Gout, Urine, And Guinea Pigs: The Weird History Of Lithium

Gather round and I shall tell you a tale! A tale of a mistaken assumption that started a weird, long science odyssey that included urine, steak, and guinea pigs, and ended in a miracle drug.

Source: Gout, Urine, And Guinea Pigs: The Weird History Of Lithium

It’s interesting to realized that for advanced as we think we are, it’s only been within the last 100 years that things really picked up.  And even today, there’s stuff that we use but don’t fully understand why it works.

Unrelated, but the first couple of lines reminded of the classic:

7 Up Used to Contain Lithium

Many know that Coca-Cola contained cocaine, but did you know:

When it was initially released, the lemon-lime soda that we know as 7 Up was clumsily calledBib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. “Bib-Label” referred to the paper labels on the bottle, and “Lemon-Lime Soda” obviously referred to the flavor. The “Lithiated” bit, of course, refers to the lithium citrate that inventor C.L. Grigg hoped would make the drink seem more healthy. The drink was also marketed as “slenderizing,” which is ironic because weight gain is now a known side effect of lithium.

…It’s unclear when 7 Up phased lithium citrate out of its recipe, but it did. So if you’re feeling down, don’t drink 7 Up. See a doctor. Then, when you get home, go ahead and drink a 7 Up. The soft drink is still very refreshing, even without the mood stabilizing elements.

Source: 7 Up used to contain lithium