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The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: What unit of protein is adequate?

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery is realistically working and any deficiency in protein must be avoided if we have to win in the fight against addiction

In one of the forums where I lecture people on the usefulness of nutrition in the sustainability of good health one of the listeners ask a very important question. She enquired the role of protein intake in the fight against drug addiction. Her concern raised a very healthy discussion and we want to share with you some of the effectiveness of protein in addiction recovery even as we progress in to the discussion. Ideally whenever protein is mentioned what come to your mind is body building and good health it is therefore no doubt that protein is a very essential dietary component for those recovering from addiction. According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury, when poor eating patterns is combined with the use of drugs and alcohol a lot of health complications follows suit including mental, social and physical damage. Doctor Akoury says that the knowledge of this negative impact of the addiction on individuals is very important besides taking time in the proper identification of the modalities of achieving optimal health in during the recovery process. It is from these understanding that we want to take time to look at the physical health problems that addiction creates in the body and how protein can be of help in correcting some of these issues.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: The role of protein in the body

Proteins like we have already mention is one of six most essential food nutrients in food which is partially responsible for the structure of all cells, tissues and organs in the body. They are broken down into amino acids, which help in the process of replacing and regenerating all cells. Experts are all in agreement that protein plays a vital role in sustaining life. And this brings us to the next vital question which is “where exactly do we find this valuable nutrient from?” Even though this list may not be exhaustive, the following are some of the great sources of protein you can rely on for your nutrition:

  • Meat including all the poultry, red meat, and seafood
  • Legumes both dry beans and peas
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Soy and tofu
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Some grains e.g., quinoa, whole grains etc.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: How much protein do we need?

On average, most people across the globe get enough protein from their diet. Like for instance in the western cultures, there appear to be more than enough quantities of in their diet which often go exceedingly beyond the daily consumption recommendations. According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, the daily recommendations for dietary protein should be based on weight and physical activity levels. That is to say that for adults they should aim to consume approximately 0.8g of protein per kilogram of their weight. (Weight in kg x 0.8g/kg = protein intake in g). However it is important to appreciate that when looking at the protein and food intake of someone suffering from an addiction, their intake falls below the average. It therefore means that when drugs or alcohol are present in ones’ life, other areas fall short and nutrition is no exception thereby making repair for recovery to become very necessary. And therefore since drugs and alcohol have a harmful effect on many metabolic processes, various organs and systems are greatly affected and need repair in addiction recovery. The following are just but a few of some of the organs that are greatly affected:

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: Protein and the digestive system

The gastrointestinal tract (GIT), also known as the digestive system is one area that is affected by addiction. The GIT transports food to the stomach to be broken down, and into the small intestines where most nutrients are absorbed. The inner part of the GIT is lined with a thin layer of mucous, which protects the outer layers of cells, muscle, blood vessels and nerves.

Mal-absorption is an abnormality causing poor nutrient absorption, can occur in addicts. Chronic alcohol use is one of the major causes of a folate deficiency, as it impairs the uptake of folate in the intestines. The bigger problem with most alcoholics is that their diets are weak and limited in many food nutrients including folate. It will interest you to note that folate deficiencies alter the intestines normal physiological role of absorbing other vitamins and minerals. Besides that the other characteristic of mal-absorption is diarrhea, which accelerates the excretion of nutrients and limits their absorption. This combination of factors culminates to mal-absorption, which eventually leads to malnutrition. Doctor Akoury recommends that for a better solution to this condition, sobriety is very essential in helping reverse these damages in the gastrointestinal tract, as the toxic effect of alcohol causes this chain reaction. In addition, providing extra nourishment, from protein can help to accelerate the recovery from the effects of mal-absorption.

