- Supports positive mood and positive outlook on life
- Supports cognitive function
- Beneficial for healthy people, as well as those susceptible to “brain fog” or depressed mood
Most people are familiar with lithium as a treatment for Bipolar disorder. However, lithium is also an essential trace element that all of us need, and has well-documented neuro-protective effects. Lithium supports a positive mood and outlook on life, and supports cognitive function – even in very low doses.1,2,3,4
Nine different epidemiological studies (most of which measured lithium levels in drinking water) found that small doses of lithium were correlated with lower rates of suicide in those geographical areas.5 A Japanese study found that lithium levels in the drinking water correlated with lower mortality in humans.4 And four small studies found that lithium benefited cognitive function.
One study in particular was interesting:
In 1994 a randomized trial looked at micro-doses of lithium in former drug addicts.6 The results were quite dramatic, and the authors provided quotes from the participants. After 1 to 2 weeks on lithium, here is what they said:
- “I can think more clearly now. I feel pretty good.”
- “I am in a much better mood most of the time.”
Interestingly, here was the comment of a subject who did not take the lithium regularly:
- “My mood is a little down today. I believe the reason is that I have missed the food supplement for two days. When steadily taking this vitamin I seem to be in better spirits.”
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the following graphs. Here is how the subjects taking lithium vs. placebo felt on a scale measuring “happiness”:
As you can see, the difference was dramatic – and the participants did not know if they were taking lithium or placebo. And here is how their energy levels were affected:
So, it’s not surprising that many people are taking low-dose lithium supplements!
Aside from improving mood and energy levels, a number of studies have shown that lithium improves cognitive function as well. Lithium is able to clear toxins out of cells, which is believed to prevent the degeneration of neurons.7,8 Lithium also raises the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which supports the survival of existing neurons, and encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses. In the brain, BDNF is active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain—areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking. After just 10 weeks of lithium treatment, the concentration of BDNF in people’s blood increases.9
A 2013 study looked at using tiny doses of lithium (about a third of one milligram) once a day, in patients with early cognitive decline. The authors found that lithium stabilized their cognitive performance, while the placebo group continued to decline.3
For all of those reasons, we included 1 mg of lithium in Curos Essential, enough to meet our goals of supporting positive mood and healthy cognitive performance. We believe this will be beneficial for healthy people, as well as for people facing health challenges that make them more susceptible to “brain fog” or depressed mood.