Lithium in infant formula?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Lithium in infant formula?
6
Fri, 06-10-2011 - 10:08am

I read this article this morning, and thought I would write a "what if" post - you might not believe this will ever happen - but what if it did?

Is lithium the next fluoride? Medication may be added to the water supply

Lithium, the psychiatric drug prescribed for depression, mania and bipolar disorder, is now being viewed as the new fluoride by some experts. These experts are calling for the addition of lithium to the water supply as a cure-all for social problems, including suicide, violent crime and drug use.

... you cannot control the dose that any one person will get. Connett argues that, to mass medicate in this way, the government would need to ensure that the dose for every individual in the society was at such a level that it would be safe and completely non-toxic -- this means accommodating an adequately safe dose for everyone including infants to large males or different races, ethnicities, ages and sexes



and my first thought, of course, was what about babies, whose only source of nutrition is water-based? Will every bottle you make up contain a dose of lithium? Even if you buy ready-to-feed formula, the manufacturers are using the same water that we all drink.

If they decided to go ahead with this, the articles says:

"If the research continues to show good results, Appel sees America as a possible first candidate for implementation, citing as a precedent how easily genetically modified and fortified foods have been both approved by the U.S. government and accepted by American consumers."

So if you were already feeding your baby formula when they decided to add it to our water supply, now you are feeding baby lithium water-based formula.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 06-10-2011 - 12:38pm

Turns out there is already Lithium in infant formula!

Determination of lithium content of infant formulas by flame photometry.

VOL.48;NO.4;PAGE.435-440(1999) 

Abstract;The lithium content of infant formulas available in Japan was determined by flame photometry using an atomic-absorption spectrophotometer with an air-acetylene flame.

Formula samples were decomposed by heating with a nitric-perchloric acid mixture, concentrated until almost dryness, and then diluted with a 0.1mol/l hydrochloric acid solution.

It was confirmed by a standard addition method that lithium was little interfered under high concentrations of the sodium and potassium contained in formulas.

This method was applied to 16 Japanese infant formula samples, and the lithium content was determined: 106.+-.13(p<0.05)ng/g in 3 formulas for newborns; 178.+-.42(p<0.05)ng/g in 4 formulas for weaning infants; 118.+-.10(p<0.05)ng/g in 7 formulas for special use such as allergy, diarrhea and premature infants; 147.+-.40(p<0.05)ng/g in 7 milk-based formulas; and 123ng/g in 2 soy-based formulas.

The origin of lithium in the formulas may have been impurities of inorganic chemicals added as nutrition in manufacturing, based on correlation results between lithium and other chemical compositions of infant formulas(r=0.94 for Li/Ca, r=0.89 for Li/Mg, r=0.85 for Li/Na, r=0.90 for Li/K, r=0.86 for Li/P and r=0.94 for Li/Cl).

As a conclusion, the daily dietary lithium intake has been estimated to be 12.MU.g for young infants fed on formulas and 20.MU.g for infants fed on weaning formulas. (author abst.)

Source: http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/199911/000019991199A0430948.php

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 06-10-2011 - 1:00pm

And for those moms that take Lithium while pregnant:

Lithium in Breast Milk and Nursing Infants: Clinical Implications

Am J Psychiatry 164:342-345, February 2007

Abstract:

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 06-10-2011 - 8:50pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 06-10-2011 - 8:53pm

How long before someone claims that formula is "good" because it has more lithium than breastmilk. Afte rall, the same thing happens for iron and vitamin D,.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 06-11-2011 - 11:40am

So it would be OK to have Lithium in baby formula - when moms who are taking Lithium are told they cannot BF?

In the studies I posted, unless I am reading it wrong, it looked to me that there was more Lithium in the formula than in the breast milk - so why would a mom NOT BF if she is taking Lithium, if there was more of it in the formula she would have to use instead?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 06-11-2011 - 5:36pm
witch_power wrote:

So it would be OK to have Lithium in baby formula - when moms who are taking Lithium are told they cannot BF?

In the studies I posted, unless I am reading it wrong, it looked to me that there was more Lithium in the formula than in the breast milk - so why would a mom NOT BF if she is taking Lithium, if there was more of it in the formula she would have to use instead?

That would be really ironic.

I always thought too, that since there is a such a small thresh-hold between what is therapeutic even for patients and what is toxic, that lithium has to be very carefully monitored. The limit differs person by person. Also, other medications interfere with the excretion of lithiu, even common over the counter pain meds like ibuprofen and other NSAIDS. The age of the person could be a factor too.

Obviously, if they are thinking of putting it in water, they have decided not to worry about any of these variables.

Teresa