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  • what if i said that your drinking water contains  an element that's used in batteries and that  

  • it could also be affecting your mood sometimes  referred to as the magic ion this element's name  

  • is lithium and a recent review of decades of  research has found that trace amounts of lithium  

  • found in the tap could be stabilizing your mood  and may even have the potential to reduce the risk  

  • of suicide of all the elements lithium is one  of the lightest this soft silvery white metal  

  • occurs naturally in soil rocks and many foods it's  also highly reactive particularly with water and  

  • varying degrees of lithium can be found in  surface water groundwater and seawater around  

  • the world and not only is it valued for boosting  the energy density of our batteries over the past  

  • few decades lithium has gained recognition in  the medical community for its powerful impacts  

  • on mental health too in fact today lithium  is a standard treatment for bipolar disorder  

  • a mental illness categorized by dramatic mood  swings of emotional highs and lows that affects  

  • roughly 1 in 100 people worldwide lithium is  also used when patients with depression don't  

  • respond to other medications as it's recognized  as an effective long-term management tool for  

  • warding off hospital visits and suppressing  suicide attempts unfortunately it can have  

  • some pretty bad side effects like hand tremors  and headaches when taken in high enough doses  

  • but the dose is prescribed and the amount that you  naturally get from the tap are very different used  

  • medically a prescribed dose typically ranges from  a couple hundred milligrams to over a thousand  

  • by contrast the lithium levels found in a liter of  drinking water typically measure anywhere between  

  • a fraction of one microgram to 200 micrograms  depending on the source but this incidental  

  • exposure isn't necessarily insignificant over the  past few decades studies have shown evidence of  

  • a relationship between higher levels of lithium  and drinking water and lower rates of depression  

  • crime and even dementia in the general population  some studies have even suggested an association  

  • between higher lithium levels and lower rates  of suicide but not every study has found similar  

  • lengths and importantly no comprehensive effort  has been made to connect all of this research  

  • until now a recent study led by researchers from  king's college london and sussex medical school  

  • set out to synthesize all available evidence of  the association between lithium and drinking water  

  • and suicide rates in total the team identified  415 articles spanning three decades comprising  

  • data from over 1 000 regions counties and cities  around the world the average concentration of  

  • lithium in the water samples ranged from underto over 80 micrograms per liter by combining the  

  • results of multiple studies the team was able to  statistically analyze the data and search for a  

  • link and a link emerged their analysis showed that  areas with higher concentrations of lithium in  

  • their public tap had correspondingly lower rates  of suicide this is the first meta-analysis of its  

  • kind so these findings are hugely encouraging  still the team emphasizes that more work needs  

  • to be done to explore this relationship they note  that conducting randomized trials that supplement  

  • the water supply with lithium would be a great  place to start particularly in communities with  

  • high prevalence in mental health conditions  criminal behavior and substance misuse so how  

  • exactly does this magic ion work its magic well  we don't really know at least not exactly because  

  • lithium is an ion it interacts with many different  target cells in our body and results in a whole  

  • host of side effects making it extremely difficult  to pinpoint which interaction affects our mood  

  • however we do know that lithium interacts with the  brain's neurotransmitters the chemical messengers  

  • that help our neurons communicate when in balance  our billions of neurotransmitters expertly manage  

  • virtually all of the body's tasks from our  breathing to how we learn but if their levels  

  • become out of sync health problems like depression  and anxiety can arise by modulating the response  

  • of our neurotransmitters lithium is thought to  restore their proper functioning the prevailing  

  • hypothesis is that lithium promotes inhibitory  neurotransmission which regulates anxiety  

  • while inhibiting excitatory neurotransmitters like  dopamine and glutamate which are elevated during  

  • mania not only does this recent analysis provide  us with further incentive to unpack lithium's  

  • effects on the body it offers us a chance to  appreciate water's overall health benefits too  

  • clean healthy drinking water contains all kinds  of elements and minerals that are vital to human  

  • health calcium and potassium just to name a few in  fact water can help us meet up to 20 of our daily  

  • dietary intake requirements for certain elements  and simply staying hydrated can restore balance to  

  • our neurotransmitters in our body and literally  calm our nerves amazing to be clear i am not  

  • suggesting that you drink raw water you know the  kind that's unfiltered untreated and unsterilized  

  • running the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria is  not worth it i'm just saying the benefits of water  

  • and really anything that we ingest extends well  beyond what's obvious on the surface so cheers  

  • to that fun fact when it was first introduced back  in 1929 7up contained lithium let us know if you  

  • would drink lithium soda down in the comments or  if you want us to cover more stories on mental  

  • health in the future make sure to subscribe see  you next time on seeker and thanks for watching

what if i said that your drinking water contains  an element that's used in batteries and that  

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This 'Magic Ion' in Your Tap Water Could Be Making You Happier

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/18
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