Lithium Orotate - December 2005
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Q:  Lithium Orotate (LiOr) - December 2005

Dr. Phelps,

I really appreciate your open mind in considering the merits of lithium orotate, as per your response to "Mr. G."   As one of the many people taking the orotate, I can answer the question you asked Mr. G.  Even taking 960 mg daily (8 tablets), a huge dose by LiOr standards (as much lithium as there is in 219 mg of lithium carbonate), my serum level repeatedly comes back as "<0.1".  Indeed, a proponent of LiOr for about 30 years, Dr. Jonathan Wright, states that "after a year or so, I quit asking for the lithium level blood tests, since 100 percent of them came back very low."   The key here is not the serum level, but rather precisely where the lithium ends up.  Relatively very small amounts of lithium are actually needed at the active site(s) within cell systems, and they can get there using a "
mineral transporter" such as orotate.

As you know the side effects of lithium carbonate are due to overloading the serum, in order to transport a tiny fraction of lithium to where it is needed.  Lithium orotate gets around this problem.  In fact, I have had no  side effects whatsoever with orotate, even though I couldn't tolerate a rather similar lithium dose as the carbonate (300 mg).  The latter turned me into a lethargic zombie, sort of magnified my symptoms of depression.  Same at 600 mg.  So I gave up and later chose to try LiOr.  (Not much luck for me there either, but at least I can tolerate some form of lithium.)

Whether or not LiOr actually works and is safe are two questions without clear answers.  I share your skepticism and wish someone would do further research.


Dear Readers --
In his letter here,
Dr. Federer has been very gracious and respectful -- despite my ignorance, at first, regarding this lithium orotate stuff (LiOr).  He has taken it upon himself to educate me, including providing all the references one could ask for, regarding the history of research on this compound. In fact, he's put that entire education into a very well-organized website about LiOr to which I'll refer you in a moment. 

The best thing about Dr. Federer is his desire to know -- not just to gather data that might support LiOr use, but rather to find out the truth, as best we can determine, about its safety.  He credits me with an open mind, but his is the example to follow.  His attempts to understand the existing research have been extremely detailed and thorough (he even had my ever-helpful librarian, Hope L., dig up the decades-old original of the German patent on the compound!).

Not only that.  He's masterminded a web-based research effort in which you might be able to participate, if you've ever taken LiOr yourself (if not, but you know someone who has, please pass this news along to them). This simple question he's mentioning above might just be "answerable", at least in a preliminary way, using a simple questionnaire he's put together, which can be completed online.  (I've suggested he take up a next career as a web designer for researchers).

Thus this letter is really just a way to introduce you to
Dr. Federer's website and his questionnaire (with which I'm quite familiar as I helped with some of the writing there; he
is very good at generating enthusiasm and roping in participants!).  If you have any interest in LiOr -- and perhaps you should, as he is pretty convinced there might be a better way to take lithium out there just waiting for us to study -- then you should take a look at the website for this lithium orotate research project.  You'll learn a bunch, at minimum.  And if this works as hoped, so will we all.  Thank you, Dr. Federer.

Jim Phelps

Published December, 2005


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