Dietary Nicotine Fights Parkinson’s Disease
It may be possible that food-based nicotine fights Parkinson’s disease.
While it is normally thought of as a chemical in cigarettes (and it is), studies show that nicotine fights Parkinson’s disease. Don’t go run out to buy a carton of cigarettes though, as the risks involved with smoking by far outweigh the benefits that the nicotine provides. The question then is, if nicotine fights Parkinson’s disease, how do we access nicotine without using tobacco products? Our answer lies, as usual, in the kitchen.
Tobacco is part of the nightshade family of plants which include many familiar table-side plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and chili peppers. While edible plants in our every diet have much smaller nicotine contents than even a single cigarette, it turns out that our brains are incredibly well-tuned for absorbing nicotine. A single puff from a cigarette can flood as much as half the brain’s nicotine receptors. Now, not all nightshade plants produce nicotine. But, scientists found that it does not take a lot of nicotine to make a notable difference in Parkinson’s risk, so simply including bell peppers (the highest edible nicotine containing nightshade plant) can play a major role in reducing the threat of Parkinson’s disease.
While smoking is undeniably bad for your health, it appears that the silver lining in tobacco consumption is a reduced risk in Parkinson. Obviously this is not to be taken as a free-pass to smoke like a chimney, as your risk of a host of other illnesses is much higher than the drop in Parkinson’s risk. If you want to enjoy the benefits of nicotine without the risk, put down the tobacco and pick up a bell pepper.