Lithium Orotate & Overmethylation?

Sherpa

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Dear Friends,

I have been doing pretty well but see Joe Cohen of Selfhacked recommending lithium orotate (LO) for calm and mood uplift. I needed a little help with that after 2020 so I ordered a bottle.

The first day I took 2.5mg LO and I felt a spectacular mood lift but several hours later I began to overmethylate pretty intensely and it lasted for a couple days. Tried it at 250 micrograms and I felt great mood boost - I could feel methylation pathyways being "blown open" and it was overall a good experience but still a little bit much. I skipped a day and tried it again this morning at 62.5 micrograms and felt fine for most the day still I am overmethylating (or just methylating) and I feel a little manic / edgy.

It is not necessarily a negative effect but its just strong and intense... and it seems to rev up my methylation cycle for 48 hours or longer

Does anyone have any dosing advice or have any experiences or feedback with an 'overmethylation' reaction to LO?

I am wondering if I should dial it back and take microgram doses twice weekly.. or step on the gas and endure the symptoms and hope they go away and leave me with just the calming effect?

p.s. I am MTHFR / MTR / MTRR +/+
 

drmullin30

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Hi @Sherpa, Lithium is a potent synergist and activator of b12 through the lithium trans cobalamin receptor enzyme so you may have activated b12 stores or improved your b12 function which would open up methylation pathways for sure.

Are you taking b12 and folate? If you are taking b12 (methylcoblamin) or have activated b12 without taking folate you may also be experiencing folate deficiency.

Also, how do you know that your symptoms are caused by overmethylation and not detoxing something like mercury or copper?

If it is overmethylation, my suggestion is to try some hydroxocobalamin (b12) which will soak up methyl groups and calm you down. I used this successfully early on in my methylation protocols when methylcobalamin would cause anxiety.

When I started on methylation protocols I went through lots of startup that felt like overmethylation but was actually simply startup symptoms of increased neurological activation and detoxification. In other words, what I thought was overmethylation was actually a healing reaction.

So, I'm not if sure the hydroxocobalamin was helping or slowing down healing but it did reduce the anxiety.

I'm on a version of the advanced methylation protocol (Freddd's protocol) now so I don't use hydroxocobalamin any more and I take very high doses of methylcobalamin and methyl folate and I have zero anxiety.

For lithium, I have been using Trace Elements Concentrace drops: https://www.traceminerals.com/product/concentrace-trace-mineral-drop

I get roughly 2 mg a day of lithium from that and it's been great for my mood and health. Maybe it's something to do with the form of lithium e.g. you might react to orotic acid (unlikely maybe) so you could try a different form.

Here's some good general information on lithium: https://acu-cell.com/bili.html

Hope this was helpful.
 

Sherpa

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Hi @Sherpa

Are you taking b12 and folate? If you are taking b12 (methylcoblamin) or have activated b12 without taking folate you may also be experiencing folate deficiency.

Also, how do you know that your symptoms are caused by overmethylation and not detoxing something like mercury or copper?
I obviously an an undermethylator but man I am SENSITIVE to chemical methylation supplements, except for methyl/adenosyl B12.

Over the years I've had a bunch of intense 'overmethylation' reactions to methylfolate and TMG. I'm not really taking vitamins anymore, just eating pastured eggs and liver for folate/b12 and beets for TMG - following Dr. Chris Masterjohn's approach of getting methylation support mostly from food rather than high dose supplements. This has greatly improved my mood without downsides.

When I take even the smallest microgram doses of lithium does feel like neurological activation - in the same way the folate and TMG cause. I can feel 'pathway' being 'blown open' and I feel more alive.. buzzing with energy (likely B12 activation) but slightly manic. It may be a healing reaction but it is uncomfortable and it makes me more OCD when I am alone or engaged in my current job search which is full of stressors and alone contemplation time.

The activation goes on for more than 24 hours after the slightest microgram dose (for instance... its 3am and I am up writing this rather than sleeping - so it or the stress from the reaction disrupted my circadian rhythm - after a 62 microgram dose). I wonder if I need to take it daily or, say just twice a week,

I ordered a different forum of natural lithium (Weyland Ionic Lithium Drops) per your suggestion just incase I don't mesh well with orotate.

I just wonder if I should grit my teeth 'soldier on' through the effects and keep taking it and hope my system adjusts (I've done with this folate and TMG before and can eventually tolerate smaller normal doses).... or I should back off and do micro-micro doses... like starting with 1 drop of liquid lithium.

Or follow the advice of Dr. Wilson which is not to take Lithium supplements - he feels they are toxic and irritating and to simply eat sardines 4x a week as a natural food source?

