Recently, a few news outlets, backed by research and several scientists, have suggested adding a small amount of the element lithium to the U.S. water supply, with the rationale that higher groundwater lithium levels have been linked to lower levels of suicide in various studies. Is this an idea we should seriously consider implementing, similarly to the addition of fluoride to the water supply? The proponents claim that thousands of lives a year could be saved by adding a little bit of lithium to the water, but is there sufficient evidence to back that up? Let's look at the data in detail then and you can make up your own mind on whether or not you like em' putting chemicals in the water that turn the freaking frogs sane.
You can Gibsmedat here:
Altschul, E., Grossman, C., Dougherty, R., Gaikwad, R., Nguyen, V., & Schwimmer, J. (2016). Lithium toxicity: A review of pathophysiology, treatment, and prognosis. Pract Neurol, 42-5.
Blüml, V., Regier, M. D., Hlavin, G., Rockett, I. R., König, F., Vyssoki, B., ... & Kapusta, N. D. (2013). Lithium in the public water supply and suicide mortality in Texas. Journal of psychiatric research, 47(3), 407-411.
Diav-Citrin, O., Shechtman, S., Tahover, E., Finkel-Pekarsky, V., Arnon, J., Kennedy, D., ... & Ornoy, A. (2014). Pregnancy outcome following in utero exposure to lithium: a prospective, comparative, observational study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 171(7), 785-794.
Gitlin, M. (2016). Lithium side effects and toxicity: prevalence and management strategies. International journal of bipolar disorders, 4(1), 27.
Helbich M, Leitner M and Kapusta ND (2012) Geospatial examination of lithium in drinking water and suicide mortality. International Journal of Health Geographics 11: 1–19.
Hirschfeld, R., Bowden, C. L., Gitlin, M. J., Keck, P. E., Suppes, T., Thase, M. E., & Perlis, R. H. (2002). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. American Psychiatric Association.
Kabacs, N., Memon, A., Obinwa, T., Stochl, J., & Perez, J. (2011). Lithium in drinking water and suicide rates across the East of England. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 198(5), 406-407.
Kapusta, N. D., Mossaheb, N., Etzersdorfer, E., Hlavin, G., Thau, K., Willeit, M., ... & Leithner-Dziubas, K. (2011). Lithium in drinking water and suicide mortality. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 198(5), 346-350.
Knudsen, N. N., Schullehner, J., Hansen, B., Jørgensen, L. F., Kristiansen, S. M., Voutchkova, D. D., ... & Kessing, L. V. (2017). Lithium in drinking water and incidence of suicide: a nationwide individual-level cohort study with 22 years of follow-up. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(6), 627.
Lehman, A. F., Lieberman, J. A., Dixon, L. B., McGlashan, T. H., Miller, A. L., Perkins, D. O., ... & Cook, I. (2004). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. American Journal of psychiatry, 161.
Mauer, S., Vergne, D., & Ghaemi, S. N. (2014). Standard and trace-dose lithium: a systematic review of dementia prevention and other behavioral benefits. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(9), 809-818.
Newport, D. J., Viguera, A. C., Beach, A. J., Ritchie, J. C., Cohen, L. S., & Stowe, Z. N. (2005). Lithium placental passage and obstetrical outcome: implications for clinical management during late pregnancy. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(11), 2162-2170.
Oliver, S. L., Comstock, G. W., & Helsing, K. J. (1976). Mood and lithium in drinking water. Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal, 31(2), 92-95.