Nicotine, a chemical mostly within the plants of the Solanaceae family, can be an alkaloid and is available accumulated in the leaves of the plants, though the biosynthesis of the chemical occurs in the roots of the plants. Nicotine is probably the major the different parts of addictive plants like tobacco (0.6%-3.0%) and is the reason behind their addiction in humans due to its psychoactive nature.
The follow are 10 interesting facts about nicotine.
The name nicotine originates from the scientific name of the tobacco plant Nicotiana tabacum. The scientific name of the tobacco plant is itself named the French ambassador to Portugal Jean Nicot de Villemain. Villeman is credited for sending tobacco seeds and plant saplings to Paris in 1560 because of its used in medicinal purposes.
Nicotine was initially extracted from the tobacco plant by German physician Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt and chemist Karl Ludwig Reimann in 1828. Following its discovery Posselt and Reimann labelled it as a poison. Actually nicotine can be an antiherbivore chemical, which causes addiction when consumed in small amounts (1mg or less) and death if used high amounts (30mg-60mg).
Nicotine is an alkaloid with the chemical formula C10H14N2. Its IUPAC name is 3[2,5-1-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl]pyridine. It has a molecular mass of 162.12g/mol. Nicotine is a hygroscopic liquid that is miscible with water as a nitrogenous base. Its density is 1.01g/cm3, melting point -79oC and boiling point 247oC. The nicotine molecule includes a half life of 2 hours and its metabolism is hepatic. Nicotine is also optically active and contains two enantiomeric forms.
4. Nicotine as an insecticide
As already said nicotine can be an antiherbivore drug which if taken in large amounts is fatal alive forms. That is why nicotine laden tobacco has been used being an insecticide even before the World War II. But after the WWII its usage drastically lowered due to the option of cheap synthetic insecticides which tend to be more readily available than tobacco and less bad for mammals. But in the recent times the hype surrounding organic farming has again increased the interest of the farmers in the usage of tobacco as a pesticide as an alternate to chemical pesticides.
5. Nicotine addiction
Our central nervous system has certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Nicotine binds to many of these and increases the level of several neurotransmitters. Among these neurotransmitters dopamine is one such neurotransmitter that is significantly increased during nicotine use and is in charge of the sense of euphoria and relaxation caused by using tobacco (nicotine) products.
6. Psychoactive effects of nicotine
Nicotine is a psychoactive substance since it is mood altering. It causes both euphoria and relaxation. In the body nicotine is metabolised in the liver. First following its metabolism nicotine results in the release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine from the adrenal medulla. This sudden release of glucose and epinephrine causes euphoria following the intake of nicotine. Following the initial euphoria nicotine results in relaxation, increased alertness and sharpness by working on different neurotransmitters of the body. Nicotine also offers pain relieving properties.
7. Unwanted effects of nicotine intake
Tough it looks like nicotine is an excellent substance to improve one’s sharpness, induce calmness and elevate one’s mood there are more negative aspects of nicotine intake than positive. Among these the most typical unwanted effects of nicotine intake are an elevated threat of hypertension and heart attacks. It really is sad that each cigarette a man smokes reduces his life span by 14 years. Moreover since nicotine has been found to affect the working of Estrogen on hippocampus, hence in the long run nicotine users are prone to amnesia along with other related diseases.
Nicotine is considered to become more toxic than most typical drugs like heroin and cocaine. More harm is performed by nicotine to our body since it is readily absorbed by the bloodstream and reaches the brain through the lungs within 7 seconds of its intake either orally or as nicotine patches.
9. Use of nicotine in medical science
Though nicotine isn’t a doctor’s best friend, it really is yet not his worst foe. Nicotine known because of its pain relieving properties has been researched upon to be utilized as a potential pain killer minus its harmful effects. www.puffandpouch.com Nicotine in addition has been found to lessen preeclampsia, allergic asthma; among others by acting being an anti-inflammatory agent.
10. Nicotine in literature
Nicotine has been personified in popular literature as Nick O’ Teen, a humanoid villainous character in Superman comics that was created as a part of anti-nicotine drive to educate children about the ill-effects of nicotine intake in any form.
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