A common, yet painful occurrence in alcoholism is gastro esophageal reflux or heartburn. Stomach acid is very potent, and can dissolve a nail! Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle that separates the esophagus and the stomach. When relaxed, stomach acid rises up into the esophagus. In severe alcoholism, chronic alcohol use can create tears in the esophagus causing esophageal varicosities. In addition, alcohol causes direct damage to the esophageal mucosa (a thin protective layer of mucous in the gastrointestinal tract). As with all damage in the body, protein is an important element of the healing process.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: Protein and muscle

As discussed previously, food and nutrition is not a high priority for most addicts. They are normally lazy in preparing meals for themselves. Full meals can interfere with the ‘high’, and cause unpleasant side effects when mixed with alcohol or drugs. When using drugs or alcohol, appetite is suppressed and most addicts skip at least one meal a day. Others can go for hours to days without eating and without food the source of fuel for our body is limited, causing the body to fall back on stored energy supplies to sustain energy. And before you knew such individual will be starving causing the body to rely on glycogen stores, which are located in our muscles and liver. When addicts restrict their food intake and ‘starve’ their bodies, they continuously exhaust glycogen stores which deplete and reduces lean muscle mass. This is one of the major causes of weight loss during the addiction. In recovery, it is important to rebuild strength and muscle, to support a healthy lifestyle for recovery. Protein and exercise are essential in preserving and rebuilding muscle mass, as well as increasing energy levels in recovery.

Finally doctor Akoury reiterates that the effectiveness of protein in addiction recovery is a very healthy way of solving the problems of substance abuse and should be embraced by all standards. Therefore if you or any one you know is struggling with addiction doctor Akoury is more than willing to help you through the whole process if only you can schedule for an appointment with her today.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: What unit of protein is adequate?

 

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Natural means of fighting sugar cravings

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Putting sugar addiction to check

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings can be very effective in bringing sugar cravings to manageable levels

There is no doubt about the sweetness of sugar and naturally sweet things are liked by many globally. No one would want to associate with nasty and horrible taste because that is how we are, the human nature in us. The problem comes when one begins to take sugar excessively to the point that they cannot do without it. When we begin to crave for sugar, then its usefulness and sweetness is altered to addiction which can come along with other health conditions which may be chronic in nature for human life. Experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under Doctor Akoury’s care recommends that when one begins to get into this stage of usage then such a person should seek for help immediately from the medical experts. The consequences of not taking action in good time can be very endangering as we will be able to see in the course of this discussion. In the meantime, doctor Dalal Akoury will be taking us through the discussion focusing on the natural means of fighting sugar cravings as follows:

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Diet tips to fight off sugar cravings

The consumption of refined sugar all over the world is sky rocketing and this is a great point of concern for many experts. Take for example in the US it had been estimated that an average American citizen is consuming up to 160 pounds of refined sugar yearly. Can you imagine that? This high consumption of sugar is not just in America, but also in most of the western countries. As a matter of facts, studies have positioned western world to be leading in the prevalence in the number of health conditions which are associated with sugar consumption. Some of those health conditions may include the following: diabetes, certain forms of cancer, obesity and overweight, and tooth decay. Besides that, it is also very important to note that the consumption of too much sugar can also have an impact on individual’s mood causing them to feel tired, irritable, anxious and aggressive.

These complications can really bring you down with a lot of discomforts if treatment is not sought for in good time. With these conditions, one would wish to take action immediately but unfortunately, it is often very difficult to cut back on sugar. This is because human beings have a natural tendency to like sweet things a nature’s trick to save us from poisonous plants which usually have a bitter taste. A sweet tooth was valuable to the survival of our ancestors also because sugary foods provide a quick source of energy. The problem these days is that we eat far more sugar than our ancestors ever could. Also the type of sugar we tend to consume makes us more vulnerable to health problems: rather than indulging in healthy sweet treats like berries or fruit we often opt for unhealthy snacks containing concentrated amounts of white table sugar. This highly refined sugar has little nutritional value; yet it is high in calories. With that said and done let us now get to the natural means of fighting sugar cravings, and remember that the presentations we are going to give only represent diet related tips to help you fight off sugar cravings but are not in any way substitute the professional medical or nutritional advice by the professionals.

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Increase brain serotonin levels through diet

The chemical known as serotonin is responsible for the communications between the cells and other nervous system cells. It functions like the neurotransmitter that helps in the transmission of communications to the brain. Some of the perfect sources of serotonin may include walnuts, pecans, plantains, pineapple, bananas, kiwi fruit, plums, and tomatoes.

