“Smokers will soon be able to stub out their habit – without having to worry about piling on the pounds,” reported the Daily Mirror. It said that “scientists have discovered how nicotine suppresses the appetite and could develop drugs to help people quit without putting on weight”.
This research involved a series of complex scientific experiments in mice. The researchers wanted to investigate how nicotine causes the brain to send signals to the body to suppress appetite. They found that nicotine activates a group of nerve cells in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus (the small part of the brain that regulates hormones and automatic processes in the body). These nerve cells activate other receptors in the body that play a role in regulating appetite.
These findings give us a better understand of how nicotine may affect appetite, but it is important to note that this research was in animals. While there may be similar processes in humans and mice, nicotine may not affect human appetite in exactly the same way. Further studies will be needed to understand the effects in humans, and a new treatment to help smokers quit but avoid gaining weight is a long way off.The scientific research was conducted by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine and other academic institutions in the US. Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science.
In general, the news stories accurately represented this research. However, it is too early to say that “the key to helping smokers stay slim” has been found, or that this will pave the way for new drugs to counter the problem of weight gain.
In the mean time, go ahead and quit smoking. Avoid the weight gain by choosing healthy habits to replace the smoking habits.
Did you know that eating more green leafy vegetables actually helps to cut down on cravings caused by most addictions. Getting good fats like coconut oil in the diet also help. And if you choose whole natural foods it naturally helps to keep the weight in check.
Links To The Headlines
SYou can quit smoking and stay slim say scientists. Daily Mirror, June 10 2011
Nicotine treatment 'could control obesity'. BBC News, June 10 2011
Found, the key to helping smokers stay slim once they quit. Daily Mail, June 10 2011
Links To Science
Mineur YS, Abizaid A, Rao Y et al. Nicotine Decreases Food Intake Through Activation of POMC Neurons. Science: 332; 1330-1332