Could long-term lithium intake cause kidney damage?

Microdosed lithium has been shown to slow down aging and exert various protective effects on cells, especially brain cells.

That’s why microdosed lithium is often used as an anti-aging supplement (R,R,R,R,R), or as a way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases (R,R,R).


However, some people worry about the effects of lithium on kidney function. They read that a common side effect of long-term lithium treatment is kidney dysfunction.

It’s true that long-term use of lithium can cause kidney damage or problems with fluid balance/urine secretion (e.g. diabetes insipidus), but this only pertains to doses that are hundreds of times higher than microdosed lithium.

These very high doses of lithium are given in a psychiatric setting (often to stabilize mood). These doses are in the range of 1,200 mg of lithium carbonate per day or higher (sometimes even more than 2,000 mg per day), amounting to around 120 mg of pure lithium per day.

Microdosed lithium is commonly defined as 0.3 to 1 mg of pure lithium per day, so at least 120 times lower.

The daily amount of lithium in NOVOS Core (1 mg) is about 120 times lower than the daily amount of lithium used as a drug.

In this very low dose range, microdosed lithium does not cause kidney damage or dysfunction.


In fact, microdosed lithium could actually protect against kidney damage (R).

This should not be surprising, because microdosed lithium upregulates various proteins and transcription factors (e.g. Nrf2, brain-derived growth factor) that protect cells, including kidney cells and brain cells.

Microdoses of lithium are also found in the drinking water in some regions, and no increased risk of kidney dysfunction has been documented.

In fact, these studies show that in these regions lifespan is often longer, and that there is an association between lithium intake and physical and mental health (R,R,R,R,R,R,R).

Microdosed lithium does not cause kidney dysfunction, and can even protect kidneys against damage.

NOVOS Core contains microdosed lithium (1 mg of pure lithium), among many other ingredients that protect cells against various aging processes.

You can read more about lithium and longevity on our website:

You can find more studies about lithium below:

• Low-dose lithium uptake promotes longevity in humans and metazoans. Eur J Nutr, 2011
• Trace lithium in Texas tap water is negatively associated with all-cause mortality and premature death. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 2018
• Pharmacogenetic analysis of lithium-induced delayed aging in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Biol Chem, 2009
• Lithium Promotes Longevity through GSK3/NRF2-Dependent Hormesis Cell Rep, 2016
• Microdose lithium treatment stabilized cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res, 2013
• Association of Lithium in Drinking Water With the Incidence of Dementia. JAMA Psychiatry, 2017
• Effects of lithium on age-related decline in mitochondrial turnover and function in Caenorhabditis elegans. The Journals of Gerontology, 2014
• Disease-modifying properties of long-term lithium treatment for amnestic mild cognitive impairment: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry, 2011
• Lithium treatment and risk for dementia in adults with bipolar disorder: population-based cohort study. Br J Psychiatry, 2015
• Is lithium a neuroprotective agent? Ann Clin Psychiatry, 2015
• Microdose lithium treatment stabilized cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res, 2013
• Chronic Treatment With a Low Dose of Lithium Protects the Brain Against Ischemic Injury by Reducing Apoptotic Death. Stroke, 2003
• Chronic lithium treatment decreases mutant tau protein aggregation in a transgenic mouse model. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 2003
• Standard and trace-dose lithium: a systematic review of dementia prevention and other behavioral benefits. Aust N Z J Psychiatry, 2014
• Neuroprotective Effects of Lithium: Implications for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders. ACS Chem Neurosci, 2014
• Influence of lithium treatment on GDNF serum and CSF concentrations in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer Research, 2011
• Lithium-induced neuroprotection is associated with epigenetic modification of specific BDNF gene promoter and altered expression of apoptotic-regulatory proteins. Front Neurosci, 2015
• A new look at an old drug: neuroprotective effects and therapeutic potentials of lithium salts. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat, 2016