While most people don’t think of nicotine as a beneficial drug, with the advent of nicotine replacement drug therapy (NRT) researchers have explored and discovered some interesting benefits of nicotine. Here are some possible benefits of nicotine:
Treatment of Cognitive Degeneration
In 2000, researchers started experimenting with nicotine’s effects on diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. While Smokers tend to have a lower risk of the disease, researchers still don’t quite know why. What they do know is that the drug makes the neurons of the brain fire more rapidly. They think the compound acetylcholine may be responsible for the benefit.
Almost 75 percent of schizophrenic patients smoke and science is making a connection between mild users and improved symptoms. Experiments with nicotine replacement products and those that suffer with this disease are ongoing.
Treatment of ADD and ADHD
Most ADHD drugs are in the stimulant category. Researchers are looking at the possible benefits of using nicotine’s stimulant properties to help those with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Improvement in Bowel Disease
Smokers have historically shown a decrease in ulcerative colitis, researchers are now trying to find out why, possibly leading to a treatment. In a recent clinical trial, those with this disease showed improvement with nicotine.
Breast Cancer Risk Reduction
In those with the breast cancer gene BRCA, nicotine has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. It is not yet known why.
No matter what benefits science may find using nicotine, of course it is never advisable to start smoking to gain them. The cancer and heart disease risk of smoking most likely far outweighs any potential benefits realized.
Photo: Ulcerative Colitis (2), KGH, Wikimedia. No endorsement implied. For license information visit Benefits of Nicotine