Podcast: How our drinking water could help prevent suicide
From: Future Perfect
Lithium is used to reduce the risk of suicide in patients.
Long term high dose use of lithium can lead to kidney problems.
Even really low doses of lithium may contribute to a decreased risk of suicide and even lower levels of aggressive behavior. Areas that have higher levels of lithium in the water through natural sources have lower suicide and homicide rates.
Having a program to put lithium in the water could potentially save thousands of lives a year.
This would be an extremely controversial topic.
I wonder if there’s been more talk and concern about the government “poisoning” our water supply with fluoride than there has been about our water supply actually being poisoned, like in Flint Michigan or the numerous other places with aging or obsolete water infrastructure.
Are there other things we could be adding to the water that could help save lives or reduce health problems?
How many people still drink unfiltered tap water? Bottled water seems everywhere.
It’s an interesting debate. Adding lithium could help a small percentage of the population at risk of suicide but does expose the entire population to the potentially very small risks of lithium. It seems like it needs more concrete data, and maybe small trials.