Nicotine, a chemical mostly found in the plants of the Solanaceae family, can be an alkaloid and is found accumulated in the leaves of the plants, though the biosynthesis of the chemical occurs in the roots of the plants. Nicotine is among the major components of addictive plants like tobacco (0.6%-3.0%) and is the reason behind their addiction in humans because of its psychoactive nature.
The follow are 10 interesting facts about nicotine.
The name nicotine comes 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 use 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. After its discovery Posselt and Reimann labelled it as a poison. In fact nicotine is an antiherbivore chemical, which in turn causes addiction when consumed in small amounts (1mg or less) and death if taken in high amounts (30mg-60mg).
3. paras nikotiinipussi Chemistry
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 has a half life of 2 hours and its metabolism is hepatic. Nicotine is also optically active and contains two enantiomeric forms.
4. Nicotine being an insecticide
As already said nicotine can be an antiherbivore drug which if taken in large amounts is fatal to life forms. This is why nicotine laden tobacco has been used being an insecticide even before the World War II. But following the WWII its usage drastically lowered due to the option of cheap synthetic insecticides which tend to be more easily 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 being an alternate to chemical pesticides.
5. Nicotine addiction
Our central nervous system has certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Nicotine binds to several of these and increases the level of several neurotransmitters. Among these neurotransmitters dopamine is one particular neurotransmitter which is significantly increased during nicotine use and is responsible for the sense of euphoria and relaxation due to the utilization of tobacco (nicotine) products.
6. Psychoactive effects of nicotine
Nicotine is really 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. After the initial euphoria nicotine leads to relaxation, increased alertness and sharpness by focusing on different neurotransmitters of the body. Nicotine also offers pain relieving properties.
7. Unwanted effects of nicotine intake
Tough it seems like nicotine is a superb substance to improve one’s sharpness, induce calmness and elevate one’s mood you can find more negative aspects of nicotine intake than positive. Among these the most frequent side effects of nicotine intake are an elevated risk of hypertension and heart attacks. It really is sad that each cigarette that 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 end nicotine users are inclined to amnesia along with other related diseases.
Nicotine is considered to become more toxic than most common drugs like heroin and cocaine. More harm is done by nicotine to the human body because it is readily absorbed by the bloodstream and reaches the mind through the lungs within 7 seconds of its intake either orally or as nicotine patches.
9. Usage of nicotine in medical science
Though nicotine isn’t a doctor’s best friend, it is yet not his worst foe. Nicotine known because of its pain relieving properties is being researched upon to be used as a potential pain killer minus its harmful effects. Nicotine in addition has been found to reduce preeclampsia, allergic asthma; amongst others by acting as 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 which was created as part of anti-nicotine drive to educate children concerning the ill-effects of nicotine intake in virtually any form.
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