Poison Tap Water
August 5, 2010 by staff
Poison Tap Water, Traces of lithium in drinking water can reduce suicide rates of a population, according to ananlysis by researchers at the universities of Oita and Hiroshima, Japan, and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
But mental health advocates, warned against drawing up plans to add the item to public drinking water supplies, as in water fluoridation programs in question.
Lithium is a natural element that has been used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Unlike antidepressants, lithium stabilizes mood at both ends of the spectrum – depression and mania. Research on data collected in the 1980s and has suggested that communities with higher concentrations of lithium in tap water may have lower suicide rates than communities with lower levels.
To follow up on this research, the scientists measured the levels of lithium in the drinking water of 18 municipalities other than the Japanese prefecture of Oita, finding concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 59 micrograms per liter. They then compared these numbers with suicide rates in each community.
The researchers found that suicide rates were lowest in the municipalities with the highest concentrations of lithium in the water.
“Our study suggests that low levels of lithium in drinking water may reduce the risk of suicide,” the researchers wrote. “Very low levels can have an effect antisuicidal.”
Sophie Corlett of the mental health nonprofit Mind greeted the results with caution.
“We know that lithium may act as a mood stabilizing powerful people with bipolar disorder and treatment of persons with lithium is also associated with lower suicide rates,” he said. “However, lithium also has a significant and unpleasant side effects at higher doses, and can be toxic. Any suggestion that we must add, even in small amounts to drinking water must be treated with caution and investigated very thoroughly .
There is very little difference between a clinic and a toxic dose of lithium.
Sources for this story include: news.bbc.co.uk
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