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Eating sufficient of tryptophan-rich foods

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in protein rich foods. It normally serves as a precursor to serotonin and therefore an adequate intake of tryptophan rich foods can help with sugar cravings. To get the most out of tryptophan, one should try to increase the blood levels of tryptophan, relative to the blood levels of the other essential amino acids, as other amino acids compete with tryptophan for entry to the brain. One way to do this is to consume some healthy carbohydrates together with the tryptophan-rich meal. It is important to note that carbohydrates stimulate the production of insulin, a hormone which lowers the blood levels of all the essential amino acids, except tryptophan.

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Consumption of plenty of foods rich in B vitamins

B vitamins can be helpful for fighting sugar cravings. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), found in a variety of foods including beans, meat, poultry, fish, and some fruits and vegetables, can be particularly beneficial due to its role in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Ensure an ample supply of glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that provides energy in the brain and helps build and maintain muscle. It is commonly used by body builders to help reduce muscle deterioration during and post workout. Glutamine may also help reduce cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. This is likely to be a result of glutamine’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels: when the levels are low, glutamine suppresses insulin to prevent further decline of the sugar levels. It also stimulates the release of glycogen to help increase the blood sugar to normal levels. Glutamine is found in many protein rich foods such as fish, chicken, beans, and dairy as well as in vegetables such as raw parsley, spinach, cabbage, and beets.

Finally remember what I had said above that these are only tips to help you fight off sugar cravings but are not in any way substitute the professional medical or nutritional advice. The communication behind this statement is that when you are following these natural tips, you will still need the services of professionals to help you out from time to time. It is because of this gap that lead to doctor Dalal Akoury to make a decision of forming a medical center whose main objective is to transform each individual’s life through increasing awareness about health and wellness and by empowering individuals to find their own inner healing power. Dr. Akoury’s practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. With visionary experts like this, you should not continue to suffer because of any kind of addiction. Therefore you may want to schedule for an appointment with this great addiction professional to help you address all your known concerns.

Natural means of fighting sugar cravings: Putting sugar addiction to check

 

 

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Correcting Neurotransmitter Imbalances with IV Amino Acids

Correcting Neurotransmitter Imbalances with IV Amino Acids

When taken, drugs will alter the normal the bodily functions. That is no news to even those who use drugs of abuse, in fact the basic definition of a drug is; any substance that when taken will interfere with the normal functions of the body. However some drugs do not only alter minor body functions but go a step further in inhibiting the functions of neurotransmitters to a greater extent.  Most of the drugs that can mimic or interfere with the functions of the neurotransmitters in any way are mostly drugs of pleasure that are prone to abuse and are hence illegal in many parts of the world. The brain and the entire nervous system functions in a way that the entire body needs them to work properly, you can’t imagine how fast the coordination between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system is but most important fact to note is that any interference within the nervous system even only to a neurotransmitter goes a long way in affecting the entire body. The brain has various mechanisms through which it accomplishes all the functions of the body. The effect of drugs on the neurotransmitters can be underestimated by those who haven’t known how the neurotransmitters work, here is how the neurotransmitters work.

Neurotransmitters

How Neurotransmitters Work

Neurotransmitters are very crucial in the nervous system. They are the chemicals that transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. Nerve cells are known as neurons. The nerve impulse travels from the first nerve cell through the axon, a single smooth body arising from the nerve cell to the axon terminal and the synaptic knobs. Each synaptic knob communicates with a dendrite or cell body of another neuron, and the synaptic knobs contain neurovesicles that store and release neurotransmitters. The synapse lies between the synaptic knob and the next cell. For the impulse to continue traveling across the synapse to reach the next cell, the synaptic knobs release the neurotransmitter into that space, and the next nerve cell is stimulated to pick up the impulse and continue it. An interference with the neurotransmitters can adversely affect the flow of message within the nervous system. This is what most drugs of abuse do. They affect the harmonious flow of information from the brain to the rest of the body maiming its normal functions. Let’s look at how drugs affect specific neurotransmitters in the nervous system.

