Nicotine — Is It ALL Bad? (Scientists Identify 5 Positive Effects of Nicotine On the Human Body)
Let me preface all of this with one BIG caveat — smoking is bad for you.
I could go on and on here about why it’s bad for you, but I won’t.
You already know all of it.
Suffice it to say that when you light up a cigarette, you’re inhaling 5,000+ compounds, most of which are bad for you. Around 72 of them are carcinogenic (probably more of them — these are just the ones we know about).
But, as I said… I won’t harp on about this. You know it. I know it. The world knows it.
A lot of people still think that nicotine is the primary culprit for cigarettes being bad. And while it definitely can’t be good for you, putting the blame on nicotine is kinda ridiculous. It’s not where the blame lies.
In fact, research shows that there are positive effects of nicotine… it’s just that nobody is talking about them.
So in today’s post, we’re exploring the hidden side of nicotine — the side that has scientists all excited because it turns out… nicotine ain’t all bad! And if you’re using vape pens and vape devices to ingest nicotine, in some (albeit rare) cases, you might be doing yourself a world of good.
Who knew, right?
Is Nicotine All Bad?
Well, as I said just up there… nicotine is not all bad.
As a compound, and when not ingested in cigarettes, nicotine is an addictive substance that raises your blood pressure, affects appetite, and more — so it’s not really good for you.
According to research (and it keeps pouring in every day), there are some positive effects of nicotine that are hardly ever getting mentioned.
… the fact that nicotine can be a neuroprotective, shielding the brain against the detrimental effects of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimers…
… nicotine actually enhancing brain functions, bumping up things like cognitive performance, memory, problem-solving skills, and more…
… nicotine apparently being extremely beneficial when it comes to treating ADHD disorder…
I’m not here advocating that you continue using nicotine… the goal of vaping is to help you cut down on it and eventually totally quit.
I’m just saying that it’s getting a bad rep when, in fact, it could help us solve a lot of current health problems.
Let’s take a quick look at the studies about the benefits of nicotine.
Nicotine Lowers the Risk of Getting Parkinson’s Disease
In the project (study) called The Swedish Collaboration on Health Effects of Snus Use, issued in June 2017, Swedish cohorts decided to make, to this date, the largest and longest research in order to find a correlation between snus use and risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The research lasted for almost 16 years and it involved approximately 350,000 men. Some of them never used snus, some of them used it occasionally, and the rest were using snus regularly.
To clarify, Snus is a tobacco product originating from Sweden. It is a moist smokeless powder that was made after dry snuff as its variation.
In conclusion, scientists found out that nicotine absorbed from snus will lower or slow down Parkinson’s disease. They also realized that the amount of nicotine plays a big role. It seems, the more you take it the better it gets.
Nicotine Can Enhance Brain Functions
All nicotine consumers know this one; you get a specific rush when nicotine enters your system. It’s like you have a similar experience as Bradley Cooper did the first time he took NZT in Limitless.
Well, nicotine will do that for you (not exactly like the famous pill though). A study was conducted in 2012 that proved yet another benefit of nicotine. That benefit is the overall improvement of cognitive performance.
34 out of 39 test subjects (placebo subjects not included) showed significant improvement directly associated with nicotine.
In conclusion, the study provided enough evidence that shows how transdermal (Nicotine patches) can be used as a therapy for people suffering from mild cognitive impairment.
Nicotine Can Literally Deactivate Anxiety
Remember earlier how I mentioned that we crave nicotine because it relaxes us, especially in stressful situations?
Well, according to a Anderson & Brunzell study, smaller doses of nicotine work just that but not in a way we think. Unlike earlier studies that present benefits of nicotine, this one is special.
When it comes to anxiety, nicotine does not work as a calming agent, but as a sort of door stopper. To put it plainly, nicotine will bind to specific receptors in our brain, and instead of opening them, nicotine will “clog” them. Making those receptors unreceptive to activation.
Nicotine Can Help With ADHD
In 2004, a study started research involving adolescents with ADHD. Some might find this quite controversial. In order to rationalize that Paul Newhouse,
M.D. and co-author Alexandra Potter stated that adolescents with ADHD were already giving into smoking much faster than adolescents without ADHD.
The main focus was to find out if nicotine has a similar effect as Ritalin. And to find out what are the main effects and/or benefits of nicotine in this matter. The study proved that nicotine is not all bad.
Sometime after the first study, a follow-up study was conducted. In order to solidify results, this study involved young adults and used nicotine patches as nicotine administrators. Once again, results came out positive.
Nicotine Can Stabilize Brain Activity
People suffering from schizophrenia tend to be heavy smokers. Not all of them but most.
There was always an assumption between scientists that this high consumption of nicotine was some sort of medication for people with schizophrenia.
Because of that, a study was published in 2017. by Uwe Maskos of the Pasteur Institute in Paris describing positive effects of nicotine on subjects’ brain activity.
They discovered that many patients with schizophrenia had a genetic mutation connected with cognitive problems.
And the solution for that cognitive problem and that mutation was nicotine.
So, Nicotine Can Actually Be Good For Me?
I really wouldn’t go that far.
IF you have specific issues listed here, then yes — nicotine could potentially help you deal with them.
But for most of us… nicotine is an addictive substance that we need to shake off.
That said, let’s not turn nicotine into the big bad wolf because that’s the narrative that’s being pushed. There’s no point in banning nicotine… let’s ban cigarettes and allow the scientist to work their magic on nicotine. Who’s to tell how much good can come out of it.