#161 - AMA #23: All Things Nicotine: deep dive into its cognitive and physical benefits, risks, and mechanisms of action

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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter and Bob dive deep into nicotine, a complicated and interesting molecule that has effects on both the brain and the body. They analyze the results of the studies that describe nicotine’s cognitive benefits and potential for inducing weight loss. They talk about a smoking cessation technique called nicotine replacement therapy and give a full breakdown of the various routes of administration, dosing, and safety. Finally, they explore the fascinating and counterintuitive observation that cigarette smokers are less likely to get a severe case of COVID-19. If you’re not a subscriber and listening on a podcast player, you’ll only be able to hear a preview of the AMA. If you’re a subscriber, you can now listen to this full episode on your private RSS feed or on our website at the AMA #23 show notes page. If you are not a subscriber, you can learn more about the subscriber benefits here. We discuss:

  • How Peter first became interested in the potential benefits of nicotine [1:15];
  • Untangling nicotine from tobacco [6:00];
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for quitting smoking: products, protocols, and a review of the literature [9:30];
  • The cognitive benefits of nicotine: Overview of the literature [15:50];
  • Where nicotine has the most positive impact on cognition [30:30];
  • Possible mechanisms conferring the benefits of nicotine [37:00];
  • How modafinil and other nootropics compare to nicotine [47:15];
  • How nicotine may induce weight loss [54:00];
  • Relationship between smoking and COVID-19: Analyzing the observation that smoking appears protective against COVID-19 [1:01:45];
  • Breakdown of the various nicotine replacement therapies: route of administration, dosing, and safety [1:11:30];
  • Concluding thoughts on nicotine: use cases, addictive properties, and more [1:19:45]; and
  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/ama23 Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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