Lithium May Lower the Suicidal Risk In People

suicidal risk

Stress and stress-related suicidal thoughts are interlinked which typically requires medication and therapy both. But the new study shows that an adequate amount of lithium in drinking water can also reduce the suicidal risk.

Lithium content in the drinkable water is associated with lowering the suicidal risk in people, says a new study. This study is a collaborative project of Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. The complete study findings are published in the journal “British Journal of Psychiatry”.

In this project, the research team collected information on the effects of variable concentrations of lithium in water from different parts of the world. Then, they compared it with the overall suicidal rate of the respective region or area.

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Anjum Memon the chairperson at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at BSMS is the lead author of this study. He says that the amount of lithium in drinking water and its role as an anti-suicidal agent is promising. It also suggests that improving this quantity could help improving overall communal health.

The mental health problems are at a high rise and every year, the mental health diseases and suicidal cases are increasing. This trend is common in all parts of the world. Reportedly, more than 800,000 commit suicide annually and it is one of the biggest reasons of death in young people especially from ages 15-24 years.

This increase in mental health diseases arises a need of better control strategies to reduce the suicidal risks.

Lithium is scientifically famous as ‘Magic Ion’, which is helpful in a number of medical conditions mainly mood-related disorders, and suicide risk. It is enriched with an anti-aggressive effect which helps it to overcome aggression, anger, stress, violence, and criminal aggression.

Naturally, lithium is a part of many fruits and vegetables but in trace amounts. It is also found in rocks from which it makes its way to the groundwater as well as sanding water sources. It explains how lithium is added to the drinkable water.

The levels of lithium in drinkable water are associated with stress reduction. The Lithia Springs is a Native American spring that is associated with sacred or medicinal properties. This water is enriched with lithium which makes it healthy for everyone. Not many people know that the famous soft drink, 7-Up was added with lithium when it was first launched in 1929.

There is no such evidence on lithium’s role in Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive loss. But still, it could play a potential help in memory and cognitive related decline.

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Allan Young who is the chairperson of Mood Disorders at King’s College London says that all the research available on lithium suggests its strong role in reducing suicidal rates in public. But the amount of lithium in the drinkable water should be much lower than lithium added in medicine. Still, it induces the desired results mostly because of the long-term exposure to the drinking water.

It is easy to believe this because people mostly tend to drink the same water for years and if it has lithium in it, their exposure could be of years. It is still better and more beneficial than taking lithium medicines.


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