘-)

  • Truth is True


    When you say ” it torches your kidneys ” what exactly do you mean? I have adrenal exhaustion already which as you may know are governed by the kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    So I am curious what you mean. Do you mean the excessive thirst and subsequent trips to the bathroom? I’m already running there too much as it is. I don’t wish to stress my kidneys any further than they already are.


  • Jeffery Surratt

    I found it on Amazon for $15.61 and ordered a bottle, because the Orotic Acid that is the carrier for the Lithium is good for treating Gout. And all the good things that lithium does in the body is a plus.

  • RDF

    All the best to you as well.

  • meaningfull

    Do you recommend Lithium orotate as a clear favourite over other Lithium supplements? My psych. is recommending me to begin on this now, and it´s been very interesting reading all these positive articles on this subscribement, which I thought was very dangerous…

  • As opposed to lithium carbonate, yes, it is what I prefer.

  • Mars

    I have taken between 10 to 20 mg, at various times, for years as prescribed my naturopathic doctor. I find it helps with ocd, increases peace of mind, general mood lift, less irritability, less anger outbursts. No side affects at all. I don’t understand why it isn’t in multivitamin and mineral formulas. Don’t be scared of the name!

  • SCE

    My son has ADD & the Dr gave him Lithium Orotate. Will it help with concentration as he’s being using it for a week and his teacher complains he struggles to concentrate in class.

  • braingood

    Could taking lithium orotate be too much (of a good thing) if I already have my 14 year old son on a regimen of GABA, B-Complex, Magnesium, d3?

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  • Mom

    I’m very confused about the quotes from doctors saying there are “no negative side effects” at dosages up to 40 mg. My husband and I both felt unwell even at 1/2 a 5 mg pill and have to work up very, very slowly. According to Dr. Amy Yasko, lithium pushes detoxification by allowing B12 into cells. Too much detox is definitely a negative side effect in my book! Can you comment on these high dose recommendations?

  • Anna

    Hi Global Healing Center! – can you give me more information about the effects of taking lithium oratate on the kidneys? I’ve had kidney issues on & off for the last few years and they are a bit sensitive..

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  • We have to suggest working with a reputable practitioner if you have any concerns with kidney function before you consider Lithium Orotate. Ideally with your practitioner support you can determine if this supplement can be accommodated to your specific needs.

  • disqus_rqTgzlwY6Z

    I have a long history of B12 deficiency, and now have serum levels above 1000, but it does not seem to be getting into my cells where I need it. I would like to try lithium orotate to help get B12 from blood to cells, but I am hypothyroid and I have read that it will slow down the ´production of T3 and T4 – which are already very low. Any insights on this ? Would the very low doses of Li affect the thyroid?

  • Maria Whetzel


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  • Jeanette

    I started taking lithium several weeks ago, 5 mg a day then increased to 30 mg a day. Several of my health issues was helped and decreased. But after second day I could not fall asleep, since then the worst insomnia of my life! Even tried taking other sleep sups at night, I am tired and relaxed but can’t fall asleep! Now at the point where I will have to stop taking it, unless somebody has any advice/ help?? Thank you!

  • Rich

    Is it okay to take lithium orotate it I am hypothyroid?

  • Robert Ward

    Hi Jeanette i also have had this insomnia to and my head feel heavy and achy. I think I took too much yesterday as when i was taking 10mg i felt fine and my mood has so improved, i’m less negative more relaxed and not over thinking as i was before. Amazing. Try cutting down to 10mg a day or even 5mg, those symptoms should go.

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  • zabelisa

    Maybe the side effects are proportional to how toxic the person is. I would start low (5 mg max) for sure and see what happens then go from there.

  • Jackie

    I take Lithium Carbonate, and I would like to stop. It is very harmful and make my head foggy and I can think straight. I take it for Bipolar. I was trying to figure out how the dosage would convert. Is there a conversion formula. Like how many 5mg LO = 300mg LC?

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  • Km

    What dose would you recommend for after having shingles?

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  • Lisa Honey

    That sounds like general dehydration.

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  • Roxanne Heaton

    I have recently been experiencing jumbled thoughts, depression, lack of joy in life and bi polar symptoms like I love to hate you. I am waiting for the NeuroFuzion to come in the mail from Global Healing Center and eager to try all the added ingredients that aid in brain health along with the lithium orotate. I did have left over lithium orotate in my fridge form years ago. Now years ago I didn’t remember that I felt any response from it. I started taking the lithium orotate a week ago and I feel great. I am happy and stable. I can feel the difference like just general euphoria even just going to work. Now I trust the Global Healing Center and If I got the product somewhere else I would be worried about the quality. I also feel like my vision is better with night driving, get deeper sleep and I am not hunger all the time. I am definitely adding lithium orotate to my daily supplements and only from Global Healing Center.
    A little history on me is that I am almost 40 years old. After 20 years of migraines and behavior problems I have been on a strict diet for 3 years that restricts gluten, and GMO foods. I take a multivitamin daily along with other “natures supplements”. Now if I didn’t restrict my diet from gluten I feel I wouldn’t have felt the effects of the lithium orotate and that’s what I think happened the fist time I tried it years ago.
    I am also a bit of a drinker and I think its going to help me to not drink since when I take the lithium ororate I am comfortable mentally already and not feeling stressed and agitated and need to drink to get my burst of happy energy.
    To summarize I would say that for the health enthusiast don’t forget about brain health its easy to get caught up in diet, exercise (or lack of it) and forget about our mental health. Life can be enjoyable 🙂

  • Vickstir

    This is very interesting! Is there a references listing showing these studies?

  • Zakenik

    Read the book: “Veteran Suicide Breakthrough: Revealing the Breakthrough Mineral for Suicide Prevention, PTSD and Depression ‘They Definitely’ Don’t Want You to Know About”

  • Vickstir

    thanks, but where do I find it? I googled it, can’t find the book for sale anywhere, not even Amazon or eBay.

  • Zakenik

    I too had trouble finding it but it was written by Dr. Mark Millar. If you can track him down and contact him directly maybe he has it available.

  • Sabrina Deltoro

    Have you tried methyl b-12? It already has the methyl group attached and is readily absorbed by the body. I take 5000ug a day

  • Leah

    Have you ever found out the answer to your question? Your questions is a good one. 🙂

  • AntiCoyote

    Sorry fish are not laden with mercury, only those at the top of the food chain. For instance, white albacore tuna is at the top of the food chain and thus has a lot more mercury than the red tuna at the bottom of the food chain, the type which is often used in cat food. It has low or no mercury in it. Your general statement that all fish are full of mercury shows you know little of what you’re talking about.

  • RDF

    ANY mercury is bad. You go on ahead though and eat those fish, it’s your perfect right.

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