I ordered Weyland Ionic Lithium Drops made from concentrated Seawater - just in case the orotate version is too potent for me.
 
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Sherpa

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I woke up after a night of overstimulation (after taking 62 micrograms of Lithium orotate the morning befiore) and I feel great... calm, energized, awake, not depressed...

This is probably a healing reaction or methylation 'awakening', although it doesn't feel good sometimes.
 
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drmullin30

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Hi @Sherpa, Tell me about it! I truly empathize with you on this.

My manifestation of CF/ME was predominantly crippling anxiety, panic and OCD. I've been diagnosed with OCD and panic disorder and I was on SSRIs for years before giving up on that and switching to orthomolecular medicine and nutrigenomics.

Going gluten free was also critical in my healing as well. Gluten is a massive driver of anxiety for me.

I also followed Dr. Wilson and used his protocols to get rid of copper etc. but some of his advice just doesn't work for me and in my extensive reading of his, he doesn't seem to understand the true significance of genetic based metabolic disturbance and how SNPs can sometimes only be overcome with supplementation.

The years of ramping up methylation were very hard wrt anxiety and I had many days and sleepless nights of high anxiety as my neurology kicked in and healed and all of the accumulated toxins from a life of subpar methylation and detoxification were dumped out of tissues. Things like oxalates, old drugs, mercury, cadmium, toxic copper, aluminum etc. all came pouring out of my tissues.

For some like me, there seems to be damage done to the amygdala which controls the fight or flight response and when that part of the brain starts to heal and detox, the anxiety can go through the roof!

I used the simplified protocol including hydroxocobalamin and NAC for years while I was ramping up folate and MB12/adenob12. NAC is great for controlling glutamate but it will dump b12 out of cells.

I also used kava kava for years to control glutamate induced anxiety. Glutamate is the main driver of anxiety for me through GAD1 SNPs and glutamate will rise as a neurological protection mechanism when you are detoxing heavy metals and toxins, adding to the anxiety. This is similar to what happens during and after a concussion and I have had several of those as well during my athletic youth which also probably contributed to my mental health issues.

I can say now after about five solid years of methylation therapy that all of those symptoms are gone now using advanced methylation and low oxalate lifestyle and treatment. I no longer have overt OCD symptoms and no panic attacks. My mental and physical health are better than at any point in my life.

It's really hard to find balance and to know if you are going in the right direction. Doctors are useless for the most part as very few even acknowledge any of this. Many times I worried relentlessly about whether I was doing the right thing. My advice is to learn your symptoms in intimate detail and go slow, try and change one thing at a time.

Hope this helps and I wish you good health!
 
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drmullin30

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I need to update this thread as I have recently had some problems with lithium and b12, b6 and folate. It would seem that I have blown something open or overdone something at this point.

I haven't had ANY folate or b12 in over three days and I haven't had any B6 in over a week. I have been taking these vitamins and my other Bs in high doses for at least five or six years and in the case of B6 for a decade at least. I always used the P5P form and methylated forms to avoid toxicity.

The reason I've had to stop taking my b-vitamins is after being on lithium 5mg per day of Li-orotate for several successful months, one night out of the blue, I had a massive panic attacks and tachycardia, arrhythmia and dizziness etc. I thought initially, and seemed to confirm with supplementation that the lithium was simply dropping my magnesium as they are antagonistic. I learned that the lithium can slow down the COMT enzyme which I have SNPs on so I realized I need to be very careful with lithium and assumed that was the problem so I took a break and took high dose magnesium for a few days and everything went back to normal. I chalked it up to either a detoxification of oxalates or something else or simply a high lithium level that had caused some symptoms.

So I stopped the Li for a while and cut all my b-vitamin dosages in half. That was roughly a couple of months ago. I felt great again and was thrilled with the drop in supplement dosages. So since then I've been taking the odd lithium, once a week or so to make sure I'm topped up. Then this past week I took a dose and the panic etc. hit me again this time with dizziness, some very strong paresthesia in my hands and feet. Real numbness and tingling that was making me believe I had done nerve damage with the lithium, b12, folate or pyridoxine so I instantly worried about b6 toxicity or other toxicity and I have stopped my regimen. These symptoms lasted for a few days. I'm still having a tiny bit of anxiety and numbness that seems to be caused by calcium, magnesium and potassium deficiency but I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, I'm still needing to take the calcium and magnesium and potassium but I'm still not taking any b12, folate or b6.

