EPA, DHA an addiction to nicotine

 
 
 

More people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Its temporarily pleasing physical and mood-altering effects make people want to smoke and lead to dependence, and stopping to smoke causes withdrawal symptoms (feeling irritable, angry, or anxious, having trouble thinking, craving tobacco products and feeling hungrier than usual). Moreover, nicotine addiction is especially present among those addicted to alcohol and other drugs. While it’s the nicotine in tobacco that causes nicotine dependence, the toxic effects of tobacco result from other substances. Smoking has been traditionally viewed as a risk factor for other diseases (lung cancer, emphysema, stroke and heart disease), but nicotine addiction is a medical problem that deserves attention by itself. Diseases either caused by or made worse by tobacco use should be regarded as complications of nicotine addiction.

Smokers have lower concentrations of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, than non-smokers, and it is known that these fatty acids play a role in the neurotransmission of dopamine related to dependence (dopamine is released by the brain and is involved in many important functions). This brings us to a question: Could supplementation with long chain omega-3 fatty acids help us in quitting smoking?

Yes, supplementation with EPA and DHA for at least 90 days reduces significantly the levels of nicotine dependence.

 

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Omega-3 and secondhand smoke

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