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10 Hidden Facts About Nicotine

Nicotine is a chemical which is commonly found in the plants belonging to the Solanaceae family. It is actually an alkaloid which is present in the plants leaves.

nicotineIt is through the roots of these plants that biosynthesis of this chemical occurs. Following are 10 amazing facts about Nicotine which you never knew.

1) Extraction: 1828 was the year when Chemist Karl Ludwig Reimann and German physician Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich first extracted nicotine from a tobacco plant. After its discovery they both termed it as poison. Nicotine is actually an antherbivore chemical which when taken in small amounts can lead to its addiction. It can also lead to death when consumed in large amounts.

2) Etymology: As we all know Nicotine is extracted from tobacco plant; hence it has been named after Nicotiana tabacum which is the scientific name of the tobacco plant. Jean Nicot de Villemain who was a French ambassador to Portugal has been credited for giving the scientific name to the tobacco plant.

3) Nicotine Addiction: Certain nicotine acetylcholine receptors are present in our central nervous system. Nicotine binds to these receptors present in our central nervous system and increases the amount of neurotransmitters. Among the several neurotransmitters increased dopamine is one of the neurotransmitter which is increased by leaps and bounds when nicotine is consumed. This results in a sense of relaxation and euphoria.

4) Chemistry: Nicotine is actually an alkaloid whose chemical formula is C10H14N2. Its molecular mass is 162.12g/mol. 3[{2, 5}-1-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl] pyridine is the IUPAC name for Nicotine.

5) Side Effects of Nicotine Consumption: Nicotine intake has more negative aspects than positive ones though it may appear to be an excellent thing to induce calmness and increase intelligence; but overall it does more damage to one’s body than good. Consumption of nicotine in large amounts and frequent intervals increases the risk of heart diseases and may even lead to hypertension.

6) Nicotine As An Insecticide: Consumption of nicotine in large amounts can lead to fatal results as it is an antiherbivore drug. Making the use of this quality of Nicotine it is even used as an insecticide in farming.

7) Use Of Nicotine In Medical Science: Nicotine is even being researched to be used as a pain killer though minus its several harmful effects. It has even been found useful to reduce allergic asthma, preeclampsia and several other diseases by its anti-inflammatory nature.

8) Psychoactive Effects Of Nicotine: Being Mood altering it is a psychoactive substance. Its consumption leads to a state of relaxation and Euphoria. Metabolism of nicotine takes place in the liver. This metabolism results in release of epinephrine from the adrenal medulla and glucose from the liver. This results in euphoria.

9) Nicotine In Literature: Nicotine has been mentioned in popular genre of literature as Nick O’ Teen, a bad villainous character in the superman comic series which was created to educate children about ill effects of nicotine consumption.

10) Toxicity: Nicotine has been termed more toxic than common drugs cocaine and heroin. It has been termed toxic because within 7 seconds of its consumption it reaches the brain through the lungs and is quickly absorbed by the bloodstream.