Tobacco has many adverse health effects. But when it becomes an addiction, it’s hard to quit smoking. According to a recent study, quitting smoking would be more complicated especially for women.
Have you decided to quit smoking? Congratulations! However, if the “crack” is never far away, that you think about it daily and try to compensate for it by all means, you will have a good excuse to present to everyone who points out your stress and bad mood during this time. suffering: quitting smoking would be particularly difficult for women.
Indeed, as reported ParisianA Swedish study conducted by scientists from the University of Uppsala and presented at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Vienna this October showed that the impact of nicotine on women’s brains would make it more difficult for them to quit smoking.
According to them, a single cigarette would be enough to block the production of estrogen in the women’s brain (a hormone present in larger quantities), which is involved in the reproductive process and the menstrual cycle. If this effect was assumed until now, this work has made it possible to prove it. More generally, this phenomenon could explain the fact that quitting smoking is more difficult for women.
Directly observe the effects of nicotine on the brain
To carry out their work, Swedish researchers gave ten women a dose of nicotine equivalent to a cigarette, administered nasally. The volunteers were also injected with a radioactive tracer aimed at monitoring aromatase, the enzyme responsible for estrogen production.
Thanks to the injected tracer, the scanners made it possible to track the amount of aromatase and its location in the brain. The researchers thus discovered a decrease in the enzyme from the first dose of nicotine.
The research team rates the impact of nicotine as “moderate,” but was particularly surprised at how quickly it saw its effects. “We assessed the effect 90 minutes after nicotine administration,” emphasizes Erika Comasco, a professor at Uppsala University and a specialist in mental health.
But if nicotine affects estrogen production and the brain, how might that translate into our behavior? Scientists would note a decrease in aromatase in the thalamus, a nerve center involved in emotions, behavior, but also addiction.
It is therefore very likely that the smoker’s gender and his difficulty in quitting smoking are related. “Our study does not assess resistance to smoking cessation,” warns Erika Comasco, however. Therefore, more studies are needed to better understand the effects of nicotine on women and their addiction.
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