Lithium Decreases Cancer Risk

Posted

A new study links lithium — the gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder — with a significant reduction in cancer risk.

Not only that, but the reduced risk of cancer was found to be dose dependent…

…meaning patients who took higher doses of lithium had even greater reduction in cancer rates than those who took lower doses.

The Study

(published in the British Journal of Psychiatry July, 2016):

 

  • Researchers followed over 4,700 patients with bipolar disorder, categorizing them as using lithium only, a different medication only (the anticonvulsant valproate) or both medications together.
  • Researchers followed these patients for over 7 years and compared cancer diagnosis rates in each group.

 

The Results:

  • Patients who used lithium had a statistically significant reduction in over all cancer rates in comparison to patients who used only anticonvulsants.
  • Patients on higher cumulative doses of lithium had even lower cancer rates than those on low dose lithium… going from a 24% reduction in cancer rates for lower doses up lithium up to a 45% reduction in cancer rates in patients using the highest lithium doses.

 

The Bottom Line:

Lithium slashed cancer risk almost in half!

 

These studies echo a surprising result found in an earlier study (published in Bipolar Disorders International Journal of Psychiatry and Neurosciences February 16, 2016) where researchers were originally actually looking to see if lithium use increased cancer rates in bipolar patients.  Not only did they find no increase in cancer rates in bipolar patient compared to the general population, the found that there was no increased risk of cancer in patients who used lithium.

In fact, they were quite astonished to find that *not* using lithium was what increased cancer risk…

…they specifically found that patients who did not take lithium had increased cancer rates in respiratory cancers, gastrointestinal cancers and endocrine cancers.

This surprise finding lead to investigators into looking at lithium as being cancer preventive…

…and what they found out was up to a 45% decrease in cancer diagnosis for patients on lithium.

 

In other words, there is actually an increased risk of cancer in patients that don’t use lithium… something that is definitely worth looking into further.

 

For a good overview on why lithium is so essential to the health of our body, I highly recommend reading this two-part series written by Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D., medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington:

 

Lithium, The Misunderstood Mineral Part 1

Lithium, The Misunderstood Mineral Part 2

 

Our body needs a very small, trace amount of lithium daily in order to function optimally.

Not only are many of us lithium deficient, most of us are deficient in multiple minerals — most notably, magnesium.

 

 

Magnesium deficiency is so rampant I find that most of my patients benefit from a trace mineral supplement.

Most of us just don’t get the rich minerals that our body needs through diet alone.

Magnesium deficiency can cause everything from anxiety to muscle pain to increased risk of heart arrhythmia and sudden death.

In fact, some physicians believe that Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia from Star Wars) actually died from low total body magnesium.

Magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, for proper nerve and muscle function.

Increasing magnesium intake reduces the risk of heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality (published online in BMC Medicine on Dec 7, 2016.)

 

So it peaked my interest to have another trace mineral — this time, lithium — looked at as cancer preventive.

I put most of my patients on Concentrace Mineral Drops, which has trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, boron, and yes… even a little tiny bit of lithuim, 1.5 mg in the daily recommendation of 40 drops (taken in divided doses throughout the day.)

 

Want a supplement specifically for lithium?

Pure Encapsulations is a pharmacy grade high quality supplement line that offers a 5 mg daily supplement of Lithium Orotate daily, but talk to your physician first before starting a lithium supplement to make sure this is right for you.

 

Meanwhile, if you are concerned about your mineral intake, try Concentrace Mineral Drops to be sure you are getting all the rich minerals your body needs every single day to function it’s best!

To your vibrant health!

xoxoxo, Laura