Laurence Lee

July 29, 2022 in Supplements

Nicotine has a direct effect on the brain. It accelerates the production and function of:

  • Acetylcholine and glutamate which are important for memory, concentration, learning, and cognitive processing.
  • Dopamine which gives a sense of pleasure and motivation.
  • GABA and serotonin which have mood-boosting and anti-anxiety effects.

While enhancing the function of these neurotransmitters may be beneficial, continued nicotine use causes the brain to have a false sense of pleasure and comfort, leading to cravings and dependence. Nicotine also triggers negative chemical reactions in the brain, promoting the release of hormones such as adrenaline (fight or flight hormone), which increases heart rate and blood pressure.

This damages tiny blood vessels in the parts of the brain responsible for cognition and memory, increasing individuals' risk of developing dementia. 

Other effects of nicotine on the brain and mental health include:

Nicotine also affects subcortical brain regions, which are areas of the brain associated with hormone production, emotion, and memory. This might seem like an excellent benefit; however, overstimulation of these areas can negatively affect how the brain functions. 

While the effects of nicotine on the brain may not be visible to the naked eye, they are very real. This is why most experts suggest limiting nicotine use to extract its benefits rather than the negative effects.

Surprising Benefits of Nicotine Use

Nicotine use has been the topic of heated discussions over the years, with some praising its benefits and others condemning its effects. Like most stimulants, nicotine must be used in moderation to extract benefits.

Let's look at some of the other benefits nicotine can provide:

  • Delays the progression of Parkinson's disease
  • Promotes fine motor functions, attention, and alertness
  • Provides short-term relief from tension/stress and heightened mood
  • Reduces the possibility of cognitive decline into Alzheimer's
  • Can be used as a therapeutic approach for ADHD and schizophrenia
  • Helps in short-term improvement in thinking, working, and episodic memory

To achieve these benefits, users are often urged to monitor their consumption frequency and volume. According to experts, users should use no more than 1 milligram of nicotine per kilogram of their body weight, every other day. Continued long-term nicotine use is not advised, so I suggest that individuals who want to achieve the above benefits invest in a nootropic supplement (I personally recommend products like Noocube, MindLabPro or Vyvamind)

Nootropic aids are an excellent choice as they provide users with a wide range of brain-boosting/protective benefits with zero risk. I've written several articles on best nootropic choices for different people, which you can read here. This will help you find a nootropic aid that is tailored to your needs.

Possible Nicotine Side Effects 

Despite popular belief, nicotine is not harmful. However, excessive use can cause addiction and expose people to risks such as cancer and harmful side effects. 

Common side effects of nicotine use include:

  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Decreased appetite
  • Gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate/blood pressure
  • Higher production of saliva and phlegm

These side effects are one of the primary reasons why health professionals continue to warn nicotine users about the dangers of the substance.


About the author 

Laurence Lee

Lee is a neuroscientist who has dedicated his career to understanding the inner workings of the brain. He has seen firsthand the power of these supplements in improving cognitive function and believes that more people should be aware of their benefits. In his articles, Lee shares his extensive knowledge on the subject and provides unbiased reviews of different products.

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