If you’ve tried to quit smoking but haven’t been able to completely kick the habit, don’t get discouraged. In fact, you may even consider it a good thing when it comes to avoiding a deadly and disabling brain disease.
In an interesting, new study, researchers found that people who quit smoking on their first try are significantly more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to those who struggle to quit.
For this study, researchers identified more than 1,800 Danish men and women diagnosed with PD between 1996 and 2009. Then, they matched the PD patients with a similar number of control subjects who did not suffer from PD. Finally, they compared the groups and their experiences with smoking.
They asked the participants who were former smokers to rate their experience with quitting smoking as (1) extremely difficult, starting and stopping several times, (2) hard, but successful the first time, (3) medium, taking some time getting used to it, but “not a big deal,” and (4) remarkably easy.
Former smokers who found it easy to quit had nearly a one-third increased risk of developing PD compared to those who found it extremely difficult. Former smokers who had to use nicotine substitutes to quit–such as gums, patches, sprays, or tablets–had the lowest risk of developing PD.
The researchers believe men and women with PD are less prone to habituation to nicotine from smoking because they have fewer nicotinic receptors in the first place.
You see, nicotine receptors are naturally present throughout the body, including in the brain. And stimulating these receptors benefits your brain as well as your nervous and gastrointestinal systems. It also benefits your mood, among other effects. (In fact, in previous studies, researchers found nicotine from tobacco or foods–such as peppers–seemed to help manage and even prevent PD.) But if you don’t have enough nicotine receptors, these effects can’t take place.
These key observations could also help physicians diagnose PD earlier.
Experts used to think of PD purely as a neuromuscular disease that starts only when you get rigidity, slowness, and resting tremors. But our understanding of PD is expanding. And we now know it starts earlier with non-neuromuscular symptoms. Such as constipation, sexual dysfunction, heart and blood pressure issues, depression, cognitive impairment, sleep disorders and decrease in the sense of smell. Plus, we now know, nicotine receptors may be involved in all of these issues.
Here’s another interesting finding from the study…
Patients with PD consumed less caffeine and alcohol than their counterparts did.
Of course, we’ve known for a long time some kind of biological synergy occurs among caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. And when it comes to Parkinson’s, using these three substances together might help reduce risk further.
Maybe scientists should stop demonizing physiologic substances like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. They clearly have biological activities and benefits when used in moderation.
But here’s the problem…
The government’s politically correct posturing about tobacco dictates laws and holds the reins on research funding.
In fact, according to my colleague, Dr. Jane Orient, director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the CDC actually has more safeguards to protect you against secondhand smoke than it does to protect you against Ebola.
“If you look at the precautions against secondhand smoke, they are absurd,” said Orient in a recent interview. “The hazard from secondhand smoke, unless you’re just sensitive to it and it bothers you, are really nonexistent.”
“And yet, we have all these…expensive restrictions against these non-hazards–and a pathogenic, lethal organism that can infect you with one to ten particles, we’re so cavalier about?” Orient asked. “This just really does not make sense.”
Even more astounding? The government’s politically correct campaign against tobacco may actually snuff out a REAL cure for Ebola. I’ll tell you more about that shocking revelation in the upcoming December issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, consider signing up today. Given the government’s inept handling of Ebola, this is news you can’t afford to miss.
1. “Parkinson disease and smoking revisited,” Neurology October 14, 2014; 83(16): 1396-1402
2. “Doctors Chief: CDC Curbs Secondhand Smoke More Than Ebola,” Newsmax (www.newsmax.com) 10/16/2014