Coffee and Cigarettes: New Study Reveals an Unexpected Connection

New research sheds light on the relationship between nicotine and morning coffee.
Without a cup of coffee, the first cigarette of the day is less enjoyable for some smokers. However, this may not only be a morning practice. According to researchers at the University of Florida, compounds in roasted coffee beans may reduce the intensity of morning nicotine cravings.

In a cell-based study, researchers identified two compounds in coffee that directly affect certain high-sensitivity nicotine receptors in the brain. Following a night of nicotine withdrawal, these brain receptors in smokers may become hypersensitive.

According to Roger L. Papke, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, although the recently published findings have not yet been tested on humans, they represent a significant advancement in our understanding of how coffee and cigarettes affect nicotine receptors in the brain. Caffeine is the feel-good component of coffee for the majority of people, but smokers may receive a different boost.

Papke stated, “Many people enjoy caffeine in the morning, but there are other molecules in coffee that may explain why cigarette smokers crave coffee.”

The researchers applied a dark-roasted coffee solution to human nicotine receptor-expressing cells. The researchers concluded that an organic chemical compound in coffee may assist in restoring the dysfunction of nicotine receptors that causes nicotine cravings in smokers.

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