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Author Topic: Is nicotine good for you?  (Read 2922 times)

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Offline Psk

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Is nicotine good for you?
« on: September 17, 2022, 10:14:45 AM »
Nobody mentions the benefits of nicotine. Don't get me wrong, if you smoke, you must stop. It can cause cancer, but also, it WILL damage your lungs & cause COPD. You might not get severe COPD until you're 40-60 years old, depending how much you smoke, & how long you smoke, but everyone who smokes will eventually get COPD.

But nicotine isn't causing the COPD or cancer, it's all the other nasty things in burning tobacco that's bad for you. In fact, inhaling any burnt stuff & smoke can cause cancer & will cause COPD -- even pot & incense. Swallowing burn stuff like charred food (like meat) & smoked meat can cause cancer. They estimate eating just 1/4 pound of smoked or charred meat has the same cancer risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes.

Ask a smoker what they get out of cigarettes and they are likely to talk about pleasure, contentment, and an overall good feeling. Nicotine, the active ingredient in cigarettes, is a stimulant. Used in low doses like those delivered by combustible cigarettes, stimulants activate the nervous system, resulting in enhanced arousal and alertness. Nicotine binding in the limbic system... the part of the brain that houses the pleasure and reward center, releases dopamine, resulting in feelings of euphoria. These effects combine to give smokers a boost in their mood.

Nicotine in its pure form has the potential to be a valuable pharmaceutical agent. Nicotine fairly specifically binds to the cholinergic nicotinic gating site on cationic ion channels in receptors throughout the body. This action stimulates the release of a variety of neurotransmitters including especially catecholamines and serotonin. When chronically taken, nicotine may result in: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, reduction of body weight, enhancement of performance, and protection against; Parkinson's disease Tourette's disease, Alzheimers disease, ulcerative colitis and sleep apnea. The reliability of these effects varies greatly but justifies the search for more therapeutic applications for this interesting compound.

Offline Psk

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Re: About nicotine
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2022, 10:34:58 AM »
Nicotine may prove to be a weirdly, improbably effective drug for relieving or preventing a variety of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Tourette’s and schizophrenia. It might even improve attention and focus enough to qualify as a cognitive enhancer. And, it’s long been associated with weight loss, with few known safety risks.

The first hint of nicotine’s benefits came from a study in 1966 an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health. Using data on 293,658 veterans who had served in the U.S. military between 1917 and 1940, Kahn found the kinds of associations between smoking and mortality that had already become well known. At any given age, cigarette smokers were 11 times as likely to have died of lung cancer as nonsmokers, and 12 times as likely to have died of emphysema. Cancers of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, larynx — on and on. So DON'T SMOKE !!!

But amid the lineup of usual suspects, one oddball jumped out: Death due to Parkinson’s disease occurred at least three times as often in nonsmokers as in smokers.

Nicotine has separate mechanisms by which it may protect brain cells, aside from its influence on dopamine. One of the functions of nicotinic receptors is to moderate the entry of calcium into cells. The presence of nicotine increases the amount of intracellular calcium, which appears to improve cellular survival.

And nicotine may have an antioxidant effect, serving to mop up the toxic free radicals produced as a byproduct of metabolism, thus protecting the brain. The neuroprotective effects of nicotine were studied in a randomized clinical trial involving 67 subjects in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, where memory was slightly impaired but decision-making and other cognitive abilities remained intact. They received either a 15-milligram nicotine patch or placebo for six months. The results found “significant nicotine-associated improvements in attention, memory and psychomotor speed,” with excellent safety and tolerability.


Offline Psk

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Re: About nicotine
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2022, 11:18:49 AM »
Studies suggest that nicotine may effective at enhancing attention. In 2008, Paul Newhouse, director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, compared performance on a series of cognitive tasks in 15 nonsmoking ADHD patients while wearing either a 7-mg nicotine patch or a placebo patch. After just 45 minutes with the nicotine patch, the young adults were significantly better at inhibiting an impulse, delaying a reward and remembering an image they had seen.

Psychologist Jennifer Rusted of the University of Sussex in Britain calls nicotine, “the most reliable cognitive enhancer that we currently have.” In addition to improving visual attention and working memory, nicotine has been shown by Rusted to increase prospective memory... the ability to remember and implement a prior intention.

As a 2007 paper in the journal Neuropharmacology put it: “Tobacco use has one of the highest rates of addiction of any abused drug.” Paradoxically it’s almost impossible to get laboratory animals hooked on pure nicotine, though it has a mildly pleasant effect.

The same study found that tobacco smoke itself is necessary to amp up nicotine’s addictiveness. In 2005, for instance, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that animals self-administer a combination of nicotine and acetaldehyde, an organic chemical found in tobacco, significantly more often than either chemical alone. In 2009, a French team found that combining nicotine with a cocktail of five other chemicals found in tobacco — anabasine, nornicotine, anatabine, cotinine and myosmine — significantly increased rats’ hyperactivity and self-administration of the mix compared with nicotine alone.

In short, the estimated 45.3 million people, or 19.3 percent of all adults, in the United States who still smoke are not nicotine fiends. They’re nicotine-anabasine-nornicotine-anatabine-cotinine-myosmine-acetaldehyde-and-who-knows-what-else fiends.

Offline Psk

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Re: About nicotine
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2022, 11:35:15 AM »
Some studies show nicotine, like caffeine, can even have positive effects. It's a stimulant, which raises the heart rate and increases the speed of sensory information processing, easing tension and sharpening the mind.

All this raises other questions: Could nicotine prime the brains of young people to seek harder stuff? Or, in an ageing society, could its stimulant properties benefit people whose brains are slowing, warding off cognitive decline into Alzheimer's and delaying the progression of Parkinson's disease?

Few doubt that nicotine is addictive. How quickly it hooks people is closely linked to the speed at which it is delivered to the brain, says McNeill. The patch is very slow; gum is slightly quicker. But there is no evidence as yet that significant numbers of people are addicted to either. Daniel, who works long hours in London's financial district, says he chews less on weekends when he's relaxing, doing sport and hanging out with his kids.

One reason smoking is so addictive is that it's a highly efficient nicotine delivery system, McNeill says. "Smoking a tobacco cigarette is one of the best ways of getting nicotine to the brain - it's faster even than intravenous injection." Also, tobacco companies used various chemicals to make the nicotine in cigarettes even more potent.

In Sweden, many people get their nicotine from sucking smoke-free tobacco called "snus." Research there has put rates of lung cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related illness among the lowest in Europe. Should we really be that bothered about addiction in and of itself, if it doesn't come with any other substantial harms (like chocolate or coffee in normal amounts)?

Offline Psk

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Re: About nicotine
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2022, 12:18:06 PM »
Nicotine is pro-oxidative in nature but at a level which may be hormetic in nature, that works a acetylcholine mechanism to exert anti-inflammatory effects.

Nicotine appears to have a role as a fat burner due to its mechanisms, which for the most part increase adrenaline and then work through beta-adrenergic receptors. This increase in adrenaline mediates the increase in metabolic rate which is significant but short-lived with moderate usage. The increase in lipolysis (how available fatty acids are to be burnt) appears to be mediated by other, possibly pro-oxidative, mechanisms and not by adrenaline. This increase in catecholamines also underlies many benefits of nicotine on cognition (attention and focus mainly) while the acetylcholine mimicking may promote a nootropic effect inherently.

Nicotine from chewing tobacco can act as both a stimulant and/or depressant to the central nervous system. Ingestion of nicotine causes the release of the hormones epinephrine and dopamine. This chemical is responsible for the “jolt” users get when smoking. Epinephrine causes increased relaxation and pleasure. Nicotine also stimulates the release of the pain-inhibiting hormone known as beta-endorphin.  Seeking this chemical “high” or the corresponding “numbness” is what can lead to addiction.

Nicotine activates a large number of neurons at the same time, neurons that aren’t usually triggered en masse. Your brain essentially lights up with the subsequent release of acetylcholine, which triggers other cholinergic pathways in the brain. This boosts energy and activity levels, providing the sense of alertness. Flooding your brain with neurotransmitter imposters will also trigger the release of dopamine, another neurotransmitter that is linked to feelings of pleasure and the reward center of our brain.

Dousing your brain in nicotine also causes the release of glutamate, which is associated with learning and memory, and may help to strengthen cognitive associations of improved alertness with the act of smoking. This results in the burst of concentration and focus that one feels with nicotine. Nicotine lso tells your brain to create and release more endorphins, which act as the body’s natural painkillers. These endorphins flood the body after nicotine is introduced, further solidifying the pleasurable act of smoking and the “importance” of nicotine in the body.


 

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