Scientists from the University of Florida found that chemical compounds in roasted coffee beans may help lighten the effects of morning nicotine cravings.
The findings have yet to be tested in humans but are an important step toward better understanding how coffee and cigarettes affect nicotine receptors in the brain.
In smokers, these brain receptors can be hypersensitive after a night of nicotine withdrawal. Caffeine is coffee’s feel-good ingredient for most people but smokers may get another kind of boost.
In the study, the researchers identified two compounds in coffee that directly affect certain high-sensitivity nicotine receptors in the brain.
They applied a dark-roasted coffee solution to cells that express a particular human nicotine receptor.
They found an organic chemical compound in coffee may help restore the nicotine receptor dysfunction that leads to nicotine cravings in smokers.
The findings have led the team to a broader hypothesis: One of the compounds in brewed coffee, known as n-MP, may help to quell morning nicotine cravings.
Nicotine-dependent smokers associate tobacco use with coffee in the morning and alcohol in the evening.
While alcohol’s effect on nicotine receptors in the brain has been thoroughly researched, the receptors’ interaction with coffee has been studied less.
The team says many people look for coffee in the morning because of the caffeine. But was the coffee doing anything else to smokers?
They wanted to know if there were other things in coffee that were affecting the brain’s nicotine receptors.
The findings provide a good foundation for behavioral scientists who could further study nicotine withdrawal in animal models.
If you care about coffee, please read studies that drinking too much coffee may damage your bone health, and coffee and veggies may help prevent COVID-19.
The research was published in Neuropharmacology and conducted by Roger L. Papke et al.
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