Of course not. But a Yale study shows that nicotine has an anorectic role. A discovery that will be used to develop an appetite suppressant.

Nicotine, which is already used to help smokers quit smoking, could also be used in medicines against obesity. Dr. Mariella De Biasi and colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, identified in the brains of mice, receptors that are responsible for appetite suppressant effects of nicotine, according to his works published Thursday, June 9 in the journal ” science “and led by the Yale University School of Medicine (Discovery May Pave Way to Quitting Smoking Without Gaining Weight)

Why smokers weaned they grow?

Nicotine, an appetite suppressant: Smokers are less fat than non-smokers (a difference of about 2.5 kg ). Why do they take 4 to 5 kg when they stop smoking? Scientists have recently shown, in the journal “Science”, that nicotine stimulates certain brain cells so that they point out that we have eaten enough. This is what makes nicotine what is already sensed: an appetite suppressant, which uses could be multiple new therapies.

An obstacle to quit smoking: This is an essential discovery which, when she will drug applications, should bring down a barrier for many smokers who want to quit smoking: they fear weight gain more often than other risks, yet much more serious .


A chance discovery

Mice eat less: Scientists have accidentally discovered that the mouse, whose brain was stimulated by a substance related to nicotine, cytisine, began to eat less.

The neurons of the hypothalamus: Nicotine binds to certain receptors in the brain and triggers addiction. But this substance, like cytisine, also activates another receptor, located on a group of neurons in the hypothalamus, it regulates appetite. Mice deprived of these neurons, continue to eat, others stop.

To new therapies

“The identification of these receptors is important for understanding the mechanisms related to addiction, to weight gain and smoking,” says Dr. Mariella De Biasi. “Right now, these results are limited to mice but could pave the way for therapies to help smokers quit smoking without weight gain,” she says.

To stop smoking without gaining weight: Marina Picciotto, a psychiatrist at Yale University who participated in the study, also sees the benefit of this discovery: “Imagine a drug of nicotine that could target these cells that stop to eat without triggering those that trigger need for tobacco. This means it is possible to have the effects of appetite suppression without affecting the reward systems of the brain. This may motivate smokers who will not stop because they are afraid of gaining weight. ”

To lose weight and obese: The discovery could also be used to develop new treatments against obesity to nicotine. In our country, 4 million French people are obese and 15 million are overweight and suffer. Moreover, there are 500 million obese worldwide.

Current methods of weaning

No weight but a risk of cancer: If smoking can not gain weight, it can promote the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and many other effects more serious than just weight gain.

Nicotine replacement therapy: There are already treatments to aid smoking cessation such as nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gums, or seals, but no studies showing that they prevent from growing.

Cytisine as a substitute: In experiments conducted in mice, cytisine was used instead of nicotine. But, says Professor Piccioto, this substance is already sold in Eastern Europe for smoking cessation, but neither the U.S. nor the rest of Europe. In addition, we ignore the effects on the weight of users.