Recommending nicotine for weight loss or in general could be seen controversial if not out right insane, but hear me out first before you come to any conclusions.
Admittedly you should have your training and diet optimised or else you won’t see much of the benefits of nicotine use for weight loss.
With all that said, I believe It can be a useful tool in your toolbox to use when dieting or controlling your weight.
Although this article will only focus on the weight loss benefits of nicotine, I would like to point out nicotine use has cognitive benefits as well.
It improves fine motor skills, attention, accuracy, response time, short-term memory, and working memory, as a meta-analysis of 41 (Heishman et al., 2010) studies on nicotine has concluded.
Nicotine may also have therapeutic potential for a variety of disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, ADD, Tourette’s syndrome and ulcerative colitis (Gurwitz, 1999).
This curious little molecule is an anti-inflammatory memory boosting appetite suppressant. If it didn’t screw with the reward mechanisms in your brain, it’d be a vitamin. – Bill Lagakos Ph.D
NICOTINE BENEFITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
It increases lipolysis and inhibits fatty acid synthesis (FAS).
Lipolysis means break down of fat (lipids) and FAS is term for how the body makes fat tissue.
Nicotine activates beta-adrenoceptors via release of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) thus leading to the up-regulation in lipid break down, as well as by stimulating (directly) nicotinic cholinergic lipolytic receptors located on adipose cells (Andersson and Arner 2001).
Nicotine also appears to stimulate an array of protein kinases that inhibit FAS. The primary routes are through stimulation of LKB1 which leads to stimulation of AMPK, threonine 172, and lastly acetyl-CoA carboxylase (An et al. 2007). This cascade leads to a down regulation in FAS.
Norepinephrine is stimulated by nicotine ingestion, and that is necessary for thermogenesis. Through a series of events this leads to up regulation of UCP1 (Uncoupling Protein 1 or thermogenin) in adipose tissue.
This results in making the conversion of ATP less efficient, which results in some energy being lost in the generation of heat.
The mitochondria work much harder to produce the same level of energy (ATP), which leads to an increased metabolic rate.
The same process, although to a much greater degree is seen in the weight loss drug 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) .
A hunger-regulating hormone produced by adipose tissue. Those who chew nicotine gum were found to have higher circulating leptin levels than a control (Eliasson and Smith 1999);(Bai et al., 2016).
So to sum it all up. It enhances the actions of dopamine, serotonin and leptin and partially inhibits the role and actions of neuropeptide Y.
Due to its pharmacology it augments the hunger system, lipolysis, FAS, thermogenesis and increases energy expenditure.
With that being said, the most beneficial use would be during a diet, because In layman’s terms it “tricks” the body into thinking it’s in a fed-state and with that it decreases appetite, mobilizes fat, and preserves LBM, even in the presence of a caloric deficit.
Something that is crucial during weight loss.
NICOTINE DOSAGE FOR WEIGHT LOSS
First off I would like to mention, that if you decide to use nicotine for weight loss that you should use nicotine gum or patches. They have no other potential carcinogenic compounds added, unlike tobacco products.
So to get the most out of nicotine is to combine it with caffeine. It has been shown that adding caffeine increases the thermic response of nicotine by around 100% without any reported side effects (Jessen, Toubro, & Astrup, 2003).
The best and the safest way to get the benefits of nicotine, without ingesting or inhaling tobacco products would be either a nicotine patch or a nicotine chewing gum.
You basically only need 1 mg of nicotine combined with 100 mg of caffeine for enhanced fat loss. So, 1 mg of nicotine + 100 mg of caffeine 3 times per day spaced 4 hours apart would be most effective.
As to how to use it in a fat-burning stack I recommend this pre-workout article.
NICOTINE SIDE EFFECTS:
- Cancer – There is no question, that smoking and other ways of using tobacco are associated with cancer and carcinogenic compounds. However we must make a distinction between tobacco and nicotine since some uses of nicotine are not associated with cancer (Murray et al. 2009). It was found that nicotine replacement therapy alone was not a significant predictor of cancer (p=0.57) and when it was combined with smoking it remained non-significant (P=0.25). This doesn’t mean that smokeless tobacco users won’t get cancer; however, it does imply that other additives in the tobacco are carcinogenic and not nicotine itself.
- High blood pressure
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND CONCLUSION
From my own personal experience I can only recommend it, as i did not have any side effects. For me its a very useful compound for weight loss.
I use it during cutting, when I am on a PSMF diet or as an energiser when I go to the gym after a night shift. It gives just the right kind of boost so I can have the proper intensity when I train.
Despite it being common knowledge I believe it’s my duty to mention that nicotine is an addictive substance.
Its use could potentially lead to an addiction, but as long it is consumed via gum or patches the association with cancer is insignificant (Murray et al., 2009).
With that being said, despite explaining a couple of theoretical mechanisms for the benefits for weight loss.
Nicotine on its own won’t produce magical results if your diet and training isn’t on point.
Those of you who have it on point, it could prove that key element you were missing to reach the next level physique wise. Especially for those of us who can’t legally obtain Ephedrine.
- Heishman, S. J., Kleykamp, B. A., & Singleton, E. G. (2010). Meta-analysis of the acute effects of nicotine and smoking on human performance.Psychopharmacology, 210(4), 453-469. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20414766
- Gurwitz, D. (1999). The therapeutic potential of nicotine and nicotinic agonists for weight control.Expert opinion on investigational drugs, 8(6), 747-760. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/135437184.108.40.2067
- Jessen, A. B., Toubro, S., & Astrup, A. (2003). Effect of chewing gum containing nicotine and caffeine on energy expenditure and substrate utilization in men.The American journal of clinical nutrition, 77(6), 1442-1447 http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/6/1442.short
- Eliasson, B., & Smith, U. (1999). Leptin levels in smokers and long‐term users of nicotine gum. European journal of clinical investigation, 29(2), 145-152 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2362.1999.00420.x/full
- Bai, X. J., Fan, L. H., He, Y., Ren, J., Xu, W., Liang, Q., … & Fan, F. L. (2016). Nicotine may affect the secretion of adipokines leptin, resistin, and visfatin through activation of KATP channel.Nutrition, 32(6), 645-648. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900715004761
- Murray, R. P., Connett, J. E., & Zapawa, L. M. (2009). Does nicotine replacement therapy cause cancer? Evidence from the Lung Health Study.Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(9), 1076-1082. https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article-abstract/11/9/1076/1091291/Does-nicotine-replacement-therapy-cause-cancer