When I was prescribed lithium, I researched and fairly quickly read that it occurs naturally in water and lowers suicide stats – and soon after, I found a meme screaming at the government (the US one, i presume) about the idea of putting it into drinking water. And I lolled, because
Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications.
Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?
Not to mention
Lithium would not normally be made in the laboratory as it is so readily available commercially. All syntheses require an electrolytic step as it is so difficult to add an electron to the poorly electronegative lithium ion Li+.
The ore spodumene, LiAl(SiO3)2, is the most important commercial ore containing lithium. The a form is first converted into the softer b form by heating to around 1100°C. This is mixed carefully with hot sulphuric acid and extracted into water to form lithium sulphate, Li2SO4, solution. The sulphate is washed with sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, to form a precipitate of the relatively insoluble lithium carbonate, Li2CO3.
Li2SO4 + Na2CO3 Na2SO4 + Li2CO3 (solid)
Lithium carbonate is what the zomg scary freak nutters like me take. Lithium citrate was what they used to put in 7Up. Well, it’s a periodic element innit?
We are a very funny species.
Back to the article that the first quote is from. I don’t give a monkey’s what goes on with your water supply, for the simple reason that I live in Africa, where any kind of water at all is precious. I do care about lithium and related research, because I’m bipolar.
Benefits of lithium:
Less suicide, homicide and rape
Pharmaceutical companies have nothing to gain from this cheap, ubiquitous element.
The cost of psych meds has pissed me off for years.
Anyroad up … it was an interesting read.
And for whichever disappointed soul who landed on my blog today by searching for lithium rich foods: