5 Nicotine Benefits for Health
Nicotine is well known for being a constituent of tobacco, but is often associated with the harmful effects of smoking. Not only is nicotine blamed for health problems, like cancer and emphysema (which it doesn’t cause), the actual health benefits of nicotine are often overlooked or ignored.
In fact, it can be a breakthrough treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Studies have also shown that it can help unlock the mysteries of schizophrenia, or be used to create new weight loss treatments. Nicotine has many benefits like easing the symptoms of serious diseases such as Alzheimers and ADHD, with many benefits also identified for athletes. Read on to learn about the top 5 health benefits of nicotine.
How Does Nicotine Work in the Body?
Nicotine is a chemical that consists of nitrogen, which is obtained from various types of plants, including the tobacco plant. If you are wondering “is nicotine bad for the body”, then we can help you answer this question. This substance has a range of effects on the body since nicotine is both a sedative and a stimulant.
We experience a “kick” when our body is exposed to nicotine. This happens because nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands, which results in the release of adrenaline. This surge of adrenaline stimulates the body and there is an immediate release of glucose, as well as an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing activity. Nicotine also causes the release of dopamine in the brain which gives us a pleasurable sensation.
- Pharmacologic effect - When exposed to nicotine, we experience increased heart rate, increased muscle oxygen consumption rate, and increased heart stroke volume. These are known as pharmacologic effects of nicotine
- Psychodynamic effect - Psychodynamic effects of nicotine include raised alertness, euphoria, and a sensation of being relaxed
- Concentration and memory - Studies have shown that smoking nicotine disposable vapes improves memory and concentration. This happens due to an increase in acetylcholine and norepinephrine, which increases the sensation of wakefulness, or arousal
- Reduced anxiety - Nicotine consumption results in increased levels of beta-endorphin, which helps in reducing anxiety levels
Health Benefits of Nicotine
- Nicotine and Weight Loss
Nicotine weight loss has been experienced by many nicotine consumers. Smokers commonly report that they gain weight when they quit smoking. A recent study has shown that nicotine affects metabolism by triggering the body to burn fat cells through a process called thermogenesis. These fat cells are activated to burn by stimulating a certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor called “CHRNA2”. A 2017 paper by scientists from New Zealand and the U.K. even noted in their reports that vaping electronic cigarettes with nicotine could deliver similar appetite and weight control effects as smoking - but a healthier alternative.
- Nicotine and Parkinson’s Disease
Nicotine binds with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in our brain and stimulates various effects. This system of receptors works in the immune system to regulate inflammation and stimulates the production of other neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, and endorphins. Dopamine has the ability to prevent or reduce uncontrolled movement like the palsies experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease.
Many studies have shown that cigarette smokers have a lower incidence of Parkinson’s than non-smokers. Many doctors have conducted numerous trials to see nicotine patch benefits on Parkinson’s patients but they haven’t produced conclusive results. The research is still ongoing with the hope that science can identify a way that nicotine can help people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Nicotine is a Cognitive Enhancer
Nicotine has proven to be a reliable cognitive enhancer. The cognitive-enhancing effects of nicotine in a normal population are more robust than you may find with any other substance. This seems to be a neuroprotective substance, helping to prevent degenerative brain illness. Nicotine is a powerful potential weapon against neurological illnesses and can improve brain functions for anyone who consumes it in limited amounts.
- Nicotine and Alzheimer’s Disease
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease show signs of this illness years before the appearance of severe confusion, paranoia, and disorientation. Eventually, the patient has dementia and becomes unable to walk, speak, or even swallow. Researchers are conducting various experiments to understand the nicotine benefits for people suffering from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Nicotine is believed to supplement the natural neurotransmitter acetylcholine to stimulate the compromised receptors in the human brain.
- Nicotine and Schizophrenia
Almost 90 percent of people dealing with schizophrenia disorder smoke cigarettes. This smoking rate is about six times higher than the general population. Scientists have long assumed that smoking is a kind of self-medication for Schizophrenic patients. A study conducted by Uwe Maskos of the Pasteur Institute in Paris showed the discovery of a genetic mutation associated with the cognitive problems discovered in many schizophrenic patients, which may also explain the smoking habit of people suffering from this mental illness. The study describes how nicotine helps stabilize and normalize brain activity in people with the mutation.
Other Nicotine Benefits - Improve Sports Performance
Besides the above-mentioned medical benefits of nicotine, there is one bonus advantage which might help people improve their performance in sports. Nicotine is considered a performance-enhancing drug. Sports require better short-term memory and reaction time, which are extremely important for an athlete to perform better. However, nicotine is still legal as per the sporting world’s governing bodies.
A 2017 study conducted on athletes found that they believe nicotine helps them perform better during competition. Not only is smokeless tobacco use widespread among American football and baseball players, but it is also very common among elite athletes from Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Some of the nicotine benefits for athletes include prevention against dry mouth, weight gain, helping in relaxation, improving reaction time, and concentration.
Concluding Medical Benefits of Nicotine
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