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Biomarker: Lithium

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Analyte:

Lithium

Platform:

Colorimetric

Status:

Experienced Running

Biological or Clinical Significance:

Lithium is found in trace amount in numerous plants, plankton, and invertebrates, at concentrations of 69 to 5,760 parts per billion (ppb). In vertebrates the concentration is slightly lower, and nearly all vertebrate tissue and body fluids contain lithium ranging from 21 to 763 ppb. Marine organisms tend to bioaccumulate lithium more than terrestrial organisms. Whether lithium has a physiological role in any of these organisms is unknown, but nutritional studies in mammals indicate its importance to health, suggesting its classification as an essential trace element with an RDA of 1 mg/day. Observational studies in Japan, reported in 2011, suggest that naturally occurring lithium in drinking water may increase human lifespan.

Lithium is useful in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Lithium salts may also be helpful for related diagnoses, such as schizoaffective disorder and cyclic major depression. The active part of these salts is the lithium ion Li+. They may increase the risk of developing Ebstein’s cardiac anomaly in infants born to women who take lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy. Lithium has also been researched as a possible treatment for cluster headaches.

References:

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