I have started taking 500 mg/day of inositol nicotinate to get niacin to calm things down if I am over-methylated. This all seems to be working today, as I said I'm feeling normal again with very faint paresthesia which is corrected by taking my electrolytes.

This article https://acu-cell.com/bx.html talks about b6 and b12 can cause calcium deficiency and hyperthyroidism. I don't feel sick enough to believe at this point that any of my symptoms are permanent but I'm wondering if anyone else has had these kinds of experiences.

I have been on Freddd's protocol for years with great results and progress. Even for the first few months of Lithium it was fantastic but now I'm afraid to take folate, b6 (P5P) or b12 for fear that I've done some kind of damage but the only thing that has changed is the lithium. I'm wondering if it has improved penetration of these vitamins so much that it has driven me to toxicity range? Or was the lithium simply the straw that broke the camel's back and now I'm over-methylated?

I am starting to feel like I will need some folate supplementation again soon but I'm not sure how to go about it at this point. B12 seems to be totally unnecessary now which is very new for me as I've been using methylcobalamin for almost a decade and using high doses for years now. I've got some hydroxocobalamin on hand now so if I feel the need for b12 I'll start with that and if and when I feel the need for folate I'll start with a very low dose but for now I'm in a holding patter with niacin, copper (I'm still needing that even without the b-vitamins), calcium, magnesium, potassium and my other trace minerals boron and selenium.

Has anyone else had this kind of monumental sea change in their metabolism from taking low dose lithium?

I just had my kidney's checked out, ultrasound, bloodwork, urine and they were a all clean all within range so I don't think the lithium has damaged my kidneys and at 5 mg dose for only a few months that would be unexpected.

Lithium can also impact thyroid and parathyroid so I'm wondering if that is the problem in that I have a sensitive thyroid/parathyroid and it throws off my electrolyte balance because of this. I have also stopped my iodine supplementation to see if that changes anything but I was already taking a low dose of that.

Or, is this all another healing reaction and I'm just going through detox or reactivation in my neurology because of the lithium boost?

I don't know the answers but I'm open to any speculation you might have.
 

Kadar

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drmullin30

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@drmullin30 maybe inositol nicotinate helps you not only because of b3 but inositol itself. I've read lithium depletes inositol levels (phosphatidylinositol? ) in the body and inositol being important for calcium exchange
For example:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3805456/
https://www.nature.com/articles/tp2016217
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2542110/

I also heard taking lithium without salt(sodium) can be dangerous. Sodium affects magnesium metabolism
Thanks for this Kadar! I'll keep this in mind. I do eat a lot of salt but will try increasing that as well.
 

Kadar

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@drmullin30 I actually experience the same problem right now, needing high doses of calcium for neuropathy, magnesium and potassium for muscle cramps and neck tightness, heart palpitations but not due to lithium but high vitamin E use. Ive read it has diuretic effect, excreting sodium. Acu-cell says sodium is a calcium synergist. I guess that's why doctor Berg included sodium in a list of anti kidney stones nutrients. Hard to find info about LOW levels of sodium and calcium interaction.

About lithium and sodium: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/931481/
 

drmullin30

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@Kadar, OK, so we have the same issue, calcium deficiency which includes potassium and magnesium deficiency as well but in my case, that may be caused by the high dose calcium I'm having to take. Right now I'm needing 500 mg every four hours or so except through the night. What do we do about this?

Are you still taking any b-vitamins? The last two days I have tried taking one milligram of methylfolate and one milligram of hydroxocobalamin because my energy and mood have been low but I'm having trouble tolerating even that it seems. I also still need copper at around 12 mg per day. I also have been taking r-alpha lipoic acid 150-300 mg per day and 500 mg of ALCAR and I also have still been taking 500 mg of the inositol nicotinate. I was also taking 400 iu of vitamin E daily so I'll cut that out and see if that helps.

Today, I'm still having bad pretty bad calcium deficiency anxiety spasms as well and neuropathy so I think I'll have to cut out everything now for a while except the electrolytes. Keep me posted on how you're doing and I'll do the same. The panic and anxiety are very disconcerting.
 

Kadar

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@drmullin30 I'll try more salt, yet it doesn't seem to work. I can't stop vitamin E right now due to detox induced by C, but it should pass in couple of days. I don't take b vitamins on a regular basis, but b5 seems to help absorbing calcium but temporarily. I thought E depleted some b vitamins but none of them seem to help (or maybe that's because I continue E) . Tried inositol today, got warm and probably without neuropathy (hard to tell, effect wasn't obvious) , maybe I need more. What if lithium "activates" vitamin E as it does to b- vitamins in your body? There's some connection between lithium and vitamin E if you google, but it doesn't sound useful
 

drmullin30

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@Kadar I have continued to take at least 300 mg of B5 per day because it helps with calcium absorption. Interesting idea about vitamin e, I'll do some research. Are you low oxalate diet as well?
 

