According to University of Florida researchers, chemical elements in roasted coffee beans may help lessen the impact of morning nicotine cravings.
Some smokers find that their first cigarette of the day is less enjoyable without a cup of coffee. That might not only be a morning ritual, either.
Researchers found two substances in coffee that directly influence a subset of high-sensitivity nicotine receptors in the brain in a cell-based investigation. These brain receptors in smokers may become oversensitive during a night of nicotine abstinence.
Although the recently released findings have not yet been tested on humans, they represent a significant advancement in our knowledge of how nicotine receptors in the brain are impacted by coffee and cigarettes, according to Roger L. Papke, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
For most individuals, the feel-good component of coffee is caffeine, although smokers may experience an additional boost. To cells that express a particular human nicotine receptor, the researchers used a dark-roasted coffee solution.
The researchers came to the conclusion that an organic chemical molecule in coffee may help repair the nicotine receptor malfunction that causes nicotine cravings in smokers.
The research has convinced Papke of a more general conclusion: n-MP, a substance found in brewed coffee, may lessen morning cravings for nicotine.
“Many people look for coffee in the morning because of the caffeine. But was the coffee doing anything else to smokers? We wanted to know if other things in coffee were affecting the brain’s nicotine receptors,” Papke said.
The thought that nicotine-dependent smokers connect tobacco usage with drinking coffee every morning and liquor in the evening fascinated Papke, he added. The brain’s nicotine receptors have been extensively examined in relation to alcohol, but less is known about how coffee affects those receptors.
The results, he claimed, offer behavioural experts a solid starting point for their continued investigation of nicotine withdrawal in animal models.