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Nicotine Enhances Brain Power: Andrew Huberman Explains How

Updated: May 23

Nicotine and the Brain

  • How It Works: Nicotine latches onto something called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in your brain. Andrew Huberman talks about these receptors, focusing on one type—the alpha4beta2 receptor—which helps reduce your appetite and might even speed up your metabolism.

Effects on the Nervous System

  • Immediate Impact: When you take in nicotine, it quickly hits your bloodstream and makes its way to your brain, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This leads to some immediate changes in how your brain and body function.

Neurochemical Changes

  • Feel-Good Chemistry: According to Huberman, nicotine triggers the mesolimbic pathway, a key player in releasing dopamine. This is your body's feel-good chemical, boosting feelings like well-being, alertness, and motivation.

Nicotine's Effects on Appetite and Metabolism

  • Weight Control: Nicotine has a knack for curbing your appetite and can rev up your metabolism. Huberman discusses this as a possible reason why some people worry about gaining weight if they quit smoking.

Potential Therapeutic Uses of Nicotine

  • Beyond Smoking: Huberman also explores using nicotine for other benefits, like fighting depression. However, he warns about the fine line between its therapeutic benefits and its addictive nature, emphasizing careful consideration of its use.

Who is Andrew Huberman

Andrew Huberman is this brilliant neuroscientist teaching at Stanford. He runs the Huberman Lab, where they explore how the brain works and ways to enhance mental and visual performance.

Besides all the lab work, he shares tons of cool brain hacks on his popular podcast and through public lectures. Basically, he’s making neuroscience accessible to everyone.


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