Kadar

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@drmullin30 no, since upping K2 I don't find it necessary, I don't lose copper anymore. Initially I got k2 dropped because I think I left veganism and had a lot of vitamin A products in contrary to vegan diet
 

drmullin30

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@Kadar I'm also taking 150 mcg of K per day but I've wondered about that one as well because it can cause magnesium drop and found it exasperated my magnesium deficiency if I went any higher than 150 per day.

How did you end your copper deficiency?
 

Kadar

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@drmullin30 K2 is that's how I ended copper deficiency. I think K2 deficiency = oxalate problem, so instead of calcium I was loosing copper after meals to bind with oxalates. I guess you have another genetic , another cause of copper deficiency and eventually with lithium you won't need copper as Freddd?

I wonder how you tolerate 150 mcg of K2 and 400IU of E on a regular basis. On 150mcg of K2 I lose selenium, boron, manganese, A and E very fast. Maybe it's connected to your lithium deficiency

By the way!! I experience all symptoms that looks like boron deficiency and I remember I had neuropathy too when was low in boron. Also B deficiency symptoms in me: strange vision, tooth sensitivity, diarrhea, heavy breathing, tight thyroid, heart palpitations, inflammation (bigger veins after eating). I tried high dose of boron(40+mg) a week ago when I had calcium deficiency symptoms but taking calcium annoyed my adrenals. That happens when I don't have enough of nutrient involved in calcium metabolism. And boron really helped. I decided to take it because of high doses of E - when I started iodine protocol I had regular drop in boron because of fluoride until I upped my vitamin C levels. Before C I took E once and my boron need was muuuch bigger. So I think E and K2 deplete boron very fast. Vitamin A really seem to help absorb boron better. (Hope you understand my explanations) So I'll wait until C stops dropping my E levels and check then again
 

drmullin30

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@Kadar, I have increased my boron intake lately from 2mg/day to 8 to help with calcium and magnesium retention so I'll continue to do that for a while. I also take manganese on occasion when I have deficiency symptoms.

How much K2 do you take to control oxalates? and how long did it take for the copper need to drop?

I also take 500 mg per day of vitamin C but I find it drops my calcium and magnesium and my copper so I have to be careful with it as well and I don't take it if I'm have calcium or magnesium deficiency symptoms or if my copper deficiency is bad.

Do you find vitamin A drops your calcium? I have noticed this on numerous occasions that if I'm having calcium deficiency symptoms that vitamin A seems to exasperate this and I have to take extra calcium if I take vitamin A. What dose do you take? I take around 10,000 iu at a time as I am a poor converter of beta-carotene.

Thanks for this and one more question! Which b-vitamin deficiencies specifically do you mean give you those symptoms?
 

Kadar

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@drmullin30 I don't take K2, only after taking high doses of A/E. I don't need it, it was enough of 500+- mcg to end my copper need forever. I don't notice calcium drop when taking A and I don't take A everyday too as I get other nutrients dropped very soon. I take 10000 iu too sometimes. And I talked about boron :) (B)
 

drmullin30

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@Kadar I think you may have solved my problem. From what I can tell I'm experiencing hypoparathyroidism brought on by Boron deficiency. I'm going to really ramp up my Boron and keep you posted. I know that the protocol can cause boron deficiency so hopefully that's the problem. B6 may lower Boron as well so somehow I've tanked my Boron I think. I'm off to take some more so I'll keep you posted on what happens.
 

drmullin30

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Like you said, iodine can also lower Boron and low Boron can contribute to hyperthyroidism which I have been having symptoms of as well. Boron is synergistic with Vitamin D which as well might explain why my levels dropped so rapidly it's because it's fall and my Vitamin D levels are dropping down to winter levels.

This would also indicate I should increase my vitamin D so I'll do that as well.

@Kadar You say you take 40 mg per day of Boron? Also, you say vitamin A helps with boron absorption?

https://selfhacked.com/blog/boron/
https://justmeint1health.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/boron-a-magical-mineral/
https://www.quantumbalancing.com/borax.htm

It would be a big relief to know this is all another refeeding syndrome deficiency in the form of Boron.
 
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drmullin30

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One more thing learned. https://acu-cell.com/b.html manganese will lower Boron and I've been supplementing with that lately as well so I will cut out manganese for a while as well and the article says manganese will deplete magnesium and calcium so it's out for a while.