How Nicotine Affects Aging
A new study shows the nicotine—the addictive chemical in tobacco produces and e-cigarette liquids—may help prevent brain aging. Results of a recent study, published in the Journal of Toxicology, confirmed earlier research indicating possible cognitive benefits of nicotine.
The association between nicotine and brain health is not fully understood, but the chemical appears to reduce neurodegeneration by binding to and activating certain receptors in the brain, called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs).
Because nicotine is a highly addictive, research is limited. Scientists have strong concerns about testing the effects of the chemical in human studies. In laboratory animals, low and medium doses of nicotine did not affect behavior, food intake or weight, or nAChRs. High doses didn’t affect behavior, but did reduce food intake and weight, and increase nAChRs levels. More research is needed to determine the effects of nicotine on brain aging.
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