How Drugs affect Dopamine and GABA

One of the neurotransmitters that are highly targeted by drugs of pleasure is Dopamine. To some people it is known as the ‘bliss neurotransmitter’. It is responsible for good feeling, the euphoric feelings that drug addicts seek from various drugs of abuse. Dopamine has great influence on well-being, alertness, learning, creativity, attention and concentration. Levels of dopamine should be optimal in the brain since when the level of dopamine is low it can leave us craving food, sex or stimulation. When the dopamine level is too high it can cause addictive behaviors. It has been observed that patients who are put on medications to boost dopamine level especially the Parkinson’s patient, they will form an addictive behavior like gambling when the levels of dopamine shoots beyond the optimal level. Dopamine boosts the feelings of pleasure but when the levels are too high it may result in Paranoia or a suspicious personality. Dopamine is also released when there is high stress. Therefore the level of dopamine should be regulated to ensure sound health. This is where the functions of inhibitory neurotransmitters set in, however with influence of drugs this coordination between excitatory neurotransmitters and inhibitory neurotransmitters is maimed.

Nicotine influences mood, cognition, and body function by binding to and activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) located on neurons in the brain. When activated by either nicotine or the endogenous neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the nAChR opens a channel that allows ions to pass through the neuron’s membrane from the exterior to the interior of the cell and trigger changes that activate the cell. When you take tobacco or other drug with nicotine the nicotine will have interactions with nAChRs and therefore any nicotine dependence treatment should focus on altering these interactions.

Nicotine produces rewarding effects by interacting with nAChRs on neurons in the brain’s mesolimbic reward system. This system comprises dopaminergic neurons that originate in the ventral tegmental area often shortened as VTA and release the neurotransmitter dopamine in regions involved in information processing, memory, and emotions, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Increases in dopamine levels within the mesolimbic system give rise to rewarding effects. Nicotine directly enhances dopamine levels in the mesolimbic system by interacting with nAChRs on the dopaminergic neurons and causing them to release more of the neurotransmitter. Nicotine also modulates dopamine release indirectly by binding to nAChRs located on excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons in the ventral tegmental area. These glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons originate from a number of brain areas, such as the NAc, hippocampus, PFC, amygdala, ventral pallidum, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and regulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons.

Neurotransmitters

Restoring nicotine addiction can’t be done with IV amino acid to restore NER balance

Nicotine is one of the most available addictive substances. You can find it in tea but it can be found in greater proportions. Unfortunately, Nicotine addiction is never easy to fight. And the bitter truth is that nicotine addiction can’t be fought successfully without IV amino acid to restore NER balance. IV amino acids are the best in restoring the balances in the neuroendocrine system. The IV amino acids are the best in detoxification and getting rid of the effects of nicotine and curbing nicotine addiction by ensuring the balance of neuroendocrine chemicals.  With IV amino acid, dopamine has been noted to be the major cause of addiction can be regulated. IV amino acids is used as an  outpatient program which focuses on biochemical detoxification of the body and brain hence perfect treatment for nicotine addiction.

Any addiction treatment must focus on restoring the general well-being of the patient that can only be achieved by restoring the neurotransmitters affected. This is why we at AWAREmed are dedicated to ensuring that we offer the best neuroendocrine restoration. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is one of the few doctors that have embraced the benefits of NER in fighting addiction. Call on her and be helped in finding the best solution for nicotine and other substances addiction.

Neurochemical and Imbalances Involved In With Nicotine & Smoking

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GABA Metabolism in the CNS in Addiction

GABA Metabolism in the CNS in Addiction

What is GABA?

Known as Gamma-Amino Butyric acid, it is an amino acid that performs functions of neurotransmitters in the brain.it is the most abundant neurotransmitters occurring in the central nervous system (CNS).it  acts as an inhibitor of transmissions in the brain thus in the process calming down activities in the nervous system. It is found as a supplement in which it acts as a natural tranquilizer. It has been shown to increase levels of human growth hormones thus is very popular among body builders.

The Neurotransmitters Question

The brain is made up of millions of cells. Communication takes place from one brain region to another through neurotransmitters. Neurons are individual cells of the nerves that make up the nervous system. They serve as the wiring for the body to transmit information form one region to another. The electrical signals generated are transported through the neurons as a single impulse. Ones the impulses reaches the end of the neurons, it is transmitted to the other cell through neurotransmitters.

The central nervous system consists of the spinal cord and the brain. The two consist of neurotransmitters which pass from one end of the neuron to another. The peripheral nervous system which is made up of nerves that run to the rest of the body. The nerves transmit chemical signals from one neuron t adjacent gland cells and muscles.

