Studies Reveal the Surprising Benefits of Nicotine
Albert Einstein once said, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” Was the world’s most incredible genius hinting at the potential power of nicotine? For years, doctors have warned us that nicotine is bad. However, new studies are uncovering some surprising benefits of this villainized chemical and the results might make you think twice about ditching nicotine for good.
At its most basic form, nicotine closely resembles a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This is one of the most important neurotransmitters because it is responsible for our ability to learn and remember information. Acetylcholine also impacts the immune system and reduces inflammation, which can help fight practically every disease known to mankind.
In a 2005 study, researchers found that nicotine acted as an antagonist, aggressively fighting inflammation and boosting the body’s ability to heal. Studies have also shown that nicotine’s anti-inflammatory effect can be used to treat ulcerative colitis and even blood poisoning. This is powerful stuff!
Nicotine also offers a powerful boost to memory and cognition abilities. During a recent research trial in China, rats were injected with nicotine to study how the chemical impacted their brain function. The scientists found that the nicotine increased neuroprotective activity, essentially giving the rats a cognitive boost.
Another study in India considered how nicotine could treat Alzheimer’s disease. By treating rats with a disorder similar to Alzheimer’s with nicotine, the researchers learned that it boosted neuroplasticity and made it possible to learn again. In fact, the rats treated with nicotine actually regained their lost cognitive functions.
In a 2012 Canadian study, scientists used EEG to test brain activity after subjects were given nicotine gum. They tracked the participants’ working memory as they completed memory tests. Compared to a group receiving only placebo gum, the nicotine group showed substantial cognitive enhancements.
These are just a handful of the many studies that have been conducted on nicotine. Yet despite the promising results, doctors still warn people to avoid nicotine at all costs. Why? Most likely, the concern stems from confusion. When we hear about the dangers of smoking, we often hear nicotine listed as the major culprit, but it’s not. The real enemy is tobacco because when it is burned, it releases thousands of toxic chemicals into the air and the smoker’s lungs.
So what would happen if you could isolate the benefits of nicotine without putting yourself in harm’s way with tobacco? It’s possible it could unlock many benefits for mental health and electronic cigarettes could open that door. By eliminating tobacco while still offering the benefits of nicotine, people can really enjoy the act of smoking without much of the risks.
Nicotine’s ability to improve brain function, reduce inflammation, and boost memory is indisputable. So what will it take for doctors to feel comfortable with their patients using nicotine products?