Lithium has been studied for 100 years and has been used therapeutically for 50 years. It is the lightest alkali element. Scalp hair lithium levels are said to reflect the intake and bioavailability of lithium. Lithium deficiency reduces enzyme activity of the citric acid cycle, which is important for cellular energy production. It is found in grains and vegetables, and in the drinking water in some places.
Lithium is used medically at high doses to treat bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder.) Definite behavioral changes have not been found in people with low lithium levels. Regions of the country with low lithium levels in the water had “increased rates of suicides, homicides, arrest rates, drug use and other crimes.”
Lithium plays a role in several enzymes, vitamins, and hormones. The author gives the suggestion of a provisional RDA for a 70 kg. adult to be 1,000 mcg./day.
CONCLUSION: Lithium is important in humans for enzyme function. Lithium is used for bipolar disorder. Certain parts of the country seem to have deficient lithium available in water and food. Hair analysis is one way to test for lithium. Daily RDA for an average adult is estimated at 1,000 mcg./day.