GABA and glutamate are the most abundantly occurring neurotransmitters in the nervous system. The two are in abundance in the cerebral cortex which is the region where interpretation of sensation takes place and thinking occurs. The ending of the neurons are made up of sac like structures which are filled with neurotransmitters.

GABA

When the chemical and electrical signals reach the end of the neurons, they trigger the sacs to release neurotransmitters to act as a bridge between one nerve cell and another. The spaces called synapses act as a bridge through which signals pass to the other cells. On reaching the other neuron, the neurotransmitters attach to the cell receptors. This triggers the electric impulse to move from the end of the nerve cell neuron to the other cell completing the message transmission and triggering and effect.

Role of GABA In the Brain

It is formed in the cells of the brain from glutamate. GABA acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter which simply means that it blocks nerve impulses in the brain. On the other hand, glutamate from which GABA is formed is an excitatory neurotransmitter. When it binds to cells adjacent to it, it activates them to send impulses throughout the brain from one cell to another. GABA instead of telling the brain to activate and send impulses, it tells it he opposite. It stimulates the brain not to send nerve impulses from one cell to another.

In the absence of GABA nerve cells tend to activate more often sending signals regularly. Disorders associated with anxiety such as headaches, addiction, panic attacks, Parkinson syndrome, cognitive impairment and seizures are all linked to low activity of GABA.

It naturally hinders nerve impulses transmission from one cell to another. It brings about a calming effect in the process. The best way to understand the significance of GABA is by understanding the effects of caffeine on the brain. Caffeine acts as an inhibitor of the release of GABA. When the levels of GABA are low in the brain, more nerve transmissions take place. This leads to the sensational feeling that one gets when they takes coffee. This feeling is as a result of activity of glutamate with less GABA.

The reason why, caffeine does this is simply because other molecules tend to bind with the neurons near the site where GABA binds with these neurons. This is exactly the way that basic tranquilizers like barbiturates and Benzodiazepines work. They increase the effects of GABA in the body which in turns inhibits the transmission of nerves.

GABA Metabolism

It is synthesized in a metabolic path known as the GABA shunt. The first step in GABA formation uses a-ketoglutarate that  is formed from metabolism of glucose in the Kreb’s cycle. Afterwards a-ketoglutarate is processed by a-oxoglutarate to form glutamate. In the final process, the glutamate undergoes decarboxylation to form GABA through the glutamic acid decarboxylase enzyme. Like other neurotransmitters, GABA is stored in the synaptic vesicles of the brain and is only released when depolarization of the presynaptic membrane takes place.

GABA

GABA and Addiction

Alcohol consumption leads to loss of coordination of the motors as well as sedation as other high levels of inhibitory transmitters do. Studies therefore show that GABA effects contribute to some effects of alcohol in the brain. Past studies show that, GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter is affected by alcohol consumption. Continuous alcohol consumption leading to addiction lead to decline in GABA receptors found in the brain and his reduces the ability of the neurotransmitter t bind with cell receptors.

In this case, the body is forced to find ways to compensate for the declined levels of GABA neurotransmitters. These effects are responsible for brain function changes that lead to things like dependence and alcohol tolerance. When one withdraws from alcohol, the stimulating effects on the neurotransmitter disappear. The body has very few GABA receptors needed to balance the effects of excitatory neurotransmitters. Because of this the brain has too many excitatory nerve signals being transmitted. This translates to psychological and physical effects of alcohol addiction and withdrawal.

Dr. Dalal Akoury has years of experience with patients of addiction and other health conditions. This enables her to provide wise counsel to patients who may be going through certain health conditions. Many of these patients have gotten better and they now bear witness to her god works. To become part of this community and to receive regular health and awareness tips that will befit you, visit www.awaremednetwork.com today.

