Adding micro-doses of lithium to drinking water may reduce the suicide rate

Translational PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 10, 2022

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It is well-known that lithium, clozapine, and ketamine exert a protective effect against suicide. In the current study it was shown that lithium levels were significantly lower in individuals who committed suicide than in individuals who had non-suicidal deaths. Of note, the doses of lithium in bottled drinking water are 1/1000th of the clinically therapeutic dose, thus even micro-doses of lithium have an apparent protective effect.

The aqueous humor lithium concentration was determined in the Tokyo Medical Examiner’s Office using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in 12 individuals who died by suicide and 16 individuals with non-suicidal deaths.

The aqueous humor lithium concentration was shown to be lower in individuals who died by suicide than in individuals who had non-suicidal deaths (0.50 µg/L vs. 0.90 µg/L).

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