Sunday, November 9, 2014

Omega-3 supplements help reduce nicotine craving

A new study released by the University of Haifa shows that taking omega-3 supplements lowers the craving for nicotine and even reduces the number of cigarettes that people smoke in a day

"The findings of this study indicated that omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly," said Dr Sharon Rabinovitz Shenkar

Cigarette smoking is already tied to cardiovascular dysfunction, immune system dysfunction and
omega-3 reduces nicotine craving
obviously cancer.  But did you know it also reduces the levels of essential fatty acids in the brain?

This current study used 48 smokers between the ages of 18 - 45.  The subjects were smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day and were at an average of 14.  They were diagnosed as having a "moderate" dependency on nicotine.  Sounds like addiction to me, but what do I know?  The smokers in the study had an average age of 29 and had all been smoking for at least 10 years.

The smokers were split into two groups.  One group got omega-3 capsules, the second group received a placebo.

The victims participants were asked to take 5 capsules a day for 30 days and at no time were they asked to stop smoking.  The levels of nicotine craving and consumption were checked using a series of scales regarding various aspects related to smoking urges, such as lack of control over tobacco use, anticipation of relief and satisfaction from smoking, and to the number of cigarettes smoked each day.

These levels were measured at the start of the study, then 30 days after the start of the treatment and then once more after 60 days.

During the study when the participants were tested, they had them abstain from smoking for 2 hours and then were exposed to smoking-related cues and images in order to fire up the cravings for nicotine.

The findings showed that while no difference was found between the groups at the beginning of the study, after thirty days the smokers who had taken omega-3 reduced their cigarettes by an average of two a day (an eleven-per cent decrease), even though they were not asked to change their smoking habits in any way.

After another 30 days of not taking anything, cigarette cravings did increase slightly but, and this is the important part, still remained significantly lower than at the initial level.

What this means is that the craving to smoke cigarettes did not return to the baseline original level even a month after not taking the supplement.

The researchers reported that the group receiving the placebo did not show any significant changes either way in their craving levels or in the number of cigarettes they smoked a day during the sixty days.