Paper Published: Lithium in Portuguese Bottled Natural Mineral Waters—Potential for Health Benefits?

The paper 'Lithium in Portuguese Bottled Natural Mineral Waters—Potential for Health Benefits?' by Orquídia Neves, José Manuel Marques, Hans G.M. Eggenkamp was published at International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


There is increasing epidemiologic and experimental evidence that lithium (Li) exhibits significant health benefits, even at concentrations lower than the therapeutic oral doses prescribed as treatment for mental disorders. The aim of this study is to determine the content of Li in 18 brands of bottled natural mineral waters that are available on the Portuguese market and from which the sources are found within the Portuguese territory, to provide data for Li intake from drinking water. Analyses of Li were performed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The results indicate highly different Li concentrations in natural mineral waters: one group with low Li concentrations (up to 11 µg Li/L) and a second group with Li concentrations higher than 100 µg/L. The highest Li concentrations (>1500 µg Li/L) were observed in the highly mineralized Na-HCO3 type waters that are naturally carbonated (>250 mg/L free CO2). As a highly bioavailable source for Li dietary intake these natural mineral waters have potential for Li health benefits but should be consumed in a controlled manner due to its Na and F− contents. The consumption of as little as 0.25 L/day of Vidago natural mineral water (2220 µg Li/L), can contribute up to 50% of the proposed daily requirement of 1 mg Li/day for an adult (70 kg body weight). In future, Li epidemiological studies that concern the potential Li effect or health benefits from Li in drinking water should consider not only the Li intake from tap water but also intake from natural mineral water that is consumed in order to adjust the Li intake of the subjects.


Neves, M.O.; Marques, J.; Eggenkamp, H.G. Lithium in Portuguese Bottled Natural Mineral Waters—Potential for Health Benefits? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8369. doi:10.3390/ijerph17228369

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