Facts about nicotine

We found 15 facts about nicotine


Nicotine is a natural insecticide that some plants use to defend themselves against pests. It is also a substance that people use as a stimulant, and increasingly often as a medicinal substance in certain diseases of the nervous system. It is a substance that, when used in small doses, can improve the functioning of gray matter cells, although this is most often associated with addiction to it, or if used in an uncontrolled and irresponsible manner, it can lead to death.

Nicotine is an organic chemical compound (C10H14N2) from the group of pyridine alkaloids.

Under natural conditions, nicotine occurs in the leaves and roots of noble tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), which is most often used in the tobacco industry. The leaves contain 1 to 3 percent of nicotine.

The name nicotine comes from the name of the French physician Jean Nicot, who recommended tobacco as a medicine in the 16th century.

Nicotine was first isolated in 1828, and its chemical structure was discovered in 1843. Nicotine was first obtained through a chemical process in 1904.

Nicotine is a strong neurotoxin - it affects the nervous system.

It affects the nervous system, causing pleasant experiences that can be compared to the effects of taking hard drugs: cocaine, amphetamine, or morphine. The dose taken is important, although, regardless of the size, it always leads to addiction. When lethal doses are used (LD50 is approximately 1-1.5 mg/kg body weight), death may occur within a few minutes as a result of suffocation, because neurotoxins cause acute paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

Until the end of the 20th century, it was believed that nicotine did not lead to the development of cancer.

But already in the first decade of the 21st century, this view was questioned and a debate began among scientists about its carcinogenic properties.

There is a claim that nicotine is a highly addictive substance.

However, in the world of science, these opinions are very divergent. According to the latest reports, the addictive properties of isolated nicotine are not significant. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors present in cigarette smoke have a decisive influence on cigarette addiction.

Nicotine affects the human body in many different ways because it binds permanently and blocks the action of dozens of different types of enzymes.

In small doses, it has a stimulating effect on the body, causing increased secretion of adrenaline. As a result, you may experience relief from stress, decreased appetite, improved learning ability, arousal, and greater activity. Increased heart rate, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure are observed. In some cases, at low dosages, nicotine can stimulate the brain and nervous system, as well as improve concentration and memory. Small doses of nicotine release dopamine in our body, which is called the happiness hormone.

Larger doses of nicotine cause permanent blocking of the nervous system.

Nicotine binds permanently to nicotinic receptors in nerve cells, disturbing their metabolism. Initially, there is a feeling of lightness, then a change in perception, a change in the perception of the surroundings, photophobia, fatigue, lack of energy, a feeling of detachment from reality, thoughtfulness, vomiting, and diarrhea. In even higher doses, the field of vision becomes blurred and hallucinations may appear - usually black and white images. At extreme doses, loss of consciousness, convulsions, and death occur.

Tobacco, whose leaves are the source of nicotine, was cultivated by people living in America two thousand years before its discovery by Columbus.

It came to Europe in the 16th century and both tobacco and the nicotine it contained were originally used as a medicinal substance. However, nicotine quickly began to be treated as an attractive stimulant, initially by smoking tobacco in pipes, then cigars appeared, and finally, cigarettes, which popularized the addiction to nicotine and made it egalitarian.

Nicotine is a natural insecticide.

Plants such as tobacco produce it to repel pests - nicotine interferes with the neurotransmitters of insects and kills them.

Nicotine was observed to fight gastrointestinal parasites.

Pygmies are said to be the most addicted to nicotine. In the Aka tribe living in central Africa, almost 95 percent of men are smokers. Pygmies earn an average of 50 cents a day, half of which they spend on tobacco. Canadian anthropologist Edward Hagen from Washington State University studied their addiction to nicotine and concluded that by smoking tobacco, Pygmies naturally fight against gastrointestinal parasites, tapeworms, and roundworms.

Nicotine may have a therapeutic effect in patients with neurodegenerative brain diseases.

This is because nicotine affects not only acetylcholine but also other neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, which is lacking in Parkinson's disease. In patients suffering from this disease, nicotine reduces the occurrence of involuntary body movements - a typical symptom of this disease - by up to one-third.

Research shows that nicotine (cigarette smoking) may protect against the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Under the influence of nicotine, patients become aroused, have better memory and greater motor skills. It is believed that nicotine increases the viability of neurons - it can act as an antioxidant, protecting brain cells against harmful free radicals.

Nicotine is also used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The therapy uses patches containing nicotine, which is perfectly absorbed through the skin. Just 45 minutes after applying a patch containing 7 mg of nicotine, the patients examined by the researchers had better control over impulsive behavior and better remembered the images shown to them.

Research on the therapeutic effects of nicotine is a very young field of knowledge because so far the focus has been on its negative impact on the body.

Psychiatrists have long wondered why almost 90 percent of patients with schizophrenia and depression smoke cigarettes heavily. They take into account that this is some form of self-medication, because these patients struggle with constant anxiety, irritability, and the inability to focus on one thing, and nicotine can alleviate these symptoms. But it's also possible that nicotine causes them, as smoking has been proven to increase the risk of depression, suicide, and panic attacks.

Nicotine is well absorbed through the skin.

This fact is used in the fight against smoking addiction by using patches soaked in it. There are cases of nicotine poisoning by people working on tobacco plantations. After a few hours of work, workers collecting wet tobacco leaves develop symptoms of poisoning: vomiting, pale skin, and dizziness.

Hungry for more facts?

Latest topics

42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
The first nuclear accident in Earth's history
Before information about it saw the light of day, the Soviets hid it for over 30 years. The explosion at the Mayak combine was the first nuclear accid ...
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
A city of many names
It was a dream and a matter of prestige for the Romanov dynasty to gain access to the Baltic Sea and build a metropolis to testify to Russia's emergin ...
32 facts about Peter the Great
32 facts about Peter the Great
The first Emperor of all Russia
Peter the Great is considered one of Russia's greatest rulers. He was a great reformer, strategist, and builder who was the first of the tsars to trav ...
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
Mysterious tragedy in the Ural mountains
The case of a group of students at the Ural Polytechnical Institute in Sverdlovsk continues to arouse great interest and raise many questions. A group ...
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
The first steel suspension bridge in the world
It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan, runs over the East River, and was completed in 1883. ...
31 facts about Brazil
31 facts about Brazil
South America's largest country
Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. A former Portuguese ...
44 facts about Ghent
44 facts about Ghent
City of three towers
Ghent is one of Belgium's most visited cities by tourists. This beautiful old Flanders city combines dignity, beauty, culture, and creativity. It is a ...
31 facts about Thailand
31 facts about Thailand
A country on the Indochinese Peninsula
Thailand is an Asian country located in its south-eastern part, famous for its interesting culture and religious architecture. This exotic country, wh ...

Similar topics