Increasing the acetylcholine level in the brain does the same thing as lithium. Increasing acetylcholine in the brain lowers “the spontaneous rate of neuronal firing”… in simple terms “it slows down the brain”.
For my son and I, and others that I have seen take such supplementation as well, the nutrient combination of 500 mg. of L-carnitine coupled with enough phosphatidyl choline (PC) “to do the job adequately”, and broad based vitamin and mineral supplemention as well … can have a profound effect of slowing the brain down… just like lithium. (There may be other nutrient cofactors to acetylcholine production that I am not aware of. This is why broad based vitamin and mineral supplementation is suggested here in addition to supplementing with carnitine and phosphatidyl choline as well. It is best to combine many nutrients together and take them all at once vs. taking only a few nutrients in isolation. This is due to the fact that doing the latter often results in a situation of not having the “missing and necessary nutrient cofactors”, cofactors that are needed to get the job done.)
I personally have had great success using phosphatidyl choline capsules made by Solgar for over ten years now. Willy and I both use three of these capsules in a baggie, along with one capsule of carnitine.
I have also taken many daily doses of four and five phosphatidyl choline capsules all at once over the years (along with carnitine)…and it seems the more phosphatidyl choline that I take, the more my brain slows down. Brain speed is definitely adjustable, and without using any lithium whatsoever, whether in orotate or another form.
Raising my acetylcholine level (1) profoundly slows down my rate of speech, (2) profoundly slows down my “rate of thought”, (3) profoundly lowers the loudness of my voice (a loudness which is present when I am acetylcholine deficient), and (4) it even makes me tend to drive slower than the speed limit if I take a bit too much.
I personally believe that 100% of persons that are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are functionally acetylcholine deficient.
I also personally believe that the most common, if not primary, reason that “a brain can race” (as it tends to do in “us bipolars”) is a functional deficiency of acetylcholine.
It might be worthy to note that various inhibitory amino acids (such as tryptophan, taurine, GABA, glycine, histidine, etc.) can slow down the rate of fire in the brain as well. (Some of the amino acids listed here admittedly don’t work the same way for everyone, and some of those listed may actually be excitatory for some people, rather than inhibitory.) However, it is my firm belief that the PRIMARY nutrient based inhibitor in the human brain is the major neurotransmitter called acetylcholine… and it is not any inhibitory amino acid and/or any of the various inhibitory neurotransmitters that these inhibitory amino acids may make. (I state this despite the incredible usefulness of free form amino acids when dealing with BP, assuming that they are used properly.)
It might also be worthy to note here that two common choline laden foods are eggs and peanuts. Eggs are an extremely common (and very crippling) food allergy for those that are diagnosed bipolar, and peanuts are a fairly common food allergy for those that are diagnosed bipolar as well. I sure would not regularly eat eggs to attempt to resolve a choline deficiency, especially if one has a bipolar or unipolar diagnosis. The odds are very high that doing such could greatly hurt someone with these illnesses, if not actually cause a severe depressive state. (I actually know someone with a unipolar diagnosis that may have died in 2001 from an improperly dealt with egg allergy; an allergy that was clearly crippling her mood-wise on a regular basis.)