Low-dose lithium uptake promotes longevity in humans and metazoans
Lithium is a nutritionally essential trace element predominantly contained in vegetables, plant-derived foods, and drinking water. Environmental lithium exposure and concurrent nutritional intake vary considerably in different regions. We here have analyzed the possibility that low-dose lithium exposure may affect mortality in both metazoans and mammals.
Based on a large Japanese observational cohort, we have used weighted regression analysis to identify putative effects of tap water-derived lithium uptake on overall mortality. Independently, we have exposed Caenorhabditis elegans, a small roundworm commonly used for anti-aging studies, to comparable concentrations of lithium, and have quantified mortality during this intervention.
In humans, we find here an inverse correlation between drinking water lithium concentrations and all-cause mortality in 18 neighboring Japanese municipalities with a total of 1,206,174 individuals (β = −0.661, p = 0.003). Consistently, we find that exposure to a comparably low concentration of lithium chloride extends life span of C. elegans (p = 0.047).
Taken together, these findings indicate that long-term low-dose exposure to lithium may exert anti-aging capabilities and unambiguously decreases mortality in evolutionary distinct species.
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- Low-dose lithium uptake promotes longevity in humans and metazoans
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European Journal of Nutrition
Volume 50, Issue 5 , pp 387-389
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- 1. Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Nutrition, University of Jena, D-07743, Jena, Germany
- 2. Department of Neuropsychiatry, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Oita, Japan
- 3. Department of Clinical Psychology, Hiroshima International University, Hiroshima, Japan
- 4. Department of Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Germany