The Benefits of Lithium Orotate

Potential Side Effects of Lithium Orotate and Lithium Toxicity

Verywell / JR Bee 

Lithium orotate is a substance that consists of lithium (an alkali metal) and orotic acid (a compound produced naturally in the body). Available in dietary supplement form, lithium orotate is touted as a natural treatment for a wide range of mental health problems.

In alternative medicine, lithium orotate is sometimes promoted as an alternative to lithium, a medication prescribed to treat and prevent episodes of mania in people with bipolar disorder. Lithium is said to treat and prevent manic episodes by reducing abnormal brain activity.

Although orotic acid is sometimes referred to as vitamin B13, it's not actually considered a vitamin.

In the human body, orotic acid can be produced from microorganisms found in the intestines.


In alternative medicine, lithium orotate is purported to treat and prevent the following conditions:

In addition, lithium orotate is used to reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve memory.

It's important to note that there is currently a lack of scientific support for lithium orotate's effectiveness as an alternative to lithium.

Research on the health effects of lithium orotate is very limited. Although a number of studies published in the 1970s and 1980s determined that lithium orotate may offer certain benefits, more recent research on lithium orotate is lacking.

The available research on lithium orotate includes a small study published in the journal Alcohol in 1986. In a six-month-long experiment involving 42 people with alcoholism, researchers found that daily treatment with lithium orotate helped protect against relapses in alcoholism.

Side Effects and Safety

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of lithium orotate supplements. However, there's some evidence that lithium orotate may have some toxic effects. For instance, a 2007 report published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology warns that chronic use of lithium orotate may cause nausea and tremors.

There's some concern that the use of lithium orotate may lower kidney function.

In addition, the use of lithium orotate may cause adverse effects similar to those that result from lithium toxicity. Along with nausea and vomiting, these adverse effects include cardiac arrhythmias and neurological problems.

Severe toxicity may cause confusion, kidney failure, low blood pressure, coma, and occasionally death. Due to the health risks associated with lithium toxicity, safe use of lithium requires periodic blood-testing to ensure that toxic levels of the drug are not being reached.

Also, lithium may interact with a variety of medications such as ACE inhibitors, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, dextromethorphan, loop diuretics, meperidine, methyldopa, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Due to safety concerns, using lithium orotate without the supervision of a healthcare professional is strongly discouraged.

A Word From Verywell

It's also important to note that self-treating a chronic condition (such as bipolar disorder) with lithium orotate, and avoiding or delaying standard care, may have serious consequences. If you're considering the use of lithium orotate in the treatment of a chronic medical condition, it's crucial to consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen.

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7 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Balon R. Possible Dangers of a "Nutritional Supplement" Lithium Orotate. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2013;25(1):71.

  4. Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Nutritional Therapies for Mental Disorders. Nutr J. 2008;7:2. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-7-2

  5. Sartori HE. Lithium Orotate in the Treatment of Alcoholism and Related Conditions. Alcohol. 1986;3(2):97-100. doi:10.1016/0741-8329(86)90018-2

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