GABA Metabolism in the CNS in Addiction

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Nicotine Addiction in Females

Role Of Progesterone In Nicotine Addiction In Females

Nicotine addictionProgesterone is a found in good quantities in women and is often thought of as a female hormone. this hormone is important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. however current research findings have indicated that this hormone has a role in inhibiting nicotine addiction.

today many people are using drugs with nicotine content and nicohtine addiction is on the rise. it has been causing death that could rather be prevented especially in the developed countries. this stimulant is used by all genders and is appreciated for a feel of high sensation and relaxation after sometime but researchers have noted that women and teen girls appear to be more vulnerable on certain aspects of nicotine addiction compared with men and boys. However the mechanism of gender differences in nicotine addiction is not yet clear, but there is evidence that endorses the suggestion that progesterone may protect females against nicotine addiction unlike estrogen that some researchers have linked to enhanced vulnerability in females to nicotine addiction. Therefore, progesterone may have therapeutic use for nicotine addiction, especially in female smokers. Researchers are working to establish the reason for this gender variation in nicotine addiction and the discovery will provide a greater understanding of the role of progesterone in nicotine addiction. this is important not only from a treatment purposes but also from a prevention perspective. The changes in hormones in the body of women such as those that occur at adolescence and during pregnancy and following birth. The changes in hormones that are also caused by hormonal manipulation like using methods of hormonal birth control may all contribute to changes in vulnerability to nicotine addiction.

Here, we will explore in reference to recent evidences from clinical studies how progesterone affects the health of a woman in relation to nicotine addiction. Depending on the data already availed from past researches we will find out the effects of progesterone during the initiation stage and even during the later stages of nicotine addiction process as a potential relapse prevention treatment.

Several studies have indicated that in spite of the public knowledge that nicotine addiction can be dangerous to one’s health, tobacco use has been on the rise especially on young women and teens. In a 2007 study results on National Survey on Drug Use research done by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration often shortened as SAHMSA found that Females aged 12–17 are also more likely than males initiate smoking. It has also been found out that women take shorter time to develop tobacco dependence syndrome after their initial use of tobacco.

Similar reports of enhanced vulnerability in females versus males have been reported among adult smokers. For example, among adults (18 years and over), although more men than women smoke, women take less time to become dependent after initial use, report shorter and less frequent abstinence periods and smoke for longer periods of time in their lives compared with men with the median cessation age of 33 years for males versus 37 years for females. This finding was reported by a research done by Pierce and Gilpin in 1996 in a study titled: How long will today’s adolescent smoker be addicted to cigarettes?

Of all the studies that have been available on tobacco use it has been found that women are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction as they also appear to respond less favorably to smoking cessation treatments.

Donny and Clark study on rats

A preclinical study on rats done by Donny and Clark with other researchers provided information that is Consistent with the above findings. In preclinical studies, adolescent and adult female rats showed faster acquisition of intravenous nicotine self-administration and higher break points on a progressive-ratio schedule compared with adolescent and adult males. Similarly, female mice showed a greater preference for nicotine in a two-bottle choice task compared with male mice indicating greater sensitivity of females to nicotine’s reinforcing effects. These studies point to important gender differences in initiation and maintenance of nicotine use that may contribute to smaller gains in curbing nicotine addiction in women.

Progesterone and GABA receptors

Several research findings point out that Progesterone and its metabolites interact with multiple neurotransmitter receptors including GABA, glycine, sigma1, kainate, serotonin3, and nicotinic cholinergic receptors. However, most relevant for nicotine addiction are interactions with GABA. Progesterone’s active metabolites, pregnanolone and allopregnanolone, have positive modulatory effects on GABA receptors which enhance GABAergic transmission. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and has significant influence on multiple central nervous system (CNS) function. The positive modulatory effects of progesterone metabolites on the GABA receptors have been proposed to weaken drug reward. Remarkably, the effects of progesterone and its metabolites on GABAergic signaling vary with menstrual cycle phase and at hormone transition phases including during adolescence and during pregnancy. For instance, during puberty, allopreganolone’s effects on GABAergic transmission are opposite to those seen before and after puberty with results showing a reduction in GABAergic transmission.

nicotine addictionIt has also been reported that progesterone also affects signaling at nicotinic receptors. Specifically, both progesterone and allopregnanolone are negative modulators of the α4β2 nicotinic receptors. Progesterone has also been reported to increase mRNA expression of α5 nicotinic receptors.

Despite the research findings that have been published on this issue, the available literature is still insufficient to anchor a strong decision on the use of progesterone hormone in fighting nicotine addiction. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Center is an expert in integrative medicine for addiction. Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Role Of Progesterone In Nicotine Addiction In Females

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