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Health Benefits Of Smoking

Health Benefits Of Smoking

Surprisingly, smoking may provide some health benefits…

Despite what the medical community is constantly telling us, smoking cigarettes might not be all bad. Several recent studies have found that lighting up the old cancer sticks can actually provide some medical benefits, and while these benefits might not out-way the detrimental effects smoking can have on the lungs, throat and blood flow, it’s certainly interesting to hear how a habit that kills around half a million people per year, can actually have positive effects on other parts of the body.

A study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, suggests that the addictive ingredient in cigarettes, Nicotine, may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

When tested on lab mice, the researchers found the nicotine had the potential to rescue dopamine neurons; the loss of these neurons is closely related to the development of Parkinson’s. The findings have led some doctors to believe the nicotine could be used to treat Parkinson’s by targeting the brain’s nicotine receptors. Similarly, stimulating the brain’s nicotine receptors could also help to treat Alzheimers, according to a separate study from the University of Maryland.

health benefits of smoking 550x367 Health Benefits Of Smoking

Surprising Health Benefits From Smoking

Image Credit: Ed Schipul, 2008.

Even more surprisingly, this isn’t the first positive link found between nicotine and health. Researchers from the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in the Netherlands, found that nicotine enhances learning and memory.

Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacology found, nicotine can also reduce depression because it stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine; chemical know to have inverse effects on depression.

Despite that fact that smoking is typically related with reduced blood flow, a Stanford study found that nicotine actually boosts the growth of blood vessels, which in theory could lead to the development of new treatments for diabetes.

However, no matter how many health benefits the medical community can associate with smoking, cigarettes are still way more damaging than they are helpful. Researcher speaking at the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Gerald Weissmann, reminded smokers of the downside to lighting up;

“Even if smoking protects you from Parkinson’s, you might not live long enough to develop the disease because smoking greatly increases the risk for deadly cancers and cardiovascular diseases.”

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  1. Thumbnail Image: Wiki-User03, 2009.
  2. Smoking Offers at Least One Health Benefit. Atlantic Wire, 2011.

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